the Super Bowl – it’s really all about the food

I love Super Bowl Sunday. Let me clarify; I love the food on Super Bowl Sunday. For the last twenty five years, Ralph and I have watched the big game together. Truthfully, I’ve really only watched a handful of games. For me, it’s all about the sappy commercials, the half time show and best of all the food. I’m writing this post in real time. Which means, I won’t be able to show you the finished product. That’s why you’re only seeing a bowl full of raw chicken meat – it needs to marinate over night. I want to share this recipe in case you’re looking for party food ideas. If I waited to photograph them, the game would be over. I thought about serving our guests day old meatballs but feared their abuse if anyone happened to see this post!

When the girls were little, for ten years, we watched the Super Bowl with three other families. Each year we would alternate homes. Whomever was hosting was completely responsible for the food that year. It was fantastic. The girls loved it. It was one of the only school nights they were allowed to stay up past their bedtime. Ralph and I had our priorities… They loved the excitement of the game, being able to spend time with our friends and, like their mother, they loved the food. Now as adults, they continue our tradition in their own homes. Ralph and I will miss their company but love knowing how much those memories mean to all of us.

This year, I’m serving homemade dill pickles, a 7-layer dip with tortilla chips and mini bell peppers, guacamole, sweet and spicy bacon wrapped jumbo shrimp, sticky five-spice short ribs  and buffalo chicken balls. One of our guests is bringing beer candied bacon and someone else is bringing dessert. I’ll be fasting until tomorrow….

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs slightly adapted from Guy Fieri

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 cups crumbled Ritz crackers – one regular sized box
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups crumbled blue cheese
Canola oil, for frying
1 egg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced pickled jalapenos
1 celery head, cut into 3 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups hot sauce I like Frank’s

THE STEPS:

  • In a meat grinder, with a medium die, grind chicken or have your butcher do it for you.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, ½ of the Ritz crackers, the black pepper, paprika, sea salt, half the cayenne pepper, and 2 cup of the blue cheese.
  • Mix well.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
  • Shape the chicken mixture into walnut-size balls and set them aside on a plate. I use a small retractable scoop
  • Beat the egg in a shallow bowl.
  • Place the remaining crushed crackers in a separate bowl.
  • Dip each ball in the egg and then roll it in the crackers, covering it thoroughly.
  • Preheat the oven to 275* F.
  • Place a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add enough Canola oil to make a 2” deep oil bath and heat it to 350*F
  • Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet.
  • Add the balls to the hot oil (work in small batches to avoid over crowding) and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
  • As they finish cooking, place the balls on the rack over the baking sheet.
  • When all the balls are fried, place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  • While chicken balls are baking, place a small saucepan over low heat to melt the butter.
  • Add the garlic and jalapenos and sauté 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the hot sauce and keep warm over low heat
  • Drizzle the hot sauce over the Buffalo balls and serve with celery sticks.

THE LOVE: Use a light touch when mixing the chicken meat to ensure tender meatballs.

click for printable copy

one year ago: intensely chocolate truffle hearts

two years ago: chocolate raspberry butter-cream squares

UPDATE: The kimchi is continuing to ferment in my fridge and has shrunk to half it’s original volume. One more week and we’ll be eating it!

Thanks for reading.