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A Superbowl Party Preview

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Aired 1/24/11

There's more to a great Superbowl party menu than chips and salsa. On this month's Food Hour, we huddle to discuss the best food for your superbowl party. And how everyone, men included, can get in the pre-game food prep.

There's more to a great Superbowl party menu than chips and salsa. On this month's Food Hour, we huddle to discuss the best food for your superbowl party. And learn how everyone, men included, can get in the pre-game food prep.

GUESTS:

Caron Golden, food writer of the column "Local Bounty" for San Diego Magazine and author of the blog San Diego Foodstuff.

Susan Russo writes about food online on her website called Food Blogga and she is also co-author of a new cookbook called RECIPES EVERY MAN SHOULD KNOW.

Read Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

I'm Maureen Cavanaugh, and You're listening to These Days on KPBS. Even if you don't really care about the teams playing or football in general, it's hard to ignore super bowl Sunday. This year, the packers and the stealers will meet in cow boys stadium in Texas on February 6th. Of the build up, the game, and of course the half-time activities have made the super bowl just short of a national holiday. And just hike other holidays, there's a big emphasis on food. All this hour on These Days, we'll be talking about the traditions of super bowl parties. The hearty, easy to eat fun food and beverages that can please a game day crowd. And we'll include some recipes that many especially might want to try their hand at for the super bowl and beyond of I'd like to introduce my guests, Karen golden is food writer of the column, local bounty for San Diego magazine, and author of the blog San Diego food stuff. Good morning Karen.

GOLDEN: Good morning, Maureen, always fun to be here.

CAVANAUGH: It's good to have you. And Susan Russo writes about food online on her site called food blog, and she is also author of a new cookbook called Recipes Every Man Should Know. Susan, welcome to These Days.

RUSSO: Thank you, Maureen, I'm happy to be here.

CAVANAUGH: Now, we want on hear from our listeners on this topic. Are you gonna be having a super bowl party? What are you gonna be serving? Do you have a favorite superbowl party story you'd like to share with us? Give us a called with your questions and your comments. The number here is 1-888-895-5727. That's 1-888-895-KPBS. Well, this year's game is super bowl 45, so that's time enough to have established some traditions for a game day food and snacks. So Karen, tell us about the food and snack traditions that have grownup around the super bowl.

GOLDEN: Well, actually, I think Susan has researched this.

CAVANAUGH: Oh, absolutely.

GOLDEN: And she could probably get into this.

REZNIK: Well, like you said this is the 45th super bowl. So this is a relatively recent phenomenon. Yet in terms of holidays, like you mentioned before, it really is an unofficial American holiday am anywhere from a hundred and 30 to a hundred and 50 million people are expected to watch the super bowl. Over 20 million people will host super bowl parties and in terms of food consumption, it's only second to Thanksgiving in terms of the amount of food we consume.

CAVANAUGH: You are joking.

REZNIK: No, I'm not joking am I'm not. So this is something that Americans take really seriously. And there are a lot of people who think it should be considered a national holiday so that we get Monday off.

CAVANAUGH: To recover.

REZNIK: Yeah, to refer from all the food and drink we have. But it's true. We absolutely love the super bowl Sunday.

CAVANAUGH: Now, when it comes to the super bowl, is having enough food for the crowd, is it a matter of quantity? Or quality?

GOLDEN: Both.

REZNIK: Both. Yeah. Both. I mean, I think the thing is that you want to make sure you have really good food and a variety of food and lots of it. Because I think like any good party, the last thing you want to have happen is to run out of food. Of and the thing with the super bowl is, it's all afternoon. Because you usually will start it an hour or a half-hour before the game begins, the game will last 3 to 4 hours, and there's always some lingering guests afterward. So you want to have some food that people can kind of graze on all afternoon..

CAVANAUGH: Right. Exactly right.

GOLDEN: And safely grade on.

CAVANAUGH: What do you mean? How? Safely grazing.

GOLDEN: Well, you don't want to be serving seafood or something that is gonna be staying out for five hours.

REZNIK: Very true.

GOLDEN: You might want to make sure that if it's not eaten after you put it out at least after an our or two, that you remove that. We don't want anyone to get sick while they're eating.

CAVANAUGH: Exactly. Now, the standard idea is basically chips, dips and salsa.

GOLDEN: Right.

CAVANAUGH: And I mean, that's great. And we're gonna talk a little bit more about that. But what perhaps are some odder things that people might think about?

GOLDEN: Well, remember, Susan and I spent some time talking about this. And one of the things that we were talking about is that a lot of times people want to base what they serve on the teams that are playing. Or maybe their home town traditions too. But the football leagues couldn't have, you know, wound up with two better teams to be playing when it comes to food in super bowl games.

CAVANAUGH: Oh, really.

