OK, let’s be honest. Some of us play along with watching the Super Bowl just to see the commercials and the halftime show. We love the tradition and the festivities, but we might not be inspired to hit up Party City for a cartload of football-themed decorations, plates, and cups. Oh- and we also might not want to chow down on junk food for four hours. So, does this mean we should NOT throw a party? Of course not!
Invite your closest friends over for some delicious, healthy foods and witty discussion about best and worst commercials and the exciting halftime entertainment. Since food and gossip are the main priorities, resist the urge to make your living room look like a sports bar. Use your finest glassware and china and allow fresh flowers to add a touch of color. Why? Because that is what Beyoncé would do.
Here are a few creative ideas for the not-obsessed-with-football hostess.
1. Go regional and simple with your beverages! In case you didn’t know, the 2 teams playing in the Super Bowl this year are the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. Find some local beers and ales that are native to these cities to serve at your soiree. A few suggestions?
San Francisco is home to these brews:
21st Amendment Brewery
Almanac Beer Co.
Speakeasy Ales and Lagers
Thirsty Bear Brewing Company
Triple Voodoo Brewing
Southern Pacific Brewing
Pacific Brewing Laboratory
These beers hail from Baltimore:
Union Craft Brewing
Baltimore Washington Beer Works/Raven Beer
Flying Dog Brewery
Full Tilt Brewery
Public Works Ale
Of course, you can’t go wrong with wine if beer is not your drink of choice. Red wine is sort of purple-ish, which is the color of the Ravens’ uniforms, so it all makes perfect sense.
2. Take the regional approach with your food as well! Be sure to select foods to represent both cities!
San Francisco is best known for seafood and sourdough bread. You could certainly interpret this any way you wish: shrimp cocktail, hallowed our sourdough bread loaves filled with seafood dips, or even cioppino, which is an Italian stew that is similar to French bouillabaisse. The seafood stew features ingredients such as mussels, white fish, shrimp, and clams. Crusty sourdough bread is perfect for sopping up the stew’s tomato and white-wine based broth.
Need a recipe? Here is one from Giada De Laurentiis from The Food Network’s website!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 large shallots, chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 5 cups fish stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound manila clams, scrubbed
- 1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
- 1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 1/2 pounds assorted firm-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut or salmon, cut into 2-inch chunks
Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, shallots, and salt and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.
Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer (discard any clams and mussels that do not open). Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
Baltimore is famous for seafood as well! Crab cakes are the obvious choice, but you could certainly mix things up by serving crab cake sliders or sandwiches, or even crab cakes over a crisp Caesar salad. Need a recipe that is light and healthy? Here is an amazing one from Cooking Light magazine.
- Crab cakes:
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 1/2 tablespoons canola-based mayonnaise (such as Spectrum brand) $
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper $
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 large egg $
- 1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 1 pound lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed $
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided $
- 1/4 cup canola-based mayonnaise $
- 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
- 1 1/2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
- 2 teaspoons Creole mustard
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- To prepare crab cakes, combine first 8 ingredients. Add panko and crab, tossing gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
- Fill a 1/3-cup dry measuring cup with crab mixture. Invert onto work surface; gently pat into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Repeat procedure with remaining crab mixture, forming 8 cakes.
- Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 crab cakes to pan; cook 4 minutes or until bottoms are golden. Carefully turn cakes; cook 4 minutes or until bottoms are golden and crab cakes are thoroughly heated. Remove cakes from pan; keep warm. Wipe pan dry with paper towels. Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 4 crab cakes.
- To prepare rémoulade, combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Serve with crab cakes.
3. OK, enough of the football nonsense. The real reason we are watching and throwing a party is to see the fabulous halftime show! Beyoncé is the featured performer and will be reunited with her girls from Destiny’s Child for a few songs. For the Beyoncé portion of our festivities, I offer you Bey-Bey’s own recipe for guacamole (from an interview she gave to USA Today). Serve with some crudites or some Guiltless Gourmet tortilla chips to keep things healthy!
- 2 ripe avocados (make sure they are a bit soft to the touch)
- 1 small onion
- 1 clove garlic (you can use a small amount of crushed garlic)
- 1 small tomato
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Corn chip scoops
1. Peel avocados and remove the pit
2. Smash with a spoon in a large bowl
3. Add onion, garlic and tomato, lime juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix it well.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
5. Fill corn chips scoops with Guacamole and enjoy!
Relax and have a great time, ladies! Super Bowl Sunday is not just about football!