I love the Super Bowl because it gives me an excuse to make super indulgent bar food! Have plenty of finger foods waiting for your guests. Serve chips, guacamole, chicken empanadas with chili con queso dip, and individual portions of goat cheese nachos. At half time set up a sandwich bar and invite guests to Italian sausage meatball subs and lobster rolls. Offer mini bags of store bought potato chips on the side. For these finger licking good recipes


Chicken Empanadas with Chili Con Queso Dip
From Paula Deen

3 cups chopped, cooked chicken, about 4 to 5 chicken breasts
1 (8-ounce) package shredded colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts

  1. Preheat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl using a rubber spatula, combine the chicken, colby and Monterey cheese, cream cheese, red pepper, jalapeno, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  3. Remove 1 pie crust from pie tin onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 15-inch circle.
  4. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Re-roll dough as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining pie crusts, making 12 to 15 circles total.
  5. Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the edges of crust with water. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round.
  6. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds and chicken mixture.
  7. Place empanadas in deep-fryer for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with chili con queso dip, recipe below.

Serves 12-15.

Make ahead: The fried empanada recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month.

Goat Cheese Nachos
From Everyday With Rachael Ray magazine

Two 15.5-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges for serving
1/2 white onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch ground cumin
Salt and pepper
20 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup heavy cream
2 bags tortilla chips (18 to 24 ounces total)
3 ripe avocados, coarsely chopped
1 pint fresh pico de gallo or salsa
1 cup chopped cilantro

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the black beans, lime juice, onion, olive oil, garlic, cayenne, cumin and a pinch salt and pepper.
  2. Cover and warm over medium-low heat, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer half of the mixture to a food processor; blend until smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan and stir; cover to keep warm.
  3. In a medium, microwaveable bowl, stir the goat cheese with the heavy cream. Cover and microwave on high power for 90 seconds; whisk until creamy. Set aside.
  4. Place a large handful of tortilla chips in individual paper bowls, drizzle with goat cheese sauce and top with the black bean mixture, avocado, pico de gallo and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Serves 10.

Italian Sausage Meatball Heroes
From Bon Appetit magazine

1 pound spicy or sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1 (23- to 24-ounce) container purchased fresh marinara sauce, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
4 (5- to 6-inch-long) pieces French baguette, split horizontally
1 cup (packed) coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix sausage, 1/2 cup marinara, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons parsley, and 2 tablespoons basil in large bowl. Using wet hands, shape mixture into 8 meatballs.
  3. Bring 2 tablespoons parsley, 2 tablespoons basil, remaining marinara, and meatballs to boil in large skillet.
  4. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, turning often, about 20 minutes.
  5. Place baguette bottoms on baking sheet; spread each with about 2 tablespoons sauce from skillet.
  6. Cut meatballs in half in skillet; overlap 4 halves on each baguette bottom. Spoon remaining sauce over meatballs, then sprinkle mozzarella over, dividing equally. Bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and basil and cover with baguette tops.

Serves 4.

Lobster Sliders
From Food and Wine magazine

Meat from a 1 1/2-pound cooked lobster (1 1/4 cups), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon finely diced dill pickle
2 tablespoons finely diced celery
1 1/2 teaspoons minced tarragon
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
Eight 2-inch round soft dinner rolls, split

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the lobster with the mayonnaise, crème fraîche, shallot, pickle, celery, tarragon and lemon zest. Season with salt and white pepper and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Lightly butter the cut side of each roll. Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Toast the rolls in the skillet, cut side down, until lightly golden, about 1 minute.
  3. Transfer the rolls to a work surface. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the lobster salad on the bottom half of each roll. Close the sliders and serve.

Serves 8.