Keeping the Big Game Simple

Every year for the Super Bowl, I’ve planned a way over the top, crazy menu. This year, we are gathering at the Family Farm to spend time with Dad watching the game (and the commercials, of course). My sister has been reminding me that we are only nine – NINE – including her two little ones. That was her way of reminding me KEEP IT SIMPLE!!! 

For me, that’s easier said then done. So I went through my Super Bowl Menus from prior years with the thought of simple, little-kid friendly foods. Nine people – two children and seven adults – all with basic tastes. I scoured my collection of appetizers warm and cold. Keep it simple! Plum glazed grilled sausages might be a bit much. And Blini with Caviar & Crème Fraîche was definitely out of the question. (As tempting as they were – shaped like a football). Even my recent post – Rethinking the Taco Ring – It’s Game Time! might be too spicy for the little ones.

After days of searching, considering and finally narrowing down the selection, here’s my final, revamped KEEP IT SIMPLE menu for tomorrow’s Big Game.

Deviled Football Eggs
16 Hard Boiled Eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
3 teaspoons mustard (yellow, stoned or Dijon-Style Mustard – it’s a matter of personal tastes – try each to see which flavor suits you)
4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
Chives for garnish

Tip: Boil 2 eggs more than required to fill serving tray. The extra eggs give more yolk filling, the extra whites allow for tasting and adjusting seasonings if necessary.

To Boil eggs, place eggs in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a full boil. Remove from heat, cover and let rest for 12-14 minutes. Drain, then plunge eggs into ice-cold water to cease the cooking process. The results will be a perfectly cooked egg with a sunny yellow yolk.

Tips for Peeling Hard-Boiled Eggs: Once eggs are cool enough to handle, roll gently on counter to crack shells. Place into cold water, refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from water and peel. Water will work its way into shell, the result is an easily peeled egg.

Peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Remove egg yolks and place yolks in food processor with mixing/chopping blade. Place 12 white halves on serving dish or egg platter. Select best of the halves.

Mix/chop yolks until fluffy and are fine grade resembling bread crumbs. Add mayonnaise and mustard and mix until creamy. Mix in red wine vinegar one tablespoon at a time and season to taste.

Spoon filling into egg white shells. Just before serving, garnish with chives to create football laces. If desired, place line serving platter with shredded lettuce for “field” effect.

Barbecue Chicken WingsHoney Barbecue Bacon Chicken Wings
3 lbs Fresh Chicken Wings
1 cup Honey
1/2 Bottle Favorite Barbecue Sauce
3 Strips Bacon, chopped and crisp fried

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Cover a large baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. This will prevent chicken from sticking and make clean up a snap.

Spread wings on pan in a single layer. Depending upon the size of your pan, you may need to work in batches. Brush wings with honey for a light glaze, turn and brush other side. Place into the oven and bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through.

In the meantime, fry up the chopped bacon. Drain excess fat from the skillet. Pour barbecue sauce over the bacon, stir to blend and let simmer.

Transfer wings to a crock pot. Pour barbecue sauce over wings, toss to blend and coat well. Cook on low for about 2 hours, then turn pot to warm until ready to serve.

Baking the wings first give them that lovely “roasted” flavor, continuing to cook in the crock pot will give you wings that are falling of the bone tender.

2015 Super Bowl (3)Macaroni & Potato Salad Football
1 lb Container Deli Style Macaroni Salad
1 lb Container Deli Style Potato Salad
1 Football Shaped Pan (Cake Supply Stores; Michael’s or other stores that carry Wilton’s Pans)
Plastic Wrap to line pan
Chives to create Football Laces
Parsley to garnish serving dish (Optional)

Line football pan with plastic wrap. Fill half of the pan with Macaroni Salad. Fill remaining half of the pan with Potato Salad.

You’ll want to fill completely to the top of the pan. Smooth even with the pan top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate well, over night is best for salad to mold.

Remove top cover of wrap from salad. Place serving platter inverted over pan. Flip CAREFULLY and adjust placement while salad is still covered by mold.

Remove football pan, remove plastic wrap. Lay strips of chives down center of salad. Snip additional chives to finish “lacing”.

If desired, tuck parsley around salad for “grass”.

