Super Snacks Round-up

Super bowl

Apparently there’s some sportsball thing coming up this weekend that people like to use as an excuse to eat snacks. I’m good with that. Here’s some ideas.

Heather’s Stickless Shish-kabobs100221-190921_Lg

Shish-Kabobs are typically done on skewers over an open flame. This version gets all the same flavor, but inside — in a roasting pan.

MeatballsHow To Make Meatballs

You can really put a lot of time and effort into making meatballs. I like when a restaurant does something special with them, but if it’s my work we’re talking about, “easy to make” seems to make them taste a whole lot better.

Roasted Lamb NuggetsRoasted Lamb Nuggets

One of my favorite ways to come up with a new recipe is to start with a technique that I like and apply it to a new ingredient. This one started out as chicken wings with blue cheese dip.

Take-out Style Wings140323-180852

Once upon a time restaurants advertised that their food was just like home-made. Then there was frozen food that was just like home-made. Then a strange thing happened: They started saying the frozen stuff was just like take-out.

Chicken Nachos with Mango SalsaChicken Nachos with Mango Salsa

Nachos don’t have to be made with beef. And they don’t need a tomato-based salsa. This chicken and mango-salsa variation is a great change of pace.

Chicken FajitasChicken Fajitas

I’ve got a few dishes I use to judge restaurants: lasagna for Italian places, fried rice for Chinese, and fajitas for Mexican. These would pass my test.

Soft PretzelsSoft Pretzels

People from Philly are almost as fanatical about our soft pretzels as we are about cheesesteaks. The funny thing is we all agree on pretty much the exact same pretzel.

Loaded Sweet Potato ChipsLoaded Sweet Potato Chips

Loaded potato skins are great, but bigger ones can be a little much for an appetizer. These are bite-sized, easy to share, and oh by the way they’re crazy delicious.

Chili Two WaysChili Two Ways

For this batch, I wanted two kinds of chili, and didn’t want to use two pots to do it. So with one pot, I’ve got great eating chili, and great hot dog chili.

Steak PizzaSteak Pizza

A couple of days ago I asked the girls what they wanted for dinner. Ana wanted pizza. Winnie, of course, wanted steak. Hmm, which one should I make? Steak? Pizza? Steak … pizza … steak … pizza … Oh, I know! I’ll make steak pizza!

Steak FajitasSteak Fajitas

I’ve finally nailed my fajita recipe. This has been my go-to dish at Mexican restaurants for years, like ordering spaghetti and meatballs at an Italian restaurant: If they can’t get this right, they can’t get anything right.

Loaded NachosLoaded Nachos

This recipe is completely unnecessary. Most people are satisfied with a bowl of chips, a bowl of cheese, and a bowl of chili. Presto, you’ve got nachos. Just what you need for a crowd.

But when you’re doing nachos for two, you can do a little better than that.

Bruschetta PizzaBruschetta Pizza

Look! Out on the buffet table … it’s bruschetta … it’s French bread pizza … it’s … bruschetta pizza!

HummamoleHummus + Guacamole = Hummamole

The smooth texture and earthy vegetable flavor makes this mash-up great as a dip or spread, and versatile as an ingredient in other dishes.

The oldest daughter likes guacamole but not hummus. The mother-in-law likes hummus but not guac. I put a bowl of this between the two of them, turned around to get a drink, and when I turned back it was gone. I guess that’s a success.

Pineapple and Black Bean SalsaPineapple & Black Bean Salsa

It might surprise you to learn that the salsa most North Americans are familiar with is nothing like what most Latin Americans eat. (If that actually surprises you, you probably think General Tso’s Chicken is an authentic Chinese recipe.)

Once you get past the idea that salsa has to be in any way “authentic” you’re free to try some really interesting variations on the theme. This one was inspired by a request from DaisyDee after I made the pineapple fried in coconut oil.

Deviled EggsDeviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are the Rodney Dangerfield of party foods: they get no respect. But bring a plate of them and they’ll all disappear. You can add all kinds of extras to them, make them look fancy if you want. As long as you get the basics right you’ll have a winner.

Cheesy PoofsCheesy Poofs

This is a great “base” recipe for experimenting on top of. It’s ridiculously easy to make the simple version, and mild enough to be a blank canvas for personalization. And with only four ingredients, there’s a good chance you’ve already got what you need to make them.

Nacho Cheese SauceNacho Cheese Sauce

I’m a sucker for nachos with cheese sauce. I’ve had the “cheese” sauce in jars and in cans. Have you ever read the ingredients in those things? Some of them don’t list a single dairy ingredient. That’s so nasty. But they taste so gooood.

I finally went looking for recipes to make nacho cheese sauce from real food. And maybe some actual cheese. (I know … crazy, huh?) So did it work? Well, like I said, one more fake food I won’t be needing any more.

Beer Batter Onion RingsBeer Batter Onion Rings

After I made the tempura onion rings a bunch of people asked about doing a beer batter. I finally got around to it, and the result is what you see here. Tasty? Absolutely. Better than the tempura? Hard to say without a back-to-back comparison. But I will say this one is more work.

Mango SalsaMango Salsa

Unless you live in the southwestern U.S. — or even farther south, but for an English-language blog “southwestern U.S.” is a pretty safe bet — then it’s unlikely your grandmother ever made mango salsa.

Mini Rib SlidersMini-rib sliders

I said a little while ago that I was going to be trying this summer to create better home-made versions of some restaurant or take-out favorites. Nicole asked for the McRib™.

Because I think the real McRib™ is a little gross (but addicting) I of course had to go for a better version. Turns out it wasn’t that hard.

PS: Isn’t that a (non-trademark-infringing) really super bowl up top there?