Are You Ready for Some Football Party Food?
Game Day Snacks to Enjoy
By Kirk Leins
Football season is in full swing, which means fans across the country are spending their Sundays cheering on their favorite teams. And what better complement to this game day fun than game day snacks that are not only easy to make, they're also delicious!
One of the best snacks, be it on game day or any day, is salsa. Truth be told, there's nothing wrong with a quality-brand jarred salsa. It's probably one of the healthier things on most sports-minded menus. But, no matter if you're hosting a gathering or attending one, homemade salsa is an easy way to step things up a notch.
There are dozens of salsas you can make at home. I think one that's interesting, yet, at the same time not too exotic is best-suited for this type of gathering. Given that criteria, I'm suggesting a roasted tomatillo and avocado salsa. Sounds difficult, right? Well, don't worry, it's not!
Roasted Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa
- 2 lbs. tomatillos, husks removed
- 1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 large jalapenos; halved and seeded
- 3 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- the juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1 large avocado, chopped small
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
Preheat broiler. In a glass baking dish, place tomatillos, onions, jalapenos, and garlic. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Add olive oil, and toss until well-coated. Place in broiler for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are well-charred (black), stirring every 5 minutes. Allow mixture to cool, and process until smooth in a blender or food processor. Taste and re-season if necessary. Allow mixture to chill in refrigerator for two hours. Before serving, add avocado, and stir to combine.
Trust me when I say that this is an awesome recipe. Nothing about it is difficult or expensive. You may want to consider making a double batch because it has a tendency to go fast. Regardless, leftover salsa is not such a bad thing. It makes a perfect topping for grilled meat, fish, or any type of eggs.
One last thing – if you're bringing this dish to a party, I recommend waiting until you get there to chop the avocado. The salsa itself will last a week or so. The avocado, on the other hand, will oxidize and turn brown. By chopping and then adding the avocado at the last minute, you ensure a pristine presentation for your fellow partygoers.
If you're looking for something a little more substantial, how about Buffalo wings? They really are the quintessential sports snack. The best part is they don't have to be a lot of work.
An authentic Buffalo wing is always deep-fried. I love this method as it produces a crispy and juicy wing when done properly. The trouble with it is the time and potential mess involved. Here's a recipe that involves your oven rather than a pot of scorching oil, which will free you up to enjoy the game.
Easy Buffalo Wings
- 24 chicken wing drumettes
- salt and pepper
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup of Frank's Red Hot sauce
- a squirt of fresh lemon juice
- blue cheese dressing
- celery sticks
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Arrange drumettes, which are at room temperature, onto a cookie sheet. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a sauce pot over a low flame. Add the Frank's Red Hot sauce and lemon. Allow the mixture to cook over extremely low heat for about 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm. Remove drumettes from the oven. Transfer them to a bowl, and add the sauce. Toss to coat. Transfer the wings to a platter, and serve with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing.
Oh man, these are good! Now, as long as you're making wings from scratch, you may want to consider making your blue cheese dressing from scratch. It's not difficult, and it's sure to take this dish over the top.
Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing
In a bowl, combine 1 cup sour cream with 1 cup mayonnaise. Add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1 clove garlic (minced), 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of cayenne pepper, 1.5 tablespoons parsley (finely chopped), salt and black pepper. Mix together, and add 4 to 5 ounces of crumbled blue cheese.
This recipe yields a thick and creamy dressing perfect for Buffalo wings. If you want to use the dressing for a salad, I recommend thinning it out by mixing in a touch of buttermilk until the desired consistency is achieved. Allow the dressing to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. The dressing will last for several days in the fridge. But here's a word to the wise: the longer the dressing sits, the more garlicky it will taste.
Oh, one last thing. Remember to have fun – no matter who wins.
Kirk Leins has been cooking his entire life. No stranger to professional kitchens, he currently devotes most of his time to cooking instruction, food writing, and producing television. Kirk also provides his services as a personal chef in and around the Los Angeles area. He has made several TV appearances on both the national and local level, and is the Executive Chef for YOU Magazine. Sign up for Kirk's free newsletter and cooking blog at www.NoTimeToCook.com.