Super Bowl party food, 2016 edition
January 26, 2016 4:59 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a recipe for a dish to bring to a Super Bowl party, but there are two complications: It has to relate to either the city in which the game is being played or to one the teams that are playing. In addition, we won't have time to do anything complicated on the day of the game.

The party is hosted by some foodies and they have requested dishes that relate, in some way, to either San Francisco, Denver, or Charlotte, NC. Neither my wife nor I have spent time in any of those cities and we don't know their regional dishes. The second complication is that we're going away on Saturday afternoon and will be returning on Sunday. The dish has to either be something we can prepare in advance or something that we can put together quickly on Sunday right before the party.

We'll have access to a kitchen once we get to the party but there may be some competition for the appliances. You can assume above average cooking skills for one of us (not me) and access to well-stocked grocery stores (Wegmans!). The hosts will be providing drinks so we can't just show up with a six pack of Anchor Steam. We'd prefer to avoid something really obvious like sour dough bread for San Francisco or a tray of brownies for Denver.
posted by maurice to Food & Drink (31 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
For North Carolina, Carolina BBQ, and since it's Charlotte, I believe you'd want the Western Carolina version, which crucially has tomato added to the vinegar-based sauce. If you have a slow cooker with a timer you should be good-- this recipe recommends cooking for 12 hours, so you can set it up Saturday morning to cook Saturday afternoon/Sunday morning, and then take it to the party.

(Note that that recipe has a Eastern-style sauce; here's a recipe for a Western Style sauce, with ketchup included.)
posted by damayanti at 5:10 AM on January 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

If you've got brave friends with a sense of of humor, you could make/obtain Rocky Mountain Fried Oysters for Denver.
posted by Elly Vortex at 5:30 AM on January 26, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Nthing Carolina Barbecue, with the vinegar sauce and the mustard sauce. Serve with cole slaw and bread and butter pickles and slider buns.

The easiest and most party friendly San Francisco themed food would be Chinese Dumplings. I'd do Bao-Pork Buns. Do ahead of time, freeze, and bake at the party.

Ghirardelli chocolate is from San Francisco, so a dessert made with it would be yummy.

You can do party subs on a loaves of Sourdough that people can cut slices off of. Italian would be traditional, I might make a tray on the side of different things to put on the sandwich, roasted peppers, chopped olives, tomatoes, etc.

Buy some cheese from Cowgirl Creamery and do a cheese board.

The quintessential, but least party-friendly San Francisco dish I can think of would be Cioppino. You can use any kind of shellfish and firm-fleshed fish in there. I'd use shrimp, crab, clams and mussels, maybe some cod cubes or halibut. You can do the broth ahead of time, and throw the fish into the pot to steam. Serve in bowls with sourdough. The name is based on 'chip-in' which is what the fishermen would do when they got in with their catch.

Walk-away crab and shrimp cocktail is a nod to Fisherman's Wharf. Certainly easy enough to do.

Ah! Shrimp and Crab Louis salad with bleu cheese dressing.

Dungeoness Crab Cakes!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:35 AM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

Make some Rice-a-Roni ? It is the SanFrancisco treat after all.

Or how about just some ordinary Boxed Mac and Cheese because it always had instructions on how to cook it in Denver due to the altitude.
posted by koolkat at 5:58 AM on January 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

These Denver Omelet Cups from Martha Stewart's Everyday Cooking are quick and easy and could be made just before the party or even at the party if your hosts will let you commandeer some prep space in their kitchen for a few minutes.
posted by briank at 5:58 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

For Denver: maybe some game (elk, bison, venison) meatballs or chili. Bake eggs in muffin tin with Denver omelette ingredients, sort of mini-quiches.

Carolina, definitely the BBQ suggested above.

San Francisco, I love the Chinatown suggestions too. Those can be made as a variety of finger-foods, Dim sum style.
posted by Jazz Hands at 6:00 AM on January 26, 2016

Ghirardelli chocolate is from San Francisco, so a dessert made with it would be yummy.

