Where there’s football, there has to be food. It’s in a rule book somewhere. And as host to any such gathering, I don’t want to face a penalty.
At no time is this more important than the biggest game of them all: the Super Bowl, where appetites for excess run to extremes.
Given the players and field (San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans as site), there are plenty of options to work with. Let’s start with New Orleans, where a big bowl of creole jambalaya would satisfy any fan. Add some Ghirardelli chocolate brownies (San Francisco is home to the chocolate factory) and a side of crab cakes or a baked crab dip, and you’ve got the game covered.
Serves 6 to 8.
Note: From “The Dooky Chase Cookbook,” by Leah Chase.
• 1 lb. smoked ham, cubed
• 1/2 lb. chaurice (hot sausage), cut in pieces
• 1/2 lb. smoked sausage, cut in 1/2-in. slices
• 1 c. chopped onions
• 3 c. uncooked rice
• 1/4 c. chopped green onions
• 1/2 tsp. paprika
• 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
• 1 tsp. ground thyme
• 1 tsp. chopped garlic
• 1/2 c. chopped green pepper
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and devined
• 4 c. boiling water
Place ham, sausages and onions in 3-quart saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until onions are soft. No need to add any oil as the meat will provide enough fat for cooking.
Add rice and stir well. Add green onions, paprika, parsley, thyme, garlic, green pepper, salt, bay leaf, shrimp and 4 cups boiling water. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes. Lower heat. Cover pot tightly and let cook slowly for 35 minutes or until rice is tender. With fork, fluff rice up, mixing sausages well.
Nutrition information per each of 8 servings:
Calories 600 Fat 24 g Sodium 1900 mg
Carbohydrates 60 g Saturated fat 9 g Calcium 67 mg
Protein 33 g Cholesterol 130 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 4 bread/starch, 3 medium-fat meat, 2 fat.
Note: Plan ahead as these need to be chilled overnight before they are cooked. Panko bread crumbs are bigger and lighter than the traditional crumb, which can be substituted. From “750 Best Appetizers,” by Judith Finlayson and Jordan Wagman. No time to make these yourself? Great ones are available at Costco (the Handy brand).
• 1 lb. lump crabmeat (fresh, canned or frozen, thawed and drained)
• 1/3 c. finely diced red bell pepper
• 1/3 c. finely diced red onion
• 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
• 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 3 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
• 1 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs (see Note)
• Caper Lemon Rémoulade sauce (see recipe)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In large bowl, combine crab, bell pepper, onion, mustard, lemon zest, Worcestershire sauce, cilantro, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Fold until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Break up crab as little as possible to assure large chunks of crab in the final cakes.
Spoon 2 tablespoons tightly packed crab mixture on prepared baking sheet until all crab is used. Form crab into cakes, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cover and refrigerate overnight (which helps them hold together when cooking them).
To cook the crab cakes: In large nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Place bread crumbs on plate and coat tops and bottoms of crab cakes in the crumbs.
In batches as necessary, fry the cakes, turning once, until golden brown and heated through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to platter and repeat until all cakes are cooked, adding more oil and adjusting heat as necessary between batches. Serve with Caper Lemon Rémoulade sauce, if desired.
Nutrition information per serving without sauce:
Calories 57 Fat 3 g Sodium 190 mg
Carbohydrates 4 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 31 mg
Protein 5 g Cholesterol 20 mg Dietary fiber 0 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 lean meat.
Caper Lemon RÉmoulade
Makes 1/2 cup.
Note: Serve with fish or seafood. From “750 Best Appetizers,” by Judith Finlayson and Jordan Wagman.
• 1/2 c. mayonnaise
• 1 tsp. minced drained capers
• 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
• 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 tsp. minced dill pickles
In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, capers, lemon zest and juice, and pickles; mix well to combine. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Nutrition information per 1 tablespoon:
Calories 99 Fat 11 g Sodium 92 mg
Carbohydrates 1 g Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 2 mg
Protein 0 g Cholesterol 5 mg Dietary fiber 0 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 fat.
Baked Crab Dip
Makes about 2 cups.
Note: Football parties often demand a dip. From “750 Best Appetizers,” by Judith Finlayson and Jordan Wagman.
• 1 c. cooked, drained crabmeat
• 1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
• 2 green onions, white part with a bit of green, minced
• 1/2 to 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
• 3 tbsp. full-fat sour cream
• 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
• 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a bowl, combine crab, cheese, onions, jalapeño to taste, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a small ovenproof dish. Bake until bubbling and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips or sliced baguette.
Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons:
Calories 58 Fat 5 g Sodium 88 mg
Carbohydrates 0 g Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 65 mg
Protein 3 g Cholesterol 17 mg Dietary fiber 0 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: ½ medium-fat meat, ½ fat.
Classic Chocolate Brownies
Note: From Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. of San Francisco. The amount of salt is correct.
• 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate baking bar
• 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
• 1 c. firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 2 eggs
• 3/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. flour
• 1/4 tsp. baking powder
• 3/8 tsp. salt (see Note)
• 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan. Chop the chocolate bar into 1-inch pieces.
In the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt the chopped chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir the brown sugar and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs and mix well.
In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, mixing well until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into 2-inch squares.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 200 Fat 10 g Saturated fat 6 g Sodium 77 mg
Carbohydrates 27 g Calcium 26 mg
Protein 2 g Cholesterol 39 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1 other carb, 2 fat.