Super Bowl is just around the corner. We have all been overloaded with foods of every description over the recent holidays, and now must come up with more ideas. If you are hosting a Super Bowl party, here are some tips and ideas for some appetizers that can be made easily, some in advance.
Guacamole is a Versatile Dip
Basic Guacamole is mashed avocados with salt and lime juice. This must be made close to serving time or it turns dark. By adding in some other ingredients, this old standby can be a completely new taste sensation. To the basic guacamole, add sour cream, as much or little as you like. This gives a creamy texture, and prevents browning, and can be made a few hours in advance. How about adding a half cup of Gorgonzola crumbles? They are available in most places and add piquancy and flavor. Other things you might add are charred jalapenos. Char 2 or 3 jalapenos under the broiler until black all over, take out seeds and stem and puree them with the basic guacamole. Plain pickled or fresh jalapenos are also excellent. Any one of these additions can make a huge difference in flavor, or you could add them all. Serve your guacamole with tortilla chips. If you are watching waistlines along with the yard lines, serve it with some carrots, snow peas or bell pepper slices.
Brie Makes a Rich Sensation
Brie cheese can be served all on its own. Open a wedge or three and set them out with some crackers. But how about taking those wedges and paring off the rind, setting them into an oven safe casserole to cover the bottom. Sprinkle on brown sugar just to coat the top of the cheese. Add some chopped pecans or walnuts. Place the casserole in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling. This dip pairs well with apple slices. These days every grocery has bags of fresh apple slices, both red and green varieties. Set these out for dipping in the brie. As they are already pretreated for browning, they can be set out up to an hour ahead. The brie should wait to go in the oven until closer to serving time, though it can be prepared in its casserole the day before, covered tightly until needed.
Medjool Dates Make a Statement
Medjool Dates are found in most places these days. They are larger and softer than the regular varieties found on grocery shelves. You may have to look for them, but they are worth the effort. Make sure to remove pits. One fantastic way to use them is to wrap them in half slices of center cut bacon, leaving the loose edge underneath. Set the oven for 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set the dates on the parchment and bake for 6 to 8 minutes. Take out of the oven and turn them over with tongs so the loose edge of bacon is up. It should have cooked into place. Bake for another 6 or more minutes, until the bacon is done to your liking. These are good warm, but they are also good cool. If you like, a piece of pecan may be set inside the date before wrapping with the bacon. Another way to serve medjools is to set a piece of feta cheese inside each one. A piece of prosciutto can be wrapped around the date and feta cheese as an alternative. No cooking, so these can be made ahead.
Pepper and Onion Relish Dip. A Great Standby.
There are various brands of Pepper and Onion Relish available in specialty shops. If you are so fortunate as to find some and have not yet tried this, mix a bottle of the pepper and onion relish with a couple of 8 ounce blocks of cream cheese and serve with chips. Heavenly. This can be made way ahead. Unless there is someone in the house that cannot resist it.
Asparagus and Parmesan Make an Easy Dip.
Using equal proportions of asparagus, mayonnaise and shredded Parmesan, combine the mayo and cheese and mix in the chopped asparagus to combine. Place into an oven safe casserole and bake at 350 degrees until melted and bubbly and serve with crusty bread. All these ingredients can be mixed ahead and popped into the oven last minute. Most of all, enjoy your party.
About The Author
My name is Chris Rawstern and I have been on a cooking and baking journey for 42 years. Many people have asked what A Harmony of Flavors means. Have you ever had a meal where the visual presentation was stunning, the smells were incredible, the taste was so remarkable that you ate slowly savoring every bite, wishing the experience would never end? Then you have experienced what a truly harmonious meal can be like.
My passion is to teach people how to create a Harmony of Flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own.
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