With Super Bowl Sunday around the corner, it’s time to plan your super menu. ESSENCE.com caught up with Food Network’s Sunny Anderson to discuss how to spice up your traditional Super Bowl fixings.
ESSENCE.com: How should someone go about planning a Super Bowl Sunday menu?
SUNNY ANDERSON: Here’s the deal. It’s a day-long event, it isn’t just a few hours. There’s a pre-game, then it’s the kickoff, there’s halftime, the end of the game and we all know there’s something that premieres right after the game. It’s a full day of eating. If it’s just you and your significant other, I say figure it out. If it’s you plus your family and friends — to me, it’s about doing the classics your way. The classics for game day are chili, nachos and wings — if you don’t have those, you’re not having a party. Anything other than that is icing on the cake!
ESSENCE.com: How can we spice up our traditional snacks?
ANDERSON: I have a recipe that’s called Nacho Blanco. It’s a twist on nachos and I make a white cheddar sauce. It’s really simple to make. It’s onions that you sauté, you add some flour, milk and cheese. Then I take a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and pull the meat off it. I then make a roasted jalapeno salsa, which sounds fancy but it’s just a couple of jalapenos, onions, and a couple cloves of garlic roasted in the oven. You then put them in a blender and add chicken stock, cilantro and toss the chicken in that and pour white cheese sauce over it.
ESSENCE.com: What are some healthy alternatives to chips, salsa, chili?
ANDERSON: I think good alternatives are things like a good fruit salsa like a jicama salad. I have a mango salsa that’s really good and you good eat it with a fork. The way I have it prepped in the recipe — you chop everything down to size and serve it in a hollowed-out half circle pineapple. I think that’s nice because it’s all fruit and just a little bit of honey and that’s the sweetener and everything else is the natural sweetness from the fruit. Something else people could think about are the trays you buy from the grocery store with crudites, carrots and celery. I think making a dipping sauce at home is much better than buying the packets. You could get low fat sour cream, scallions, add in onion powder, garlic powder for taste and maybe a little lime juice and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. Making your own dips is a smart thing to do.
ESSENCE.com: What are some great snacks for people on a budget?
ANDERSON: I say when you’re making your party mixes with cereal, you don’t have to use the brand name cereals. Always look at bag cereals if you’re making party mixes. Also, pop your own popcorn! It’s so expensive to buy the microwavable one. You can buy a whole box or bag of Redenbacher and it makes a million bags of popcorn. I say buy in bulk and it’s a lot more fun and festive to pop it yourself. It’ll be clean which means it doesn’t come with oils, fats and flavorings that come in that bag.
ESSENCE.com: What are you planning to make this Super Bowl?
ANDERSON: I’m making chili and nachos! Instead of making nachos where you drizzle everything over top, I’m going to make a hot queso-dip. I ordered some chips — I might end up frying my own based on what the chips look like when they get here. And I’m making wings and I’m going to coat them. I’ll do like the typical hot sauce and butter, BBQ sauces, but this time around I’m going to make a BBQ rub. You know when you have really good BBQ potato chips and the bottom of the bag has that powder that’s left at the bottom — I’m going to engineer a seasoning to mimic that flavor and toss my wings in it!
For more ideas, tips and recipes from Sunny Anderson, click here.