Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Make-Ahead Super Bowl Munchies

        With the Super Bowl just five days away and a big party planned at our home for that day, I have been busy in the kitchen doing some advance food prep. Actually, about a week ago I started cooking a variety of different kinds of finger foods for our party. Every day, I’ve been making at least one thing—when I have some down time in my schedule. It really cuts down on stress the day of the party, because most all of the food prep’s already been done. All the foods are stored in the freezer right now until I’m ready to bake, cook or thaw them right before the party. Here are the recipes for two of my favorite Super Bowl snacks:

Meatballs in Spicy Barbecue Sauce

2 pounds lean ground beef
2 packages onion soup and dip mix
2 large eggs
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup garlic and herb seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and shape into small meatballs (about ¾ to 1 inch in diameter). Grease a large baking sheet with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Place meatballs in pan. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until browned. (After about 10 minutes in the oven, stir meatballs and turn them over, for more even browning.) Remove from oven. Cool on paper towel slightly. You can serve immediately. Or, you can put in a freezer container (with waxed paper between layers to prevent the meatballs from sticking) and freeze for up to three months; just thaw in the refrigerator several hours or a day before serving.

Put cooked/thawed meatballs in a crock pot with your favorite barbecue sauce. I use Layne Wooten’s “Rattlesnake Barbecue Sauce.” This sweet and spicy BBQ sauce is the best I’ve ever tasted. This sauce is hard to find outside of California, but can be purchased by calling 213-705-6261.

Serve the BBQ meatballs with cocktail picks. Makes about 60 cocktail-sized meatballs.

Egg Rolls

1 ½ pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 qt. fresh bean sprouts
3 large Spanish onions, chopped
2 pounds fresh carrots, peeled and shredded
1 cabbage, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
I package Lumpia wrappers, thawed in the refrigerator at least one day (these are available at Asian markets)

For filling: Brown ground beef and onion together. Drain, and set aside. Stir fry bean sprouts, carrot and cabbage together in 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in hamburger and onion mixture.

Carefully separate Lumpia wrappers. Put about 2-3 tablespoons worth of filling into each. Fold each side in a couple inches, and roll up “burrito-style.” (Usually there are instructions on the Lumpia wrappers package, for exactly how to fold them.)  At this point, you can fry the egg rolls. Or, you can put them in freezer bags or containers (with waxed paper between the layers) and freeze them uncooked. About a day before serving, start thawing them in the refrigerator.

Cook them in hot oil for 2-3 minutes (until lightly browned), or baste them with oil and bake them on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Serve with sweet chili sauce (also available at Asian markets, as well as the international aisle of many supermarkets). My favorite is Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce.

       These are just a couple of my favorite finger foods. I’ll be posting some more Super Bowl recipes later on this week.

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