Half-Time Hors D’oeuvres


Football is not my forte. I usually enter end of game to smack talk and provide comic relief when my husband’s team is tanking. I know nothing of the rules — college or NFL. I know more about the nuances of Star Trek and usually spend football Saturday, Sunday, and Monday taking a time out for myself. Before I head off for spa day or to my special place with all the books, I leave a few snacks around for the men folk. I know this is all 1960s: lady in the crinoline skirt with the Jell-O mold and not too feminist of me. Whatevs. I am a southern lady at heart and am thus drawn to making all the food (with butter and bacon). I also think it is pretty smart to have substantial greasy eats around to absorb all the beer that will be consumed. 

Whether you are tailgating or sitting in front of the flat screen, these recipes will go the extra yards for a touch down!

(An example of my lame football lingo…)

And just so you know, I’m no Martha Stewart. I am more of an Amy Sedaris in the kitchen. I only commit to a recipe if it’s quick, easy, make-ahead, and looks doable in the Pinterest pic. I have five recipes for the four quarters and a half-time show (now I am being a show off and letting you know that I at least know the schedule). If you see a  (*), that means no substitutions or you’ll regret that call and might get a penalty or boo from the crowd.

1st Quarter: Hot Trout Dip

½ bar cream cheese, 1 can of Trader Joe’s canned trout*, green onions, 4 Tbs. Pete’s or other vinegar based hot sauce.

  • Chop onion.
  • Drain oil from canned trout.
  • Mix all of this together until smooth.
  • This sounds weird, but it is good. It is my alternative to buffalo chicken dip.

2nd Quarter: Caramelized French Onion Dip (make-ahead)

Sliced Vidalia onion, 2 Tbs. butter, 2 tsp. sage, ¾ cup mayo, ¾ cup sour cream, salt and pepper to taste, wavy chips to eat.

  • Heat butter in saucepan.
  • Sauté onions and sage in butter for about 20-30 minutes on low heat until browned not burned. Low and slow.
  • COOL the onions once cooked.
  • Whisk mayo and sour cream in a bowl.
  • Add cooled onions to mayo mix and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • This is SO MUCH BETTER than store bought.

Half-time Show: Chorizo Chili (make-ahead)

½ lb. each of the meats (ground beef, sausage, and Chorizo), 1 Tbsp. each of the powders (onion, smoked paprika, thyme, and cumin), 2 Tbsp. tomato paste, 2 cups fire roasted tomatoes, 2 chiles in Adobo Sauce chopped*, 1 ½ cup bone or beef broth, ½ cup butter.

  • Cook your meat.
  • Add your tomato paste/puree, Adobo chiles, and broth.
  • Throw in your spices.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes
  • Add the butter and stir through until melted.
  • Serve with toppings of your choice.

3rd Quarter: BLT on a Stick

Ready-made bacon in the box, box of cherry tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, blue cheese or ranch dressing, and small skewers (or cut long ones in half).

  • Heat bacon 20 seconds in microwave, cool, and cut into squares. Don’t heat too long.
  • Cut iceberg into one inch tall layered squares.
  • Skewer lettuce, tomato, and bacon on the party pick.
  • Lay flay on serving dish and drizzle with dressing.

4th Quarter: Tiny Wieners Wrapped in Brown Sugar

16 oz. little smokies sausages, uncooked bacon, ¾ cup light brown sugar packed, ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, dab of black pepper. Toothpicks, plastic reseal bag, and baking sheet lined with foil.

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Spray lined baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  • Dry off little smokies.
  • Wrap little smokies in ½ slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
  • Add brown sugar, cayenne, and pepper to large plastic seal bag.
  • Put wieners in the bag and shake gently to coat them.
  • Place each on the baking sheet.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes until bacon browned. To crisp, you can broil on low.

These half-time hors d’oeuvres are sure to get you voted as MVP! Good luck this season — I hope your team(s) win(s). Obligatory: “Go Vols!”


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