GOLDEN: Because green bay is Wisconsin, and what do you get with Wisconsin? Cheese and brats and beer. Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is amazing. I did some research on this and found that they are the home of Heinz ketchup which goes well with everything, right? And apparently they're the home of dried zucchini, and there are diehards in Pittsburgh who eat their fried zucchini with ketchup, because, why couldn't you? Klondike Bars, Clark Bars, the Big Mac was founded or discovered or put together, created in Pittsburgh. McDonald's does give credit to a guy in Pittsburgh for coming up with the Big Mac. So honestly, if you're gonna have a day of gluttony, these two are perfect teams to celebrate that.

CAVANAUGH: I want to let our listeners know that they can join the conversation with their questions or their comments about super bowl party food at 1-888-895-5727. That's 1-888-895-KPBS. So if you want to keep it with the stealers and the packers, you can go with the kinds of foods that you were talking about.

GOLDEN: And you don't have to go to the super market for this. Of I mean, the great thing about what's happened in San Diego in the last several years is that we've got all of these great farmers market vendors, and we've got some interesting shops, independent shops that are selling things. For instance, if you wanted to do hogies or submarine sandwiches, you could go to the sausage king. It's a little shop owned by this old man, a German guy, who's been making sausages in Mission Hills for, like, 50 years, and you can go there and pick up the most delicious cold cuts and then go over to bread and sea and get some breads and whip up some dressings to put on the sandwiches, and have, just, like, a sandwich bar. And let everybody make up their own. And not deal with the packages, the cold cuts, full of nitrites and icky stuff at the super market.

CAVANAUGH: Now, I don't want to leave these starting foods, the appetizers out, because I think that I read somewhere is that super bowl Sunday is the biggest guacamole eating daily of the year?

RUSSO: Yes.

GOLDEN: And Susan's got a great guacamole recipe.

RUSSO: Yeah, 8 million pounds of guacamole will be consumed on Super Bowl Sunday. There's some statistic that you can fill a football field end to end, five feet deep, something like that. But that's how much guacamole we'll eat.

CAVANAUGH: I want to ask you about your recipe, but first of all, I want to ask for people who aren't familiar, how do you pick out avocados to make sure they're gonna be the best for your Guama molly on super bowl Sunday.

GOLDEN: Most of the time your gonna need to get them a few days ahead of time, if they're really firm. If they're so firm that you can't make an indentation in it as you kind of squish it a little bit, then it's not ripe. You want something that has a little bit of give to it. If you wait too long, and you'll see these often for sale at a really low price, and they're almost black, and they're a little shrilled up. They'll pretty much 3569 their due date. [CHECK] so you want to get something that's really kind of firm when you buy it, and then let it sit on the counter for a few days. It should kind of respond a little bit to your touch. And then you should be good to go.

CAVANAUGH: And Susan? What about that Guama molly recipe?

RUSSO: So I have a recipe in my book, recipes every man should know for bacon guacamole.

CAVANAUGH: Amazing.

RUSSO: Yeah, because as we know, Maureen, everything is better with bacon of it's actually very easy. It's a basic Guama molly recipe with lime and scallions and Guama molly. But you add cooked bacon to it, which adds this really salty, crispiness to it, and gives it a lot of body. And it's just a wonderful change, especially when you're looking for something different for super bowl.

CAVANAUGH: And how many avocados do you need for a really big bowl of Guam?

RUSSO: Well, for mine, I have -- let me see. 6 to 8. If you want to have it for a party, you want to have maybe 8, 8 avocados or so will make a good dish. But the other thing you want to [CHECK] and it'll turn brown which does not affect the flavor at all. But of course it's not very pleasant to look at. So one thing I like to do is I just put it out in small quantities, and when the bowl is finished, I refill it. And the other Guama molly that you've made, keep it sealed. As much as you can. And you can even sometimes drizzle a little bit of oil over the top. Yes, or canola oil. And you'll notice when you scoop it off, it's brighter green underneath. So much that's a little trick that you can use, so that it stays appetizing looks.

CAVANAUGH: We're talking about sort of a preview of super bowl party food here. 1-888-895-5727 is the number to call to get in on the conversation. How about to go with that guacamole, some really good chips?

GOLDEN: Oh, wow. We have so many options for great chips. Ellen Dio, people are always debating that the quality of Ellen Dio's food in general. But nobody debates about the chips. They're the best chips. [CHECK] and it might be a 5 or 10-pound box that you can get, and you will have plenty of chips. I like to get my chips also at north gate Gonzalez or food land Mercado. Both of these markets, and they have several markets throughout San Diego County, they make their own chips in house. Of and so they're really fresh, and they're really delicious. I think those are three really, really good options. The other thing that you can add to this is seviche. And north gate Gonzalez has a whole range of, I think, I don't know, at least half a dozen to maybe ten different kinds of fish seviches, shrimp and spicy shrimp, and other kinds of fish. Mark lane who runs papa's fresh fish at various farmers markets told me he normally makes his own seviche in little pint sized. He's making gallon sized seviche containers for eight bucks, which is a great deal. And his fish is really good. And he makes his seviches using also the products of foods and vegetables from other vendors at the farmers' market. So it's really fresh and valley good. But like you would with the guacamole, put the seviche out in small containers and just keep refilling, leaving the rest in the refrigerator so you don't worry about people getting sick.

