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A Big Game Party Food Theme

Even though the Super Bowl is still two weeks away, the planning and preparations should be starting if you are hosting a soiree for the event. We will get to that in a minute. First off, Super Bowl XLV (that's 45 for those of you that don't habla) will at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. This will be the first time that the Super Bowl will be held in the Dallas–Fort Worth area. Kickoff time is approximately 5:25pm CST. Fox Sports is scheduled to televise the game in the US, with Joe Buck doing the play-by-play and Troy Aikman, a 3-time Super Bowl winner, as the color analyst.

But the game isn't the only attraction. The entertaining commercials are as much a part of Super Bowl Sunday as the game. I have heard at the cost of 30-second commercial is in the $2.8 - $3 million range. There are others who anticipate the National Anthem sung by Christina Aguilera or the halftime concert by the Black Eyed Peas. In any case, you're going to want the goodies prepared so you don't miss any of the action. That's where the food themes come in. Since there is still two games to decide the final combatants, I thought I would pull out a representation from each of the four cities in contention to cover all the bases. Now on to the meat of this post.

First up is a pre-game appetizer to get things going. I got this recipe from the man you know as Doc Bear. And no, this isn't the entry to represent the Chicago Bears. That's coming up soon. This is a little more figure friendly for those of you who are about to Carb out during the festivities.

Doc Bear's Hummus

  • 1 14.5 oz can of garbanzos
  • 1 tablespoon garlic aioli or stone ground mustard.
  • 2-3 bulbs of roasted garlic (just cut the tips off so the bulb sits flat, drizzle with EVOO and bake, wrapped in foil, for 1 hour at 350). Let cool, and squeeze into the food processor, being careful to leave the skins out.
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin (ground)
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom (ground)
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (has to be fresh, but you can use bottled organic if you must)
  • 1/4 cup EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

Place all ingredients in the blender or food processor (I use the later - much easier). Pulse to blend, then run for a couple of minutes until smooth. Some like it chunky - experiment. Serve with crackers or pita wedges as a dip (corn chips work just fine too.

There you have it, a good starter before the kickoff.

Next up, the representative for the New York Jets. This entry is a bit more fanciful, but an easy appetizer to get you through the first quarter.

Grilled Sea Scallops on Tortilla Chips with Avocado Puree and Jalapeno Pesto

Courtesy Bobby Flay


  • 20 large sea scallops
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 blue corn tortilla chips
  • 10 yellow corn tortilla chips
  • Avocado Puree, recipe follows
  • Jalapeno Pesto, recipe follows
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish


Heat grill to high. Brush scallops on both sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the scallops until golden brown and slightly charred and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Spread about a tablespoon of avocado puree over each chip. Top the puree with a scallop and top each scallop with a dollop of the jalapeno pesto. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Avocado Puree:

  • 1 ripe Haas avocado, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until combined, but still chunky. Puree until smooth, if desired.

Jalapeno Pesto

  • 1 1/2 cups cilantro leaves
  • 4 jalapenos, grilled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, pine nuts, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and process until emulsified. Scrape into a bowl.

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 6 min

Makes 20 hors d'oeuvres

If that just isn't your cup of tea, here's a hearty sandwich from the land of the Cheese-heads (Green Bay).

Grilled Tenderloin Sandwich with Fontina

  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) Wisconsin Asiago Cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons bottled roasted garlic, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced into rings
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (16-ounce) loaf French bread, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin Fontina or Gouda Cheese, sliced

Preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Brush the tenderloin with oil, season with salt and pepper and let it stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. In small bowl, combine the sour cream, the shredded Asiago Cheese and roasted garlic. Salt and pepper to taste, then mix well. Sear the beef over direct heat for 10 to 12 minutes, then move to indirect heat until the internal temperature reaches 140°F (60°C). Remove and let stand. Brush the pepper rings with butter and grill for 5 minutes. Brush cut sides of bread with butter and grill until toasted. Spread bottom halves with sour cream sauce and top with pepper rings. Cut the tenderloin into 1/2-inch thick slices and place over pepper rings. Cover with the Fontina Cheese slices. Top with bread. Wrap in foil; grill for 5 minutes. Unwrap and cut each into 3 sandwiches.

Makes 6 servings.

Recipe courtesy of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.

To represent the Chicago region, I chose an Italian dish:

End Zone Calzones

For Filling:

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
  • 3 cups (12-ounces) Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup (4-ounces) Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

For the Dough:

  • 1 (16-ounce) package hot roll mix
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

For the Garlic Butter:

  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

For the Filling: Saute the onion, garlic and red pepper using butter in medium skillet until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach, cheeses and sour cream; remove from heat. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

For the Dough: Make the hot roll mix according to package directions for pizza, replacing egg and butter with hot water and olive oil. Let dough stand 5 minutes. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into an oval about 5 x 7-inches. Place 1/2 cup cheese filling in center of oval, use melted butter around the rim to "glue" the calzone together. Bring up the edges and seal securely. Transfer calzone to a lightly greased baking sheet, placing seal side up to form a "football" shape. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Set calzones in warm place to rise, covered with a towel for about 25 minutes. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

For Garlic Butter: In a small skillet, heat butter and garlic over low heat until butter is melted and garlic is tender, about 3 minutes. Remove calzones from oven when lightly browned. Brush hot calzones with garlic butter and sprinkle each with 1/2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Return to oven until cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

The Calzones can be baked and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance. Reheat at 350°F (175°C) until hot, about 20 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of the American Dairy Association.

For the Pittsburgh entry, I have a local original recipe called the Devonshire Sandwich. This open-face chicken or turkey sandwich was invented in Pittsburgh by Frank Blandi in 1936 at his first restaurant, the Stratford in Oakland (A suburb of Pittsburgh). Now obviously it is a trade secret, but I found a recipe from a lady named Suzanne Martinson.

Original Devonshire Sandwich

Cream Sauce:

  • 3/4 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 pound Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 pint chicken broth
  • 1 pint hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For each sandwich:

  • 1 slice good toast, crusts trimmed off
  • 3 slices crisp bacon
  • 5 thin slices cooked turkey breast
  • Cream Sauce, recipe above
  • Melted butter
  • Parmesan cheese and paprika

To make the Cream Sauce: Melt 3/4 stick butter in deep pan and add flour, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and then hot milk and salt, for 20 minutes, still stirring. Cool to lukewarm. Beat with wire whip until smooth before using. This makes enough sauce for 6 Devonshire sandwiches.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In each flat, individual oven-proof casserole dish, place 1 slice of toast and top with 3 slices bacon. Add 5 thin slices of cooked turkey breast. Cover completely with cream sauce. Sprinkle with a little melted butter, then with the combined Parmesan cheese and paprika. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

There you have it, a Super Bowl Food Theme that covers all the contingencies no matter which teams advance to the big game this weekend. Good eats and even though they won't play in the big game this year,

Go Broncos!

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