Use it as the coating for homemade It's-Its!
posted by mama casserole at 6:11 AM on January 26, 2016 [4 favorites]

Whoa whoa whoa. In NC, there should be no pickles with BBQ; that's an Alabama thing.
Western (Lexington) style is made with the shoulder ONLY, and coarse chopped (fuck sliced; brown optional) with RED slaw. It's not "ketchup" it's a "tomato-based sauce." Also, hush puppies (corn sticks are Eastern; yes I eat them, but unhappily as I waste away as a Westerner in the Eastern part of the state).
If you are hellbent on doing BBQ, use Bob Garner's recipes; they are pretty good replications. Also, make the slaw about a day or two before so the cabbage has time to soak in all the sweetness; good red slaw should be sharp, but sweet and tangy.
That being said, there isn't really anywhere in Charlotte to get good BBQ...there's too many people there from not there, if you're tracking.
Maybe something like a homemade pimento cheese served with celery stalks and crusty bread and peppers for dipping? Also, banana pudding. Fried chicken, fried okra, lots of vegetables.
Source: descended from people who have been in NC since the 1600's. We just haven't gotten around to leaving.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 6:11 AM on January 26, 2016 [4 favorites]

Again, and I don't know why I can think of more "Carolina" foods than the other locales, I don't even want them to win! But, for Carolina: pimento cheese spread with crackers, and a sweet potato pie or a variation on a sweet potato dessert.
posted by Jazz Hands at 6:14 AM on January 26, 2016

Best answer: For Denver, you could do green chile! Either do it on the stovetop Saturday before you leave and let it sit overnight (the flavors will only improve), or you can do it in a slow cooker while you're away. Try this one. You can bring tortillas for dipping/scooping as an accompaniment.
posted by superfluousm at 6:17 AM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

If you're game for something different from NC, make chicken and pastry: before you go away, buy precooked chicken: pull off most of meat, then put everything else (skin+carcass) in crockpot with celery, onion, carrot, garlic, seasonings of your choice and stock to cook into rich broth and everything falls off bone. Strain and discard everything but the stock. Cool. Check salt level.

Get a few cups of plain flour in a bowl and into that put enough of the stock into flour to make pastry crust consistency. Kneed some so that it's not so tender as pie crust. You want some gluten to form so it holds together. Roll out batches really thin and cut into irregular pieces however they work out. Lightly dust with flour and place on wax paper layers, seal up and store in fridge.

When you get back, put stock in very large pot and bring to boil. Drop a few pastry pieces in at a time to keep from clumping. Once all the pastry is in and started to cook, add some of the chicken (not too much-you need lots of stock) and cook till it's starting to get lovely. Transfer to crock pot and put in as much remaining chicken as you like but keep it more towards soup. Serve in cups if bowls aren't handy (and hope for leftovers.)
posted by mightshould at 6:19 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Bake a "mile high" pie!

I don't have any recipes, but I'm sure you can find one.
posted by Ostara at 6:40 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: +1 for pimento cheese for Charlotte. It's on the buffet spread at every party I've ever been to. Other options: Cheerwine soda, fried chicken, pulled pork sandwiches "Carolina style" (topped with cole slaw), Lance crackers, Krispy Kreme donuts, Bojangle's biscuits. Banana pudding, yes. And cigarettes.

And since they are the *Carolina* Panthers - owner Jerry Richardson is from SC and named the team deliberately to honor both states - you can add shrimp and grits.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:51 AM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

For Charlotte, you could make...a charlotte.
posted by the_blizz at 7:00 AM on January 26, 2016

Joe's special for SF.
Liver pudding for the Carolinas
posted by brujita at 7:15 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Seconding the recommendation for green chile for Denver. It's pretty easy to make and delicious and people in upstate New York will be unfamiliar with it. It's also a great side along with whatever you end up making for the other cities. The challenge will be finding the right green chiles — not sure what your options would be but you'd want to make sure you had those before you committed. And yes, green chile only gets better if you make it a couple of days in advance.
posted by Mothlight at 7:49 AM on January 26, 2016

Best answer: Cam Newton's Slow Cooked Collard Greens - side of instant grits for effect.

We've been doing this for a number of years with a group of very enthusiastic friends. At this point my major interest in the football playoffs is the effect of the food-bracket (arizona/denver would have been the worst in terms of homogeneity, plus the fact that we've done arizona, new england, seattle, and sf just too much the last couple years).

A big second to home made its its (i made mine with a fernet-infused dip for the Niners appearance).

I drew the SF-based assignment this year and will be making a take on the amazing food of Senor Sisig - im thinking chicken adobo nachos with a calamansi guac.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 7:59 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm from that region of NC, so I have some credibility here!

