Super Bowl Eats

images-3Thanksgiving has become the holiday Americans of all backgrounds celebrate together. Yet the football event called the Super Bowl has also become no less observed and venerated on TV by millions of Americans.

It will be interesting to see if the viewing public continues to follow the sport as we have up till now with the release of the film Concussion, starring Will Smith. The film documents the risks that athletes of all ages can suffer from sport induced head injuries called CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Do you think the film, Concussion, will alter the popularity of American football? I doubt it but I do hear many friends and colleagues talking about the film and the realities of sports injuries more than at any time in the past. I must admit I worry about our youth injuring themselves playing a game that means so much to so many without more protective helmets. My guess is that it will take some time to change our TV watching habits or to give up the food we enjoy eating during the game. For the Super Bowl is more than just a game.
It’s significance is profound on Wall Street, and on on Madison Avenue, for the broadcasting industry, and for the athletes and owners who benefit. Wagering on the game is also very important to many fans. But perhaps the food industry revels in Super Bowl business more than any other. At the very least food and its importance rises to great heights during the Super Bowl. In fact it may be that food becomes even more important than the game itself to woman and children who experience the game very differently than men.

Further, it’s worth noting that the public places much importance on halftime entertainment; and, watching the ads that appear during the game is no less important to many. In the meantime, let’s join the crowd for one day of the year. Let’s dive into the joy of watching an American pastime while we immerse ourselves in the many treats we enjoy during the game.

Healthy Super Bowl Appetizers
Vietnamese Chicken Wings, Tortilla Soup and Spicy Grilled Shrimp are three of my favorite foods to munch on during the game The key is to make these treats in a healthy way so we can overeat – if necessary – yell our hearts out for our favorite team, and our favorite athlete, and not get sick along the way.
Healthy Super Bowl Appetizers

Appetizer #1
Vietnamese Chicken Wings
Serves 4-656465

3 pounds chicken wings, split at the joint, tips removed
2 tablespoons diced garlic
¼ cup chopped shallots
¼ cup diced fresh ginger
¼ cup honey
2-3 tsp sriracha hot sauce, to taste
3 tablespoons chopped scallion whites
½ cup roughly chopped lemongrass bottoms
3 tbsp light brown sugar, packed
⅓ cup fish sauce
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
3 tbsp peanut oil
Kosher salt
¼ cup dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1- Rinse the wings under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside in a large bowl while you prepare the marinade. Combine the garlic, shallots, ginger, scallions,sriracha, lemongrass, honey, brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and peanut oil in a food processor and process until smooth.

2- Pour the marinade and the chicken wings into a large resealable plastic bag, seal carefully, and shake vigorously. Refrigerate 1-2 hours.
3- Preheat a grill or broiler to medium. Remove the wings from the marinade using tongs; reserve the marinade to brush the wings while they cook. Place the wings on the grill, season with 1 teaspoon salt and cook, turning every few minutes and basting with the marinade for the first 18 or so minutes. Continue to grill the wings 8 to 10 more minutes until cooked through.
4- Place the wings on a serving platter, garnish with cilantro and peanuts, and serve. So-oo good!

Appetizer #2
WU0415H_chicken-tortilla-soup-recipe_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscapeTortilla Soup
( Adapted from the vegetarian cookbook,
Thug Kitchen, Rodale Inc.)
Serves 4-6
1 large white onion, large dice
1 medium carrot, large dice
1 green bell pepper, large dice
1 jalapeno, removing pulp and seeds then dice
4 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 tsp each cumin, dried oregano, & chili powder
1 pinch of salt
2 grinds of fresh black pepper
1 tsp cayenne chile pepper
1 can plum tomatoes (14.5 oz), pureed

3 tbsp tomato paste
5 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp lime juice
6 corn tortillas, lightly toasted on both sides, cut into 1 inch wide strips
1 15 oz can of chickpeas

1- Lightly Saute the onion and garlic with the oil in a large soup pot for 2 minutes. Add the diced bell pepper and carrot and continue to saute for 3 more minutes. Add the jalapeno, spices, salt and cook for another 30 seconds. Then add the diced tomato and tomato paste for 3 more minutes and mix together. Next add the vegetarian broth for 5 more minutes till all comes to a simmer.
2- Now add the lime juice, the black pepper and cayenne pepper and the tortilla strips and continue stirring until the strips get nice and soft — about 10 minutes.
3- Turn off the heat and insert your immersion blender into the broth until everything is smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, pour everything in batches into your blender and cover. Keep your hand on top of a kitchen towel on top of the cover of the blender so nothing splatters out onto you .
4- When smooth, taste your soup and add whatever you think it needs- like another grind of black pepper, a pinch of more salt and cayenne pepper, and taste again.
5- Add the following garnishes into each bowl: a tbsp of chickpeas, chunks of sliced avocado, and some cilantro. Serve and enjoy!
6- Or, enable guests to help themselves by heating a bowl of broth with a sterno container or an electric plate with garnishes on the side.


Appetizer #3
51552Spicy Grilled Shrimp                                         Serves 4-6

3 lbs of large uncooked Shrimp, (25-30 shrimp per lb) removing the shells and the heads
½ cup canola oil
1 tsp each: annatto, cayenne, chile powder, coriander, garlic powder, cayenne, cumin, sweet paprika. Or, 3 tbsp Goya’s Seasoning Packets                                                                                                                                        4 tbsp honey
20 Skewers
3 lemons and 3 limes, each cut into 8 wedges

1-Combine all the spices and the oil in a large bowl and set aside. 2- Soak 20 skewers in water for 20 minutes. Remove the shells and heads from the shrimp. Double check that all shells have been removed. Then, gently cut each shrimp down the middle like you would to butterfly your shrimp. Cut about 1/4 inch deep from top to bottom and remove the black or slightly grey vein you will see by rubbing your knife across a paper towel.
3- Thread 4-5 of the shrimp onto each skewer, piercing each shrimp near the head and tail.
4- Place the skewers on 1-2 sheet trays, and pour the sauce over the shrimp. Cover and allow to marinate at least 1 hour in the fridge.
5- Preheat an outdoor grill at medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate and place the skewers on top. Or, place the skewers of shrimp under your broiler.
6- Turn the skewers frequently until nicely browned on all sides and the meat is no longer pink in the center— approximately 1 ½ to 2 minutes per side. Remove one skewer after 1 1/2 minutes and test for doneness.
7-Drizzle honey over all shrimp                                                                                   8- Remove all skewers and place on a serving platter with wedges of lime and lemon on the sides. Enjoy yourselves and the game.


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