CAVANAUGH: How about -- okay. So you have your guacamole out, you have your chips out, you have some salsa out. What are some other good sort of finger foods to start people off?

RUSSO: Well, I think also mixtures of spicy nuts are always add. But you can add -- you can make curried peanuts for example, you can mix nuts and pepita seeds and put Mexican or taco seasoning in it. Anything that is a mixture of salty, sweet, and crunchy is always great kind of picky food when people first come in. I also think popcorn is so much fun. Even loves popcorn. And you make it ahead of time. You can make big batches of it, and then season it once your guests come. And you can have 3 or 4 varieties and you can even do fun little things like have those red and white popcorn bags, so people can actually fill a little bag and walk around with it, and hold the popcorn in their hand as they're watching the game and talking with guests.

CAVANAUGH: And Karen?

GOLDEN: Well, she said the exact same things I was gonna say. Only -- and I know she's got a recipe for the nut or a mix -- nut mix.

RUSSO: Yes, yes.

GOLDEN: And I was gonna say, also, union square -- I call them the union square cafe nuts, they're very easy to make. You just get a variety of raw nuts and toast them like 350 in the oven for just a few minutes. Of and while they're toasting, melt some butter and add dried rosemary, salt, brown sugar, so you're getting kind of the sweet salt thing, and some of the spiciness from the rosemary.

CAVANAUGH: Sounds great.

GOLDEN: While they're still hot, toss them with the butter mixture and you're good to go. And they're just delicious. Of for popcorn, if you're gonna go to the farmer's market that day or the day before, get one of those huge bags of kettle corn. I love to cook, but on these kinds of days, I pick my targets here.

CAVANAUGH: You choose your battles.

GOLDEN: What happens is, you don't want to be the person in the kitchen while everyone else is having fun. And you don't want to work so hard leading up to it that by the time everyone arrives, you're exhausted and I wish everyone would just go home. So I say make a few things, select what you want that's gonna make a big impact for you, and get -- buy everything else and put it out. This is not a day to be showing off, this is not a day to be thinking so much about healthy eating, although Susan and I can talk about some tricks that, you know, you can change up some foods to make them a little less cholesterol laden.

CAVANAUGH: Sure, sure.

GOLDEN: But this is a day for you to have fun too. So I say, you know, keep your own work to a minimum.

CAVANAUGH: We have to take a short break. But before we do, we have a caller who couldn't stay on the line who wanted to ask you both about serving guacamole with leaving the pit in the bowl. Does that work?

GOLDEN: I have done it, and I don't notice any dig difference. I think Susan's idea for the soil is probably the best, because what you're trying to do is suffocate the oxygen from getting into the food. And that's the oil will take care of that.

CAVANAUGH: Okay.

GOLDEN: It's just exposure to oxygen.

RUSSO: Yeah.

CAVANAUGH: A short break and when we return, we'll continue talking about super bowl party food. My guests are Karen golden, Susan Russo, the number to reach us is 1-888-895-5727. Tell us what you're making for your super bowl party. 1-888-895-KPBS.

I'm Maureen Cavanaugh, You're listening to These Days on KPBS. My guests are Karen Golden and Susan Russo, and we're getting a head start on talking about some super bowl party food. The income to call is 1-888-895-5727. You know, let me just get some technical aspects out of the way. You talk about serving, what do you think about bowls right in front of the TV? Or should there be like a serving table where people go and pick up their food and then bring it back on plastic or paper plates or something like that?

GOLDEN: I think it depends on who's attending, if that including dogs and small children.

CAVANAUGH: Yes.

GOLDEN: Seriously. I would put main dishes on a buffet style table and have chips and what not on the coffee table or around you. Of I think people are gonna do it anyway. And in terms of just wanting to be able to sit and grab stuff.

CAVANAUGH: Right.

GOLDEN: So I would say some of the -- you know, typically finger food snack type things, you know, on the table around you. And everything else set up somewhere else with plates and --

CAVANAUGH: Susan, you agree?

RUSSO: I agree, yes. And I also think in terms of plates and silver ware, like you say, this is not a really fussy occasion. This is it a very casual occasion. So give yourself a break. Just get some paper plates or plastic plates and silver wear. Or bamboo. So that it makes a easy clean up for sure. Because you will have a lot to clean up after a Super Bowl party. And it just makes it a lot easier so you're not having to worry about washing glasses and dishes during the show -- during the game. Yeah.

CAVANAUGH: Right. Now, I'm wondering too, the drinks start to flow a little early in the day on super bowl Sunday, and I know that we're gonna talk a little bit about perhaps spicing up the typical beer. But is there any way to mitigate that? I mean is just keeping the food coming, is that the kind of a thing that a super bowl party host should understand?

