The big game is another great excuse to get creative in the kitchen and keep your game day guests very happy!
On the menu:
Beer Margaritas - Yep, that's right! Might as well get it all in your system at once!! Besides, it's delicious.
Mini Grilled Meatball Grinders
Pretzel Bites with Cheesy-Habanero Dipping Sauce
Homemade French Onion Dip (courtesy Saveur magazine)
Step 1: Mini Grilled Meatball Grinders
All of the recipes in this instructable are my own except the French Onion Dip - here is the link:
For the meatball mini grinders you will need the following items and recipes:
Meatballs - photos 1-9
1 lb ground beef
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
3 T. milk
1/4 c. bread crumbs
2 T. fresh parsley - finely minced
4 cloves garlic - finely minced
1/4 onion - finely minced
In a medium mixing bowl whisk egg. Add milk and bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Let soak for 3-5 minutes. Add in ground beef, onion and garlic. Mix just to combine. Do not over mix. Roll into round balls to fit a meatball grill basket. Makes 12 meatballs. (If you don't have a meatball grill basket bake the meatballs in the oven at 400 degrees F. for about 15-20 minutes.)
Heat gas grill to 400 degrees F. Grill 10 minutes each side. Since it is only 28 degrees today my husband gets to do this part!
While you are grilling throw the buns on the grill just to give some marks. This is optional but you're already out there so do it!
After meatballs are grilled slice each meatball into thirds.
Marinara - photos 10-17
3 T. olive oil
1/2 large onion - finely diced
9 cloves garlic - minced
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 T. Italian seasoning
1 t. white pepper
1 T. salt
In a medium sauce pan heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté until transparent. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices. Stir to combine. Cook on low heat for one hour. Purée with immersion blender and continue to cook on low for two more hours.
Italian Dressing - photos 18-20
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/2 c. olive oil
1 T. italian seasoning
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
2 t. agave nectar or honey
pinch of salt
dash of pepper
Add all ingredients to a jar or shaker and shake to combine. Leave at room temperature until ready to use.
Layer from bottom to top - bottom bun, Italian dressing, meatball (1 meatball or 3 slices), marinara, provolone cheese. Before you add the top bun put under the broiler until cheese is melted. Remove from broiler and add top bun.
Step 2: Pretzel Bites With Habanero Cheddar Dipping Sauce
Pretzel Bites - photos 1-17
4 c. flour
1 pkg. dry active yeast
1 1/2 t. salt
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 c. water
6 T. melted butter
1 egg - slightly beaten
2 t. olive oil
1/8 c. baking soda
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, yeast, salt and sugar.
In a microwave safe vessel heat water to 120-130 degrees F. In another microwave safe vessel melt butter. Add water and butter to flour mixture and stir to combine. Dump mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. Form dough into a ball.
Add olive oil in a large bowl and roll the dough in oil to cover all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Fill a large soup pot about 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add baking soda being careful not to splatter yourself.
In approximately 20 piece batches add the pretzel dough cooking for about 30 seconds. The water will become very foamy. You may need to remove the pot from the heat to stop the foam occasionally.
With a slotted spoon remove pretzel bites and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough pieces. Once the baking sheet is full brush tops with beaten egg and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Course salt is the traditional way, but I'm not a huge fan of it so I use sea salt.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until bites are a deep golden brown.
Habanero Cheddar Dipping Sauce - photos 18-22
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 c. milk
1 t. white pepper
1 1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. grated cheddar cheese
3/4 c. grated monteray jack cheese
1-2 habanero peppers - finely minced
In a medium sauce pan melt butter. Add flour, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes stirring often.
Add milk and whisk until there are no lumps. Add grated cheese and whisk until melted.
Remove from heat and add habanero peppers stirring to incorporate.
Serve with pretzel bites!
***If you have guests that are sensitive to spicy foods divide cheese sauce in half before adding hot peppers.
Step 3: Pretzel Boxes
These are very basic boxes - the kind you used to make as a kid. No glue or tape required.
Using a square piece of paper fold diagonally both ways to make an 'x' from corner to corner.
Unfold the paper and fold each corner to the middle of the paper (so you have a smaller square). Turn the paper and fold one flat side into the middle. Turn paper and repeat on other side.
Unfold one corner and pinch in the sides to make the side of the box. Repeat on the other side.
Fold the pinched paper over the edge and secure on the bottom. Repeat on the other side for a finished box.
Step 4: Beer Margaritas
Again, if you want to buy store bought margarita mix you can if you think it is easier. I make a simple syrup and add to the juiced limes and lemons instead.
1 shot tequila
2 oz beer
1 oz lemon lime juice
1-2 oz simple syrup
In a small sauce pan boil 1 c. water. Add 1 cup sugar turn head to medium and stir until sugar dissolves. Continue stirring over medium for one minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
Juice two lemons and two limes into a small bowl.
Rim a glass with salt and add crushed ice. Add tequila, beer, juice and simple syrup.
Garnish with a slice of lime.