It's the day of the big game and you're expecting a big group of hungry football fans. The trouble is you only have a few hours to prepare the appetizers. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy football appetizers that can be prepared in under an hour. These classic finger foods won't cost a bundle, and will more than satisfy your guests' munchies, no matter what kind of appetite they work up cheering for their teams.
Nachos are a classic football appetizer sure to score a touchdown with your guests. Use good quality, hearty corn chips and sharp cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese. Shred your own cheese, or, for a real time-saver pick up shredded cheese at the supermarket. Combine the cheese with spicy dried dip mix. Bake in the oven until the cheese melts. Cooking in the microwave works, too, but can result in soggy chips and hardened cheese. Top it all off with some fresh cut or canned jalapeños.
Nothing says game day better than spicy Buffalo wings, an easy appetizer created at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. Use small but meaty organic or free-range chicken wings and drumsticks. The key is the sauce, which should include salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, paprika, hot sauce and butter. Switch up the dip by using ranch dressing instead of the traditional blue cheese.
Here's your chance to be creative. Traditional bruschetta is toasted Italian bread topped with tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and herbs, but there are infinite possibilities for toppings. Use slices of grilled eggplant, melted goat cheese and chives, or use prosciutto, grilled red peppers and basil leaves. Spread a thin layer of cracked peppercorn dressing on the bread before you add the toppings. Whatever you think will taste good together probably will, so make enough toast to experiment and satisfy a variety of football-fan palates.
Pizza bagels are fun appetizers that your football gang can easily grab off the platter. As with the nachos, prepare your pizza bagels in the oven to avoid that soggy texture that sometimes results from microwaving. There's no need to get complicated here. Just top off some mini-bagels with canned marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella and oregano. Toasted English muffins also work well as mini-pizzas.
The key to this timeless favorite is to choose good quality, bakery-style bread. Lightly sauté some chopped garlic in olive oil until slightly golden, and brush it on the bread, or save time by using prepared garlic butter. Top off the bread with some pure extra virgin olive oil and oregano before baking. Sprinkle some fresh grated parmesan cheese on top as it comes hot out of the oven if you like.
Homemade onion rings are actually easier than you might think, but use a safe, sturdy fryer made for the job, and fully heat the oil to the correct temperature before dunking the rings in. Make a simple batter to dip the rings in from eggs, milk, water and flour. When you remove the rings from the fryer, place them on a big plate with a paper towel and dab them to remove some of the excess oil before serving. Try Vidalia onions for a wonderful undertone of sweetness. Serve with plenty of creamy dressing.
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