GOLDEN: Oh, yeah. You want people filled up. You want to pay attention to how much, you know, people are drinking 'cause you don't want to be responsible for sending people out into the night.

CAVANAUGH: No.

GOLDEN: Driving badly. But I think you have to gauge your own guests and who's there and serve accordingly. Of.

CAVANAUGH: Serve accordingly. Let's talk a little bit more before we leave appetizers because during the break you talked about a whole bunch of wonderful things. First of all, for people who are a little more health conscious, rested vegetables?

GOLDEN: Oh, yeah, you could grill or roast some vegetables. Make up some nice dips or dressings. I make this dressing with feta cheese, parmesan cheese, and anchovies, and olive oil, a lot bit of lemon juice, a little salt, worst sure sauce, and put it in the food processor and let it rip. And it is really this wonderful, flavorful salty thing, and it's perfect for just romaine leaves or either fresh vegetables or roasted veg -- I love roasting vegetables because it really bridges out the sugars in the vegetables. And you could do skewers of vegetables too. That way you can have things that people can pick up, and it's still finger food.

CAVANAUGH: That's great. And you were talking also about layered dips and the kinds of dips that people like to eat so much on super bowl Sunday.

RUSSO: Well, I we talked about guacamole earlier, and it's a requisite. [CHECK] which you can use just canned black beans are delicious, you can soak your own, but canned are fine. And add some lime juice, and your favorite salsa, and lots of fresh salsa, and some fresh cilantro and some jalapeño peppers, mix it all up and you can serve it with pits chips instead of chips. But either way, it's a light, healthy, but still delicious and fun kind of a dip. You can also do things like quesadillas.

CAVANAUGH: Yes.

RUSSO: So you could buy whole wheat tortillas, and you could make veggie quesadillas, which are lighter and less fattening but still delicious and still kind of fun and still go great with a beef.

CAVANAUGH: And in your book, recipes every man should know, you have a recipe for a quesadilla that's so simple.

RUSSO: Yeah, basically all you need is a skillet, you put your tortilla in it, fill your toppings, you have to have some kind of a cheese, you have to have some kind of a filling like a protein, whether it's chicken or beans, shredded pork or beef.

GOLDEN: Shrimp.

RUSSO: Shrimp. Whatever you like, a little salsa, close it, and then you just basically cook it for a minute until they turn golden and hot. As soon as that cheese is melted, they're ready to eat.

CAVANAUGH: Sour cream.

RUSSO: Sour cream. And that's the nice thing about things like quesadilla or even tacos. You can have all of the essentials sort of laid out on a table, and then people can make their own.

CAVANAUGH: Yeah, yeah issue exactly.

RUSSO: So if they want sour cream, they can put it, if they want extra cheese or scallions or cilantro, it's up to them. And this goes back to that ease of serving on the day of the party. Setting things up like Karen said, do their own sandwich bar. Or if you wanted to have a taco bar where you have all the topping spread out and people can come and make their own as they like. Of it's easy on the host, and it's fun for the guests.

CAVANAUGH: We are taking your calls if you'd like to join the conversation. 1-888-895-5727. Several people want to talk with us, Jerry is in Chula Vista. Good morning, Jerry, welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Good morning. How is everybody?

CAVANAUGH: Just fine, thank you.

NEW SPEAKER: I just wanted to let you know, I have a recipe that I do whenever I have a crowd that I want to be part of the crowd rather than in the kitchen all the time. And I fix this totally the day before. I get chicken breasts and cut them, in, like, five different pieces, I get the thick bacon and put that in half, I wrap the pieces of chicken breast in the bacon with a toothpick, and then you mix, like, two tables of brown sugar, a table spoon of Chile powder, and a tea spoon of salt, and you roll the chicken whatevers in that.

GOLDEN: Call them chicken rumaki, how about that?

NEW SPEAKER: Let them sit, and the day I'm gonna serve them, I put them all on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven, at 350, just until the chicken is cooked. And it's good.

CAVANAUGH: Well, thank you for that. Bacon again.

RUSSO: Where do you live, Jerry? 'Cause I may have to stop by and taste that chicken. You know, any foods wrapped in bacon are delicious. In my book, I have a recipe for meat loaf that's wrapped in bacon.

GOLDEN: Oh, God.

RUSSO: And it would -- it really even tempts the most staunch vegetarian. It's so good. Because it's face it, it's salty and crispy and fattening, and it's just got this wonderful headiness about it. And bacon just makes everything better. So I agree with Jerry, it's great with chicken. Again in meat loaf, whether it's in if guacamole, you can even have deserts with bacon. If you want to have bacon chopped into your brownies or your chocolate cake, hey, go for it.

