By Kara Kimbrough
For the first time in, well, forever, the Super Bowl has landed in the middle of Valentine’s Day weekend. It’s a given that many will choose to celebrate the day of love on the weekend prior to the actual day on which it falls this year…a less-than-romantic Monday. Despite Super Bowl LVI having the audacity to be played on Feb. 13, there are some ways to celebrate both with simple dishes that can be enjoyed all weekend long.
First, every year a new Super Bowl food trend seems to sweep the interest and this year is no exception. Photos and videos of massive nacho tables began surfacing on TikTok and are now featured on hundreds of social media pages. The nacho table trend involves wrapping a large table with aluminum foil or butcher paper, then piling enormous quantities of tortilla chips, ground beef and other meats, salsa, cheese, and jalapenos, along with other dipping sauces, as high as they can possibly go.
While it’s fun to see new food trends, most of us are looking for something a little less time-consuming (and costly) for these two special occasions, especially Valentine’s meals. Since Valentine's is near the weekend, a memorable meal on Friday or Saturday evening is more convenient. But who wants to spend all their time cooking when shortcut recipes result in the perfect Valentine’s meal? Even better, they can be doubled (or tripled, depending upon your crowd) and served again on Sunday.
Everything, that is, except Super Bowl LVI nachos. They deserve their own rightful place on honor on Sunday.
(If you'd like more Super Bowl or Valentine's Day recipes, drop me an email and I'll send them to you. Or, celebrate away from home with special restaurant and spa packages at Biloxi's Beau Rivage and additional dining promotions around the state. I'll share those with you as well.)
Teriyaki Steaks for Two
Marinate a thick cut of sirloin (or your favorite cut) steak for several hours in the refrigerator with:
1/2 bottle of teriyaki steak sauce
Juice of 2-3 lemons
Salt and pepper
Remove from refrigerator and top with 1-2 tablespoons of butter. Grill or broil to the desired level of doneness. Let meat rest before slicing.
Easiest Twice-Baked Potatoes Ever
Bake two large baking potatoes. Scoop out inside, leaving a small border of potato around the edges. Add to the meat of the potatoes:
• Small container of French onion dip
• 1-2 tablespoons of butter
Stir and return mixture to potatoes. Top with a sprinkle of bacon pieces and shredded cheese, if desired. Place under the broiler or in the microwave for a couple of minutes until butter and cheese are melted; don't overcook.
Make-Your-Own Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
1-pint fresh strawberries
1 cup milk chocolate chips, white chocolate, or dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. Dry strawberries well with paper towels to make sure chocolate adheres perfectly. Heat chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl for 2 minutes on 50%. Stir until smooth. Dip each strawberry into the melted chocolate, making sure the strawberry is covered almost to the stem. Place chocolate-covered strawberry onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and place into the freezer for at least 15 minutes to set. Once the chocolate is set, you can dip the bottom half of strawberries in alternating chocolate color or drizzle alternating color over strawberries with a fork. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Note: For Super Bowl, leave some “plain” after dipping in dark chocolate. Decorate each with white “football laces” using small icing packages found in the baking aisle.
Shortcut Mississippi Sin Dip
1 loaf of French bread
1-8-ounce container French Onion Dip
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped bacon (I use packaged Hormel Real Bacon Pieces)
1-4-ounce can be chopped green chiles, drained
Cut the bread lengthwise and set-top aside. Scoop out the bread from both sides, leaving a sturdy rim. Combine the dip, cream cheese, and chiles in a bowl, then spoon into the hollowed-out bottom loaf and add the top. Wrap in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Tear the baked top into large to use as a “dipper” and serve along with chips and crackers.
Super LVI Bowl Nachos
2 bags of corn tortillas in different colors and flavors (yellow, blue corn, lime and chili flavored. Note: many Mexican restaurants will sell bags of homemade tortilla chips).
2 jars of your favorite salsa (more for additional toppings)
2-1/2 cups of cheese sauce (more for additional toppings)
For the beef-bean topping:
1 pound ground sirloin or chuck
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 packet taco seasoning
1-15-ounce can black beans, drained
Add oil and onions to heated skillet on medium-high heat and cook onions for 3 minutes until they begin to wilt. Then add meat and crumble with a wooden spoon. Season meat with taco seasoning. Cook meat until all pink is gone, then stir in beans and reduce to low, simmering until well combined.
To serve: In the middle of a large platter, place a bowl of sour cream topped with chopped tomatoes. Spread chips around the bowl and pour heated cheese sauce over the top. Top mixture evenly with beef and beans, then lightly top with salsa. For a gourmet touch, place sour cream in a plastic bottle with a tip and zig-zag thin lines sour cream over the top. Serve with additional bowls of cheese sauce and salsa, chopped black olives and avocados, shredded cheese, and other favorite toppings.
Kara Kimbrough is a food and travel writer from Mississippi. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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