No matter which team you’re cheering for, fantastic food is always the Super Bowl’s real star player. Basic recipes for chicken wings and nachos might have made the cut during the regular season, but the year’s biggest football game calls for something more impressive. Up the ante with these seven spicy recipes and you’ll become your group’s MVC: most valuable cook.
1. Asian Bar Mix
Buying snack mix is undoubtedly the easiest route to a tasty appetizer. You can do a lot better without much more work if you whip up Food & Wine’s Asian-inspired version. With ingredients like wasabi peas, nori, Chinese five-spice, and soy sauce, it’s a completely new take on something familiar. Don’t be afraid to double this recipe because it’ll go fast.
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup sesame sticks
- 1 cup wasabi peas
- ½ cup raw almonds
- ½ cup unsalted roasted peanuts
- 1 sheet nori, cut into small rectangles
Directions: Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix butter, soy sauce, sugar, cayenne, five-spice, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the sesame sticks, wasabi peas, almonds, peanuts, and nori. Toss to combine.
Spread onto a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour, stirring once, until nuts are toasted and coating is completely dry. Let cool. Serve.
2. Cajun-Style Broiled Shrimp
Cajun food isn’t exactly known for being the speediest to make. Many recipes rely on a slow process where you gradually build flavors. Since no one wants to wake up at 6:00 a.m. the day of the game to start cooking, The New York Times’ speedy take on Cajun shrimp is a life saver. Just make a simple spice paste, toss it with some shrimp, and broil until they’re fully cooked.
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Black pepper
- 1½ pound shrimp, peeled, and deveined
- Lemon wedges
Directions: Preheat broiler and arrange rack to a position closest to element. Mash and chop garlic with salt until it forms a paste. Add cayenne, paprika, lemon juice, olive oil, and lots of black pepper. Rub over shrimp. Transfer to a baking sheet and broil 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve.
3. Korean Fried Chicken
Gochuchang, a type of Korean chili paste, almost feels like cheating because it delivers a huge dose of flavor for absolutely no effort. See for yourself with Saveur’s sweet and spicy chicken wings. The sauce is nothing more than gochujang, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, and ginger. It’s perfect on these wings as well as any other protein. You might want to make extra to toss into a stir-fry later in the week.
- Canola oil
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 (1½-inch) piece peeled ginger
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons gochujang
- 1½ tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 16 chicken wings
Directions: Pour oil into a 6-quart pot until it reaches a depth of 2 inches. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, chop garlic and ginger in a food processor. Add soy sauce, gochujang, vinegar, sesame oil, and honey. Blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl.
Whisk flour, cornstarch, and ⅔ cup water in another bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Working in 3 batches, fry chicken until golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Return oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry chicken again until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes longer. Drain once more, toss in sauce, and serve.
4. Black Bean and Chorizo Nachos
It’s a rare person who doesn’t love nachos, so this chorizo and black bean version from The Washington Post is guaranteed to be a hit. Because it comes together so fast, wait until the game starts before baking. It’ll be the best mid-game surprise ever.
- 8 ounces fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed
- 20 ounces corn tortilla chips
- 5 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 5 ounces pepper Jack cheese, grated
- 2 cups cooked black beans, drained
- 12 pickled or fresh jalapeño slices, seeded, if desired
- 2 ripe tomatoes, hulled and coarsely chopped
- 4 scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
- Pickled red onions
- Mexican crema or sour cream
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook chorizo in a small skillet over medium heat until it’s no longer completely raw, but still moist, using a spatula to break into pieces. Meat will not be cooked all the way through.
Spread half of chips over a baking sheet. Evenly top with half of cheese, half of beans, and half of par-cooked chorizo. Repeat with remaining, chips, cheese, beans, and chorizo. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbling and chips have crisped, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Top with jalapeños, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, pickled onions, and crema. Serve at once.
5. Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Most people are fine with setting aside healthy eating for a day filled with football foods, but that doesn’t mean everything has to be loaded with fatty meat and cheese. Give the health-conscious crowd something to cheer about with these Sriracha-glazed Brussels sprouts from PureWow. This might be the one vegetable dish even the carnivores will love.
- 1½ pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoon Sriracha, plus more
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, whisk olive oil, vinegar, honey, and Sriracha until combined. Add sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
Spread sprouts evenly on a baking sheet, cut-sides down. Pour any remaining sauce from bowl onto baking sheet. Roast until sprouts are golden on cut sides and outside is crispy, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve.
6. Spicy Red Pork and Bean Chili
Most chili recipes call for ground beef, canned tomatoes, and not much else. While the results usually taste good, they’re hardly memorable. When you want to floor your friends, make Epicurious’ slowly braised pork chili. This recipe isn’t difficult, but it does take a fair bit of time. Your safest bet is to cook it a day or two in advance, then reheat it over a low flame on the big day.
- ½ pound sliced bacon
- 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1 to 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
- ⅓ cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can beef broth
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- 1 cup water
- 1 (28- to 32-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (19-ounce) cans small red beans or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- Toasted salted pumpkin seeds
- Chopped red onion
- Torn fresh cilantro
- Diced avocado
- Lime wedges
- Sour cream
- Tortilla chips
Directions: Cook bacon in a 6- to 8-quart pot over medium heat, stirring, until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Crumble bacon and set aside.
Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper. Add oil to pot and turn to medium-high heat. Once hot, brown pork in about 6 batches, being careful not to crowd the pot. Remove browned pork to a plate. Add onion and jalapeño and cook over medium heat, stirring, until softened. Add garlic, oregano, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Return pork and accumulated juices to pot. Add broth, coffee, water, and crushed tomatoes.
Bring chili to a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until pork is very tender, about 2 hours. Stir in beans and bring to a simmer, stirring. Serve with bacon and additional toppings.
7. Mexican Brownies
You could try to pull off some culinary masterpiece for dessert, but all anyone wants is a really good brownie. Give the standard just a slight twist by making A Spicy Perspective’s fudgy brownies with cinnamon and cayenne. If you’re worried about the dessert coming out too spicy, try using ground ancho chilis instead. They’ll deliver a similar flavor, but not the heat.
- 1½ cups unsalted butter
- 12 ounces semisweet baking chocolate
- 6 large eggs
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
Melt butter and semisweet chocolate in the microwave, working in 30-second intervals, or in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth, then let cool. In another bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Add egg mixture to cooled chocolate and mix to combine.
Add flour, coffee granules, salt, cinnamon, and ¾ teaspoon cayenne. Stir just until combined, then fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared baking dish, transfer to oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Do not overbake.
Let brownies cool completely, then cut into squares.
Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl. Using a sifter or tea strainer, dust topping evenly over brownies. Serve.