Cook's Corner: Menu for game day given

Published 4:58 am Wednesday, January 31, 2007

By Staff
The countdown is on and there are only five days, counting today, to get ready for the big game on Sunday. Even if you're a woman who doesn't take a lot of pleasure in watching football games, you still have to have some sort of enthusiasm for such a big game.
I don't care that much for professional football. The only teams I like are the ones with interesting names like Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the New England Patriots. I don't know what the records are for either of those teams, but I like the sound of their names.
I guess that's kind of like picking a horse or dog at a race just because their name sounds cute or interesting. But, I digress.
The whole point of this week's column is to give you some ideas on dishes you could prepare for the big game day on Sunday.
Chances are you'll have a few folks at your house to watch the game, even if it's just members of your immediate family. If that is the case, you probably will need to have some food around to keep them satisfied for the afternoon.
The recipes you'll find here this week would make a great buffet for a few people or even for a large crowd. Simply multiply the recipe if you plan to have more than four people at your house.
For an appetizer, you may want to try a dip or at least some kind of spread that can be served with crackers or chips. Make it hearty to keep hungry mouths satisfied.
Seven-Layer Dip
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1 large tomato, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch chopped green onions
1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
In a medium bowl, blend the taco seasoning mix and refried beans. Spread the mixture onto a large serving platter. Mix the sour cream and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Spread over the refried beans. Top the layers with salsa. Place a layer of tomato, green bell pepper, green onions and lettuce over the salsa, and top with Cheddar cheese. Garnish with black olives.
You'll need some sort of main dish for the party. It could be burgers, sandwiches or some type of soup.
Since the weather may be a little cool for the game, you may want to serve some soup with your sandwiches.
A good idea for a sandwich is to take packaged cold-cuts and serve rolled inside flour tortillas. If you spread mayo or other dressings on the tortilla and layer on meat and lettuce before rolling them up, you'll find they stay together well. Tortillas don't dry out as quickly as regular sandwich bread, so making the rolled sandwiches ahead of time is okay.
Now, for a soup to go with the sandwiches. Since I've given you a recipe that contains refried beans, I'm thinking you may not want to serve chili. Seriously, too many beans served to a crowd of folks who will spend several hours inside a house on a cold day is not a good idea. This next recipe is a good alternative to chili or potato soup. This one holds up well in a crock pot for lengthy serving times.
Cheesy Corn Chowder
One-fourth cup butter
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
One-half cup chopped onions
1 (14.75 ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn
A half red bell pepper, diced
A half green bell pepper, minced
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
One-half cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 tbsp. dry sherry (or other wine)
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
One-half tsp. dried parsley
Melt butter slowly. Add onions and saute 3 minutes. Add flour, salt, pepper, sherry, cayenne, and parsley, and mix thoroughly. Add milk and cook until thick, raising heat if necessary. Add cans of corn, peppers, grated cheese. Let simmer on low for at least an hour.
Now for some dessert. It probably is a good idea to serve some kind of bar cookie like brownies or something along those lines. I found a really good recipe for a bar cookie that won't make a big mess and one batch can make a lot of goodies for a bunch of folks.
Peanut Butter Bars
1 stick softened butter
One-half cup granulated sugar
One-half cup light brown sugar
1 egg
One-third cup creamy peanut butter
One-half tsp. baking soda
One-fourth tsp. salt
1 cup plain flour
One-half tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 (16 0z.) container chocolate frosting
2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 15x10x1 jellyroll pan. Beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add egg and beat well. Add peanut butter and beat until incorporated. Sift together baking soda, salt and flour in another bowl. Stir into creamed mixture; add vanilla and stir in oats. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool briefly, then cover with chocolate icing mixed with peanut butter. Cut into finger length bars. Makes about 24 bars.
I hope that you all have a good time at your Super Bowl party, or any other gathering you may happen to be a part of. Good food and good friends go really well together.
Remember, if you have a tip, recipe or a good kitchen idea you'd like to share with us, please give me a call. You can call the office at 867-4876 or email me at, or you can drop by the office.
Until next week, Happy Cooking!

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