It’s never too early to plan for a Super Bowl get together. This year it will be held on Feb. 7, which will be here before you know it (just like Christmas was). Guests get mighty hungry as they cheer their favorite team on or jump up and shake their fists at “the other guys,” so here are a few recipes you might like to try when the big day arrives. Even if you aren’t much of a football fan, those commercials can often be very entertaining. I always liked the ones that featured Clydesdale horses. And puppies. Happy New Year to all of you.
Loaded potato pizza
1 package (6-oz.) pizza crust mix, or make your own favorite crust recipe that will make a 14-inch pizza
3 medium potatoes (any kind), baked and cooled
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 cup (8-oz.) sour cream
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (I like to add more)
3 to 5 green onions, chopped (or chopped chives to taste)
1 1/2 cups (about 6-oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400. If using a crust mix, prepare according to package directions, or use your own dough. Press dough into a greased 14-inch pizza pan, building up the edges slightly. Bake in preheated oven 5 to 6 minutes or until the crust is firm and begins to brown.
2. Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes (don't worry if they tend to crumble). In a bowl, mix butter, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Add potatoes and toss together. Spread sour cream over the crust, top with potato mixture, bacon, onions or chives and cheeses.
3. Bake at 400 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and beginning to brown just slightly. Allow pizza to stand about 5 minutes before cutting into slices. Makes 8 slices.
Hot crab spread
1 1/2 cups chopped green onions
1 tablespoon butter
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
8 cups (32 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 cans (6-oz. each) crab meat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed
1. In a large skillet, saute green onions in butter until tender. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute longer, being careful not to let the garlic burn. Transfer mixture to a 3-quart slow cooker. Add mayonnaise, then stir in the shredded cheese. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes or until the cheese melts, stirring occasionally.
2. Stir in crab meat, cover and cook 1 hour longer or until heated all the way through. Serve spread warm with crackers. Makes about 6 cups spread.
Cheeseburger bites with bacon
2 packages (1/4-oz. each) active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees, or whatever the yeast package recommends)
2/3 cup warm milk, same temperature as above
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
2 teaspoons salt (or less)
4 1/2 to 5 cups flour
1 pound bacon, diced
2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound processed cheese (such as Velveeta), cubed
3 to 4 tablespoons butter, melted
Ketchup or barbecue sauce, optional
1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, then add milk, sugar, shortening, eggs, salt and 3 1/2 cups flour. Beat mixture until it becomes smooth, then stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
2. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 6 to 8 minutes or until it becomes smooth and elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl, turn to coat the top, cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towel to drain the bacon strips. In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, onion, salt and pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and is crumbled; drain. Add bacon and cheese; cook and stir until cheese is melted. Remove mixture from heat.
4. Preheat oven to 400. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into four equal pieces. Roll each portion into a 12-by-8-inch rectangle; cut each into six squares. Place 1/4 cup meat mixture in the center of each square. Bring corners together in the center and pinch to seal.
5. Place each bun, 2 inches apart, on greased baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush each bun with melted butter. Serve warm, with ketchup or barbecue sauce. Makes 2 dozen buns.
Beef and bean chili
This recipe has both cubed and ground beef.
3/4 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/4 cup crushed garlic cloves (about 10 large ones)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper, or to taste
1 pound dried, red kidney beans
1 can (28-oz.) crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can (8-oz.) tomato sauce
3 cups chicken broth (or beef broth)
Suggested toppings: shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, fresh jalapeno pepper slices, radish slices, chopped red or green onions, chopped avocado, sour cream
1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown beef in hot oil. Stir occasionally and cook for about 6 minutes or until the meat is well crumbled and no longer pink. Transfer browned beef to a 6-quart slow cooker. Add stew meat cubes to skillet, and saute over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes or until the meat is nicely browned on all sides. Add to slow cooker.
2. Add onion, crushed garlic, kosher salt, cumin, chili powder, ground red pepper, kidney beans, canned tomatoes and tomato sauce and mix well. Stir in broth, cover and cook on HIGH for 8 hours or until the kidney beans are tender. Served with your choice of toppings. Makes 4 quarts.