Game day cooking is one of America’s quintessential comfort foods. Who doesn’t love a pile of nachos, a steaming bowl of cheesy dip, the crunch of a spicy buffalo wing? Many people think these kind of snacks are unattainable at home. Many believe that it costs a lot of money to produce these snacks. Many believe that it takes copious amounts of time. All of this is false. The whole tradition of game day food started at home at a young age with my parents. See, we had this tradition: on big nights (like New Year’s Eve, the Superbowl, etc), we would roll out this big, brown blanket on the carpet, put down some coasters and napkins, and have an appetizer feast on the floor. It was like this special treat: when the blanket came out, when dinner wasn’t at the table, it was some sort of special event, moment, game. Mom and Dad always put together a special spread for these kinds of days. Mom would make dips and munchies, and Dad would crack out the deep fryer and whip up a monster pile of homemade wings, potato chips, fried pickles, etc. The first time he did this, the house smelled like oil for at least a week. He’s pretty much perfected the method of cooking in the garage now, though.
Now that I live on my own, it’s up to me to create my own game day traditions. I don’t have a deep fryer (I barely have counter space for what I do have). But I am creative, and I was able to replicate some long-time family staples, cook some new favorites, and develop some apartment-friendly adaptations to create my own super snacks.
One Dish Artichoke Dip
- 1 cup mayo
- 1 bag mozzarella cheese
- 1 jar quartered artichoke hearts
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In an oven safe baking dish, combine all ingredients thoroughly
- Bake for 30 minutes, until edges are golden and it is piping hot.
“Nacho” Ordinary Potato Skins
- 8 russet potatoes
- 1lb ground beef
- Your favorite taco seasoning blend
- Monterrey Jack cheese
- Sour Cream
- Wash the potatoes and prick all over with a fork.
- Microwave for 10-12 minutes until very soft
- Let cool slightly, then cut each potato in half. Hollow out the potato, leaving 1/4inch of flesh all the way around.
- Meanwhile, brown the beef and incorporate the taco seasoning according to your package’s instructions.
- Preheat the broiler on High.
- Rub the outside of each potato with oil, and broil 2-3 minutes until skin begins to crisp.
- Add the taco meat and a generous portion of cheese, and return to broiler until cheese starts to brown and bubble.
- Serve with additional toppings after cooking
Buffalo Chicken Tenders
- Boneless, skinless chicken tenders
- Cooking spray
- 1 egg
- Panko bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- Ranch or bleu cheese dressing for dipping
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Spray a baking tray with cooking spray.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a separate dish, beat the egg. In another dish, combine the panko with additional salt and pepper.
- Bread the chicken: dip in the egg wash, dredge in panko, and lay on the baking sheet.
- Bake 20 minutes on one side, flip and bake an additional 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine buffalo sauce and honey.
- Brush the chicken with the sauce, and return to oven for 4-5 minutes until caramelized.
- Flip the chicken, brush again, and bake 4-5 final minutes
- Serve with sauce!