Super Bowl…Super Snacking? Let’s be honest here. We all watch the game -- and the compelling commercials -- yet, the truth is, many of us park in front of the television set to eat. Super Bowl Sunday is the lighting-of-the-torch Opening Olympics of snacking as much as football. If it were a holiday, it would likely be called the National Snack-til-You-Fall-Back Day.
Collectively, how much do we eat in the name of a football championship? Close to 9 million pounds of tortilla chips, 3.8 million pounds of popcorn, and 11 million pounds of potato chips will be consumed on a Super Bowl Sunday!
Don’t forget pizza and wings. Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest day of the year for consuming pizza -- more than 2 million pies will be eaten by the time the SB clock counts down to zero. On the other hand, 450 million chicken wings will be consumed that Sunday. And dips? It is also the top guacamole-eating day of the year, with ~49.5 million pounds of avocados consumed before bedtime.
This year, I’m going to keep it simple: focus on one kind of food and create variations on that theme. And this year is chicken wings. They are hearty, flavorful, easy to make in large quantities, reasonably priced, kid-friendly, pair well with all beverages, and fun for all. Here are a few recipes that have proven to stand up to the cheering, fist-bumping, groaning, back-slapping…and over-eating. And whatever remains makes for great lunch and dinner leftovers during the week, when life returns to normal.
Lime Marinated Chicken Wings with Avocado Dip
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup vegetables oil
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp honey
1-½ limes, juiced
3 lb chicken wings, rinsed and patted dry
½ lime, zested
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1-½ tsp lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
1. Add the jalapeno pepper, garlic, vegetable oil, tomato paste, salt, honey and lime juice to a blender; puree until smooth. Pour marinade over the chicken. Add the lime zest and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
2. The next day: Preheat boiler to medium heat. Arrange chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Broil chicken at least 6” from the heat for 4-5 minutes per side (or until chicken is crispy on the outside and cooked through).
3. Avocado Dip: Pit and peel avocado; place in a medium bowl and mash. Fold in 3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves, lime juice, garlic, salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Serve wings with dip.
Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings (serves 6-8 as snack)
1 large garlic clove
¾ tsp salt
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp mild honey
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
Pinch of cayenne
3 lb chicken wings, tips discarded and halved at joints
1-½ Tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 scallion, finely chopped
1. Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large shallow baking pan (17” x 12”) with foil; lightly oil foil.
2. Mince garlic and mash to a paste with salt. Transfer garlic paste to a large bowl and stir in soy sauce, Hoisin, honey, oil, and cayenne. Add wings to sauce, stirring to coat.
3. Arrange wings in one layer in baking pan and roast, turning over once, until cooked through, ~35 min. Transfer wings to a large serving bowl and toss with sesame seeds and scallion.
Barbecue Chicken Wings (60 pieces)
2 cups ketchup
½ cup cider vinegar
½ cup water
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp Tabasco sauce
2 Tbsp unsulfured molasses
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp chili powder
¼ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 tsp finely minced garlic
2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
30 chicken wings, rinsed and patted dry
4 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
2. Prepare the barbecue sauce: Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, to blend the flavors, 10-12 min.; do not boil. Strain to remove the garlic. Cool sauce to room temperature. Makes ~3 cups sauce. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 weeks.
3. Using a sharp knife, remove wing tips; separate the chicken wings at the joint. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and toss well with half of the sauce. Lay the pieces in a single layer on 2-3 baking sheets (do not overcrowd). Bake for 45-50 minutes, basting once or twice with additional sauce. Sprinkle wings with the scallions and serve.
Creamy Coleslaw (serves 16)
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
4 Tbsp cider vinegar
1-½ tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 lb green cabbage, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced (~16 cups)
6 medium carrots, shredded
1. Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl until well mixed. Toss in cabbage and carrots, mixing throughout. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature, tossing occasionally, until wilted, ~30 min. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Note: May be made a day ahead and refrigerated.