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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Recipes to change up a Super Bowl party

The big game is coming up. The Super Bowl is the most watched yearly event. Super Bowl parties come in many sizes. They can be a couple of friends to large blowouts. One thing you will always find at a Super Bowl party is food.

In my opinion, the best food for the big game is finger food, something that’s one or two bites. This leaves your menu open to many different options. Today I want to feature two recipes that are perfect for Super Bowl Sunday, or any day for that matter. The first is a meat dish, Pimento Cheese Sausage Balls. The second contains seafood, Bayou Crawfish Bread. So break the huddle, and Let’s head to the kitchen!

Pimento Cheese Sausage Balls

At my home, sausage balls usually made an appearance only around Christmas time. This recipe is a little more upscale than the traditional recipe found on the back of the baking mix box. For a little more flavor, use andouille in place of the smoked sausage.

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 pound smoked sausage, finely chopped

1 small sweet onion, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained well

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning

1/2 stick chilled butter, chopped

1 pound finely shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400℉.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Brown sausage; drain well and set aside, leaving drippings in skillet. Add onion and garlic to hot drippings; sauté until sweated, about 5 minutes. Drain away excess drippings; spoon hot onions and garlic in a mixing bowl. Add reserved browned sausage, drained pimentos, and chopped green onions; stir to blend. Set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder and Creole seasoning in a mixing bowl; whisk to blend. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add reserved sausage mixture and shredded Cheddar; mix just until blended. Add buttermilk, stirring just until moist; let sit 5 minutes for liquid to absorb.

Mold mixture into 1-inch balls; place 1-inch apart on a lightly greased baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Bayou Crawfish Bread

Here’s a twist on a traditional crawfish bread. What’s the twist you may ask? First, shrimp are added to the mixture. More importantly is how the bread is cut. If you have ever had a sandwich from Subway, then you know exactly how to cut the bread.

12-ounce loaf French bread

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup chopped yellow onion

1/3 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup white wine (sub seafood stock)

1/2 pound peeled and deveined large fresh shrimp

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 pound crawfish tails

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided

1 teaspoon Creole seasoning

Preheat oven to 400℉. In the top of the loaf, cut a "v" shape. Remove cut bread and hollow out loaf, leaving a 1-inch shell; save bread for another use. Place loaf on a baking sheet, and bake until crispy, about 5 minutes. Leave oven on.

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; add onion, celery, peppers, and garlic, and cook until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add wine and shrimp, and cook until the shrimp are pink. Add cream cheese, stirring constantly until cheese is melted; remove from heat. Add crawfish, 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, and Creole seasoning, stirring until cheese begins to melt. Spoon crawfish mixture into bread shelf.

Bake until bubbly, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining Monterey Jack cheese. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Will I watch the Super Bowl this year? I always want to see the commercials but in recent years, they have not been as good as in years past. Since my Saints are not in the big game, I won’t be pulling for any team to win. You can bet that I will have good food around me. It’s my favorite non-holiday cooking day.

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