Saturday, February 23, 2013

Be prepared for next year's Super Bowl!

On January 15, 1967, my brother and dad were among the throngs in the LA Coliseum attending Super Bowl I. A neighbor in good old Whittier was a 3M regional executive and because the Packers were playing Kansas City, he received some free tickets and gave them to our family.

"The most boring game I've ever watched" was my father's assessment, predicting that the Super Bowl would be a short lived diversion at the end of the regular season. Dad wasn't the best prognosticator of popular culture trends, now was he?

Super Bowl I pre-dated the now time-honored tradition of commercials featuring croaking frogs slinging beer, singing cowboys slinging beer, battling beer bottles slinging beer and little kids magically starting a Toyota in order to sling Toyotas. I won't even mention half time wardrobe malfunctions, lip-syncing superstars and reunions of '70's rock bands.

I honestly do not mean to be a cynic. I love all the hype that accompanies this annual gridiron battle as much as the next person. You must admit that some things get a little blown out of proportion. I'm just so glad that Beyonce will be singing live tomorrow.

50's kitchen
This woman does not know how to cook for the Super Bowl. But I love her backsplash.

In 1967, there was no panic about what to serve while watching the game; there were no radio contests for the best (and most caloric) bean dip, or cooking magazines dedicating entire issues to game day menus (which are also highly caloric). In fact, the term "Super Bowl" had not yet been trademarked so any ole merchant could use it in their advertising without risk of running afoul of the law.

To make your Super Bowl Sunday feasting easy and super, try
these cheesy, lightly spicy, crunchy morsels. I ran into a catering client one day who told me she and her friend had tried to back engineer these delights, but theirs failed by comparison to mine. I told her to ask me next time, I'd happily share the recipe. It isn't, after all, top secret like Coca-Cola's! (Tip: they forgot the pepper jack cheese.)

corn cups
Cheesy Corn Pudding Bites

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 48 scoop - shaped tortilla chip - I use Tostitos Scoops
  • Chopped chives or cilantro, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350°. 
In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, pepper jack cheese, egg and corn.
Fill tortilla cups and bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden and bubbly. 
Garnish with cilantro and/or chives. Serve warm from the oven.

I prep at least one baking sheet ahead so I can pop them in the oven when it's time for a refill. These fly off the platter and when I serve them at parties, they are, by far, the most popular appetizer. 

This recipe doubles and triples easily, just buy plenty of Tostitos and be aware that there will be broken scoops in each bag. The cheese mixture can be made ahead, but because it contains raw egg, I do not recommend making more the night before you plan to serve.

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