If you can’t be among the 100,000 fans at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday, February 6, maybe you'll be watching (or not watching!) Super Bowl XLV with a few friends at home. With a big-screen TV and a little planning, it’s almost better than being there.
To many, it’s just not Game Day without chips and the ubiquitous onion dip. But the Super Bowl is an event that calls for more than a bag of chips and a six-pack. Get the afternoon started with some great snacks—maybe some hummus or pimento cheese. Then right around halftime, bring on the real food—dishes that are easy to serve and easy to eat while watching the game.
Hearty soups, stews and casseroles are perfect foods for the game, and chili – with beans or without, beef or pork, ground meat or chunks, red or green – is a classic. Set up a chili bar where guests can choose their favorite garnishes. Offer guacamole or diced avocado, sour cream, shredded Cheddar and Jack cheese, sliced black olives, diced onion, sliced green onion, shredded cabbage or iceberg lettuce, cilantro, lime wedges and thinly sliced radishes.
For dessert, this quick and easy feeds-a-crowd chocolate cake that is served right from the pan is perfect for any large casual party. And here is my Won’t-Even-Miss-the-Meat Chili, a recipe I developed years ago when I was a vegetarian. It was the one dish I could count on to satisfy even the most carnivorous of my friends, who were not expecting to come away from the meal saying “Wow! I didn’t even miss the meat!” So ... tell me how you feel about chili and about football!
(Makes twelve 1 1/2-cup servings)
2 pounds dry red kidney beans
10 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
1 cup chopped celery (2 large stalks)
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (1 large)
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (soy sauce if you're vegetarian)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (to start!)
1 29-ounce can diced tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted)
2 During last 45 minutes, make sauce. In large skillet or 3-quart saucepan, heat oil and cook onion, celery and green pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and seasonings, and cook for about 10 minutes to "brown" the tomato paste and toast the spices (mixture will be very thick). Add diced tomatoes. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. If the beans aren't tender by the time the sauce has cooked 30 minutes, turn the heat off under the sauce, cover and let stand until beans are done.
3 Add sauce to beans. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the chili is the consistency you like. Taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle into bowls and serve, offering assortment of garnishes. Can be made a day or more ahead--it just gets better!
*I don't have one myself, but I know the ideal pan for foods like this would be the All-Clad Stainless 7-Quart Stockpot with Pasta Insert. I made these gorgeous fettuccine-like shreds of cheese with my new Microplane Professional Extra Coarse Grater!