During the regular season, fresh guacamole is a perfectly fine offering. During the Super Bowl, your guests or host deserve a little better.
This year's Super Bowl features teams coached by brothers. Who knew? Advertisers have forked over the equivalent of a third-world country's gross domestic product for 30 seconds of air time during Super Bowl XLVII.
Despite how the teams match up and the money spent for ads, the height of the NFL's season can still deliver a dud. When it comes to the food, there's no excuse for not rolling into bed with a belly stuffed full of goodies. It's not an official holiday, but Super Bowl Sunday rivals Thanksgiving as one of the best food days of the year.
Whether you're hosting or attending a party, you need to bring a dish worthy of the big game.
Fresh guacamole? Sure, that's great for a fantasy football draft, but this weekend demands shrimp mango guacamole. This is the game to go bacon or go home.
1 C. orange juice
2 tbsp. fresh grated ginger root
2-3 C. large diced pineapple
3 green or red bell peppers, large diced
1 red onion, large diced
12 strips of Patrick Cudahy Sweet Apple-Wood Smoked Bacon
3 in. heavy-duty tooth picks
Heat orange juice in small saucepan with ginger and reduce juice by 1/3. Let sauce cool, and pour sauce over pieces of diced pineapple and peppers. In a sauté pan, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil, sauté peppers, onion and pineapple over medium high heat until half cooked, about 1-2 minutes. Cool all ingredients and set aside. Cook bacon in the oven until bacon is cooked but not crisp. Assemble ingredients on a tooth pick starting with the end of a bacon strip, pineapple, pepper, fold bacon back onto tooth pick, add onion, pepper, fold bacon again so the end of the bacon strip is on the tooth pick. Chill until ready to serve. To serve, heat kebobs on a greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 5 minutes until meat crisps and vegetables and pineapple are hot.
Bacon Mini Sandwiches
6 slices Patrick Cudahy Sweet Apple-Wood Smoked Bacon, uncooked
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. maple syrup
6 tbsp. spicy relish or finely chopped Giardiniera
12 Hawaiian style rolls or butter top dinner rolls, split, lightly toasted if desired
6 oz. Patrick Cudahy Sweet Apple-Wood Smoked Deli Ham
3 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 - 11/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Place bacon in skillet and sprinkle with brown sugar and maple syrup. Cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and cut bacon crosswise into fourths. Spread relish on bottom of each roll. Layer ham and bacon over bottom of rolls. Combine mayonnaise and mustard; spread evenly over the top of each roll. Close sandwiches with tops. Hot relish spread can be substituted with fruit spreads, apple butter or cheese spreads.
Base Guacamole Recipe
Start to finish: 10 minutes
4 Hass avocados, skins and pits removed
4 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, use a fork or potato masher to mash the avocados. The guacamole should be mostly smooth, but with visible chunks. Mix in the lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper. Proceed with the recipe using one of the following mix-in combinations.
Guacamole is best served right away and at room temperature. If you must make it ahead and refrigerate it, cover it with plastic wrap, gently pressing the wrap over the entire surface of the guacamole. This, combined with the acid of the lime juice, should prevent the guacamole from browning.
SWEET HEAT BACON GUACAMOLE
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then set a wire rack over it. Coat the rack with cooking spray. Arrange 1/2-pound of bacon evenly on the rack. Sprinkle the tops of the bacon liberally with brown sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the bacon is lightly browned, crisped and the sugar has caramelized. Let the bacon cool, then cut it into bite-size chunks.
Mix a splash of hot sauce (more or less, to taste) into the base guacamole recipe, then mix in three-quarters of the chopped candied bacon. Sprinkle the remaining bacon over the guacamole, then serve.
CHIPOTLE CORN GUACAMOLE
In a medium skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add 1/4 cup diced red onion, 1 cup of corn kernels (if canned, drain them very well) and 3 minced cloves of garlic. Saute for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool. Stir in 1 diced canned chipotle pepper (packed in adobo sauce). Stir the mixture into the base guacamole recipe, as well as 1 tablespoon (more or less, to taste) of the adobo sauce from the can.
SHRIMP AND MANGO GUACAMOLE
Thaw a 9-ounce bag frozen cooked and peeled baby shrimp, then drain and pat them dry. Peel 1 mango, then cut the flesh away from the pit. Finely chop the mango, then stir it, the shrimp and a hefty splash of hot sauce into the base guacamole recipe.
ROASTED FRESH SALSA GUACAMOLE
When preparing the base guacamole recipe, omit the salt.
Slice 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes in half, then toss them with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper. Spread the tomatoes evenly over a rimmed baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Stir the roasted tomatoes, a 12-ounce jar of roasted red peppers (drained, patted dry and diced), 1/4 cup diced red onion, 1 diced jalapeno pepper (with or without seeds, depending on your heat tolerance) and 4 minced cloves of garlic into the base guacamole recipe.
Sweet And Sticky Slow-Cooked Short Ribs
Start to finish: 1 1/2 hours (plus marinating)
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 cloves minced garlic
3 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into long, thin strips (1/4 inch thick by 1 inch wide)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the hoisin, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, five-spice powder, sesame oil and garlic. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture in a small bowl. Add the short ribs to the original mixture and toss to thoroughly coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight.
When ready to cook, heat the oven to 275 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil and place a rack over each pan.
Arrange the short ribs on the rack and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until tender. Brush the ribs with the reserved 1/2 cup of marinade and increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Return to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes, or until browned and caramelized. Thread a skewer through each piece of meat to serve.
Buffalo Chicken Tenders
Start to finish: 2 hours 30 minutes (15 minutes active)
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot sauce, divided
2 cups plus 6 tablespoons buttermilk, divided
1 pound chicken tenders (or chicken breasts cut into 3-by-1-inch strips, 1/2-inch thick)
3/4 cup whole-wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, salt, 2 tablespoons of the hot sauce and 2 cups of the buttermilk. Whisk until the salt is dissolved. Add the chicken tenders and stir to coat well with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 10 hours.
When ready to cook, heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it with olive oil cooking spray.
In a shallow bowl combine the whole-wheat and panko breadcrumbs. In another small bowl, whisk together the remaining 6 tablespoons of buttermilk, the mayonnaise, blue cheese and lemon juice. Transfer to a ramekin for dipping. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of hot sauce into a second ramekin for dipping.
Use a colander to drain the chicken, but do not pat it dry. Dip each chicken piece in the breadcrumb mixture, making sure it is coated well on both sides. Arrange the chicken in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, then spritz the tops with olive oil cooking spray.
Bake on the oven's middle shelf for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until they are just cooked through.
Let cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a platter.
Serve with both dipping sauces.