7 ways chefs make their Super Bowl snack tables stand out
After Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest food holiday in the US.
Around the country, hosts are preparing to wow their guests with game-day snack spreads.
Chefs recommend revamping classic dishes and taking inspiration from the teams' hometowns.
The quality and variety of a Super Bowl party's food selection can make or break the event.
"The amount of money that we spend on our food and drink [for Super Bowl Sunday] is in the billions," Daina Falk, author of The Hungry Fan's Gameday Cookbook, told Insider. "Millions of people will host or attend watch parties."
Insider asked chefs how they're planning to impress guests — here are their tips for putting your Super Bowl party over the top.
Get inspired by the teams
Falk recommends taking inspiration from the two teams' hometowns for your Super Bowl Sunday menu.
"What's so exciting about the Super Bowl, and so convenient, is that we know who the teams are for two weeks, so you kind of have two weeks to get ready," she said.
This year, the Kansas City Chiefs will take on the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on February 12.
"We're so lucky this year because Kansas City and Philly both have awesome food," Falk said.
Kansas City is known for its barbecue, particularly its sauce, which is ketchup- and molasses-based. "It's a little stickier, a little gummier, a little sweeter," Falk said. "So literally anything you can rub that sauce on is good to go."
Philadelphia is known for its cheesesteaks, which she said, "are totally doable at home."
If you don't want to make a large batch of sandwiches, you can be inspired by the ingredients and flavors of cheesesteaks instead. Falk recommends making the cheesesteak filling and putting it on tortillas so it's more finger-food friendly.
Don't overlook the classics
Although the teams' hometowns should inspire creativity, you shouldn't sacrifice the classics. Buffalo wings, meatballs, dips, and chili are among the most beloved game-day foods around the US.
"If there is a football game on and there are no Buffalo wings, I feel naked," Falk said, "You've gotta have your Buffalo wings."
But you can use a board to revamp classic dishes
Mitchell Jamra, chef and owner of Chicago restaurant Evette's, which was featured in The New York Times 2022 Restaurant List, suggested presenting dishes on boards to elevate their appearance.
"A board doesn't have to be made of wood or even single level," Jamra told Insider. "It can be a plate, tray, marble, multi-tiered platter which instantly elevates presentation."
For example, you could present a Buffalo-chicken dip using a large plate or wood board.
"Place the bowl with the dip in a corner of the board," he said. "Now, like you would with a typical meat-and-cheese board, start placing dipping items on the board like pita chips, carrots, tortilla chips, green pepper, etc."
"This instantly elevates presentation while also providing guests with options," he added.
Make dishes DIY-friendly
You can DIY just about any classic Super Bowl dish.
"If you're going to do tacos, if you're going to do macaroni and cheese, put out all the toppings and let people make it themselves," Falk said.
Another fun idea is a mashed-potato bar. "Just make the mashed potatoes [and put out] the same toppings you might put on your tacos," she said. Or you could do sliders — "just put the patties out and let people make them themselves."
As well as being fun and customizable, DIY dishes mean you won't spend the whole party in the kitchen.
"Do not get stuck in the kitchen," Falk said. "You're gonna miss the game, you're gonna miss the socializing, you're gonna miss the commercials, you're gonna miss the half-time show — it's RiRi this year, we are not missing RiRi."
Make cocktails in batches in advance
Falk warns against making cocktails one-by-one. "By the time you finish making your first cocktail and give it to your friend, and then you make all the rest, the first person who got the cocktail is going to be back for their second, and you haven't even finished serving," she said.
Instead, consider making cocktails in large quantities beforehand. It also means you'll spend less time in the kitchen during the party.
Have fun with your snack pairings
Jamra suggests experimenting with unusual combinations.
"Pour glasses of champagne and place them on the board surrounded by kettle chips. The pairing of kettle chips and champagne always surprises people," he said.
Revamp healthy options
Paul Kushner, a mixologist and CEO of MyBartender, recommends adding something new and unexpected to your veggie platter.
"In addition to carrots and celery, add some spicy radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, juicy grape tomatoes, and some interesting options like jicama, blanched asparagus, snap peas, and endive leaves," Kushner said.
"A vibrant pink-and-green watermelon radish, rainbow carrots, and purple cauliflower will pop against the typical cucumbers and broccoli," he added.
Of course, a vegetable platter isn't complete without a selection of dips.
"I recommend a bean-based dip, a creamy dip, and something spicy," he said. "You can totally buy these at the store, but they're easy to make too. Buffalo hummus, curried mayo, dill-pickle yogurt dip — the possibilities are endless. The best part is these dips will be awesome with wings and deep-fried foods too."
Read the original article on Insider