By Suzanne Corbett, STLSportsPage.com Travel/Food Editor
It is pretty easy to tell the level of interest in the Super Bowl with St. Louis Fans: anger. St. Louis fans are mad at Rams owner Stan Kroenke and don’t want see him with any success, but they are also mad at the Patriots, so it looks like the only interest here are the snacks and the commercials.
As far as the food is concerned, the clock is ticking down. Time to get serious and decide the game day menu strategy; a strategy to make this year’s Super Bowl party a winner. To achieve victory, it’s going to take a game plan. A plan that won’t bench the party’s host/hostess – keeping them in them in the kitchen or distracted keeping the buffet line fluffed.
To make this year’s party a little easier, plan a menu that works for both you and your guests. Create a menu that’s balanced, offering fan favorites such as wings and chips along with foods that may reflect any special dietary needs of your guests. I always plan to include regional favorites of the home team or the host city. Considering Atlanta is this year’s Super Bowl city, I’m adding a couple of southern classics to the menu. My picks, pimento cheese and fried pickles.
To make this year’s game day buffet a winner, follow these entertaining tips. They’re designed to kept you in the action while scoring big with your fans.
1: Scatter the refreshments. Help direct movement and traffic flow by setting up food stations. Using different rooms or areas helps prevent congestion and encourages guests to mingle. Try placing finger foods and other appetizers in a couple of locations, beverages in another area and desserts in yet another space.
2: Embrace variety. Have an assortment of food and drinks available. Offer spicy options along with less seasoned dishes, both indulgent and better-for-you treats, plus an array of beverages for drinkers and non-drinkers alike.
3: Build your roster. If your party is a potluck, encourage guests to sign up for dishes so you don’t end up with multiple versions of the same thing. Create a discussion group online, or simply ask guests to indicate what they’ll bring along with their RSVP.
4: Don’t forget the dips. Wings are a Super Bowl must have, but you may find yourself in a team rivalry when it comes to the preferred dip – ranch or bleu cheese dressing? Both pair well with a range of wing flavors, so these dips are sure to be crowd pleasers.
5: Expand on tradition. Along with those fan favorites, don’t be afraid to put some new flavors into play, such as these Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings, a creation of Litehouse Foods, that add a tangy ethnic flair to traditional wings
For more ideas on adding a few new plays to this year’s play book check out the game day recipes at LitehouseFoods.com. Other sites to check, Pillsbury.com and the California Ripe Olive growers at calolive.org
RECIPES AND SUGGESTIONS:
Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
20 chicken wings
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
3 tablespoons water, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
sliced green onions, for garnish
sesame seeds, for garnish
celery sticks (optional) Litehouse Homestyle Ranch and Chunky Bleu Cheese Dressing
Heat oven to 400 F. In large bag, combine flour and salt. Add chicken wings and shake to coat. Discard any leftover flour. Line baking sheet with foil and spray with pan spray of your choice. Place wings in single layer on baking sheet. Bake wings 40-45 minutes, turning halfway through.
In sauce pan over medium heat, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, 2 tablespoons water and brown sugar. Whisk together remaining water and cornstarch, and pour into sauce. Bring to boil then simmer until thickened. When wings are done, toss with sauce, garnish with green onion and sesame seeds, and serve with celery sticks, ranch and bleu cheese dressing. Makes 4 servings. (Recipe courtesy Litehouse Foods)
Fried Panko-Dipped Pickle Spears
4 cups vegetables oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 (1- ounce) package ranch dressing mix
2 cups panko crispy bread crumbs
12 crisp pickles spears
Heat oil in deep fryer or 12-inch skillet to 375°F.
In shallow bowl, stir together flour and dressing mix. In another shallow bowl, beat eggs with whisk. In third shallow bowl, place bread crumbs. Dip each pickle spear into flour mixture, then into egg. Dip into flour a second time, then into egg a second time. Coat pickle spear with bread crumbs.
After all pickles have been breaded, fry in hot oil 2 to 3 minutes, turning once, or until deep golden brown. Drain fried pickles on cooling rack or paper towels. Makes 4 servings
Easy Olive Bread
1 loaf French bread, sliced in half lengthwise
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
10 -ounce green olives, chopped
2 green onions, chopped Preheat over to 350 f. Mix together cream cheese, butter and mayonnaise. Add garlic; stir well to distribute. Add cheddar, chopped green olives and green onions. Spread mixture onto the cut sides of bread. Bakes for 20 – 30 minutes, until cheese is hot and bubbly and stating to brown. (Recipe Courtesy California Ripe Olives)
If you want to add a pretzel to your buffet– check out this unique addition from STL Pretzel Boys.
From STL Pretzel Boys Facebook Page: Anyone else having a tough time with this #SuperBowl matchup?? 🏈😩 We’ve got a special that might lift your spirits just a bit… A football pretzel plus a large cheese dip is only $19.99. Call us ASAP as spaces will fill up! 🥨
Pretzel Boys Locations:
11750 Manchester Rd., Des Peres, MO (314) 835-9698
3802 S. Lindbergh Blvd., Sunset Hills, MO :(314) 843-0131
5006 Hampton Ave., St. Louis, MO (314) 279-8005