CAVANAUGH: We are taking your calls at 1-888-895-5727. I know that barbecuing is like a traditional for a lot of people super bowl Sunday of that's the main course is the barbecue. I'm wondering for, you know, is there anything a little bit more exciting than perhaps Hamburgers and hotdogs?

GOLDEN: Perhaps. How about a great tritip?

CAVANAUGH: Ooh.

GOLDEN: Yeah, and there's a guy named Dave Heffer in at dali ranch who's at the lilly Mercado and Northpark farmers market, he sells tritips. And if you go over there, he'll give you a sample of his, which he marinates in some kind of a like a salad dressing type of thing. He's got a recipe for it. It is stunningly good. And I would say, you know, that is a really great option. You could get -- we were talking the bratwurst is sort of a green pay tradition or at least a Wisconsin tradition, pick up some really great sausages. Fix sausages. So instead of a hot dog, you've got some really interesting sausages, then maybe grill some onions and peppers, and that kind of thing. Have some sauerkraut. And you get a very different kind of sandwich. Get some roast -- you know, barbecue a chicken, and then shred that. And you can have that for tacos, and you can have that for, like -- you can stir the pulled chicken into a barbecue sauce and have a pulled chicken sandwich. Will there are a lot of different things that you can do with those.

CAVANAUGH: Susan, you talk about making up foil packets in your book.

RUSSO: Oh. Well, that's specifically for camping. But you could do it. Yeah, you could do it. Basically, you're putting the food instead of a foil pact and closing and, and cooking it over the coals. Or in this case a grill.

CAVANAUGH: Wouldn't that be a good idea if somebody wanted to watch the game?

RUSSO: Well, yes, that's the one concern where you don't want something where you have to spend an hour outside.

GOLDEN: That's why the tritip would be great. You do it in advance. And have it ready when the game starts.

RUSSO: As opposed to, say, making 20 hamburgers, which is just more labor intensive.

CAVANAUGH: Exactly.

RUSSO: You could also do on the grill, if you would like to do that, have kabobs, because kabobs are really popular and they're fun. Anything that's on a stick is always fun to eat, and it's portable, so you can walk to the game, you can walk back outside.

GOLDEN: I put fruit on a stick.

CAVANAUGH: Fruit. ?

GOLDEN: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Fruit skewers, then you could have chocolate sauce, or yogurt, some kind of sweet sauce that people can use to pip the fruit into. But it's so much more fun than having this big fruit plate. Have people pick up just a couple skewers and go back to their seat, and they're good.

CAVANAUGH: How about pasta for super bowl parties? Is that too messy.

GOLDEN: I wouldn't do it.

CAVANAUGH: No?

GOLDEN: I wouldn't do it. It's too hard to control the pasta of it's gonna get starchy soon. I think there are other kinds of dishes that you could do that, you know, would be a lot easier. You could make pulled pork, for instance, or do some slow roasting of things, if you're to the gonna use the grill. And then create some -- again, like a sandwich bar with those. You could -- Chile is the big thing. Lasagna. If you want pasta, you could do lasagna because then you've got it in a casserole form, and it's much easier to manage. But to do a pasta, unless it were a pasta salad, I think is difficult to have it taste good two hours into it.

CAVANAUGH: Right. We're taking your calls at 1-888-895-5727. Luis is calling from San Diego. Gorge, Luis, welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: All right. Good morning. You guys earlier were talking about healthier snacks earlier on, the one thing that I recommend is endives. Endive leafs, they go well with everything. I mean, you can have sour cream, you can have hummus, salsa instead of your regular corn chips or potato chips issue endives. You cut them up, put them in a plate, they're good to go.

CAVANAUGH: So you can still take party in the super bowl party pregame appetizers and not exactly just blow the whole diet.

NEW SPEAKER: Exactly.

CAVANAUGH: Luis, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

GOLDEN: Luis might want to indulge in something, you know, more fattening later on. Like you said, pick your battles. So maybe skip the chips, eat the endive, and then go for the bacon Chile.

CAVANAUGH: Or what I was gonna mention, beef and beer Chile that you have in your recipe book.

RUSSO: Yes. Boozy beef and beer Chile. It's so good. Again with the superbowl, we want these hearty kind of gut filling kinds of dishes of while for the most part, I think that portable foods are the way to go, you have to have some kind of a bowl of Chile. You just do or it's not the super bowl. So again, have plastic bowls and spoons, it's fine. Maybe even maybe some corn bread to soak up the juices of but I boozy beef and beer Chile is basically your beef Chile where you brown the beef with some onions and oils, I like to add a variety of beans, like black beans and red beans, pinto beans, then add some [CHECK] lime juice and cilantro, and then a bottle of beer, preferably a full bodied beer like a porter or a stout. Don't go for the light beers because that will not taste good. This is not the time to worry about calories in your chili. Go for a nice full bodied beer, and it creates just this really earthy, wonderfully rich Chile that people really love.