Yes to the pimento cheese for NC (a spread of shredded cheddar cheese, chopped pimento peppers, and mayo). You can use it as a dip or else make finger sandwiches with it on white bread. Perfect party food.

There's also banana pudding as mentioned above - this (if you're not familiar) is a layered trifle of vanilla pudding, sliced bananas, and Nilla Wafers. It is so much more than the sum of its parts.

Both of these dishes have the advantage of having about three ingredients. If I were you, I would not be trying to fuck around with making my own Carolina barbecue - you'll never get it right anyway, unless you have the facilities to smoke an entire pig outdoors for twelve hours. (However, if you really want to do barbecue, you can order it online from various famous NC restaurants and have it shipped in dry ice.)

And, yeah, Krispy Kreme donuts and Cheerwine soda are also traditional.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:21 AM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

Buffalo meat is fairly common in Denver -- what about Buffalo sliders?
posted by jabes at 8:21 AM on January 26, 2016

SF: You could put together most of the fixings for a Mission burrito the day before. Maybe a burrito bar? Irish coffee would be great if you're looking for drink suggestions.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:55 AM on January 26, 2016

San Francisco foods are well-handled above, but since the game is technically in Santa Clara, you could cheat / get clever and bring Korean BBQ or Korean-style wings - Santa Clara and neighboring Sunnyvale are known for having some of the best Korean food in Silicon Valley. Plus it's good Superbowl food.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 10:11 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Denver is known for its craft beer scene, so I'd pick a Denver-based beer and make a recipe based on it. Here's a website of recipes that include beer. Or, just bring a mix & match selection of Colorado beers.
posted by Fig at 10:26 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

San Francisco + Sports == garlic fries.
posted by politikitty at 10:30 AM on January 26, 2016

Best answer: For Denver/Colorado food:

Green chile, which has already been pointed out. It needs to be thick, pork-y green chile (the thing that distinguishes Colorado green chile from the New Mexico original).

Breakfast burritos filled with green chile wrapped in foil and sold from a cooler on a street corner in west Denver

Colorado pizza -- whole wheat crust, with honey served on the side to drizzle over the crust after you've eaten the rest of the pizza slice

Cheeseburgers -- Denverite Louis Ballast was the first person to trademark the cheeseburger

Anything made with peaches -- Colorado peaches are some of the best in the world

Anything made with canteloupe -- Rocky Ford, south of Denver, is the center of a major cantaloupe-producing region

Anything from the major Colorado fast food chains: Chipotle, Noodles and Company, Red Robin, Smashburger, Qdoba, etc.
posted by heurtebise at 10:57 AM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

Fool's Gold Loaf is a sandwich invented in Denver that "consists of a single warmed, hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with the contents of one jar of creamy peanut butter, one jar of grape jelly, and a pound of bacon."

Allegedly, Elvis and his buddies got the munchies one night and flew from Graceland to Denver just to eat these. They ordered 20+ sandwiches, which were delivered right to the tarmac at Denver airport, and washed them down with Perrier and champagne. They made that food run on February 1, 1976 - 40 years ago during Super Bowl week.
posted by AgentRocket at 11:09 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

consists of a single warmed, hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with the contents of one jar of creamy peanut butter, one jar of grape jelly, and a pound of bacon."

What about...a Bowl Bowl?! You've got the Denver Bowl from AgentRocket, and you could make a San Francsico Bowl from a hollowed out sourdough loaf with clam chowder. (Not vouching for that particular recipe.) Maybe there's a Charlotte version?
posted by Room 641-A at 11:57 AM on January 26, 2016

Denver is famous for Rockybuilt Burgers.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 4:28 PM on January 26, 2016

came here to say pretty much exactly what Joey Buttafoucault said - definitely korean, since the super bowl isn't even actually taking place in sf (but thanks for all the traffic and street closures anyway, NFL!)
posted by burgerrr at 4:57 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

When I go to North Carolina I like to get Moravian chicken pie!
posted by Biblio at 7:07 PM on January 26, 2016

Response by poster: There are lots of great answers here, but I think we're going with the pimento cheese spread. Looks like it will be pretty easy to put together which is important given our travel plans and it sounds tasty too.

We may be making some of the other suggestions when we have more time available so keep the suggestions coming!
posted by maurice at 8:10 AM on January 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: We ended up using this pimento cheese recipe and it was a big hit. Thanks for all the suggestions.
posted by maurice at 4:22 AM on February 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

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