There are two sacred days of the year when it is considered permissible for Americans to lounge about, over eat, and watch football. One of those days is Thanksgiving. The other is Super Bowl Sunday.
I’m an avid sports fan, so Super Bowl Sunday is a big deal to me even if I don’t care who wins. But, for you non-football watching readers, there is no doubt that you will attend a party on February 6th for some suds and grub, regardless of your indifference to our country’s greatest sport.
Last year was a big deal for the city of New Orleans, and thus, for my family. I jetted to Chicago for the weekend just to attend my mother’s over the top New Orleans themed fiesta featuring red beans and rice, jambalya, muffelatas, king cakes, and hurricanes. It was so worth the airfare to attend a party that was so well thought out and themed, and not just about your regular chicken wings and guacamole. (oh, and did I mention we won?) I admittedly over ate…and over drank…but I cannot deny that you, my lovely Momma, should be an inspiration to everyone’s Super Bowl Sunday.
I realize that those of us in the 303 are quite bitter about the state of the Broncos this year. But who says you can’t pick a side, root for both, or throw an impartial bash next weekend with some rockin’ food?
Here’s some suggestions for a Green Bay Packers themed Super Bowl party:
1. Appetizer: CHEESE. Duh. This is a no-brainer. You can serve cheese on a tray by itself, which you can buy at your local grocery store. OR if you want to be really true to Wisconsin, you can fry up some cheese curds. You can pick up come curds at St. Killian’s in the Highlands, and use a recipe like this one.
2. Main dish: WISCONSIN CHEESE AND BEER SOUP. This is easy to make ahead and have your guests serve themselves from a crock pot. Many thanks to my awesome boyfriend – yes, he cooks too! – for lending me this recipe to share with you all. Might I add, that his recipes are typed, laminated and filed in a 3 ring binder, and mine are crumpled up pieces of paper shoved into cookbooks or wherever else they’ll fit.
Wisconsin Cheese and Beer Soup
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 tbsp salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup flour
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups lager beer
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 lb grated Wisconsin cheddar cheese
Cook onions, salt, pepper, add bay leaves in the olive oil until the onions are slightly caramelized, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Sprinkle flour over the onions and cook, stirring occassionally, for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in chicken stock and beer. Add thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a medium low and simmer uncovered for one hour.
Add the cheese, a little at a time, stirring until melted after each addition.
Too much cheese? Do something even easier. Brats on the grill. Nothing more Wisconsin than cheese, beers, and brats.
3. Dessert: CHERRY PIE. My family has often vacationed in Door County, WI just north of Green Bay, and let me tell you, they put cherries in everything in the summertime. It’s certainly not summer (although Mother Nature has fooled us in Denver), but pie is always appropriate. The Food Network has 23 cherry pie recipes for you to choose from.
4. Beer: MILLER. Miller Brewing Co is in Milkwaukee, which is not exactly Green Bay, but it’s still Wisconsin. Tons of Miller products to choose from…
LEINENKUGEL. Leine is another good Wisconsin beer that is brewed in Chippewa Falls, WI.
For a Pittsburgh Steelers themed party:
1. Appetizer: PIEROGIES. There’s a heavy Polish influence in Pittsburgh. Pierogies are fried dumplings typically filled with potatoes and cheese. Think of it as an inside out potato skin, or even a Polish pot sticker. Here’s a recipe you can use.
2. Main dish: KIELBASA. Again with the Polish influence in the Steel City. You can buy kielbasa at most supermarkets. You can a) grill it and serve it on a bun with sauerkraut and Heinz chili sauce (Pittsburgh is the home of Heinz) or b) slice it up into 1/2 inch coins and saute it in some Iron City Beer. (Also, with or without the ‘kraut.)
3. Dessert: : KLONDIKE BARS. Pittsburgh is also the home of Klondike. The good news about these frozen treats is that they can be purchased in 100 calorie servings … just in case all of the above just clogged your arteries.
Impartial football fan? Don’t feel like going through the trouble? Super Bowl XLV is in the newly built Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. So you can easily stay true to the Lonestar State and make some Texas Chili or BBQ. Moe’s, Brother’s , and Sam Taylor’s would be happy to cater for you.
Who am I rootin’ for? GO PACK! (PS- Their kicker, Mason Crosby, is a former CU Buff!) And besides, I think 6 Super Bowl rings is plenty for those Steelers.