For Football Foodies
January 26, 2012 3:06 PM   Subscribe

Help me win my office's Super Bowl snack contest.

We're having a little pre-Super Bowl work party. It is potluck, but there will be a contest for the two best "snacks", by popular vote.

I want to win this so hard.

Last year there was only one winner and it was something called Buffalo Chicken Dip ( link, Not sure if that was the winner's exact recipe but it was similar for sure). So what should I make? Do you have any secret weapons in the snack arena?

Additional considerations:

1. I'm a very competent cook, and a pretty good baker
2. I have access to most kitchen tools: slow cookers, range tops, oven, high-powered blenders, food processors, charcoal bbq, etc...
3. Prefer savory recipes (but if you have like a killer brownie recipe I'm all ears)
4. Does not have to be sports-themed, just has to taste like a game-winning Hail Mary pass

Motivation: the gift-card prize is nice, but really I'm going for bragging rights against my super-foodie boss, who always wins this stuff.
posted by Doleful Creature to Food & Drink (32 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: How about some Spicy Sausage Dip? You can serve it hot or cold. I like it with Tostitos scoops. Brown 1 pound of zesty pork sausage and drain. Mix in a can of Rotel and 8 ounces of cream cheese. Add hot sauce to taste.

It's not upscale, so I'm not sure how a "super-foodie" would react, but if Buffalo Chicken Dip won the day last year, this might be just the ticket.
posted by slmorri at 3:27 PM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ordinarily I would suggest Alton Brown's nachos for sheer overkill (each nacho is constructed individually), but apparently you need something that you can make ahead of time.

This "vegetable pizza" is a pretty sure-fire hit, in my experience, and it has the benefit of being served cold.

If you can bring them in fresh (or if you can do the final deep-fry at the office using a counter-top deep fryer), then smoked & deep fried Buffalo wings are pretty fantastic: crispy, smoky, and spicy all at the same time.
posted by jedicus at 3:28 PM on January 26, 2012

Best answer: -These bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers are always a favorite, but you'd need to have access to an oven at work, which you probably don't.

-Welsh rarebit crockpot fondue, served with chunks of brown bread and apple slices.

-Carnitas, taco-truck style with corn tortillas, onion, cilantro, radish, and hot sauce

-Pulled pork sliders with slaw

And now I'm hungry.
posted by lotus-eater at 3:31 PM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Bacon-cheese crackers

5 strips of bacon
6 ounces grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, in 4 pieces
3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon milk or water

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grab your bacon.
3. Fry the bacon. Make it pretty crispy.
4. Eat one strip of bacon. Let the other strips cool, then chop them up. The individual bacon pieces should be small - around an eighth of an inch by a eighth of an inch.
5. In a food processor, combine the bacon, cheese, butter, flour, salt and red pepper in pulses until it's like coarse sand. Add the milk or water, and process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds.
6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. You'll want to go pretty thin here - an 1/8th of an inch. Cut the dough into strips, then squares.
7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Watch them carefully; you don't want them to brown up too much.

They keep pretty well in an air-tight container in the fridge.

If you take out the bacon, these are pretty awesome cheese crackers/cheese straws.

I serve them topped with a square of cheese and a square of bacon, because, well, why not.
posted by punchtothehead at 3:32 PM on January 26, 2012 [10 favorites]

Well, I was going to suggest Buffalo Chicken Dip. Guess that's out.

I did see a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Meatballs that I'm totally going to make for the Superbowl this year: as adapted from Glamour. The blog says they're her dude's new favorite, ever.

If you'd rather steer clear of buffalo because of last year's winner, what about bacon-wrapped cayenne-dusted pears? I got it from Bittman's 101 Appetizers (#26) and they were gone about three minutes after I put them out. These would probably be better if you can serve them reasonably soon after taking them out of the oven. There are some great other ideas here too, though, that might give your super-foodie boss a run for his/her money.

Lastly, one friend made football-shaped Buckeyes last year. I don't care for sweets during the Superbowl myself, but reports said they were delicious and I think a large part of that was for the cuteness factor. She used a thin white icing to make football 'stitching'.
posted by stellaluna at 3:33 PM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Do you think anyone else is going to come through with hot wings? If not, they are pretty hard to beat for football watching. You can avoid the deep fryer by using Alton Brown's recipe with boiling and baking. They aren't quite as good as fried wings but still really, really good, and easier to produce in mass. The sauce is simple, and making your own blue cheese dressing is also easy. For sauce I suggest half Franks, half Trappey's Red Devil. My girlfriend made these for a Super Bowl party and they were a big hit.
posted by scose at 3:35 PM on January 26, 2012

Hidden Valley Ranch Oyster Crackers. So simple. So good. Make extra.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:35 PM on January 26, 2012

Best answer: Make Buffalo Wing Dip, but do it as much as possible from scratch. Make your own hot sauce, roast your own (heirloom) chicken, etc. You probably can't make your own blue cheese, but you can buy some ultra-lux Rogue or whatever, and you might be able to find some artisan cream cheese. You can certainly make your own chips or crostini or whatnot. Send that supermarket chicken, Frank's hot sauce and Philly cream cheese back to school.

