January 30, 2012

It’s time for a huge confession. I’m not a sports fan. I watched football for a few years, when I lived in Pittsburgh, where being ignorant of the details of the Steelers game made for awkward water cooler moments.  The Immaculate Reception was decades ago, and in the intervening years, when the sounds of crowd cheers and crunching equipment is blasting in one room, you’ll find me in the kitchen, cooking away, watching a movie, a cooking show, or something  DVR’d because Dennis hates the program.

However, an exception is made for the Super Bowl. After all, it’s an event where food plays an important part. Specifically, snack food. And cocktails. And great advertising.

But really… it’s all about the food. I love snacks, finger food, tiny bites and this seemed like the right time to transform some of the many bags of Charcutepalooza meat odd bits in the freezer into ideas for your Super Bowl Super Snacks.

Korean Pepper Paste packs a kick. Kimchi is next with this bad boy.

I started with a bag of four chicken wings, cut into two pieces each (the tips had gone into stock, I’m sure.) Eight pieces. Just enough for lunch. I have a wing recipe I use for large crowds (highly recommend!) or I could always just dredge and fry and dip in Buffalo Hot Sauce, but, when I spied Korean BBQ Wings on the McCormick 2012 Flavor Forecast (Honoring Roots), I knew I had to make that recipe.

This delicious – really delicious! perfect lunch! loved this sooooo much! – recipe is quick to make and incredibly showy. The wings are lacquered and tender and seriously spicy.

Mix together the marinade ingredients and let the wings hang out for anywhere from an hour to a day. Foil wrap a sheet pan – this is an important step, no kidding, if you ever want to use the sheet pan again – spread out the wings and bake. McCormick suggests grilling after baking for pretty grill marks, but there was no way that was happening. They were perfect just the way they came out of the oven.

Because I was very enthusiastic in my application of the Korean chili paste (ahem), and with McCormick’s Flavor Forecast in mind, the light, crisp, sweet, acidic pear salad made a great counterpoint.

And while I was rooting through the freezer, I also found a bag containing half a pound of cubed pork belly. Using this exquisite recipe from Kian’s Red Cook blog, I  prepared red cooked pork belly cubes. They were sweet, caramelized, deeply flavored and perfect served up on the end of a decorative spear.

Hosting a Super Bowl gathering? Why not try these exotic alternatives to the ordinary snack food.

Onion Tarts
Duck Proscuitto and Arugula Pizza
Olives all’Ascolana
Red Cooked Pork Belly
Korean BBQ Chicken Wings

Pear ‘Slaw’
Serves 2

1 firm ripe Barlett pear
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tsp honey
Pinch of McCormick’s Ginger
Pinch of salt
1 T green onion, minced
Toasted Sesame Seeds

Using the mandoline or a box grater, grate the pear down from the skin to the core.

Mix together the lime juice, 1/4 tsp of the zest, the honey, ginger.

Toss the pear slices with the dressing.

Pile on a platter, top with the Korean BBQ Chicken Wings, scatter the scallion and sesame seeds.

Serve with plenty of napkins.

This is another report from 2012 flavor forecasting. McCormick Spices invited me to a webinar to learn all about the new flavor profiles they’re anticipating for 2012. McCormick Test Kitchen Chef Mark Garcia developed modern flavor combinations – six different trends – with enticing names like No Boundaries (the blueberry cardamom corn combination led to the Blueberry Syrup and Corny Waffles) and  Flavorful Swaps (where a grapefruit/cayenne idea inspired the Salty Dog recipe) It’s the first time McCormick has gone global, and it’s really exciting. Please check out and LIKE the McCormick Spices Facebook site for new ideas and so many great recipes. The Honoring Roots flavor profile suggests Korean pepper paste, Asian pear, and sesame and inspired this sponsored post.

4 Responses to “super bowl snacks”

  1. Elyse

    Cathy, the photography in this post is outstanding!! New camera? Increased photo skills? Am I just noticing what a star you have always been (she said sheepishly)?

    • Cathy

      Thank you, Elyse! I think the food was ready at the exact right time for light in the kitchen – entirely by accident!


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