Halftime means snack time

#Middlebury #KitchenDiva

I must admit, I love watching football games. We traditionally watch the Super Bowl at our friends’ home while sitting in the same comfortable recliners, and with the same results … my favorite team loses!

The cheering, jeering and excitement can create a hearty appetite, and no one wants to miss a minute of the game while grabbing something to eat. These super snacks can be prepared ahead of time and will satisfy the biggest football fans without taking the host or hostess away from the game.

While I might not pick a winning team, I’m always voted MVC (Most Valuable Chef) when halftime rolls around and these snacks are served!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup Buffalo wing sauce
1/2 cup ranch or blue cheese salad dressing
2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
French bread baguette slices, celery ribs, carrot sticks or tortilla chips

  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Spread cream cheese into an ungreased shallow 1 quart baking dish. Layer with chicken, wing sauce and salad dressing. Sprinkle with cheese.
  2. Bake, covered with foil, 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with baguette slices, celery or carrot sticks, or tortilla chips. Makes about 2 cups.

Super Bowl Mini-Football Sandwiches

Football party food, super bowl day. (Depositphotos.com photo)

1 cup shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
1/3 cup pickled piquant peppers, such as peppadews, chopped
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
32 slices cocktail pumpernickel, sourdough, rye or whole-grain bread squares
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 ounces thinly sliced pastrami
16 bread and butter pickle slices
1 to 2 slices (cut into 4-inch squares) white American cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix the shredded cheese, peppers, mayonnaise, mustard and pepper in a medium bowl.
  2. Stack 4 slices of bread on a cutting board. Using a knife or 2 1/2-inch round cutter, trim the bread into football shapes, save the trimmings for another use. Continue with the remaining bread.
  3. Lay the bread slices on a rimmed baking sheet and brush with the melted butter. Place in oven and toast until crisp, about 5 minutes.
  4. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the pepper cheese mixture on the bread. Top with some pastrami, a pickle and another slice of bread.
  5. To make the laces, cut the cheese into 16 long strips. Cut each strip into 1 long and 3 short pieces. Lay the long strip lengthwise on the sandwich, and then the 3 short strips crosswise to make the laces. Repeat with all the strips. Put the sandwiches back into the oven for 2 minutes to set the cheese laces.
  6. Secure the sandwiches with a toothpick and serve. Makes 16 mini sandwiches.

Chili Cornbread Bake
You can prepare this delicious combination of chili and cornbread ahead of time and keep it warm in the oven until you’re ready to serve. Feel free to use a good-quality, packaged cornbread mix if you’re pressed for time, and add in the serrano chiles as directed to the packaged mix.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef chuck (80/20 mix)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 medium bell peppers, seeded, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1 can (14 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 can (14 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 ounces) refried beans
1 can (14 ounces) whole kernel corn
2/3 cup fine- to medium-ground cornmeal
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
2/3 cup milk
2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced
Cilantro, for garnish

  1. Heat oven to 400 F. In an oven-safe 12-inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil on medium. Add beef; cook 3 minutes or until browned, breaking up meat. With slotted spoon, transfer beef to bowl; discard excess fat.
  2. To same skillet, add onion and peppers; cook 7 minutes, stirring. Add garlic, chili powder and chipotle chile. Cook 2 minutes, stirring.
  3.  Return beef to skillet. Stir in tomatoes, beans, corn and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook 3 minutes or until mixture is hot. Remove from heat.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In separate bowl, whisk egg, milk and remaining 3 tablespoons oil; add to cornmeal, stirring to combine. Fold half of serrano chiles into batter. Pour over beef mixture, spreading to cover. Dot top with remaining serranos.
  5. Transfer skillet to oven. Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into topping comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Serves 6-8.Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is www.divapro.com. To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.

(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc. and Angela Shelf Medearis


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