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Football Buffet Ideas

With playoffs just around the corner, I'm starting planning for our Super Bowl party. I'm looking for some great food ideas, and fun party foods...some homemade, some not. I estimate there will be 35-45 people attending.

Any suggestions are very much appreciated!

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    1. re: monavano

      +1 for the buffalo chicken dip, goes oh-so-well with football games!

      1. re: Val

        +2. on the buffalo chicken dip.

        We are a big football house. People seem to go for easy things. We do little tamales, buy really good fried spring rolls (from Costco - they are really good - but greasy - I think they are in a green box) and we make a couple sauces for them. Queso dip, chili cheese dip (with canned chile, velveeta and cream cheese - I know - don't say it). Big veggie platter, big meat and cheese platter with little rolls and condiments. Sometimes we do chili and stuff to go on it. We put it in a crockpot. Sometimes we stuff mushrooms with cheese, bacon and spinach or with breadcrumbs and sausage. Sometimes a gumbo instead of chili. Shrimp cocktail...

        People (at least our friends) do not like Superbowl food to be mucked with. No pate with figs and toasts. They give you the evil eye. Sometimes if the weather works we grill at half time and just have apps on the pool table and spread around the room. I like that option. Far less game time work. We grill fish or prebaked ribs, burgers, dogs, steak... fast and easy.

    2. I'm doing the same, but probably for only 15-20 people.
      This year, I want to do an Asian riff on hot wings. (I recently ran across a Nina Symonds recipe that looked promising.) Also cold (flash-roasted) shrimp with different sauces: remoulade, aioli w/chives, something w/sesame oil and soy sauce. I'm going to set up a small table with all the fixings for mini po-boys (which could also work well for a large group). My husband always asks me to make baby back ribs; if I do that this year, I'm going to ask the butcher to cut them in half so they're more manageable as finger food. If I were to buy anything, I'd get a platter of mini muffulettas, which are always popular.
      Hot spinach-artichoke dip is always a hit; served w/tortilla chips, it goes a long way so is great for a big group.

      I always like to put out some cold veggies--asparagus, green beans, cherry tomatoes on skewers--that can be dipped. A big bowl of edamame pods sprinkled w/pink, red, or black salt is really pretty. It's a healthy, filling alternative that always gets eaten.

      1. two favorites that always finish:
        - asian glazed drummettes (you can make them in the morning and heat them later)
        - chicken taco bar

        For the chicken, I marinate chicken cutlets in two or three different marinades. I grill the cutlets in a grill pan and slice into strips. They're good warm or at room temperature. Arrange the chicken on a large platter lined with shreded cabbage. Set out small bowls of toppings- guacamole, salsa, bbq sauce, chopped chipotles, jalapenos, sour cream. I put our warm platters of wrapped flour and corn tortillas and taco shells. Everyone loves it.. and it's the kind of thing that can stay out for a while and still be appetizing.

        The main course is always chili- served at haltime. Appetizers (wings, tacos, salad, crudite) are on the table from 4pm when friends start arriving. One year I did a chip and dip theme which worked out pretty well. I did hummus, olive tapenade, guacamole, salsa, eggplant caviar, roasted pepper dip, and onion dip. All were in matching small serving dishes arranged on a large wood tray. On large platters I put out rows of vegetables- celery, carrots, blanched broccoli and asparagus, romaine hearts, snow peas. On another platter I arranged homemade pita chips (plain, zaatar, cumin), and homemade baked tortilla chips (habanero/lime, flour, multigrain, corn). Oh.. and I made chicken strips for dipping also.

        Hope this helps!

        4 Replies
        1. re: cheesecake17

          I love the idea of a taco bar. Definitely investigating some options!

          1. re: FoodChic

            Happy you like the idea! You could also serve grilled steak alongside the chicken... I didn't though b/c we're not big meat eaters and the chili had meat.

            Another idea- one year I did turkey burger sliders. I made several batches, each flavored differently. Was a big hit with the guys.

          2. re: cheesecake17

            At the Super Bowl party I'd go to with my ex every year, the hosts would have a huge pot of chili on the stove, with accompaniments along-side, and bowls to ladle it into. Everyone else brought what they wanted to eat and drink, and no one went away hungry!

            1. re: tracylee

              That's a great idea! My problem is that I love to prepare the appetizers and everything else- I won't let anyone else bring anything!!

          3. It's going to sound silly, but meatballs in the grape jelly and chili sauce are always well received at parties I go to (I don't make them, but I do enjoy eating them!) You could buy frozen meatballs and just dump them into a crock pot to heat up in the sauce.

            Pulled Pork on mini-hamburger buns would be easy, again, make, heat and serve in a crockpot. With a bowl of coleslaw alongside to top the pulled pork. :-)

            Crabby Bites are a great app if you can find the Olde English cheese spread. You can prep them ahead of time and freeze them, then just pop them into the oven to heat up after a quick defrost. http://southernfood.about.com/od/seaf...

            Orange-Spiced Nuts: http://www.chow.com/recipes/25611-ora...

            Roasted Red Pepper Dip with pita chips, various versions of wings, and Sausage Wontons are also great finger food: http://www.food.com/recipe/sausage-wo...

            2 Replies
              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                They are seriously addictive. You could just put them in bowls around the TV viewing area for snicky-snacks without getting up from the TV. :-D

            1. i vote for waiting to see who makes it in and then making dishes indicative of the city. like clam chowder for the pats!

              6 Replies
              1. re: hotoynoodle

                Jambalaya or gumbo for the Saints! :-)

                Who Dat?!?

                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                    we'll just see who-all comes marchin' in, yo!

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      We could both end up there, hotoynoodle . . .

                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                        w00t! i feel pretty darn good about the pats, i must say. good luck with your saints!

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          LOL! I liked this little exchange - now THAT would be a good game with the Pats and Saints! (GO PATS!)

                          ;-)