GOLDEN: Which of course requires corn bread to go with it.

CAVANAUGH: Corn bread, of course. Now, while we're on the subject, I did want to mention your book, recipes every man should know. It's really distinctive looking. Tell us a little bit about it.

RUSSO: So, for people who are listening to it us and can't see it. Think of a man's little black book, that's what it is. It's a little black book, hard cover, with this really sleek design. And it's recipes every man should know. So these are really simple to make, easy recipes with ingredients that are easy to find at any super market pretty much in any city, wherever you live, and they're fun food for the most part because they're -- a lot of them have to do with simple meat dish, how to make perfect pork chops, how to make the perfect steak, big one pot wonders like Chile and jambalaya, I've got some great hearty man breakfasts like sausage and egg harsh, perfect pan cakes and French coast. But then also several meals where if you want to have a special occasion like if you want to have your girlfriend over for dinner, you want to have your parents over for dinner, you want to host a special evening, there's also those types of recipes. But in terms of super bowl recipes, there are so many recipes in here that you could use that are just crowd pleasers.

CAVANAUGH: And I think -- I was looking through, and I though it's probably recipes everyone would know.

GOLDEN: I got a copy and I was thinking I'll just give this to one of my nephews. And I thought, no, I want to keep this.

RUSSO: Well, you know what was funny? I'm from Providence Rhode Island, and I went home for about a week before Christmas and did some book signings and some events issue and I actually had about a half a dozen men come in and asked me to sign the book to their wives and said, I'm the primary cook in the house, so I think these are recipes that every woman should know too. And I said, hey, great. It work enforce me.

CAVANAUGH: Works both ways. We're taking your calls, 1-888-895-5727. Andy is calling us from Spring Valley. Good morning, Andy, welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Good morning, thank you, great show as always.

CAVANAUGH: Thank you.

NEW SPEAKER: I was just gonna say that we riff out in Spring Valley near El Cajon where we have the second largest middle eastern population in the country after dear born Michigan, and we really love the middle eastern markets out here, you know, [CHECK] baba ghanoush, which is a roasted egg plant dip, and of course hummus. And most of the markets will make their own fresh, you can buy it in their delis or you can buy it in the cans and use pita chips. And we appreciate our Mexican heritage too about the salsa and all the bean dips, but the middle eastern dips issue wonderful, they're so good.

CAVANAUGH: Well, fabulous, and thank you for mentioning that, abbey. I'm wondering how many Caldean super bowl parties there are going to be.

GOLDEN: I don't know. But absolutely, pita chips and hummus, if you don't make your own, they're both easy -- both baba ghanoush, and hummus are very, very easy to make yourself.

CAVANAUGH: And very popular.

GOLDEN: And very popular. However, if that's not what you want to be making, you can pick up very easily some really good hummus, really good baba ghanoush, really good other kinds of related middle eastern style dips. And baba foods at the farmer's majority, Lisco imports, they make absolutely delicious ones with all sorts of flavors.

CAVANAUGH: When we come back, we're gonna be talking more about the kinds of foods you can pick up for super bowl Sunday. And about how you may be able to make a little twist on that old beer idea on super bowl Sunday with some beer cocktails. And we'll continue taking your calls at 1-888-895-5727. You're listening to These Days on KPBS.

I'm Maureen Cavanaugh you're listening to These Days on KPBS. This hour, we're talking about super bowl party food, and my guests are food writers Karen golden and Susan Russo, we're taking your calls, your suggestions, your questions at 1-888-895-5727. Actually, I can't believe we've gotten this far into our program without even mentioning pizza.

GOLDEN: Yes, and I'm looking at right here, my notes for pizza.

CAVANAUGH: Well, I'm wondering, you know, a lot of people just send out for pizzas, they're not gonna make their own on super bowl Sundays, and if you're kind of sick of the kinds of commercial places that we know, any good pizza clever that you would recommend?

RUSSO: I don't know if pizza --

GOLDEN: I live in Tierra Santa which is the culinary wasteland of San Diego, and I wouldn't recommend anything around that area.

CAVANAUGH: Okay, for pick up then.

RUSSO: I love pizzeria Bruno in Northpark. Of it's only been open for about a year. But they have the most amazing Neapolitan style pizzas, and they have really artisanal gourmet kinds of toppings. So you can get, you know, ricotta cheese and you can get hot fennel sausage and broccoli rabi, and you know, cappicola, and parma ham, and just these wonderfully creative Italian toppings on their pizza. So I love --

GOLDEN: And Blind Lady Ale House too.

RUSSO: Yes, yes.

GOLDEN: I love their pizzas as well. And you could probably pick them up. I like to just go to Trader Joe's, and they have regular white pizza dough and whole wheat pizza dough. And then you could have, again, like a pizza bar, put out a bunch of toppings, and you know, make some -- you know, kind of push out the pizzas to the shape you want, pill them out, stick them in the oven, and you've got fresh made pizzas. Not everyone wants to make the dough themselves. So this is it a really good option. And you can also buy things like La Vache. I know some people like Bobboli. Or you could get even some really nice breads that you can cut up and put pizza toppings on them and put them in the oven. But for traditional pizzas, you could use your own making ready made dough or yeah, go pick up.

