The culmination of the American football season is on the horizon. Millions of people will tune in to watch two teams battle for the title of champion. While the teams may be busy prepping their last-minute offensive and defensive strategies, sports fans across the country are doing their own strategizing by planning the perfect game-day party.
The first AFL-NFL World Championship Game in professional American football, later known as Super Bowl I, was played on Jan. 15, 1967 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. Since that day, ardent fans and novices alike have been celebrating football by hosting their own viewing parties at home. These parties present yet another way for friends to get together.
If anything rivals the importance of the football game in question, it would most certainly be the beer and snacks served during the event. At the end of an ideal Super Bowl party, guests should be talking about your incredible Sweet & Spicy Shrimp and beer selection just as fervently as they are the final touchdown. That’s the sign of a successful Super Bowl party.
The cool thing about football food is that it doesn’t have to be fancy. Sometimes a new twist on the simplest, basic recipe is all it takes to make an impact. This year, with the appreciation of craft beer continuing to rise, we thought we would choose a few must-have appetizers and pair them with the perfect craft beer, making it easy for party planners to make an impact on even the most discerning palate.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can Rotel
- 1 cup beer
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 pkg chili seasoning mix
- Salt & pepper
- 1 bag large corn chips
- 1 cup cheddar, grated
Directions: Cook ground beef in a large frying pan. Add onion and cook until tender. Stir in beans, Rotel, chili seasoning, beer and seasoning and let simmer for two hours. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. When ready, add a spoonful of mixture to each corn chip and top with cheese. Serve warm.
Red Oak Amber Lager – Red Oak Brewery, NC. Amber lagers are made to pair with meat-heavy dishes like chili, and Red Oak is one of NC’s best. This beer is smooth with a bit of a malt background and pairs easily with many dishes.
- 1 8 oz pkg sliced pepperoni
- 1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
- 2 pkgs refrigerated crescent rolls
Directions: Preheat oven to 350°. Separate refrigerated crescent rolls into triangles and flatten. Slice each so it becomes three small triangles. Dice pepperoni into tiny pieces and mix into cream cheese, stirring well so all of the pieces are well blended. Place a small spoonful of the mixture into each triangle and pinch the sides closed. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 11 minutes. Let cool before serving.
Samuel Adams Dunkelweizen – Boston Beer Company, Mass. This Dunkelweizen is a balanced beer with enough bitterness to enhance the flavor of the pepperoni without making the spice unbearable. The sweetness of the brew will cut through the richness of the cream cheese and compliment the appetizer.
SWEET & SPICY SHRIMP
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tbsp canned chipotle chile, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
Directions: In a large bowl, combine the honey, chipotle, garlic and salt. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes or in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Thread the marinated shrimp onto small metal skewers or soaked wooden skewers, about 3-4 per skewer. Grill over high heat for 2-4 minutes, turning once.
Hell – Surly Brewing Company, Minn. For light food, like seafood, choose a light beer. The Munich helles lager is a clean and light beer with enough malt to balance the spice in this dish without losing the sweet undertones. This particular beer is very clean and smooth, and will pair well with most complex flavors.
BUFFALO CHICKEN NACHOS
- 4-5 ounces of cooked chicken, shredded
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
- 2 oz gorgonzola, crumbled
- 1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce
- 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
- 1 tomato, diced (if desired)
- Large bag tortilla chips
- Salt & pepper to taste
Directions: Preheat the oven to 450°. Add a layer of chips at the bottom of a baking dish and top with chicken, cheese, buffalo wing sauce and other toppings. Continue layering until chips and ingredients are gone. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until cheese melts. Drizzle additional wing sauce over top and garnish with scallions or tomato.
Vienna Lager – Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Va. For dishes with a kick, steer clear of bitter and acidic beers. The added hops in bitter beers intensify heat. To compliment the buffalo spice, go for a Vienna lager. These lagers go well with Mexican and other hearty, spicy foods. Can’t find this particular brand? Try Dos Equis – it’s made in the same style as the traditional Vienna lager.
- 1 bag frozen meatballs
- 1 jar marinara sauce
- 1 bag frozen yeast rolls
- 1 1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
- 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
Directions: Defrost yeast rolls and allow to rise per package directions, bake and set aside. Defrost and cook frozen meatballs as directed on package. Heat sauce in a heavy pot and slowly drop meatballs into sauce. Let simmer 30 minutes, loosely covered . Cut cooled rolls and place on a baking sheet. Place meatball and one spoonful of sauce on each roll. Add mozzarella and parmesan. Bake in a low oven until cheese melts.
60 Minute IPA – Dogfish Head Brewery, Del. For dishes that are high in acidity, like tomato-based sauces, find a beer with matching bitterness. Since this appetizer includes meet, an American IPA is a great fit. The hoppy bitterness of an IPA cuts through the fat in the dish and makes it feel less heavy. The food won’t seem as rich, so you won’t feel bad about having seconds.
JERK CHICKEN WINGS
- 18 whole chicken wings
- 1 1/2 cup jerk marinade
- 1 1/2 cup tamarind-apricot sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
Directions: In a baking dish, combine the chicken and 1 cup of the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours, turning occasionally. The longer the chicken marinates, the hotter it becomes. Remove the chicken and discard the marinade. Preheat oven to 350°. Place the chicken in a greased baking dish. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, basting twice with the reserved 1/2 cup of marinade. Prepare a dipping sauce by combining the tamarind-apricot sauce with the soy sauce.
Young’s Double Chocolate Stout – Wells & Young’s Ltd, England. A sweet or oatmeal stout works best with the spicy and Asian tones in this dish. Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, a personal favorite, complements the heat with mild sweetness and enhances the flavor while being a very drinkable beverage. The flavor is more smoky than sweet, and not heavy. An alternative to the chocolate stout is the Samuel Adams Cream Stout.
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp ground chipotle powder
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup walnuts, shelled
- 1 cup pecan halves, shelled
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Dash Louisiana-style hot sauce
Directions: In a small bowl, combine the salt and spices and set aside. In a large heavy skillet, melt butter. Add walnuts and pecans and cook over medium heat until nuts are toasted, about 4 minutes.
Sprinkle with spice mixture. Add the brown sugar, water, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until sugar is melted. Spread on foil to cool. Store in an airtight container.
Fat Tire Amber Ale – New Belgium Brewing, Colo. Similar to Red Oak, Fat Tire pairs well with nearly anything. It is a very balanced beer and is light on acidity and hoppy bitterness, making it a good match for spicy nuts. It has a flavor that lasts, but isn’t going to intensify the heat already in the dish.
Homemade Ranch Dip
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
Directions: Add all ingredients to medium sized mixing bowl. Stir until well blended and the dip is smooth and creamy. Chill for 1-2 hours prior to use. Serve with fresh veggies, chips, or hot wings.