Note: I'm trying to win a contest, not get you that next promotion.
posted by box at 3:38 PM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

One complication with my wings suggestion: it won't work if you have more than ~15 minutes from oven to eating.
posted by scose at 3:38 PM on January 26, 2012

Do a google search for "bacon-wrapped" and then any letter of the alphabet. Come up with a list of assorted bacon-wrapped items: bread, sausages, fruit, chocolate, shrimp, potatoes - go wild!
posted by CathyG at 3:40 PM on January 26, 2012

You could try one of the finalists' recipes from the recent Cheese Ball Invitational!
posted by jenny76 at 3:41 PM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Okay, here's my favorite.

Start with good medjool dates.
Remove the stones/pits with minimum butchery.
Fill the hollow (where the pits were) with an herbed goat cheese.
Wrap with thinly sliced prosciutto (no, bacon is not a suitable substitute).
Cook on a teflon griddle or skillet just enough to warm them through and put the least bit of crisp on the prosciutto.

Serve warm/hot.

Be careful; physical violence may erupt over who gets the last one.
posted by browse at 3:46 PM on January 26, 2012 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: Wow, great ideas so far! I should have epxlained: my boss is a super-foodie, but not in the stereotypical way that he snubs "low-brow" food. He just likes really good food, especially of the Southern BBQ and Tex-Mex persuasion. And yeah it's totally not about a promotion, it's about being better than him a cooking! (we have a friendly rivalry)

I'm really digging browse's date recipe and punchtothehead's bacon cheese crackers idea. Our office has an unhealthy obsession with bacon, so that could be a winner right there.
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:53 PM on January 26, 2012

my boss is a super-foodie, but not in the stereotypical way that he snubs "low-brow" food. He just likes really good food, especially of the Southern BBQ and Tex-Mex persuasion.

In that case:

Mexican Dorito casserole

Jalapeno popper grilled cheese bites (jalapeno grilled cheese sandwiches, cut into strips)

Chocolate-covered potato chips (No recipe needed -- melt dark chocolate, coat chips. You could probably fancy it up with chopped nuts.)

Bake your own pretzels and serve it with homemade mustard.

Blue cheese-walnut wafers

Is he familiar with southern foods like pimento cheese or bacon jam?
posted by runningwithscissors at 4:27 PM on January 26, 2012 [4 favorites]

Our office has an unhealthy obsession with bacon, so that could be a winner right there.

Then yeah, I'd give the bacon jam a shot.
posted by runningwithscissors at 4:28 PM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Homemade pizza rolls are everything a Super Bowl snack should be. I made them last year and they were great. Note that they require a bit of effort and won't last long, but I think in your case that's a good thing.
posted by eggplantplacebo at 4:30 PM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

This was going around the other day:
posted by socratic at 4:38 PM on January 26, 2012

Thai chicken wings

I make these for every potluck and they always go over really well. The perfect combination of spicy, sweet and salty. They are ungodly messy though. If you're scared of fish sauce, substitute soy and it works nearly as well.
posted by mikesch at 5:11 PM on January 26, 2012

You need a gourmet version of a commonly trashy superbowl food, cuteness and bacon or both pluses. So, what you need is kolache/pig-in-blankets made from bacon wrapped Lil Smokies, shaped like footballs with something (cheese? Fristing? Contrasting colored dough?) on them as stitching. BBQ sauce mixed with grape jelly and hot mustard for dipping sauce.

I don't have an exact recipe for this because I just made it up, but if you cobble it together from common recipes using good ingredients it'll be good, cute, baconny and (relatively) gourmet.
posted by dirtdirt at 5:21 PM on January 26, 2012

I might make football-shaped arepas stuffed with pulled pork. Here goes:

The pork: On Saturday night, take a pork shoulder, brown it in a heavy-bottomed pot on all sides. Then add to the pot:
two cans of decent beer,
1/2 cup of Frank's RedHot,
1/2 cup of cider vinegar
one roughly-chopped large onion,
2 diced red bell peppers
3 tablespoons brown sugar,
2 tablespoons cumin,
1 tablespoon chili powder,
1 tablespoon salt,
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper.
Bring to a boil on the stovetop, then cover with the lid slightly ajar (or poke a couple holes in the tinfoil if that's your thing, and cook overnight at 275 degrees.

When you wake up on Sunday, remove the pork from the oven and return to the stovetop. If there's still a lot of liquid left in the pot, simmer until it seems like it's got some decent viscosity, and add some more cider vinegar so it gets tangy. Let cool for a couple hours and take a shower, get dressed, and read Metafilter until you're ready to assemble the arepas.

