This crunchy, flavorful snack is easy to eat when shared by a group, and they can be served right out of a skillet so you won’t miss any of the game. Swap out toppings to your taste, go with all veggies if you like, or spice it up a bit with more red pepper flakes.
Garlic Cream Sauce
1 ½ Tablespoons unsalted butter
½ Tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
½ cups heavy cream
¼ cups 2% milk
1 pinch salt
1 pinch cracked black pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes
¼ cups grated parmesan cheese
Crispy tortilla chips
½ cups garlic cream sauce (recipe above)
¼ cups diced onion
½ cups pepperoni, cut into bite size pieces
½ cups black olives sliced
½ whole diced green bell pepper
1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
First, you want to make the garlic cream sauce. Melt the butter with the olive oil on medium to low heat and then add the minced garlic. Raise the heat to medium, to medium-high and stir in the cream and milk. Continue stirring until it comes to a boil. Add in the salt, pepper, chili flakes and parmesan cheese and stir. The sauce should thicken quickly and once it’s thickened remove from the heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400. I used a cast iron skillet, but you could also use an oven-proof dish. Add your tortilla chips and drizzle the garlic cream sauce over the chips. Top with onions, pepperoni, olives and bell pepper, making sure to layer the toppings evenly.
Top with the Colby Jack cheese and place in the preheated oven to cook until the cheese is melted and the veggies are warmed through, about 7 minutes. Serves 4-6
Crab Avocado Dip
With all the grub you’ll be devouring during the game, you might opt for a lighter starter, and this dip packs in tons of crab flavor while offering a refreshing bite from fresh avocados. Because of the avocados, the dip might not keep in the fridge until the next day, but I don’t think that’ll be a problem once your crowd gets a taste.
2 Hass avocados, halved and pitted
1 pound canned crabmeat (I use the claw meat)
¾ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ cup chopped fresh basil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (leave the seeds in for more heat)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chopped tomato
Tortilla chips or crackers for dipping
Scoop the avocado flesh straight into a serving bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Fold in the crabmeat, sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, basil, garlic, jalapeno, salt and black pepper. Just before serving, gently fold in the tomato. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers. Serves 12-16
Mini Crawfish Pies
I cooked up these Cajun hand pies for the college football matchup between LSU and UF last year, but they are delicious enough for any game day party. I found frozen cooked crawfish tails at my local specialty grocery market. If you can’t find the tasso ham, feel free to substitute for a ham steak, as I did. These guys are packed with flavor and make for perfect hand-held munchies.
1 pound crawfish tails
1/2 cup oil
1 cup onions, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1/4 cup tasso ham, diced
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
salt and cracked pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 packs of refrigerated pie dough sheets
Pre-heat oven to 375. In a saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic and tasso ham. Saute 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add crawfish and saute an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and using a wire whisk, stir constantly until white roux is achieved. Add tomato sauce and slowly add broth, a little at a time, until sauce consistency is achieved. (NOTE: You may not use all of the broth.) Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 30 minutes. Season to taste using salt, pepper and Tabasco. Remove from heat and allow to cool, preferably overnight.
In a small mixing bowl, combine egg, milk and water. Using a wire whisk, stir until all ingredients are well blended. Using the rim of a cup, cut the pie dough into circles. Place about 1 tsp. of filling center of each circle.
Brush the edges of pastry with eggwash and fold over in a crescent shape. Crimp the edges closed with a fork and pierce the top of the pie to create vents for steam to escape during cooking. Brush eggwash over pies and bake until golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. Makes about a dozen mini pies.
These were a huge hit in our house this football season, being as my husband puts Sriracha hot sauce on just about everything (Ha!). The key is to find jumbo shrimp so the bacon has something to hold on to and doesn’t overpower the fresh seafood flavor. Be sure to keep an eye on these puppies while under the broiler because the bacon will burn easily. These taste best straight out of the oven, and trust me; they’ll be gone in no time!
10 pieces thinly sliced bacon
20 extra large (16/20 count) shrimp (about 1 pound)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon Sriracha hot chili sauce (add more for heat)
Juice of half a lemon
sliced green onion (optional for garnish)
Heat oven to 400. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper (one with sides works best).
Add toothpicks to a bowl of warm water and set aside. (This keeps them from burning in the oven.)
Place bacon slices in one layer on the baking sheet. Slide into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until the bacon has rendered some of its fat, is starting to brown on the edges, but is still floppy. Take bacon out of the oven and transfer to paper towels to drain. Discard fat on baking sheet as well.
While the bacon bakes, peel and devein the shrimp but leave the tails on. Season shrimp with salt.
In a small bowl, combine maple syrup and Sriracha sauce.
Once cool to the touch, remove bacon from paper towels then use a brush to coat both sides with the maple-sriracha glaze. Cut the bacon in half, crosswise. Wrap each shrimp with a half slice of bacon and use a skewer to secure it. Place on the baking sheet and then brush any extra glaze over each shrimp.
Bake the shrimp for 5 minutes and then turn the oven to broil and broil for 4-6 minutes until the bacon is crispy. Remove from the oven then squeeze the lemon juice over shrimp and serve with a few sliced green onions on top. Makes 20 shrimp skewers.
Buffalo Chicken Cheese Dip
I first tasted this rich snack while tailgating for an FSU football game (Go Noles!), and it’s been one of my go-to game day dishes ever since. You can make it as spicy as you like by adding more wing sauce and serve it with chips, carrots or celery. This dip helped win over my father-in-law, so I’d consider it a championship-caliber dish. (Wink, wink)
3 boneless chicken breast
1 16 oz. jar blue cheese dressing (I use Ken’s chunky dressing, and not the entire bottle, but more than half, depending on how creamy you want the dip.)
¼ cup buffalo wing sauce (To taste. Be sure to use wing sauce and not hot sauce. I use Louisiana Wing Sauce.)
8 oz. package cream cheese
Boil the chicken in water until tender (about 8-10 minutes). Then shred with a fork or chop finely. Melt cream cheese in a sauce pan over medium heat. Mix in blue cheese dressing and wing sauce and stir. Mix chicken into dressing mixture and pour into a serving bowl. Serve with Tostitos chips or veggies. Serves 4-6