The big-name holidays may be past but do not think the party’s over. Grown men and women of substance and maturity will need excessive coddling and feeding shortly, as they gather in the annual ritual known as The Bowl.
Super Bowl is around the corner as are the parties and get-togethers the ritual demands. The wise cook gets out the serving bowls, platters, and hotplates as needed, then checks for the requisite supply of finger foods and snacks. Nothing makes a person hungrier than arguing pigskin strategy.
The following three recipes are easy to make, delectable, and a change from the usual wings, chips and onion dip. There’s no guarantee your team will win, but you can bet your guests will enjoy the hearty fare.
Satisfying as a snack or topped with dip or salsa
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can cream-style corn
1 package corn muffin mix
8 oz sour cream
1/2 C butter
Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly coat 2-quart square baking dish with butter. In a large bowl stir together undrained whole and creamed corn, sour cream, butter and egg. Stir in muffin mix until moistened. Pour the mix into the prepared dish. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until the casserole is golden brown.
Cut into desired size squares. Serve warm with butter, cream cheese, honey or jam. Serve at room temperature with dips, salsa or various spreads (such as deviled ham or liverwurst).
CHEDDAR APPLE PIE DIP
Fruit and walnuts, sweet and savory, different and delicious
1/4 C firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 each: red and green apple, finely chopped (about 2 C)
1/2 C walnut pieces, coarsely chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream Cheese, softened
1 1/2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 C sour cream
Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Add apples and walnuts; toss until evenly coated. Set aside. Mix cream cheese and cheddar cheese in medium bowl. Add sour cream; stir until well blended. Spread into 9-inch pie plate; top with apple mixture.
Bake 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm with crackers, toasted bagels or English muffins cut into finger wide strips. Also good with cornbread, above. Makes approximately 32 2-tablespoon servings
TIP: This recipe lends itself to creativity. For ex.: Prepare as directed, substituting fresh pears for 1 or both of the apples. You can also substitute other nuts, such as pecans or almonds or leave them out altogether. Or add raisins or craisins to the dip.
BLACK BEAN SALSA
2 C fresh, halved grape tomatoes OR cherry tomatoes
1 C fresh chopped Bell pepper
fresh, seeded, finely chopped jalapeno pepper – to taste
1/2 C fresh cilantro leaves
1 finely minced clove garlic
1 14-oz can drained, rinsed black beans
1/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 to 1 tsp salt, or to taste
Juice of 1 freshly squeezed lime
1 tsp finely zested lime peel (optional)
Place halved tomatoes and cubed bell peppers in a food processor or blender and pulse briefly, until chunky, not pureed. Add jalapeno pepper, cilantro leaves, minced garlic, lime juice, salt and cumin and pulse, just until mixed. Add half the black beans and pulse briefly. Pour into a medium bowl. Stir in remaining black beans. Serve over cornbread (above) halves, with hearty chips, or spoon on ham or burger sliders. Makes about 1 quart or 6 to 8 servings.