We love to gather family and friends for fun TV viewing events. This year’s Super Bowl match up between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens, February 3 in New Orleans, provides plenty of opportunities for hearty themed food to keep viewers satisfied.
Geographically Themed Food
New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse is no slouch in the crab cake department. His Chesapeake Bay Classic Crab Cakes use homemade mayonnaise for superb flavor. He also offers Crab Cakes with Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad. I love that combo!
Quaff some local beer with your crab cakes, such as Flying Dog, Union Craft, or National Bohemian (“Natty Boh” to the locals.)
Sourdough bread was invented in San Francisco, and many say that because of San Francisco’s unique foggy weather, no other sourdough can quite match it. Sourdough is really fun to make with kids. Not only is the resulting bread chewy and delicious, the rising dough provides a fun-to-watch kitchen science experiment. Try this recipe for Sourdough Bread, and eat it the San Francisco way, by scooping out a “bowl” in a round sourdough loaf and filling it with clam chowder, cioppino (below, another San Francisco food), or your favorite soup.
In times past, bakers made sourdough starters (or mothers), some of which were passed from kitchen to kitchen to create the perfect bread. Here’s how to make your own sourdough starter. Unlike the version, above, you don’t even need yeast! Learn how sourdough starters work.
San Francisco’s 19th century Italian fishermen gave us this dish, which is a melange of crabs, clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, and other fish gathered from the bay and served in a tomato base. You can easily make a cioppino most anywhere with fish on hand.
Grab some beers from any of a number of San Francisco area breweries and microbreweries, such as Anchor Steam, Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas,
Read about more San Francisco native foods.
New Orleans Gumbo
I didn’t think I could mention Cioppino without summoning New Orleans Gumbo. If your taste runs to the rich and Cajun-spiced, this is your dish. Serve over rice, if you’d like. Try a chicken, sausage and seafood Gumbo from Paula Deen or this New Orleans Creole Gumbo from Epicurious that features crab and sausage.
New Orleans Beignets
I’m not sure how my family came to associate doughnuts with the Super Bowl. There have been years when we’ve gone out early Super Bowl morning to the best doughnut shops to procure them. As the sweet, doughy beignet is the doughnut of New Orleans, you might want to give this Beignet recipe from Southern Living a try.
Team Themed Food
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers get their name from the miners and others who swarmed into California just before 1849, at the discovery of gold and its promise of riches. Though the Gold Rush lasted just a few short years, it swelled the non-native population of California from 1,000 to 100,000 and made a few people rich — largely the merchants and others who sold goods to the 49ers, rather than the miners themselves. Because the 49ers loom large in the area’s history and imagination, you might want to invoke them at your Super Bowl Party.
Think “Chuck Wagon style” and serve hot dogs and beans, chili, or even Sloppy Joes in pie tins, a version of which the hungry miners would have eaten around a campfire. Add sourdough bread (above), cornbread, biscuits, chips, or goldfish crackers. Wash the food down with good ol’ sarsaparilla — known in these parts as root beer.
If you’d like, decorate your table with gold nuggets — paint small rocks with gold paint or glitter glue. Decorate your table or food in Niners colors, red and gold.
The Ravens are a little tougher, as far as a theme goes. The team that reportedly got its name from Edgar Allen’s poem, The Raven, might inspire a dish with small foul, such as squab, quail, or chicken cutlets, like one of my favorite recipes, Chicken Cutlets with Raspberries, from the Silver Palate Good Times cookbook. (Frozen raspberries work as well as fresh.)
And if Ravens got you thinking about Blackbird Pie, you could make your own interpretation, and create a savory Chicken Pot Pie or a sweet Lattice-Top Blackberry Blackbird Pie from Paula Deen, in which the “bird” is merely decorative. The Baltimore Ravens’ colors are purple, gold, white and black.
Football Themed and Game Food
You didn’t think we were going to leave without presenting some football-themed food, did you? No matter who you’re rooting for, these are fun for any game day.
I offer a wonderful guacemole recipe — my husband’s! — to use in your snackadium, or as a separate dip.
Soft pretzels are another Game Day crowd favorite. Kids love to make these, too. They begin, like the sourdough (above), by waiting for the dough to rise.
Need sweets? Decorate gingerbread or your other favorite cookies to make football cookies.
Have fun enjoying enjoying an American pastime with family and friends. Go team!
Looking for more activity and game ideas for kids? See also:
Photos: Sunshine and Sippy Cups, Paula Deen, Romulo Yanes/Epicurious, Pillsbury, Sunshine and Sippy Cups, Morguefile, The Baker Chick