By Jessica Bowne | January 27, 2017 | Food & Drink
Throwing a party at home for friends and family to celebrate the New England Patriots' 8th Super Bowl appearance? We reached out to some of Boston’s most creative chefs on their go-to dishes and tips for throwing a successful party at home to celebrate Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, and the rest of the team.
“I always prepare the day before so that when guests arrive you can be part of the party and not in the kitchen doing all the work. Also, give your friends tasks. Make someone be the bartender who's preparing all the drinks or opening wine as well as assign someone to help with cleaning or setting the table, putting out the food etc. I always think of the movie The Big Chill; everyone should pitch in. Make sure you have a great sound track. Music always motivates guests. Also...don't be cheap and invest in some nice wine. Diversify your menu and try to have some healthy food. It shouldn't all be dips and nachos! Don't forget your Davio's Spring Rolls!”
“When selecting ingredients for an at-home shellfish tower, choose a local fishmonger that you know and trust. You’ll get the best seafood (and the best prices), if you stick with local and seasonal seafood. Whole lobster will be plentiful locally and based on the available selection, you may want to consider including scallops or mussels to your tower. Don’t be afraid of lobster or crab legs! To make them easier for your guests to dig into, remove the burrs from the crab legs by gently sliding the back edge of a knife along them. Break the legs at each of the three joints, separating it into distinct sections. For the lobster, it’s a good idea to crack the lobster claws and split the tail in half with a good cleaver, so guests can easily enjoy.”
“The key to throwing a great Super Bowl party at home is to make sure there are enough of a variety of food and drinks available to fit everyone’s tastes. First, getting a couple varieties of beer- a few craft beers mixed in with some tried and true standards like Bud or Corona are important. Also, not everyone is a beer drinker, so having a “Super Punch Bowl” made with a great rum and juices are a good way to please the crowd and jazz up the party a bit. I love mixing together dark rum, pineapple juice, orange juice and cava and floating some orange slices and strawberry slices in the bowl for color. Doing a Mexican queso dip, buffalo chicken dip and a salsa is a good way to incorporate heat and crunch with tortilla chips. For potato chips, making some homemade onion dips and a sour cream and chives, and I love serving homemade hummus with pretzel chips.”
"At my house it’s all finger foods for sports. And my favorite snacks are dips. I make a Tijuana Taco Dip layered with beef chili, refried beans, tomato salsa, olives, lots of different cheeses, and topped with sour cream and guacamole. I can make it the day before, and pop it in the oven before everyone arrives, so it’s hot for pregame. Hot dips are delicious, and don’t require a ton of attention while you are entertaining guests and getting your favorite frosty beverage."
“The key to great Super Bowl snacks is just like how Bill Belichick and his team do it – it’s all in the preparation. My favorite snacks are ones that I can prepare ahead of time so I don’t miss a play. Creative dry snacks and preassembled dips that only require warming are sure winners on game day. My two favorites are Hot Crab Dip and Spicy Almonds. Both are easy and delicious and great for a crowd.”
“The Superbowl has always been a big deal in my house not just because the Patriots are often playing but because we love to entertain and enjoy food. We try to do something new each year. The trick seems to be getting the shopping done early, prepping the night before and relaxing the day of. The one staple that makes an appearance each year is known simply as the Superbowl Sub. The Superbowl Sub consists of a full loaf of Italian bread layered with mortadella Capicola and genoae with salami and dressed with olive oil, vinegar, oregano, banana peppers, pickles, lettuce, provolone cheese, and tomato. The real trick is assembling the sandwich the day before wrapping it tightly and plastic wrap and letting it sit overnight so the flavors can melt. Also, I am excited to put a new spin on a retro classic this year. One of my favorite flavor combinations is caramelized onions and bacon, so we are making a really jazzed up onion dip. Starting out with some pickled ramps leftover from last spring, and also caramelized yellow onions.”
“If you are hosting a large amount of people, it's always nice to spread your food and drink options out around your house, rather than be clogged in one area. That will encourage movement in the house and prevent people from staying in one room.”
“Don't run out of beer or food. Clean as you go. Rearrange furniture for ample space. Trash can outside. I usually put away all counter top machines for more space. Know exact hours of closest beer store. Have a pre-determined shut off time for the party...we all have those friends that don't seem to have anywhere else to be....Have your first round of food ready before the first guests arrive.”
“Tired of being stuck in the kitchen while TB12 and crew do their thing on the field? Snag a spot on the couch and wow your guests by serving up something large format! For a New England dish that is both crowd pleasing and easy on the host, I recommend my Boston Baked Beans, which are amped up to ‘super’ status with the addition of braised pork belly and brown sugar crumble."
“When it comes the Super Bowl, I tend to let the destination choose my food, I want to make it feel like you are there. For example: When the Super Bowl was in New Orleans, I made Jambalaya, Po’ boys, Beignets, etc… This year with the Super Bowl being in Houston, I will be making a Texas BBQ from brisket and ribs to hot links and chicken. Can’t forget the sides: cole slaw, BBQ beans, and corn bread”
“Being a burger guy, on Super Bowl Sunday it’s all about the burger and lots of toppings. I like to set up a Build-Your-Own-Burger bar that includes about 8-10 different toppings including a mix of vegetables, spreads, and sauces like pickled onions, avocado spread, honey garlic mayo, and tomato jam. It’s easy, interactive, and fun for the kids.”
Photography by Brian Samuels Photography (Oxaal)