So I don’t know if you guys have heard, but there’s this thing called the Super Bowl on Sunday. And if you’re like me, you’ll want to be able to have some options to be able to eat like a slob during the big game, and you’ll want to have many different types of food because you’ll probably be hosting people for four-plus hours.
CHILI DOGS: Nothing is better, in my humble opinion, than a chili dog with a football game. Pick up a pack or two of Hebrew Nationals (which you can find in almost any DC-area grocery store and many convenience stores) and make some chili (I usually double that recipe depending on how many people I’m expecting, and the only change I make is to do two pounds ground beef per recipe. This stuff freezes really well). Combine it with pareve buns (most places will also have a pareve option; they’re not too hard to find) and some Dijon, white and/or green onions, pareve cheese, pareve sour cream, and, if you’re adventurous, some jalapeño peppers, and you’ve got the ultimate Super Bowl entrée. Trader Joe’s carries kosher beef, but it might be harder to locate the cheese and sour cream (TJ’s is still probably your best option for that, unless you can get to Moti’s or Shalom’s).
What you’ll need for two recipes of chili: 2 packs Hebrew National hot dogs; 3 packs pareve buns (buns come in 6-packs; Hebie Nats come in 7 packs); 1 bottle Dijon mustard; 1 white onion, diced; 1 bunch green onions, chopped; 2 packs pareve shredded cheese; 1 thing pareve sour cream; 3 or 4 hot peppers; 4 pounds ground beef; 2 more large white onions; 2 green peppers; chili powder; 2 cloves garlic; 2 more jalapeños (you can change this number depending on how mild or spicy you want it); 2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes; 2 8-oz cans tomato sauce; cumin; marjoram; thyme; 2 15-oz cans chili beans (my personal preference).
Prep time: 1.5-2 hours (or more; the longer the chili is simmering, the better)
Yield: Roughly 15 servings. The recipe says each batch makes 6 servings, but remember, you’re doubling the ground beef, and people are eating this on their hot dogs, so they’ll be taking less. You may want to get more hot dogs because I can see this going as far as 20 chili dogs. Again, this chili freezes incredibly well, so you’ll have lunch for a few days after.
WINGS: You can never go wrong with wings. And there are dozens of kosher wings recipes out there; most of them use a combination of hot sauce, margarine, soy sauce, and various other ingredients. Just Google “kosher wings recipe” and take your pick.
What you’ll need: Depends on the recipe you choose. A pound of wings is roughly 3 servings so you can use that as your guide. The pareve sour cream will also go great here, and most people like to have celery with their wings. You’ll want a good dipping sauce, too; most recipes come with one.
Prep time: Most recipes take between 1 and 1.5 hours including cook time.
ALCOHOL! Every sports-themed party needs some form of alcohol.
Beer: Unless all of your guests have gluten allergies, you’ll definitely want at least 1 six pack. For Seattle fans, you’ll want to go with a Redhook or Pike beer. My favorites from them are the Redhook ESB and the Pike XXXXX Stout. Denver people: the best Denver brewery is New Belgium. Fat Tire is a good go-to, but their Rewind IPA is good too. If you’re just looking for a good beer (I pretty much refuse to drink anything that comes in a can, other than Guinness, Blue Moon, and Goose Island 312), there are many options. The aforementioned 312 is a good wheat beer. Stella Artois is nice and cheap. Sam Adams Boston Lager is probably my favorite low-priced beer. Magic Hat makes a good variety of beers, and I haven’t tasted one of theirs that I haven’t liked. Finally, Dogfish Head (which originated in Rehoboth!) has some of the best IPAs I’ve ever tasted. If you want to treat yo’self, and if you can find it anywhere (they’re ridiculously hard to find), get some of their 120-minute IPA. I aged one of them for a year and a half and it was one of the most intensely alcohol-heavy things I’ve ever consumed.
Don’t get Budweiser, Miller, or pretty much anything you’ll see a commercial for. You’re better than that.
