Some may argue that Super Bowl Sunday is just as much about the food as it is the game. Let's face it, if your team didn't make it or if you find the commercials more interesting than the touchdowns, then why not focus on feeding the fans instead of being glued to the tube. Super Bowl food tends to lean towards quantity over quality. There's nothing wrong with noshing on party platters of chicken wings and pigs in a blanket. However, with a little effort, you can make something new and different, yet with all the traditional fanfare of Super Bowl party food.
Jalapeño popper dip has all of the flavor of a fried jalapeño popper without all of the greasy mess. By making it yourself you can adjust the heat to your liking. The secret to a fiery jalapeno is the seeds. Want your dip hot, keep the seeds when you dice the pepper. If your crowd includes kids, then toss the seeds for a milder version. Other ingredients to play around with are the canned chilies that come in mild and hot varieties. You can also adjust the hot sauce although don't eliminate it because it does add a little kick that won't set your mouth on fire.
While we're breaking with tradition, this popper dip has bacon. Why you ask? Because home cooks can break the rules and who doesn't love bacon on Super Bowl Sunday?
Jalapeño Popper Dip
Serves: A crowd (10-12)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
2, 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
8 oz package of shredded Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon hot sauce
6-8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1- 4.5 ounce can green chilies
2-3 fresh jalapeños, minced
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a food processor, combine cream cheese, mayo, Cheddar, chilies and hot sauce. Don't drain the chilies as that flavors the dip. Spread the dip into a dish suitable for serving. Sprinkle jalapeños and bacon on top. In a small bowl, mix panko and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over the dip and bake 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers or a sliced French baguette.
Summit Patch food columnist, Amy Currie, a mother of three and teacher at the Kings Cooking Studio in Short Hills, is the author of Memoirs of a Home Cook, Every Great Recipe Has a Story and her latest cookbook, Secrets of a Home Cook. You can e-mail her at email@example.com.