Stadium 7-Layer Taco Dip
1 Can Refried Beans
1-2 tablespoons bacon drippings
1-2 tablespoons Taco Sauce
1 Tub Sour Cream (Thinned with a little milk)
1 Tub Medium-hot Salsa
1/2 lb Ground Beef
1/2 lb Chorizo
1-2 tablespoons Dried taco seasoning
1 Tub Zesty Guacamole Dip
8 oz Block Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 Bunch Green Onions, Chopped (Field)
1 Small Can WHOLE Black Olives (Players)
1 Pint Grape or Cherry Tomatoes (Players)
5 Beef Stick (Goal Posts)
2 Thick “block” of Cheddar Cheese (Goal Post bases)

Brown ground beef and chorizo meat together in a large cast iron skillet, allowing flavors to blend. Add taco seasoning BEFORE meats are drained. Once cooked and seasoned, drain well and set aside.

In a separate pan, heat bacon drippings in a medium size skillet. Add refried beans and cook to warm. Add taco sauce to beans, blending until beans are smooth and Spreadable.
Meanwhile, grate cheese and set aside. Chop onions and set aside.
When ready to assemble, spread Layers as Follows:

  • (1) Bean Mixture
  • (2) Sour Cream
  • (3) Salsa
  • (4) Taco Meat Mixture
  • (5) Guacamole (field, under)
  • (6) Green Grass (field, top)
  • (7) Grated Cheese (end zones and side lines)

Place sour cream in pastry bag fitted with fine tip. Pipe lines for yard markers.

When ready to serve, erect goal posts in end zones. To make goal posts, cut 1 beef stick in half for the center post (crossbar). Insert toothpick into “base”. Attach crossbar between posts and carefully lay in end zone. Bury base into dip, with picks exposed. Raise posts, secure with exposed toothpicks. Arrange “players” on the field. If desired, and room allows, arrange corn chips around field for a stadium finish.

Last year, Hubby was in charge of the final touches to the Stadium. He placed all the players at one end of the field, knowing the “off-balance” placement would make me nuts. This year, I’m placing the players on the field – at the 50 yard line.

Mini Burger Bites
Ingredients – Mini Burger Bites
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoons dried mince onion
1 tablespoons milk
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of Pepper
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1 lb lean ground beef
12 Slices American Cheese
24 Mini Burger Buns

To Make Mini Burger Bites:  Beat egg in medium bowl. Add onion, milk, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir in bread crumbs. Add ground beef; mix well. Form into a ball and chill well.

Press ground beef mixture into a thin layer cutting board. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter round, cut little burgers from the meat. Gather excess and repeat until all the meat has been cut.

Stack prepared patties between pieces of waxed paper. Store in airtight container until ready to cook.

Preheat griddle to 350-degrees

Place patties on griddle and fry for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through.

During the final few minutes of cooking, top half of the burgers with cheese. Leave the remaining burgers without cheese. You’ll end up with a selection of cheeseburgers and hamburgers.

Fill buns with miniature burgers. If desired cut in half or quarter for easy dipping and serve with dipping/spread sauces. Spread can also be used as condiments if serving burgers as little sliders instead of dipping bites.

Note: Patties can be made ahead of time, placed in a rimmed baking sheet and gently warmed in the oven. This will allow you to travel with the burger bites, and assemble once you have arrived at your party destination.

Ingredients – Chipotle Mayonnaise
1 Cup Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Chipotle Seasoning
¼ Teaspoon Lime Juice
Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

To Make Chipotle Mayonnaise: Combine all ingredients in a bowl, whisk to blend well. Chill until ready to use.

Ingredients – James Rutter Jr High Spread
6 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
3 Tablespoon Ketchup
3 Tablespoon Mustard
1 ½ Teaspoon Onion Powder
¾ Teaspoon Dill Pickle Relish

To Make James Rutter Jr. High Spread: Combine all ingredients in a bowl, whisk to blend well. Chill until ready to use.

Ingredients – Condiments:
3/4 Cup Ketchup (or more)
3/4 Barbecue Sauce (or more)

Place ketchup in one bowl, barbecue sauce in another.

To serve as dipping burgers, place spoons in the bowls of dipping sauce, with small paper cups nearby. Guests can fill cups with desired sauces and dip (or double dip) to their heart’s content. To serve as mini-burger sliders, arrange burgers on a serving tray with condiments in small bowls. Use little butter knives to spread condiments on buns as desired.

3 thoughts on “Keeping the Big Game Simple

  1. Great ideas and perfect game food. The deviled eggs made to look like footballs are still my favorite. My daughter will be making these. The chipotle mayo sounds pretty good – something I’ll need to try. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful game day on the farm. Go Broncos!


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