It's Super Bowl weekend, which means that all sorts of people who usually don't watch football are going to sit down and take in a game. The interweb will be full of ways to enhance one's enjoyment of said game, including recipes and recommendations to make your Super Bowl party the awesomest party ever. Topics will range from which beer to serve to healthy dishes to help keep you alive past halftime (including tips from Super Bowl legend and world-renown money-grubber Joe Montana!). There are even some suggestions from Wine Spectator, if that's the way you roll. Thankfully, this year there won't be any of those stories suggesting you make the native cuisine of whichever cities are battling it out in the big game. The people who write those articles had to be pulling for New England in the AFC Championship, right? I mean, what the hell do they eat in Indianapolis? I say steer clear of the deep dish pizza and the polish sausage. Chicago has dropped a few notches in my book with its fascistic foie gras ban. In fact, part of me wants to eat some foie gras on Sunday, just to stick it to the City of Broad Shoulders. But most of you probably want a little more traditional fare. To help you out, I've come up with a few helpful tips to make your Super Bowl party better than OK.
1. Forget trying to be healthy. I know Joe Montana says you can make totally kicking personal pizzas that are good for your heart, but we all know that he's wrong. If you want to be healthy on Super Bowl Sunday, don't watch the game. Alright, you can probably avoid that third helping of nachos, too. Otherwise, pig out. After Thanksgiving, Fourth of July barbecues, trips to the movies/ballgame, birthday parties, impromptu trips to Krispy Kreme, and Friday Fajitas Fiesta night at Chili's, Super Bowl Sunday is one of the only days Americans have to eat way too much of stuff that isn't good for them. Let's all just try to enjoy it, OK?
2. Make What You Can from Scratch. It's really not that hard to fire up a batch of your own wings. Just buy some wings, throw em in the oven at 425 for about 45 minutes, then toss them in a mixture of butter and Frank's Red Hot sauce. And, please use Frank's. I love Tabasco on eggs and hashbrowns. Love it. But for wings, you've got to go with Frank's. I guarantee these wings will be better than the frozen ones you've been buying. You know, the ones with that Martian-red powder all over them? And while we're on the subject, you know that gelatinous, Syracuse University-orange colored queso you've been buying? Yeah, don't. Buy it, that is. As Michael Pollan would say, that's not even food. Seriously, how hard is it to melt down some cheese? The benefit of making stuff yourself (aside from the godlike feeling of creation you get from it) is that you can control what goes in it. Like jalapeños? Throw em in. Don't like em? Prefer habaneros? You know what to do.
3. Don't skimp on the product. Is there anything worse than bad corn chips? I mean, they're already corn chips, so it's not like they have far to sink. But when you get some stale, bland, nasty chips that fall apart as soon as you dip them in salsa...guh. Buy the good stuff. Those blue corn tortilla chips they sell at Whole Foods are worth the extra 79 cents. Of course, you could make your own. And don't have a case of Bud in the fridge. Spring for some Stella or whatever fancy yuppie beer it is that you like to drink. And if somebody shows up to your party with a sixer of Bud, don't let them drink your good stuff. Let them sip their Bud, and think about what they've done.
4. Stagger your menu. There are plenty of things you can make ahead of time so that when people start arriving you've got food out for them. Also, if you're making something more substantial, try a casserole. You can make it ahead of time and throw it in the fridge. All that's left is to toss it in the oven. The same goes for skewers. Marinate them and get them all set so all you have to do is fire them. That way you won't be in the kitchen missing Peyton Manning's meltdown or the latest ad with the guy who inexplicably works for apes.
5. Have paper plates and napkins. It's worth the investment. Buy the ones made from recycled paper, of course. At the end of the game, you're going to be tired, drunk, and irritable (because they didn't make the overs). The last thing you'll want to do is dishes.
There you have it. Five quick and somewhat easy steps to make your party a little bit better than last year's debacle (Also, don't invite that guy who says "Boo Yeah!" whenever there's a big hit). Enjoy the game!