Truth be told, I'm no football fanatic. You won't see me crying tears of joy or defeat, whichever way the chips fall (mmm, chips). But I do love a good football game and all that goes with it: American nostalgia, plaid scarfs, tailgating, and thermoses filled with something to warm you from the inside out. You could say I'm in it for the J. Crew catalog angle.
But by the time the Super Bowl rolls around, the romanticism of the fall has long since passed, and we're deep into winter. In February, a "Which team is in the blue?" girl like me needs some motivation to stay alert. Then, friends, I'm in it for the food.
As the Giants battled the 49ers in the play-offs, I got so fired up by spicy wings and beer, I was hootin' and hollerin' alongside some of the fiercest fans. My hand ached from high-fiving. And when our spirits flagged, and overtime stretched on, there were cheese fries to fortify us. (It's hard work, but somebody has to do it.)
Quinoa, roasted squash,and kale salads all have their place on the table, and I love them. But who can resist the Super Bowl grub for just what it is: a once-a-year, ooey, gooey extravaganza. It's a good excuse as any to bring the always-a-crowd-pleaser cheesy artichoke dip and a big ole bag of tortilla chips (recipe below). Dinner's served.
What will you be cooking for the Super Bowl, ladies and gents?Here's what our other food-loving friends are eating and drinking around the web for our Virtual Super Bowl, hosted by Food Network. #pullupachair!
Liquor.com:Lights Out Punch, Marvelous Frothy Margarita and Black Velvet
Food.com:Buffalo Chicken Dip
BlogHer:Warm Tomato Basil Dip
Yahoo! Shine:Artichoke Dip
EatingWell:The Best Guacamole
Devour:Sweet and Sour Pork Sliders from Ching-He Huang
The Daily Meal:Fancy Potato Skins With Chorizo
Food Republic:Spinach Artichoke Balls
Big Girls, Small Kitchen:Pork and Avocado Quesadillas
Fox News:Cheddar Jalapeno Hush Puppies
Mains:Epicurious:Classic Beef Meatballs
YumSugar:Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Men's Health:Angry Dijon Mustard and Honey Glazed Chicken Wings
Healthy Eats:Baked Buffalo Wings
FN Dish:Alton Brown's Buffalo Wings
Desserts:Gourmet Live:Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
4 ounces Asiago or Parmesan cheese, finely shredded (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced green onion
Bottled roasted red sweet pepper strips (optional)
Fresh parsley leaves (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a food processor*, combine cream cheese, Asiago cheese, and garlic. Cover and process until mixture is combined. Add artichoke hearts, 1 cup roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and green onion. Cover and process with on/off turns until finely chopped. Transfer mixture to a 1-1/2-quart shallow baking dish or 9-inch glass pie plate, spreading mixture evenly in dish.
Cover and bake dip about 25 minutes or until heated through. (Or microwave, uncovered, on 70% power [medium-high] for 6 to 8 minutes or until heated through, stirring the dip and turning the dish halfway through cooking time.)
Serve the warm dip with pita or tortilla chips. If desired, garnish with roasted red pepper strips and parsley leaves. Makes 12 servings.
Mixer Directions: In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and Asiago cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until combined. Finely chop garlic, artichoke hearts, 1 cup roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and green onion. Stir into cheese mixture. Transfer to baking dish and bake as directed.