Big Game Appetizers
No sports-watching party is complete without small, delectable treats! See below for ideas to get you going, they’re perfect for the Super Bowl.
Beer & Cheese Fondue
We think this recipe would be a hit at your Super Bowl party, don’t you? Adapted from Barron’s Fondue. Prep time: 1 hour. Serves 6.
- 11 oz. Gruyere cheese (we recommend Emmi Cave Aged Kalbach Gruyere)
- 11 oz. Alpenhorn cheese
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 cup light beer
- 1 TBL cornstarch
- 1 clove garlic, minced or squeezed through a garlic press
- 2 TBL kummel (caraway liqueur) or kirsch (a liqueur)
- Pepper, to taste
Directions: trim rinds from cheeses and grate coarsely. Finely crush the caraway and coriander seeds in a mortar or grind in a coffee grinder.
Heat beer in fondue pot (caquelon) over low heat on the stove. Stir in a handful of cheese and melt, stirring constantly. Gradually add remaining cheese, continuing to stir gently.
Whisk the cornstarch with 2 TBL cold water and stir into cheese. Season cheese with caraway, coriander and pepper, and stir in the minced or pressed garlic.
Bring mixture just to a boil, stirring, and then set pot on fondue burner. Just before serving, stir in kummel. Stir occasionally.
Good dippers: a mixture of cubed baguette, crusty bread and soft pretzel. Also, small boiled potatoes, cubed sausage, radishes, baby corn, cooked ham and more.
Spicy Cheese Fondue
Add a little kick to a cheese fondue with chilies! This would also be good with tortilla chips or soft pretzels. Adapted from Barron’s Fondue. Prep time: 45 mins. Serves 6.
- 1 small red chili pepper
- 1 small green chili pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- 9 oz. Alpenhorn cheese
- 9 oz. Gruyere cheese (we recommend Emmi Cave Aged Kalbach Gruyere)
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 1 1/2 TBL cornstarch
- 5 TBL kirsch (a liqueur)
- 9 oz. small boiling potatoes
- 8 oz. small, firm mushrooms
- 1 small loaf onion bread (about 9 oz.)
- 1 large pear (if using pear, also prepare 2 TBL lemon juice
Directions: wash potatoes and place in a pot with enough water to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a low boil and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until just cooked. Drain and cool a bit, then peel.
Wipe mushrooms and cut larges ones in half. Cut bread into cubes. Quarter and core the pear, cut quarters into cubes or bite-sized pieces as desired. Sprinkle pear cubes with lemon juice. Set aside.
Slit chilies, seed, and mince. Peel garlic and then mince or run through a garlic press.
Trim rind from cheeses and grate coarsely. Slowly warm the wine in a fondue pot (caquelon) on the stove, adding chilies and garlic.
Gradually add cheese over low heat, stirring constantly. When cheese is melted, bring just to a boil.
Whisk together the cornstarch with the kirsch until smooth. Pour into cheese mixture and stir until mixture is thickened and creamy. Set fondue pot on a burner with a small flame to serve. Stir occasionally.
Better-Than-Ball Park Italian-style Sausages & Peppers
- Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 large onion, diced
- 3-4 peppers, diced (for great color, choose 1-2 green peppers, 1 yellow, 1 red)
- 2 lb. Italian sausage (choose sweet or hot, or a mix)
- **See suggested condiments below
You can certainly made these the day of the party or game, but you can also prepare the goods the day before to save time!
Cook’s notes: This dish is just as good fresh out of the oven as it will be later on in the game.
- 4 large ripe avocados, removed from skin and coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup finely diced Mayan sweet onion (in now, sweet & mild)
- 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
- 2-4 Serrano chilies (or jalapenos), finely chopped (seeds removed or left depending on how hot you like your guac.)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 TBL fresh squeezed lime juice
- Fresh ground black pepper
Directions: Mix onions, Serrano chilies, garlic and salt in a medium-sized glass bowl. Add the avocados and gently stir. Pour in the lime juice and toss. Gently stir in 1/4 cup of the pomegranate seeds if desired. Season with some black pepper to taste and that’s it! Yep – it’s that easy. Serve with chips, veggies or spread on a sandwich!
