Thursday, January 31, 2008

Super Bowl Recipes for People Who Actually Get to Watch the Big Game

Okay, Dave and I are probably some of the only Americans who won’t be watching the Super Bowl on Sunday. Why? Because we don’t have TV. Well, actually that’s not technically accurate. We have a mammoth flat screen TV ostensibly perched in the living room. It was a hand-me-down from my parents and the fact is, I'm far too cheap to pay for the digital cable it requires to produce a picture. I didn’t even like paying $15 a month for basic cable. But we do use that big, old TV for watching DVDs. Honestly, we usually don’t miss surfing channels on the boob tube. However, not being able to watch the Super Bowl in our own living room does feel a little strange and a bit un-American. Not that I care much about football much to the chagrin of my sports-loving family. Here’s another secret: I graduated from the University of Georgia where people bleed red and black and plan their weddings, children’s births and complete lives around college football season. Then there’s me. I didn’t watch a single game last year. I wear my UGA shirt to the gym and people might say something like, “How about ‘dem Dawgs?” I smile and say, “Go Dawgs!” because I feel like I should. When I was at UGA, I went to the games (I'd have felt like a total loser if I didn't show a small measure of team spirit), but I'd often leave early (whether they were winning or not). I just never could get in to football.

Ah, but I digress. Even though we won’t be watching the Giants and the Patriots clash on the playing field (see? I'm not a completely hopeless cause. I at least know who's playing on Sunday), I do enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes, and Dave and I both love tapas-like dishes. I decided to share a few good eats for those of you who will be watching the big game. So, my friends, dish out some good stuff and let me know who wins the Super Bowl, will you? And don’t forget to tell me about all those clever commercials. I’ll probably be curled up with a good book or perhaps more realistically, entwined with a “I-can’t-go-to-sleep-without-Mommy” little girl.

Edamame Dip
Dips are always a hit at Super Bowl parties (or other shindigs such as “We-can’t-watch-the-Super-Bowl-because-Mommy’s-Too-Cheap-But-We’re-Still-Going-to-Have-Fun” gatherings). This is a super-healthy (edamame and cannellini beans are rich in protein and fiber) dip and even my preschooler likes it. I adapted it from a Cooking Light recipe.

1 1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 T. olive oil
1 T. of plain yogurt
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 16-ounce cannellini beans (other white beans work, too)

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately or cover and chill. Good dippers include toasted pita triangles (cut pita bread into triangles and toast for about 10 minutes at 375º); toasted tortillas (use cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes from a flour tortilla for the kiddos and bake 10-12 minutes at 350º); or even pretzels.

Pinwheel Sandwiches
3 cups cooked wild rice
1 8-ounce package light cream cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Dijon-mustard
2-3 drops hot pepper sauce
3 12-inch soft flour tortillas
2 1/2 ounce thinly sliced roasted turkey
9 spinach leaves

Combine wild rice, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic powder, mustard and pepper sauce. Spread evenly over tortillas, leaving 1/2-inch border on one side of each tortilla. Place single layer of turkey over rice and cheese mixture. Top with layer of spinach. Roll each tortilla tightly toward 1/2-inch border. Moisten border of tortilla with water. Press to seal. Tightly wrap in plastic seal and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Cut into 1-inch slices.

Polenta Pizza
Another hit with the kids!
Tube of precooked, plain polenta
Pizza sauce
Shredded mozzarella

Cut polenta into 1/2-inch slices. Top each polenta slice with 1/2 tsp. of pizza sauce. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over sauce. Place on a cookie sheet lined with tinfoil. Bake at 375º until cheese melts, about 10 minutes.

Spinach Hummus
1 10-ounce can of chickpeas, drained
2 T. turmeric powder
1 T. curry powder
1/2-cup spinach leaves
4-5 garlic cloves, crushed
2 sprigs of thyme
1/4-cup extra virgin olive oil
2 T. tahini
1/2-cup lime juice
1/4 cup lemon juice

Cook chickpeas with the turmeric and curry powder on a skillet over medium heat until golden brown, stirring frequently. Set aside. Using same skillet, sauté spinach, garlic, thyme and olive oil. Drain excess oil. Puree chickpeas and tahini in a food processor or blender, gradually adding spinach and juices. Mix until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Delicious dippers include raw veggies. Sliced bell peppers are especially tasty and cucumbers work, too. Also, you can never go wrong scooping up hummus with toasted pita triangles. As Rachael Ray would say, "Delish!"

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