CAVANAUGH: Right. Okay. So if people really don't want to fiddle around much in the kitchen for super bowl Sunday, is there anybody having, like a super bowl entree special or anything like that?

GOLDEN: I asked around. I think Susan asked around.

RUSSO: Yeah.

GOLDEN: And we didn't get any responses to that. Which is not to say that, you know, they aren't happening.

RUSSO: Yeah.

GOLDEN: But I think there are some really cool places that you could go to to get food that we've been talking about that you don't have to worry about but is really good quality. Gaglioni brothers is this small family owned -- three brothers own this chain, they're in Point Loma and they're in mission gorge. I think they might be in PB, but they may have closed that one down. But in any case, they're known for their filly cheese steaks, which is not exactly Pittsburgh. But it's really good, and they make a variety of different kind was Philly cheese steaks, plus they have a variety of different sand witches. [CHECK] so you could pick up a whole variety of theirs and offer them up. If you love roasted chicken or rotisserie chicken, saffron to me is just a wonderful, you know, Thai style barbecue chicken. You can pick up --

CAVANAUGH: That's on India.

GOLDEN: That's on India street in Mission Hills. What else? Prep kitchen, which is, affiliated with Whisknladle in La Jolla. They have two -- they have one in Del Mar, one in La Jolla, and they are basically a to go kind of place. There is seating, but basically they're designed to pick up food for dinner to go. So you could pick up a lot of different kinds of salads, or, you could pick up some roasted chicken or steak or fish and bring that back. Oh, gosh, what was another one? Oh, Dos Rotti, which is a guy, a vendor at the La Jolla farmer's market, and [CHECK] and he's in Oceanside. And he makes these amazing rotisserie chickens, and he puts chopped potatoes underneath the chicken on the truck, so all the juices from the chicken go into the potatoes.

CAVANAUGH: Yeah, I'm getting hungry.

GOLDEN: So you could pick up some delicious chickens from him. And you could also get -- he might be having porkata, so -- he told me he was gonna have it at the end of the month. Buff I haven't heard back from him. Like I said, cold cuts and sausages from the sausage king in Mission Hills. Find out if you go to the markers markets and you go to some place like dally ranch, if you go ahead of time, like next weekend, and talk to David Heffer in and ask him maybe if he'll grill a tritip for you, or grill one of his chickens for you, you might be able to do this [CHECK].

CAVANAUGH: I see.

GOLDEN: There are lots of markets, whole foods and Bristol farms and some of the other super markets definitely have prepared foods there that you can go and --

CAVANAUGH: Oh, absolutely.

GOLDEN: Pick up.

CAVANAUGH: Susan anything you'd like to add?

RUSSO: No, Karen covered it, yeah, definitely.

GOLDEN: And we didn't talk about cheese plates.

CAVANAUGH: No, please.

GOLDEN: And both Venissimo, and Taste Cheese, if you order ahead of time, you could get some really great cheese plates, and tell them what else you upon, if you want dried fruits or nuts or jams or something, to go with the cheese, you can do that and get some bread at bread and sea, and you're good to go.

CAVANAUGH: Well, on top of all that, we know that San Diego is one of the micro beer -- brewery capitals of the nation. So certainly you have an awful lot of choice when it comes to what kind of beer you might have on hand for your super bowl party. But I know you also wanted to talk about this new phenomenon, this beer cocktail thing. Tell us about that.

RUSSO: Well, obviously beer is wonderful on its own. But beer cocktails have really gained, up, a lot of popularity in the last couple of years, and they're very relaxed and easy to make. You could just Google beer cocktails and you'll get more recipes than you could even imagine. But basic combinations like you could do beer Margaritas, where you put beer and some frozen lemonade concentrate and some juice, and you could put some spices in it like Tabasco sauce or jalapeno places, so the idea with most beer cocktails is that you want to have that mix of [CHECK] and they just pair so well with the kinds of salty, crunchy munchy foods that we've been talking about the if are the last hour. So again, there isn't one specific recipe, but just kind of look in some cocktail books, Google it, and you will find so many different options.

GOLDEN: Well, I have a favorite.

CAVANAUGH: Oh, tell us.

GOLDEN: Which is the Mitchell ata, you usually use ice with beer in this case. Normally you would be creamed by any beer loving person. Worcestershire sauce, some so sauce and black pepper, mix all that up, you're gonna take your glass and you're going to rim it like you would a Margarita. But I've seen salt and Chile powder, I use tajin, which is this powder kind of a -- it's a combination of dehydrated lime and Chile pepper and salt that you can buy for like a dollar and a half.

