Our Food Network Kitchen gave heavy game-day fare (think Buffalo chicken dip and potato skins) a healthy makeover with lighter takes on classic recipes. So now you can snack through halftime without feeling like you’ve eaten your weight in guacamole.
Tag: game day
Game day may be about the football game first and foremost, but surely Buffalo chicken wings are a close second in importance. Sweet, spicy and saucy, the tried-and-true wings are tailgating must-haves, but the flavors of chicken and Buffalo sauce shine beyond the bone-in meat. From Ree Drummond’s entree salad and Jeff Mauro’s satisfying sub to Food Network Magazine’s decadent mac and cheese, read on below to learn all-new ways to celebrate this classic football food.
1. Fried Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Sauce — Food Network Magazine’s bold rendition (pictured above) of the beloved Buffalo wings is a no-fail crowd-pleaser. After a quick deep-fry, toss the golden-brown wings in a buttery hot sauce, and serve alongside a cooling blue cheese-sour cream sauce.
There’s no better way to celebrate the playoffs and the final countdown until the big Sunday game than with your favorite team’s colors — in cupcake form, of course. Whether you’re rooting for NFC leaders the Philadelphia Eagles (back and steel blue) or the AFC New England Patriots (red and dark blue), all you need is a few drops of food coloring to turn your desserts into game-day-ready treats. No matter whom you’re rooting for, you can show your team spirit with frosting.
NFC East (pictured above)
The Southeastern Conference is home to some of the best college football in the country, and with it, some of the most-fervent fans and most-passionate tailgating. Football in the South is a bit like religion. People get really worked up; I mean really worked up. And, to that end, tailgating in the South is extreme as well. At the University of Alabama, fans are allowed to start tailgate setup at 6 p.m. the Thursday before the Saturday game — and dismantled as late as noon the day after! At my alma mater, the University of Georgia, there is Bulldog Park; a luxury RV tailgating facility offers the owners access to a wide range of amenities plus game-day shuttles to the stadium! Foodwise, there’s everything from LSU, where folks have big pots of meaty gumbo bubbling on a propane cooker, to The Grove at Ole Miss, where folks are super-fancy and serve dishes of hors d’oeuvres that you might be more accustomed to seeing at a ladies’ luncheon. (The real reason the food is so ladylike is that there’s a limited amount of electricity, and open flames and propane are prohibited — something that might not be a bad idea, considering the amount of alcohol consumed while tailgating!)
Personally, I prefer less work when I get to the stadium, and I suggest slow-cooked dishes prepared ahead of time. The best dishes are those you can cook at home and then add the finishing touches to at the stadium. I think the perfect tailgate food just might be chili. It works well in the fall, because it’s hearty and warms you up in the cool weather. Read more
When Food Network stars are in charge of a tailgating spread, you better bet that the menu is a game changer. Here’s how Bobby Flay, Ina Garten, Ree Drummond and company celebrate each touchdown.
Set out Rachael Ray’s Roasted Jalapeno Poppers before kickoff to get your party started on the right foot. Loaded with three cheeses, these stuffed peppers leave the oven bubbling hot — and they’re killer on the grill too.
When it comes to our favorite dip recipes, the more layers, the better. That’s why we’re digging Food Network’s finest every-layer dips, ranging from five layers to a towering 10.
Five: Inspired by the diner sandwich staple, Five-Layer Reuben Dip (pictured above) stacks all the ingredients that make up a good Reuben. From the bottom to the top, shredded Swiss, thin-sliced corned beef, toasted rye bread, Russian dressing and extra-crunchy sauerkraut are addictive in deconstructed form. Take heaping scoops with rye bread toasts for the full package.
When it comes to game-day drinks, nothing goes down easier than a bubbly beer cocktail. There are endless ways to reinvent your go-to brew, and each of these cocktails is simple to stir together and guaranteed to please even the thirstiest bunch of football fans. For the savory sippers in the house, try serving Jeff Mauro’s Michelada Supreme. It pairs dark Mexican beer with the Bloody Mary-inspired flavors of tomato and lime juice, plus generous dashes of hot sauce and fish sauce for an addictive umami effect.
Beer Sangria: Give the beloved party punch a bubbly update by swapping white wine for chilled wheat beer and adding it to a blend of vodka, white grape juice and slices of your favorite fruits.
Even with boatloads of nachos, nonstop chicken wings and all the guacamole you can sink your chips into, there’s one game-day dish that a football fan — or commercial aficionado — can’t live without. It’s a little sandwich we like to call the slider. Champion of the happy hour menu and bite-size rendering of a national favorite, these wee sandwiches are a mandatory competitor in your big-game spread.
To keep it simple, kick it off with Ina Garten’s classic beef sliders. With only the kiss of a grill, these mini burgers don’t need a fancy sauce — just that obligatory squeeze of ketchup. If sauce is what you’re after, Bobby Flay’s Sliders with Chipotle Mayonnaise are finished with a semi-homemade swipe of smokiness.
How can the Neelys’ Triple Pork Sliders (pictured above) pack in three types of pork, you ask? Each little sandwich features ground pork, fresh Mexican chorizo and crisp, smoky bacon. Now that’s a combo worthy of a championship.
Spend more time in front of the game and less time in the kitchen by making this seven-layer dip the day before the event. It’s a hearty option to serve with chips and is also vegetarian-friendly. See the step-by-step photo how-to below to ensure that each scoop will score big with your guests.
Punch is always a crowd-pleasing party drink, but keeping it chilled throughout the fun can be tricky. Individual ice cubes melt quickly and tend to water down the mix, while a large citrus-speckled ice mold stays frozen longer and imparts extra flavor to the punch. You can use any ring mold or Bundt pan to freeze the ice, which doubles as an eye-catching centerpiece. Get the party started by floating this ice ring in a big batch of Cosmopolitan Fizz Punch, which combines the cosmo — a favorite ’90s cocktail — with the classic ’50s ginger ale punch for a palate-pleasing mashup that will keep you cool as the game heats up.
Begin by layering lime and orange slices in a ring mold and scattering fresh (or frozen) cranberries in between. Then mix together 3/4 cup each cranberry juice, orange juice and water, and pour the liquid over the fruit. Freeze the ring mold until firm, about 6 hours.