Wine: I’ll be honest, I know next to nothing about wine. A wise woman once told me that you should follow 3 criteria in looking for a wine: cool label, cool name, and good price. That said, wine isn’t exactly a Super Bowl-appropriate drink.
Hard Liquor: Jolly Rancher vodka: You can’t really go wrong with whiskey (as long as it’s decent whiskey), or with a well-stocked cocktail bar. But, if you want to impress your guests, you can make some team-themed Jolly Rancher vodka. While some people will tell you Skittles vodka is better, I have made both, and once the Skittles dissolve into the vodka, they leave a really gross residue that you then have to get out using coffee filters. It’s not fun. Jolly Ranchers, however, will dissolve fully into the vodka. For Seattle people, you can do blue and green; Denver can do blue and…well, there aren’t really orange Jolly Ranchers, unless maybe you buy the citrus kind. Just sort the candy by flavor, and count out 2 Jolly Ranchers per ounce of vodka. Then unwrap the candies, put them in the vodka bottle, seal the bottle, and lay it on its side, turning/shaking the bottle every few hours, until the candy is fully dissolved. I don’t remember exactly how long it takes, but if you leave them overnight you’ll be set.
If you’re not rooting for any team in particular, just make every flavor. It looks super pretty—and they all mix well with Sprite or 7-Up.
What you’ll need: It depends on how much you want to make. A shot is 1.5 ounces, so factor that in. I think that one handle of vodka, which contains about 60 ounces, is more than enough for a party depending on how many people you have. That means 120 Jolly Ranchers. Google says that 1 pound of Jolly Ranchers is about 70 pieces. There are 5 normal flavors (Watermelon, Cherry, Blueberry, Green Apple, and Grape). So, if you want to do all 5 flavors, just go with a 2 pound bag. Otherwise, if you want 2 particular flavors, you’ll need to get the 5-pounder.
SNACKS: Here’s the fun part. No matter how much meat you have, you’ll want at least 5 different snack options. If you’re hosting a kosher party, my advice would be to tell people who don’t keep kosher either to just bring beer or give them a specific item to bring; saying “bring something pareve” doesn’t always result in success. The options are pretty much endless, but I’ve listed my favorites.
Nuts: Can’t go wrong here. Salted, honey roasted, mixed, whatever—people will eat them. Put them in a few different bowls around the room and chow down.
Chips and dip: This is where finding something pareve can be tricky. Most salsa, hummus, and guacamole is pareve but you’ll want to check the packaging. Be very careful with the chips you get, because a shockingly high number of them have dairy.
Pretzels and mustard: SNYDER’S ARE DAIRY. Get something pareve. But pretzels are a good munchie, and they go incredibly well with mustard. Soft pretzels are also amazing if you can find a good recipe.
Seven-Layer Dip: I was able to find exactly 1 pareve recipe. If you look harder you can probably find more though.
Nachos: While nachos are super amazing and delicious, they might not be a good option for a big party because they’re kind of messy, both to make and eat, and people will eat a lot. But if you do go for it, get some pareve cheese and sour cream, and heap on the beans, guac, onions, jalapeños, and whatever else you want on there. And, once again, make sure to check the tortilla chips to make sure they’re pareve.
Fries: Just get a bag of frozen fries and stick them in the oven. Nice and easy.
Candy: Putting out a bowl of candy is a good way to represent your favorite team by only using their colors. Skittles are one example of how you can do this (although you may not want to have them depending on the kashrut levels of you and your guests).
DESSERT: So this can be lumped in with the snacks category, but there are always more possibilities.
Brownies: Just get boxed brownies that don’t call for any dairy ingredients. You can sometimes find a decent pareve frosting, too.
Cookies: My philosophy on super bowl food is that pre-divided portions are always better; people don’t over-eat and hog all the food if that’s the case. That’s why I recommend brownies and/or cookies over cake.
Sorbet: Despite what I just wrote, there’s an unbelievably amazing pareve sorbet out there that, once you try it, you might not want to share. Ciao Bella’s dark chocolate sorbet is just plain, straight-up awesome. You can find it at Harris Teeter.
In general, a good source for non-dairy stuff is Trader Joe’s.