You don't have to know anything about football to throw a Super Bowl party.
All you really need are dishes that will last the long day. (Expect TV pundits to start speechifying not long after lunch, with game start at about 5:20 p.m.)
Soup, chili and just about any meaty casserole will fit the bill. Keep dishes warm in slow cookers or on heated trays. Wrap sandwiches in foil and store them on a cookie sheet in a low-heat oven.
To simplify the day, look for recipes you don't have to fuss with once the crowd arrives. That's especially true if you're not going to stay! (It's a great time to see a movie or shop if you plan to let the fans enjoy themselves without you.)
What else to do? Make sure there are lots of sturdy plates and silverware, bags of ice, coolers for the frosty drinks, places to set down plates of food and coasters for your wood furniture.
It's always good to see if you've got carpet and furniture spot remover, too.
ROAST PORK DIP
1 bone-in pork butt (about 5 to 7 pounds)
1 head garlic, broken into individual cloves and peeled
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped, plus 1 teaspoon leaves 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Crusty rolls or baguette
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Using a small knife, make several incisions about 1/2 inch long and 1 inch deep all over the pork. Cut garlic cloves in half lengthwise and insert garlic pieces into each incision. Generously season pork all over with salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary.
2. Place celery, carrot, onion and bay leaves in a large roasting pan. Lay pork butt on top, fat side up.
3. Roast pork for 30 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 300 degrees. Add chicken stock, wine and tomatoes to roasting pan. Continue to cook pork until internal temperature registers 190 degrees with an instant-read thermometer and meat is fork-tender, another 3 to 4 hours. If pork begins to brown too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
4. Transfer pork to a platter and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes. Using a fine sieve, strain cooking liquid. Skim off as much fat as you can and reserve.
5. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly until a light brown roux is formed, 7 to 8 minutes. Whisk in remaining 4 or so cups of drippings, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and reaches the consistency of sauce, about 10 minutes. Season with thyme, salt and pepper.
6. When pork is cool enough to handle, shred with a fork, then add it along with the sauce back to a large pan and reheat. Serve on crusty rolls or baguette, garnished as desired. Yield: 10 to 12 servings.
-- Adapted from Chef/Owner Brian Landry, Borgne Restaurant, New Orleans
1 pound raw chicken, white, dark, or mixed, cut into 2-inch dice
1 (3-ounce) fully cooked sausage, such as andouille, chorizo, or kielbasa, sliced and halved
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon or more of Cajun spice, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
3 (14 1/2-ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice, undrained
2/3 cup instant rice (white or brown)
1/2 pound cleaned and deveined small or medium shrimp
1/2 pound fresh or frozen okra, sliced 1/2 inch thick
In a large skillet or wok, saute chicken until nearly cooked through; add sausage, peppers, celery, onions, and garlic, and continue to saute another 2 minutes, adding spices as you stir.
Add chicken broth and tomatoes; simmer about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust spices, if needed. Serves 8.
Add rice, shrimp, and okra. Simmer another 5 minutes, until rice is tender, shrimp are pink, and okra is crisp-tender.
-- Grace Whitten, Daily Gazette, Sterling, Ill.
Pesto Meatball Stew
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (16-ounce) package (32) frozen cooked Italian-style meatballs, thawed
1 (15 - to 19-ounce) can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup basil pesto
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
1. In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine undrained tomatoes, meatballs, drained beans, the water and pesto.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting 5 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.
Serves 6, each with 408 calories, 27 grams fat, 34 mg cholesterol, 24 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar, 17 grams protein, 1,201 mg sodium.
-- Better Homes & Gardens
The secret to beer bread is to have a can or bottle of beer on hand. The original recipe just uses three ingredients -- self-rising flour, sugar and the beer. If you get creative with cheese or herbs, the ingredient list can grow. I love to make it with diced tomatoes, asiago and mozzarella cheeses and oregano.
You can make this with self-rising flour, omitting the baking powder and salt. Make a cheese bread by adding 1 cup shredded Cheddar or other variety.
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 (12-ounce) can of beer
2 tablespoons butter, melted, optional
Stir all ingredients together. Place in greased loaf pan and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until golden. Brush top with melted butter, if desired.
Makes 12 servings, each with 153 calories, 2 grams fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 3 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 277 grams sodium.
-- Linda Cicero, food editor, Miami Herald
Bread bowl chili
2 teaspoons olive oil
12 ounces lean ground beef
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (7 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
Use a knife and fork to finely chop the jalapeno pepper. Avoid touching pepper and seeds with hands.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil and cook beef over medium heat, stirring for 2 minutes. Add jalapeno pepper, onions, and green pepper and continue to stir until meat is browned. Add chili powder, tomatoes with liquid, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 or 10 minutes, until chili starts to thicken. Add drained beans and corn and cook 5 minutes longer.
Pour chili into bread bowl and serve. After all the chili is served, slice the bowl into wedges and serve. Servings: 4
-- Grace Whitten, Daily Gazette, Sterling, Ill.