Fun Food Ideas for Final Four Football Parties!

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We are down to the Final Four teams left standing in the NFL. This weekend the New York Giants will play the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game, and the Baltimore Ravens will play the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship. The winner of those two games will play in the Super Bowl on Sunday February 5th.

This is a big football weekend ladies, so I thought of some cute and easy recipes to make if you are hosting a football party. Every team gets their own recipe! And if you don’t like a team playing this weekend pick a recipe that sounds the best to you!

Enjoy this exciting time in football with great food, friends and family!

If you’re rooting for the Baltimore Ravens…

In Maryland, I know the next best thing to football is crab cakes! Here’s a fun twist, have the crab in slider format, while you watch the Ravens play the Patriots Sunday at 3pm EST on CBS.

Crab Cake Sliders

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 leek , white and light green parts only, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery , finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion , finely chopped
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups fine dried bread crumbs , divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs , lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice (from about 1/4 lemon)
  • 1 Tbsp. chili sauce, such as Sriracha
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 12 (3-inch) slider rolls or soft dinner rolls , split
  • 3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce (from about 1/2 head)

 

Directions

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leek, celery, and onion, and cook about 10 minutes; set aside to cool. Fold together crab, mayonnaise, parsley, cayenne, salt, pepper, and onion mixture and 1 cup of bread crumbs. Stir until combined. Shape crab mixture into 12 (3-inch) patties.

Put flour, eggs, and 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs into 3 separate wide, shallow dishes. Dunk cakes individually in the the flour then the egg, and then bread crumbs, shaking off excess each time. Dredge once more in egg, and then bread crumbs.

Fry patties in skillet and cook, flipping once, until deep golden brown and hot throughout, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.  You may need more than one batch.

If you’re rooting for the New England Patriots:

Tom Brady and the Patriots are at home this weekend, and it will be cold! So whether you are at the game or warm at home, here is a recipe for New England from Emeril Lagassee.

New England Clam Chowder

Ingredients

  • 3 cans of minced clams
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 quart half-and-half
  • 2 tbsp red vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper

 

Directions

Drain the clam juice into a pan with the vegetables, add water and cover. Simmer until they are soft.

In large pan, melt the butter and slowly stir in the flour, then add the half-and-half. Now add veggie-clam juice mixture. Heat but don’t boil!

Add clams just before serving. Then add a little vinegar, salt and pepper for taste. Voila Clam chowder!

If you’re rooting for the New York Giants:

Here is the recipe I will be making this weekend when the Giants take on the 49ers at 6:30 Sunday on FOX. I usually buy pizza dough, but I am going to attempt to make my own using this recipe I found online. If you try it too let me know what you think!

NY Style Pizza Dough

Ingredients (Makes 1 large or 2 small pizzas)

  • 2 1/4 teaspoon (1 package) instant dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (not hot!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour, or as needed
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Directions

First activate the yeast by mixing warm water, a little flour, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Wait 20 minutes and then add in the rest of the water and flour olive oil and salt.

Knead for about 10 minutes, while adding more flour a little at a time, to produce a soft, elastic and slightly sticky dough. Place in oiled bowl and  cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot for 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

Punch down the dough and divide into 2 balls and place in large Ziploc plastic bags and refrigerate overnight. When ready to use, remove from fridge, and let the dough come up to room temperature before using. (I precooked the crust on 425 for 8 minutes prior to adding the toppings)

Pizza Sauce Recipe: 

  • 7 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can petite-cut diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

 

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk for your sauce. Once you have your dough and sauce made it is time to make some pizza pie!!!

Toppings:

  • 1 1/2 ounces pizza sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon each chopped fresh herbs such as thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, for example
  • Grated mozzarella cheese
  • Pepperoni slices

 

Directions

Spread olive oil evenly over the laid out pizza dough. Spread sauce on the pizza dough. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the pizza. Add your fresh herbs, and pepperoni or any other toppings you would like. Bake in oven at 350 for 15 minutes or cheese is melted. 

If you’re cheering for the San Francisco 49ers….

When I think of San Francisco, I think of Napa Valley and wine. Now wine would go great with Cioppino San Francisco’s Seafood stew. Perfect for tailgates or staying at home, this stew sounds so good. I will definitely make it if the 49ers make the Super Bowl!

Seafood Stew

Ingredients (Makes 6 large portions)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28-oz)
  • 2 cups clam juice or fish stock
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Dungeness crab (about 2-lbs), cracked and cleaned, or 1-lb frozen crabmeat thawed
  • 2 pounds halibut fillet, cut into 1-in slices
  • 24 large prawns, peeled and de-veined
  • 12 mussels
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped

 

Directions

In a large pot, on medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil and saute the celery and onions until soft, about 10 minutes. Add all the rest of the ingredients except the seafood and fresh parsley. Simmer on low, uncovered, for one hour. Add a splash of water if the sauce gets to thick. Taste for salt and adjust if needed. 

Add the crab, shrimp, and halibut, and simmer covered another five minutes. Add the mussels, cover the pot and simmer for 3 minutes more, or until the mussels open. Turn off the heat, and stir in the Italian parsley. Put out bowls for your guests, serve and enjoy the game!

Who are you rooting for this weekend? 

 

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