Red Potato Bites with Boursin
One of our crew members saw something like this on the Food Network so using her description we came up with our own twist…enjoy!
- 20 bite-size red potatoes
- 1 package Boursin Garlic & Herb cheese
- 2 TBL butter, softened
- 1/4 cup half & half (may not need all of it, depending on the creaminess of the cheese mixture.)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Finely chopped herbs for garnish (such as dill, parsley or thyme)
Directions: Boil potatoes until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and cool a bit (so you’re able to handle them). Once cooled, slice a little off of the bottom of the potato so they stand up. Using a spoon or dinner knife (if you have a small melon baller, that would be best) remove a spoonful or scoop from the top of each potato and discard* or set aside. What you’ll be left with is a little crater in the top of each potato.
In a mixing bowl combine the Boursin, cream and butter, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon a dollop of the cheese mix into the divots in the potatoes. Arrange on a serving platter and sprinkle with the chopped herbs (optional). Serve.
* Save those potato pieces and stir them into an omelet or hash browns in the morning!
Stuffed Piquillos Sprinkled with Picual
A favorite of one of our olive oil vendors!
- 4 roasted Piquillo peppers
- 1 wedge good quality Italian cheese, such as Parmigianino Reggiano
- Picual fresh press EVOO from Spain
Directions: Cut the top off the pepper and slide a small slice of cheese inside. Heat oil in a skillet on medium; add peppers and sauté for 30 seconds or until cheese is starting to melt. Remove, place on platter, sprinkle with fresh Picual and enjoy.
Fresh Corn Salad with Black Beans, Tomato and Cilantro
Delicious with tortilla chips or as a salsa to top grilled Tilapia, this salad is always a hit. Courtesy of Laura H., a Sigona’s fan. Serves about 4.
- Juice from 2 limes, about 4 TBLs
- 4 TBLs olive oil
- 2 clove garlic
- Salt and pepper
- a 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- Kernels cut from 1-2 ears of white corn (about 1 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups tomatoes (use an assortment of halved cherry tomatoes or use 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped)
- 1 red onion, minced
- Half a bell pepper, seeded and diced (look for an orange one to add color to the dish)
- 3 TBLs minced fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (add more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp cumin (or to taste)
- optional: top with diced or sliced avocado when ready to serve.
Directions: In a bowl whisk together lime juice, oil, garlic and salt to taste. Stir in remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Let salad stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to let flavors develop. Laura recommends making it the night before.
Create Your Own Cheese Plate
Impress your guests with a gourmet cheese plate this holiday season. It’s easy to make your own, just remember this little jingle:
“Include Something Old, Something New, Something Goat And Something Blue.” **
Tip: If you’re making a plate for a large crowd, include two wedges of each variety you choose (or present only one set of four at a time and stash extra wedges in case you run out). If you’re serving a party of four, one wedge of each will work well.
You can leave the cheeses in wedges to serve with a cheese knife, or dice into small cubes and provide toothpicks for easy spearing.
- Aged Gouda (3-5 year aged), such as Beemster
- Creamy Jarlsberg, Havarti or Double Cream Brie, such as Champs Elysees
- A firm goat cheese, such as Goat Drunken
- A wedge of St. Agur blue cheese
- Diced apricots
- Dried Mission figs
- Fresh apples, grapes or pears
- Champs Elysees double cream Brie stuffed with cranberries and walnuts
- St. Agur Blue
- Kerrygold Vintage Cheddar
- Diced Heirloom Blenheim Apricots
- Dried Mission Figs
- Berta Maria Crackers (more like a sweet biscuit)
Be creative and find cheeses that you know your guests will love. Remember to ask our friendly cheese department staff for some pointers, too! **Note: The cheese jingle was coined by Sigona’s employee Joseph Loewinsohn.