Nothing brings out our nation’s collective competitive spirit quite like professional football’s championship game, coming up on Sunday, February 7. No matter which team you’re cheering for, this is the perfect time to celebrate the Big Easy way – with a New Orleans-Style party that’s all about bringing together friends and family for good food and fun.
Zatarain’s, the brand serving up New Orleans-style food for more than 120 years, offers up great recipes and game-watching tips to bring the spirit of New Orleans into your living room, no matter where in the country you live. Game-watching parties are a great way to bring people together – and New Orleans-style food is a flavorful and fun way to feed a crowd.
“Crescent City Jambalaya” is a delicious, full-flavored one-pot meal that is easy to make ahead of time so you don’t miss a minute of the game.
Unite the crowd over everyone’s favorite party food – chicken wings. Try a bold Creole Mustard sauce to give them a sweet and tangy flavor with New Orleans-Style flair.
Finally, incorporate New Orleans flavors with crowd-pleasing Red Bean and Rice Party Dip – perfect for dipping chips, pretzels or veggies. And, don’t forget to have a shaker of Creole Seasoning on hand to add a distinctive kick to burgers or hot dogs.
To find more recipes for your football party, visit the website. Along with great food ideas, you’ll find easy tips for celebrating Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday, which takes place the week following the football game. Decorate early and bring a little jazz to your game-watching celebration at the same time.
This spicy, flavorful dish is perfect for a Mardi Gras party, and it really is “big easy.” The recipe can be doubled easily to serve 12 by using two packages of Jambalaya Mix, doubling all the other ingredients and cooking in a Dutch oven or saucepot.
Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef John Besh of Restaurant August, New Orleans.
Liven up the party with this Southwestern-style dip. Serve with tortilla chips.
From Ann Clark, Ltd, the cookie cutter people from Vermont, comes a delicious twist on cookies perfect for any Super Bowl party. Ann Clark herself posts this on the company’s blog page.
The Super Bowl is almost here and it’s a fun event, whether you’re a real football fan or just like a good party. The Indianapolis Colts defeated the New York Jets in the AFC Championship and, in a real nail-biter; the New Orleans Saints prevailed over the Minnesota Vikings in the third NFC Championship game ever to be decided in overtime. The Colts have played in three Super Bowls, and have won two. But the Saints have never, in their 40-plus years of playing as a team, made it to the Big Game. So it should be an exciting contest.
Food-wise, Super Bowl parties aren’t the time to be fancy or avant-garde. Beer, salty snacks, and hearty foods like chili and guacamole are perennial favorites for a reason – they’re flavorful and fuss-free. Rolled cookies in football-related shapes can pull double duty as dessert and decoration. I’m no sports analyst, but from a cookie decorating perspective, this year’s teams make a great match-up: In addition to footballs, football helmets, and jerseys, if you’re a Saints fan you can use our Fleur de Lis cookie cutter. If you’re rooting for the Colts, you can choose our Horseshoe cookie cutter or Horse Head cookie cutter.
In honor of Miami, this year’s Super Bowl host city, I gave this week’s cookie recipe a bright citrus flavor by adding lime zest and juice, and topped the cookies with a tangy lime icing. If you don’t want to take the time to re-create the team colors and logos, simply bake the cookies and spread the icing on. Either way, they’ll disappear before you can yell “Touchdown!”
Ann, Ann Clark, Ltd.
You will need two limes for the cookies and icing; be sure to zest them before juicing them. If you are using the icing to pipe decorations on the cookies, rather than simply frosting them, be sure to strain the pulp from the lime juice.
My favorite shapes for Zesty Lime Cookies include the T-Shirt cookie cutter, the Football cookie cutter, the Football Helmet cookie cutter, the Fleur de Lis cookie cutter and the Horseshoe cookie cutter.
And for those searching for a healthier way to celebrate the big game, try these tips.
If you’re an armchair quarterback, “sitting around drinking brews and sodas and chowing down on fatty wings, chips and dips won’t help you make the cut,” says registered and licensed dietitian Susan Burke March, author of "Making Weight Control Second Nature: Living Thin Naturally.”
“Score a nutritional touchdown and serve some healthy snacks while rooting your team on to victory,” March says. Here are some of her quick tips for healthy football-friendly fare and a chili recipe that’s a sure winner:
● Always choose baked chips instead of fried. Tortilla chips and potato chips come in different baked flavors and saves up to 30 percent of the calories of fried chips. Fat-free or reduced fat does not mean calorie free … watch your portion size.
● Serve bean dip instead of regular sour cream dip. Only 46 calories per three tablespoons compared to more than double for full-fat sour cream.
● Nuts are nutritious, but they add up quickly. Serve a giant bowl of air-popped popcorn sprayed with butter-flavored cooking spray and sprinkled with dehydrated butter granules. I like Butter Buds or Molly McButter. Delicious with only 60 calories for 3 cups, only a trace of fat and about 10 grams of sodium. Save 280 calories, 28 grams of fat and 330 milligrams of sodium over regular microwave popcorn.
● Replace fried mozzarella sticks with chicken skewers. They’re really popular and always great party food. You can buy them already prepared (especially at warehouse grocers), and save 188 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 546 milligrams of sodium over the same sized portion of fried cheese.
● Serve a healthy submarine sandwich. Whole-wheat hero rolls give you that extra added fiber and nutrition (not to mention taste!) compared to white bread. Layer on turkey breast, lean roast beef or lean ham, shredded lettuce and tomato slices; slice into 2-inch portions and serve with sliced onions and pickles.
● Keep the calories low by using low fat mayonnaise, and naturally low-calorie ketchup and mustard. Fat-free dressings should be offered … the new varieties are so good, you won’t miss the fat.
● Imbibe with caution, because those brews add up! One regular beer ranges between 150 to 200 calories; instead serve light beer … only about 100 calories per bottle. A 5-ounce glass of wine has about 100 calories, as does one ounce of alcoholic spirits such as vodka, gin or scotch. Serve a variety of diet sodas, flavored club sodas and keep a big cooler with individual bottles of spring water.
● Substituting juice for regular soda is like substituting regular sour cream for mayonnaise … you’re not going to save calories. An 8-ounce glass of juice, unsweetened, has about 120 calories. Offer club soda with a splash of 100 percent juice and a piece of fresh lemon or lime for a lower calorie refreshing beverage.
● Dips: Any dried dip mix will do, but instead of regular sour cream, add 1/2 cup nonfat sour cream, 1/2 cup nonfat mayonnaise, and 3/4 cup diced fresh tomatoes, 1/4 cup chopped green onion, and 1/4 cup chopped ripe olives, rinsed and drained. Mix and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
● Crudités: everyone like crunchy veggies, especially with a tasty dip. Buy pre-washed and cut-up veggies and you’re ready to go … zero prep time.
At half time, get up and do 100 jumping jacks!
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