CAVANAUGH: The name again?

GOLDEN: It's either ta-heen or ta-jeen, T-A-J-I-N. It's delicious. I keep it for seasoning anyway. But put that on a paper towel, put a slightly wet rimmed place to rim it, poor this beer mixture inside over ice of it is crazy good. And it's perfect, if we are gonna go the chips and dips and guac route, [CHECK].

RUSSO: This is it wonderful. You should definitely do that at your party. And I think, too, people might not know about this, but one of my favorite things to make and a real beer ice cream float. Yeah.

CAVANAUGH: Not a root beaver.

RUSSO: Not root beer. This is adults only. So save the root beer for the kids. But this is real beer. So you want a nice, full bodied beer, something even with chocolate over tones or coffee over tones, like a stout or a Guinness. [CHECK] then put some good quality ice cream like vanilla or coffee or chocolate, and have people make their own real beer floats, and that's a real simple desert. Which we haven't even talked about.

CAVANAUGH: You just bring me to that. So you have this real beer -- this is blowing my mind right now. Blow it further.

GOLDEN: Okay, there's this woman in town who has a company called pub cakes, and she makes cup cakes flavored with beer. And it ranges from a very little kind of a hefeweizen kind of beer to laggers. And I'm not a huge cup cake fan, but this woman has a wonderful palette. And she makes [CHECK] with bacon, and I think she's got some coffee in there. And it goes down the line to the very light ones with, like, lemon. And they are delicious. And you can find her on line at W. W. W. Dot pub cakes.com. And you can order in advance. And these things are really good. And your friends will be really blown away by this unusual --

CAVANAUGH: Oh, yeah! And it's finger foods.

GOLDEN: Yes. Exactly. And she makes very small ones like the mini ones, regular size, and then the really big ones too. So you can get whatever you want for, you know, depending on the kind of crowd you have.

CAVANAUGH: That's so funny. Let me try to squeeze in one last call. Javier is calling from Del Mar. Good morning, Javier, welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Hi.

CAVANAUGH: Hi.

NEW SPEAKER: I was calling with a suggestion of tapas for either appetizers or really, you can do the whole -- you can get a whole meal out of them.

CAVANAUGH: You can get a whole meal out of them.

NEW SPEAKER: Yeah, exactly. And I think -- and it's very convenient, the bread is just sitting there, you don't have to warm it up or anything, and anything that you add can be either cold or whatever is warm, whatever you cook for warm tap as, you can off the reheat on the microwave every once in a while.

CAVANAUGH: Uh-huh. Have you done that at a super bowl party, Javier.

NEW SPEAKER: Not, not really at a super bowl party.

CAVANAUGH: [CHECK].

GOLDEN: I think it might be labor intensive depending on what you make. But that brings up -- we were talking about Middle East dishes, the Middle East markets have wonderful, canned stuffed vegetables, which, we think of just doll mas, which is the grape leaves which are stuffed with rice, flavored rice. But if you go to Balboa international market or any of the other sort of middle eastern or international market, they'll have these little cans. You can get stuffed egg plant, stuffed zucchini, stuffed cabbage, and they're very [CHECK] quick appetizers. But you could get, you know actually some of the -- I know Balboa sells really big cans of them too for party size. And you could go and get a bunch of those and just put them on a platter and you've got great finger food. And for me, I'll take lemon and I'll just squeeze lemon just over it to kind of perk up some of the flavors. And a really easy way to go.

CAVANAUGH: In just about the minute we have left, I just want to go -- we were talking about the real beer ice cream float, and we were talking about the beer cup cakes but in your book, Susan, you have a no bake cheese cake that might make a really good desert for a super bowl party too, don't you think?

RUSSO: Yes, well, guys love cheese cake, but they don't necessarily like spending a lot of time making a cheese cake. So this one is just [CHECK] and a store bought cracker crust, like an Oreo cookie crust or a Graham cracker crust. [CHECK] delicious, simple cheese cake for desert.

CAVANAUGH: Right. And you let everybody else try the real beer ice cream float and you have the cheese cake.

RUSSO: Yes.

GOLDEN: And the other thing to do is make an ice cream sandwich bar, have a bunch of different ice creams, [CHECK] and make their own little ice cream sandwiches.

CAVANAUGH: Ah, this is great. I'm going to your super bowl party, Karen.

GOLDEN: You're invited.

CAVANAUGH: I want to thank you both, Karen golden, food writer of the column local bounty for San Diego magazine, author of the blowing, San Diego food stuff, thank you so much.

GOLDEN: My pleasure.

CAVANAUGH: And Susan Russo, her website is called food blogga, and she is coauthor of a new cook book called recipes every man should know. Susan, thanks so much.

RUSSO: Thank you Maureen.

CAVANAUGH: And I want to thank everyone who called in, and if you would like to comment on line, please go. KPBS.org/These Days. You've been listening to These Days on KPBS.

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