On Sunday, most of us will huddle up in front of our televisions to watch that battle for that championship ring. Whether your gang includes football mavens or just a few fans, the big game is great reason to gather everyone together for some for casual winter entertaining. And while there may be a game on the big screen, a lot of the action takes place around the table – keeping everyone well fed is a sport in itself!
The key to hosting a successful Super Sunday gathering, is to serve never-miss, crowd-pleasing dishes that can be made in quantity.
Try these tips for easy planning and hosting a gridiron gathering:
* Keep the menu uncomplicated. Try finger foods, chili, sandwiches.
* Provide no-utensils-needed accompaniments: corn muffins, chips, veggie tray, bars and cookies.
* Set up a dipping station. Have a selection of salsas and guacamole available so everyone can have their favorite. And in addition to chips, set out some of these tasty dippers: bell pepper slices, baked mozzarella sticks, shrimp, pita and bagel chips, Jicama sticks.
Make sure you have enough. Don’t disappoint guests by running out of munchies or drinks. If you’re having 8 to 10 guests, figure on three different appetizers. For up to 16 guests, plan four or five appetizers. For non-alcoholic drinks, plan on two 16-ounce cups per person. Plan on about two glasses of wine or three beers per person.
To have enough ice for drinks, as well as to keep drinks cold in a cooler, get about a pound and a half of ice per person.
This year, football fans will be looking for ways to jazz up the game day menu in the spirit of the host city, New Orleans. Take a page from “First Lady of Football” Olivia Manning’s playbook and create hearty, crowd-pleasing dishes that can be made in advance of game day.
Here are some ideas for making a big play of your own.
Red Bean and Rice Party Dip
Liven up the party with this Southwestern-style dip. Serve with tortilla chips.