Especially for the avid home chef, the Super Bowl offers the opportunity to make all those awesome crowd pleasers that are strictly off limits during the rest of the year, and for obvious reasons. These calorie-laden goodies are so fully packed with calories that it’s a wonder why they can weigh so little, as well as take such little effort to pop into the mouth and swallow. It’s that time again, and that means time to “get your game on” with savory and sweet fare to make the day complete. The following productions will guarantee that you’ll be left with (or taking home) an empty container, regardless of which team wins.

Swedish Meatballs

  • Meatballs: Actually, any kind of meatballs you like is fine here, especially as they’ll get most of their flavoring from the sauce. Using your standard recipe for meatloaf, just make sure the non-beef or pork ingredients are finely chopped, and add a panade, which is the binding agent for the meatballs. Whisk together eggs and cream, and then add bread. Your meat can be one or a combo of ground beef, pork or turkey. For 2 lbs. of ground meat, you’ll use 2 large eggs, ½   cup heavy cream and 1½ cups white bread, cubed.  Add flavorings to taste, including garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. A touch of allspice is fine. You can add minced bell peppers and onions too. For a spicier meatball, substitute Jalapenos for bell peppers. To all of this, add 2 teaspoons baking powder. If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer or similar, you can mix this all with the bread paddle attachment for a smoother meatball consistency. Then, a real timesaver that does not make a difference, once the meatballs are swimming in the sauce–roll mixture into 1 ½ “ balls and place upon a wire rack above an aluminum covered baking pan (if you have one,) or directly on a lightly greased baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. This no-fry method is great for making a quantity of meatballs, but you can always fry them if you prefer.
  • Sauce: While the meatballs are cooking, in a saucepan melt 2 T. butter, whisking in 2 T all purpose flour. When blended, add 3 cups chicken broth and begin stirring/whisking continually until thickened. Now add 2 T. brown sugar, ¼ t. pepper and 1 t. lemon juice or vinegar. Continue whisking, while adding 1 cup heavy cream and 1 ½ T. soy sauce. Total sauce cooking time: 10 min.

Bacon-Wrapped Anything
Practically anything wrapped with bacon will be a crowd pleaser, and the list of potential candidates is great, with pineapple chunks, scallops, shrimp, dates and crackers individually wrapped with bacon and baked. Here’s one you may not have tried: bacon wrapped tater tots!  This sure to win treat will disappear immediately!  Preset oven to 425 deg. F. Begin by soaking 45-50 wooden toothpicks in cold water and set aside. Take bag of frozen Tater Tots (around 40,) and a pound of bacon, with strips cut lengthwise in half, making a total of about 40, four-inch long strips. For each “tot,” lay a 4” strip of bacon flat placing a tater tot at one end. Roll up together, leaving an overlap of bacon. Pierce with toothpick (water-soaked, to prevent burning in oven,) and place bacon wrapped tot on ungreased baking sheet. Bake until bacon is done, or about 15-20 minutes. Try this bacon trick with anything you think would pair well, being baked. Serve on platter, with toothpicks still intact. Ketchup, optional.