Arepas are central-American corn cakes that are traditionally made with pre-cooked cornmeal (P.A.N. is the best brand, but Goya makes a decent one called "Masarepa"), but if you can't find it, regular nixtamalized masa works fine. Combine:
six cups of cornmeal
1 can of creamed corn
1 large onion, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chile powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
Add in 6 cups of boiling water, stir to form a dough, and let sit for 30 minutes. When you can handle them, take a handful and shape it into an oval, plop a tablespoon of the pork about a third of the way off-center, and fold over, forming it into a slightly flat football. Repeat until you run out of dough. Cook on a hot pan with a little bit of oil until they brown on one side, then flip and brown on the other.

You'll want to garnish them (draw little football laces) with Cilango guacamole (Chilango meaning "from Mexico City"), which is easy. Put in a blender 4 avocados, 4 limes worth of juice, 3 jalapeno peppers (seeded), 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, and 1 big bunch of cilantro (washed, but with stems included) and blend until smooth.

God damn, I'm really exited to make these myself, now.
posted by Jon_Evil at 5:31 PM on January 26, 2012 [8 favorites]

We made this Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese last year for the superbowl and got rave reviews. I'll admit, we did the macaroni and cheese from scratch using that recipe but used boneless buffalo wing bites from the freezer section, chopped, instead of making the chicken from scratch. As a plus for a work potluck, it stays delicious if you transfer it to a crockpot on low after you're done cooking, to keep it hot and gooey.
posted by vytae at 5:34 PM on January 26, 2012

In keeping with the mac & cheese theme, what about a lobster-bacon version?
posted by runningwithscissors at 5:46 PM on January 26, 2012

I have THE best chicken wing recipe. You can make them the night before, refrigerate, and take a crock pot to heat them up at work. But they would probably be best if you marinated them overnight and got up early to bake before work. I buy two bags of the frozen wings and just throw the frozen wings into ziploc bags. Marinate them for at least 4 hours with about 2 cups soy sauce, 2 cups of any kind of juice, and minced garlic. Drain and spread them in one layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with Penzey's Arizona Dreaming spices. And I mean cover them with it. You won't need to salt them because of the soy marinade. Bake at 400 for about 50 minutes, until brown and crispy.
posted by raisingsand at 7:06 PM on January 26, 2012

Best answer: Three goodies, dozens of recipes for each available online:

Chipotle potato salad (w/bacon if you roll that way)

French Toast casserole

Meatballs with grape jelly and salsa - sounds terrible but I swear it's awesome and you don't have to tell them the secret
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:05 PM on January 26, 2012

Make some sort of corn fritter and pass them off as "Cornballs" from Arrested Development. Watch out, that thing really heats up!
posted by hermitosis at 8:37 PM on January 26, 2012

I noticed you mentioned brownies.... Barefoot Contessa's brownies are pretty amazing.
posted by la petite marie at 9:20 PM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Reuben Dip, in a crock pot accompanied by miniature slices of pumpernickel. There are many recipes out there; read a few and improvise. Nom nom nom
posted by carmicha at 10:55 PM on January 26, 2012

Best answer: This from Epicurious. Read the reviews, they always have some nice tips.
posted by JABof72 at 2:54 AM on January 27, 2012

I forgot; Thomas Keller's Brownies
posted by JABof72 at 2:57 AM on January 27, 2012

Response by poster: So last night I tried the Hidden Valley Ranch Oyster Crackers recommended by Marie Mon Dieu upthread. They were addictive as advertised, but probably no the taste explosion I'll need to get the votes. I still have a week to work on this so I'll try some more recipes this weekend. Might have to try some of the brownie recipes too for a contrast.

Thanks all for the suggestions so far, I'm getting lots of tasty ideas. Keep 'em coming!
posted by Doleful Creature at 7:57 AM on January 27, 2012

My favorite ever Superbowl snack is Swedish* meatballs. Unfortunately I don't have the recipe (a friend's mother made them) but they came out of a crock pot, moist and covered in a delicious bbq type sauce. I'm hoping somebody here has a similar recipe to help you out.

*may or may not actually be Swedish
posted by defcom1 at 8:53 AM on January 27, 2012

Response by poster: After much deliberation, hemming, hawing, trying out various provided recipes, I've decided to try and recreate and convert a recipe I once concocted as a stuffing for roasted peppers, wrote it down, and then promptly lost the notebook:

Doleful Creature's Roasted Red Pepper Dip (WIP)

4 red peppers, slightly charred/roasted and diced
2-4 servings of cooked rice
1-2 blocks cream cheese
1 tub of sour cream
1.5 - 3 pounds of fresh, spicy pork sausage, OR ground beef seasoned with cayenne and chili powder
2-4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1-2 tablespoons smoked paprika
salt to taste

Cook it up. Like, cook the meat, use the rendered fat to saute the onions, garlic, brown the rice, get everything nice and soft. You know. Then throw it all in the slow cooker with the cream cheese and the sour cream and stir it all up and let it get all warm and gooey, spicy and smoky an cheesy and whatnot.

Serve with pita chips.

Don't worry, y'all had some great suggestions and I'll be marking my favorites as best answers in bit here. Thanks again for all the great ideas!
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:43 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

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