Ocean City Today

Snack suggestions for Sunday’s big match

Food For Thought
By Deborah Lee Walker | Feb 01, 2018

(Feb. 2, 2018) Choices are what distinguishes one chef from another and determines the level of success.

If you think of yourself as a guest, you will be amazed how the particulars fall into place. Just remember, the smallest details can create the most memorable moments.

The planning of Super Bowl parties is in full swing and possibilities are endless. The finale of football season has a tendency to be on the casual side so it’s best to keep the menu simple.

That being said, updating traditional menus keep guests coming back for more. In addition, the art of presentation must constantly be perfected for impressive results. In other words, straightforwardness must be balanced with creativeness to complete the cycle of achievement.

A few suggestions to “kick off” your Super Bowl celebration follows.

Assorted olives accompanied with pepperoncini peppers, marinated artichokes, roasted peppers and capers are a delectable medley. Generally, these condiments are presented on relish trays for all to enjoy.

Ingenuity comes when you least expect it; consider serving an olive tree as opposed to a relish tray. The presentation is stunning and the tree adds height which is imperative for a buffet.

Simply wrap a 6-inch Styrofoam cone with plastic wrap. Using toothpicks, arrange approximately 3 to 3 ½ cups of assorted, pitted olives starting from the bottom of the cone and work your way up until the cone is completely covered.

The toothpicks must be pointed upwards to hold the olives; then cut off any portion of the toothpick that is visible. Place small sprigs of fresh rosemary or capers in between the olives to cover any exposed parts of the white cone. Whole cloves of roasted garlic can also be used.

Platters of antipasto always score points at Super Bowl parties. Antipasto skewers are a fun way to serve the popular appetizer and are easier to handle. Remember, guests will be juggling plates of food, drinks and silverware. Finger-friendly food is always appreciated.

Super Bowl menus have a tendency to showcase rich foods, so it is important to offer something that is light and refreshing. Salads are a great choice but the presentation can be lacking. A tray of small, clear cups of beautiful salad that surrounds a decanter of salad dressing is a sophisticated twist and better way to maintain freshness.

Dips are delicious, comforting, and can be messy. A platter of small, individualized cups that encase your favorite dip with the tip of a cracker inserted in it can cut down on the mess, especially as friends indulge in adult beverages. Also, this eliminates any possibilities of double dipping.

I have attended many celebratory occasions where the dip looks like a war zone after a few hours. If one prefers to serve the dip and crackers the conventional way, you should replate the appetizer at some point.

There is nothing better than an ice, cold beer and an order of wings. This trendy starter will certainly score points with your guests. But the grandeur of the Super Bowl is worthy of something more original.

Duck wings are delicious and meatier than chicken wings. If you do not have a source for duck wings, they can be purchased through Amazon.

Asian duck wings are my favorite. There is a great recipe for Duck Wings with Asian Chili Sauce by Keith Luce on the James Beard website. The Asian chili sauce calls for 1 ½ teaspoon sambal oelek. Sriracha is the easiest alternative to this particular flavor profile.

You have been invited to a Super Bowl festivity and would like to bring a dish. Casseroles are easy to transport and ideal for crowds. Vegetable casseroles are a good choice because they do not have to be served hot. An updated green bean casserole has much potential.

Use fresh beans instead of canned beans. Replace canned soup with a mushroom veloute sauce. A basic mushroom veloute sauce consists of butter, flour, chicken stock, mushrooms and heavy cream.

Obviously, this is more involved than opening a can of soup but the results are far superior. Adding panko bread crumbs and Herbs de Province to the canned fried onions adds texture and a touch of sophistication.

Sliders are a great way to showcase pricy dishes but at an affordable budget. Think in terms of three offerings; for example, chunky shrimp salad, tender pulled pork and a vegetarian delight.

Frozen shrimp are perfectly acceptable and keep the cost down. Pulled pork is easy to make but if time is limited, store-bought brands are quite tasty. A black bean burger with salsa fresca, pickled red onions and an avocado crème is yummy.

Super Bowl celebrations are fun and can forgo some of the rules of entertaining. Since the game is the focal point, the pressure of perfection is not on the forefront. If you need a little help, do not be afraid to ask.

Fabulous food and great friends are the key to a terrific Super Bowl party. Relax and enjoy the game!

Secret Ingredient – Wealth. “I once cried because I had no shoes to play football with my friends, but one day I saw a man who had no feet and I realized how rich I am.”

— Zinedine Zidane


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