For Everything There is a Season

Bowl Season is a peculiar expression that always makes me think of hurricane season. To my great surprise, this is an analogy that works pretty well. There are Super Bowl parties that are like storms that blow themselves out before they even arrive, leaving everyone sitting in the shelters wondering why they didn’t just stay home. Others start off kind of quietly, quickly blow out of control and leave the hosts blinking at the devastation, wondering if they will be able to pull off something this successful ever again as long as they live.

What can you do to make your Super Bowl party more than just a tropical breeze? You can’t really control the quality of the game or the commercials but you can make darn sure the food is sublime. Members of the Mortgage Grapevine, our sometimes on topic discussion group, submitted the following recipes.

Two stage Wings:

Submitted by Chez Spittle

Stage One:

Marinade 2 lbs of cut wings overnight in 1 12 oz bottle of hot sauce and 1/2 cup of vinegar.

Stage Two:

Ingredients:

12 ounces of hot sauce

1/2 to 1 stick of butter – unsalted

2 cloves of garlic chopped fine or 2 tbsp garlic powder

2 tsp of paprika

2 tbsp of dry ranch dressing mix

2 tbsp basil

1 tbsp of Old Bay

1/4 cup of vinegar

2 tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce

1 cup of ketchup

Melt the butter in the hot sauce. Add the above ingredients and slowly simmer on low in a covered saucepan. Remove wings from marinade and put in a baking dish lightly covering with your sauce mixture.

Cook at 375 ° until done to satisfaction, turning every 10 to 15 minutes. When turning, baste in sauce with ingredients above. When baking, it is best to use wooden skewers that will allow the chicken to hang above the grease drippings thereby avoiding burning and allowing for even cooking. The wings will turn on the skewers so the heaviest side is down and some baking dishes are not really deep enough to keep the chicken out of the grease. So you can use two skewers per wing, which will immobilize the wing and keep it from this sort of sneaky behavior.

Keep in mind the brand of hot sauce you are using will affect your outcome. Some reduce down quickly from heat and tend to be excessively salty. Franks is a good example of this. If you use Franks then you should add some water and extra vinegar in the initial stages when melting the butter. I personally use Texas Pete because of this reason alone. Now if your brother-in-law turns you onto some hot sauce he bought in Mexico you should be wary. Although pepper sauces tend to lose their sting when heated, some of the more boutique sauces are so hot, nothing will stop them. Some Habanero sauces are a good example of this. If you use a basic sauce with a mild hot sauce to start you can always turn up the heat by adding a diced Habanero or some other spicy pepper to the simmered sauce stage. The Habanero adds a sweet taste and the kick it gives will be relative to the amount of seeds you allow into the sauce as well as how long you simmer the pepper in the sauce. You can consider grilling or using a water smoker and wood chips for some variations of flavoring. With these methods you will use less sauce as it should be applied during the last ½ hour of cooking(to taste) to achieve the same kick.

Sweet and Sour Meat Balls

Submitted by Old Hand

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. dry mustard

2 lb. ground beef

1 c. bread crumbs

2 eggs

3/4 c. milk

1 tsp. instant minced onions

1 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Pepper

2 bottles chili sauce

3/4 c. grape jelly

Mix together all meatball ingredients. Form into bite-size meatballs. Broil in hot oven (400 degrees) until done. Drain. Mix chili sauce and grape jelly together, place in crock-pot with meatballs for 2 hours.

Vegetable Tray

This is a celebration of man’s baser instincts. Why would you want to serve vegetables? Give in and be a carnivore for a day. If you feel you must provide some carrot sticks why not just cut out a picture from a food magazine and tape it up? Trust me, nobody will notice the difference.

We’re looking for feedback here at Quality Time. We’re going to start letters to the editor page but in order to do that correctly we really should have some letters. Who do you think is going to win the Super Bowl? Do you dig the Patriots or the Eagles? How did your party go? Did anyone actually burst into flames from eating Chez Spittle’s wings? Then write in to feedback@qualitytimeweekly.com and let me know all about it and I’ll publish the most interesting responses.