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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Super Bowl 2018 Snacks


Unconventional food choices sure to score on your Super Bowl Sunday

This coming Sunday, Feb. 4, is the National Football League’s final Sunday of the year. Super Bowl LII, for those of us in need of a review on Roman numerals, is the 52nd big game. And while the athletes participating likely have dietary restrictions, the audience does not. Super Bowl parties are a time to crack open a cold one and pair it with exceedingly unhealthy and delicious food. I’m going to show you how to kick your snack choices up a notch with easy alternatives to the classics.

First up we have Spanish ham croquettes or croquetas de jamón, a food so greasy and delicious it’s hard to believe it has yet to become a favorite among sporting event snacks. Croquettes are adored throughout Europe, but this recipe from The Spruce is made in the Spanish style. Fried bechamel logs dotted with chunks of ham or bacon, these treats will replace mozzarella sticks as your guests’ new favorite fried sports snack. These tapas are heavy by themselves, so be sure you have plenty of beverages handy.

Next we have rillettes, specifically salmon rillettes. Traditionally, they are made by cooking meat in large quantities of fat. Generally, the meat of choice is pork; after cooking, the fat and meat combination is allowed to cool, and you are left with a harmony of fat and meat that is spreadable on crackers and bread at room temperature. While it may sound strange, France is famous for it, and it’s one of the more delicious things the country has offered cuisine. Salmon rillettes, or any fish rillettes for that matter, are a small departure from that process. The fish is cooked separately from the fat, and the fat is generally not animal fat. In David Lebovitz’s adapted recipe from Susan Loomis, butter and olive oil serve as a bonding agent. And while the process is quite different, the result is just as delicious, if not more. Spread the salmon rillettes on crackers, chips, bread — you name it. After all’s said and done, you’ll have a new party snack that’s sure to please.

Next there’s nuts. To be specific, The Grill Bitch’s bar nuts. In the recipe, famed chef and entertainer Anthony Bourdain describes the origins of his former co-worker Beth Aretsky’s bar nuts. Nut mixes are a staple of the American bar scene; they can be the perfect pairing with a cocktail or even just a midday snack. Aretsky’s concoction calls for candying the nuts in a sugar and egg white mixture, after which the nuts are baked until crispy brown. Having tried the nuts myself, I can attest to Bourdain’s admission that they really are addictive.

Lastly, we have pretzels. No self-respecting, beer-filled sports party would be complete without the traditional German drinking companion. As an ode to the German pretzel fanatics, I’ve opted for Julia Moskin’s Bavarian pretzel recipe. While this snack is a bit more of an undertaking than the previous three, it’s extremely rewarding. Nothing beats fresh breads, and pretzels are no exception. Fresh out of the oven, dipped in mustard with a chilled beverage close by — that’s a Super Bowl win we can all get behind.


Written by: Rowan O’Connell-Gates — arts@theaggie.org


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