Are you looking to throw a Super Bowl party a week from Sunday but don’t know where to start? ESPN sportscaster, NFL Network reporter and cooking expert Rich Hollenberg joined me yesterday to dish on some fun and easy recipes you and your guests are sure to love, even if your favorite team loses, or in my case, isn’t even there.
Candace Rose: What’s the secret to throwing a great Super Bowl your guests will love and you’ll actually get to enjoy?
Rich Hollenberg: “Well, Candace, I have two rules: make it simple and make it spectacular. And you can do both of those hand in hand. I brought four great ideas for you that will accomplish that and you’ll end up being the star of your own Super Bowl party.
We start right at the beginning, when all of your friends and family show up you want to serve them some good appetizers. I like to score style points with my appetizers so I use Athens mini filo shells. They’re fully baked and they come in your grocer’s freezer section so they’re easy to find. What I like to do is add some traditional tailgate foods with those filo shells. Things like Buffalo Chicken Bites or even Pulled Pork Bites are easy to handle, easy to eat and delicious as well.”
Candace Rose: What are some of your other favorite ways to put new spins on old classics?
Rich Hollenberg: “That’s a great question because I do like to do that. I do like to take traditional things and make them a little bit better. And one of the things that I’ve loved since I was a child was Pigs in a Blanket. So in this day in age I like to make what I call Pigs in Bed and also Pigs in Heaven.
Pigs in Bed is simple, you take Pigs in a Blanket and make a little extra pillow of puff pastry.
With the Pigs in Heaven, wrap it in bacon because the only thing better than pork is more pork, as far as I’m concerned, and all of that I make with Hillshire Farms Lit’l Smokies. You can find it in the refrigerated meat section at your grocery store, and you have some variety here to play with, Candace, because it comes in original, chicken and turkey varieties, so there’s something for everybody with that.”
Candace Rose: What are some time saving recipe and serving ideas?
Rich Hollenberg: “Well, as far as time saving goes, I don’t think you can go wrong with pizza, whether you get the pizza delivered or not, that’s completely up to you. But even if you have your own pizza, I like to take it to that next level and go from ordinary to extraordinary. And I do that with my End Zone Sausage Pizza recipe. It’s really, really simple, Candace. You take Jimmy Dean fully cooked hearty sausage, it comes in the refrigerated section in your grocery store and these bags are resealable so you can use them over and over and over again. Add as much sausage or as little sausage to your pizza as you want so you can personalize it, but it always adds that instant flavor regardless of how much or how little you use. These also come in flavors- you have original and you also have turkey.”
Candace Rose: How can hosts and hostesses throw a fun Super Bowl party even their non-football fan friends will enjoy?
Rich Hollenberg: “Well, it always comes back to food for me, Candace. Even if you’re not that into the game, you can be even more involved with the food and here’s how:
Build yourself a DIY burger bar. You take a burger and instead of serving everybody all the time, which makes more work for you and less fun, you set out all the condiments, all the ingredients and let them build their own burger. It always starts with a good burger, right? So you have Ball Park Flame Grilled Patties, they’re fully cooked and you can find them in your grocer’s freezer section and it’s made from 100% beef, so you have that juicy delicious hot of the grill flavor that any guy loves and it only takes a matter of a minute or so straight from your microwave. You have original flavor, beef and onion, or your beef and cheese flavors. And then everybody gets to build their own burgers with ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, relish. They can put whatever they want on it, and then you can enjoy the game.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Rich Hollenberg: “Well, I go back to keeping it simple and making it spectacular. If you’re happy with the food and the spread you’ve put out, then chances are your friends and your family who come to your party will as well. All of these things can be done ahead of time as well, so it’s a lot less work for you and a lot more fun when the game rolls around.”
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?
Rich Hollenberg: “Well, first they all of websites because of course everybody does these days. For the Filo shells you can go to Athensfoods.com; for the Hillshire Farm, you can go to HillshireFarm.com; You can go to Facebook for the Ball Park, at Facebook.com/BallParkBrand. And lastly for the Sausage Crumbles it’s simple, JimmyDean.com.”