All-Star Gameday Recipes
We are now a month into the new year, and some of us are still going strong with our resolutions. However, right when you start to get into the groove of your new healthy lifestyle, the Big Game looms on the horizon. Nothing derails a New Years’ resolution quite like a multi-table spread with snacks from sea to shining sea. For those sticking to your new diet plan, you may want to skip to one of our other blog posts. Today we will be serving up game-time favorites that are sure to delight. You will be the undisputed champion with these delicious recipes no matter what team wins.
Very reminiscent of pigs in a blanket, personal strombolis are the perfect finger food for those who want a fun alternative to a classic pizza. Our recipe will have some standard pizza toppings, but you can stuff them with almost anything. This is a great dish for those with food allergies or special diets because they can be easily personalized. Avoid spending money on expensive pizzas and delivery services with these homemade crowd-pleasers!
- Your favorite store-bought dough
- String cheese
- Toppings of your choosing ( I used sandwich pepperoni and hard salami)
- Melted butter
- 1 Teaspoon of minced garlic
Directions: Preheat the oven to 425. First things first, we need to roll out the dough. Most store-bought dough rises a good amount in the oven, so the thinner, the better. When it has reached your desired thickness, break out a string cheese to use as a measuring stick. 90 % of the cheese stick needs to fit inside the blanket, so cut according to your cheese size. The dough shape that has worked best for me is to cut it into strips. With that all portioned out, grab whatever toppings you will use and lay them on the end of one of the dough strips. Putting in the cheese last is essential to ensure an ooey-gooey center. With the stick in place, start at the side with all your toppings and begin to roll. Your finished product should look like a taquito. Space them an inch or so apart from each other on a foil-wrapped baking sheet and send them to the oven. Set an initial timer for 15 minutes, but continue to bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is brown. Place the baked beauties on a rack (if you have one) to prevent them from getting soggy while you wait for guests. For some extra flavor, add butter and garlic into a pan. Melt the butter and baste each Stromboli.
The Best Buffalo Chicken Dip
What’s a game day party without a memorable dip? This is the best I have ever had through many years of trial and error. It is the easiest recipe here, but it is the most time-consuming. Don’t be deterred by its long cook time! Nearly all of it happens in a crockpot. It is good to start this the afternoon of the big game to make sure it has long enough to cook. The two keys to this dish are chicken and consistency. They go hand in hand but are crucial nonetheless. It is essential to have the correct amount of chicken to ensure the dip isn’t soupy. I would err on the side of too much rather than too little. Another way to keep the consistency right is not to overdo it. Depending on what type of crowd you are hosting, you may be tempted to double or even triple the recipe. I have had plenty of success doubling, but I tried to triple it on New Year’s Eve, and it was a disaster. Even after 8 hours of cooking, it didn’t thicken, and I had to toss the entire thing. If you are cooking for a very large crowd, I recommend making separate batches.
Ingredients (For one batch)
- 1 8 oz brick of cream cheese
- 1 Cup of Mexican mix shredded cheese
- 1 Cup of Ranch Dressing
- ¾ Cup of Ranch
- ¾ Cup of your favorite buffalo wing sauce
- 4 Cups of shredded cooked chicken
Directions: Really, the only part of this recipe you need to be involved in actively is the cooking of the chicken. I use boneless skinless chicken breasts. Trim the chicken to remove any undesired pieces and then place in a pan over medium heat. Flip every few minutes to ensure the chicken cooks all the way through. There is no need to wait for the skin to a crisp since it will spend most of its time in the crock/instapot, but still make sure it is fully cooked. To shred, use two forks, pull the meat off, and add to the pot. Put in the rest of the ingredients on low heat and cook for 4 hours. Stir every half hour or so to help the consistency and promote even cooking. When the dip is finished cooking, set the pot to “Warm” and allow guests to serve themselves.
Not So Buffalo Wings
While I like spicy foods like the next person, some people can’t handle the heat. For that reason, it is good to have some variety at your get-together. Chicken wings are chicken and will taste good with almost anything. The way they are cooked also produces different flavors. This section will be a double so that you can choose which recipe will best fit your party. First off is a lemon pepper baked recipe that tastes deep-frying without the headache. The alternative is grilled wings with a garlic parmesan sauce. For many years, I scoffed at grilled wings, but they changed my life the moment I tried them. It is nearly impossible to screw up chicken, so consider these your foolproof plays of the day.
Baked Wings with Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- Chicken drums/wings
- 1 Tablespoon of lemon pepper seasoning
- Vegetable oil with basting brush
- ¼ Cup of butter
- ½ of a lemon
Preheat the oven to 425. Once you have removed the chicken from the packaging, please give them a quick rinse/dry and place them on a foil-wrapped baking sheet. If you have a wire rack to put inside the pan, it can help with the cooking, but it isn’t required. Baste the chicken with the vegetable oil and send them to the oven. Brushing is better than tossing because it prevents excess oil. Bake for about an hour. If you aren’t cooking on a rack, rotate the chicken every 15 minutes. While the wings finish, melt the butter in a pan and lightly squeeze the lemon into the butter. Brush the lemon butter on the wings when they come out of the oven and sprinkle the lemon pepper. Send them back into the oven for a few minutes to burn off the extra butter. Squeeze the rest of the lemon over the wings before you serve.
Grilled Garlic Parmesan Wings
- Chicken wings/drums
- 1 Bottle of your favorite garlic parmesan sauce
- ¼ Cup of butter
- A pinch of shredded parmesan cheese
Fire up the grill and lay the chicken on medium-high heat. You want the wings to have a slight char but not too much. The grill will do all the work; flip the chicken every once in a while until cooked through. To compose the dressing, melt the butter in a pan and mix in the sauce. Sprinkle in the shredded cheese when the sauce gets warm. When both the chicken and the sauce are finished, combine them and toss. One batch should be enough for around 15 wings.