Sunday, 6 February 2011

Celebrate... The Superbowl

The Packers are in this years Superbowl - just under 12 hours time ( a sociable 11.17pm kick off time here in the UK for those who are wondering) and to celebrate here's a selection of game snacks, ideal for small parties. Green Bay is of course in Wisconsin, Americas Dairyland, so there are a few dairy and cheesy snacks included. There's also a very definite colour scheme going on, some of the best best Green and Yellow dishes I could think of, to really get in the spirit.

Mix and Match Snack Platter:

If you have a large serving plate or bread board, simply arrange the following, with the dips in the middle. Make as much or as little as you like, depending on party size, though the dips have a set amount and will make a small bowl full.

Cheese and Pesto Toasties, with Leek: The nicest bread to use for these toasties is a good quality seed bread, such as Burgen's Soy and Linseed Loaf. Spread green pesto onto one side of each slice of bread, add grated cheese of your choosing and some finely sliced Leek. For extra crispiness, spread a little butter or spread on the outside of each sandwich before adding to the toastie maker. Cut into quarters when done.

Guacamole with yellow cherry tomatoes:

  • Scooped out pulp of 2 ripe avocados
  • Small bunch of scallions, chopped
  • 2 medium green chillis, chopped (seeds optional, included they make a spicier dip)
  • 2 gloves of garlic, crushed
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Pinch of  salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 5-6 small yellow cherry tomatoes, chopped
Fire all ingredient into a blender and until mixed, you can choose your own level of smoothness. To bulk out the Guacamole for a larger party, or to make extra smooth, you can add 50g of cooked peas (or a great cheat, add 50g of tinned mushy peas). However this can dilute the heat, so you may want to add some additional chilli powder.

Yoghurt and Cucumber Raita:  If hot and spicey isn't your thing, then this cooling dip makes a welcome alternative.

In a bowl place 300ml of natural yoghurt, 200g of finely chopped cucumber, a pinch of garam masala and a good pinch of salt. Beat with a fork, garnish with thin disc or two of cucumber and sprinkle with cracked black pepper.

Homemade Bread Sticks: I've never attempted my own home made bread sticks as yet, but I feel that they would be fitting with this platter (you can of course buy some if you can't be arsed). I therefore point you in the direct of Lorraine Pascal and her Big Fat Salt and Pepper Bread Sticks, which look extremely tempting.

Stuffed Green Peppers with Yellow Rice:

Two versions of this dish, one for veggies, one for carnivores. Both use pre cooked rice, as this is the most effective way of turning the rice an even yellow. Simple add one teaspoon of turmeric, or saffron if your rolling in money, to your rice while it is on the boil.

8 Green Bell Peppers, tops cut off and seeds and white flesh removed.
350g of yellow rice.
Around 32 slices of cheddar cheese

Meat Version
400g minced beef or lamb cooked to you usual bolognese or tomato based sauce recipe for twenty minutes. If you don't have a usual recipe, the standard is 1 white onion, 1 glove of garlic, 1 can of chopped tomatoes, and optional spices such as 1 teaspoon of oregano, 1 teaspoon of medium chilli powder, 1 teaspoon of HP Sauce or Marmite and 1 teaspoon of ketchup. You can of course play around with this recipe, but make sure you taste often and don't add too many spices or they will cancel each other out.

Veg Version
1 can of Adzuki beans cooked with 1 can of chopped tomatoes, 1 white onion, 100g of chopped button mushroom1 teaspoon of medium chilli powder and 1 teaspoon of Marmite (optional) for around 10 minutes.

Half your cooked rice, mix half with the meat mixture and half with the beans mix.

Place Bell Peppers in a roasting dish with a good glug of oil. Into each pepper add around two tablespoons of rice/bean or rice/meat mix, followed by a slice of cheese. Repeat this process until all pepper are full and topped with a final slice of cheese. Into the pan add three tablespoons of water. Cover with foil and add to a hot oven for around 45 minutes on 200°C, removing the foil and finishing uncovered for the last 10 minutes.

Smother in warmed BBQ Sauce to serve if you're feeling well dirty.

There are of course some other essentials you may feel you need, such as: Loaded Nachos, Potato Skins, Chicken Wings and for the sweet tooth Lemon Meringue Pie and Grasshopper Pie, so just click on the links.


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