The true star of any sports gathering is the food, so I asked some of the Vann’s writers to share what they’ll be preparing for during game time. While I couldn’t quite convince anyone to bring in samples of their dishes for me to test (curses, foiled again), they did acquiesce to at least sharing the recipes.First up, a delicious cheeseball, best served on a pretzel cracker.
1 package (8 ounces) softened cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled blue cheese
10 slices bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled, divided
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans, divided
1/4 cup finely minced green onions (white parts only)
1 jar (2 ounces) diced pimento, drained
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1.5 boxes of pretzel-style crackers.
Makes up to 24 servings
1. Beat cream cheese and milk in large bowl with electric mixer at low speed until blended.
2. Add cheeses, beat at medium speed until well mixed. Add half of bacon, half of pecans, green onions and pimiento.
3. Beat the mixture at medium speed until it’s well mixed. Add half of the bacon, half of the pecans, green onions, and the pimiento, then beat them at medium speed until well mixed.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Transfer half the mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape into a ball and wrap tightly. Repeat with the remaining half of the mixture.
6. Combine the remaining bacon, pecans, parsley, and poppy seeds in a pie plate. Remove the plastic wrap from the chilled cheese balls. Roll them in the bacon mixture until well coated.
7. Wrap each ball tightly in plastic wrap; refigerate until ready to serve, up to 24 hours.
Tired of reaching for a napkin everytime you go for a wing? Here’s a favorite dry rub chicken wing recipe that has been described as having a “sweet and southern tang, without any mess.”
4lbs. of chicken drumsticks
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablesppon paprika
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1. Place chicken in a large plastic bag, combine spices in a large bowl. Mix each piece of chicken with the spice rub in the bag, making sure to coat each piece thoroughly.
2. Cook chicken at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Last (but certainly not least) here’s a classic meatball recipe to have ready during the game. Just be careful when you mix toothpicks with touchdowns. I’ve also been told this one can actually taste even better the next day, so I recommend overmaking and looking into some good storage options.
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. italian sausage
1 cup of cracker crumbs or panko bread crumbs
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
Creates 12, 1″ meatballs
1. Preheat your oven to 350-degrees
2. Combine The Meat ingredients in a bowl and mix well (extra tip: cold hands make for better results)
3. Shape into 1″ balls and place them onto two non-stick baking sheets
4. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the meatballs brown
5. While the meatballs brown, place The Sauce ingredients into a slow cooker and mix well. Cover the mixture, and cook it on high until it’s hot.
6. Once the meatballs are brown, transfer them to the slow cooker and carefully coat them with the sauce.
7. Let them sit at low and cook for two hours.
8. Plate with toothpicks, or keep them on hand to let people serve themselves.
Of course, game time is only part of this edible playbook. Stay tuned for ideas for a more filling half time food set. In the meantime, share your favorite finger food with us in the comments.