(BPT) – With football and basketball season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to invite family and friends over to root on the home team. Hosting a crowd-pleasing party can be simple with a little preparation. Score big with these simple game day entertaining tips.
- Create a game plan. Organize the menu ahead of time so you’re not scrambling to finish everything at the last minute. Tackle recipes that can be made prior to the big event, and prep any ingredients so they’re ready to cook on the day of the party.
- Block extra mess and stress. Finger foods are a great way to reduce utensil and dish use. Look to serve items that can be eaten in one bite, and set out napkins for party guests to use.
- Score with decor. Print out team logos and glue or tape to cups. Purchase green or yellow felt fabric—green to evoke a football field, yellow to evoke the hardwood of a basketball court—from the local craft store to use as a tablecloth. Tie team-colored ribbon bows on your door-knocker, around lamp shades or any other object you can think of, to show your team spirit.
- Snack sack. Pick foods that are easy to make and fit with the overall game theme. Save time and money by using household staples as ingredients, like Pringles crisps. These quick and easy Loaded Twice-Baked Taters are sure to be a fan favorite.
Loaded Twice-Baked Taters
2 6.38-ounce cans of
Pringles Loaded Baked
1-1/2 cup skim milk
1 slice of American cheese
Sour cream, dried chives and bacon bits, for garnish
Take Pringles from remaining can and place 48 crisps on a cookie sheet with the curve of the crisp facing up, and edges facing down. With a very small spoon, place a rounded scoop onto each crisp. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Remove and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with dried chives and bacon bits. Serve immediately.
Add some New Orleans flavor to your game day recipes
(BPT) – When it comes to planning for the big football game in New Orleans this year, instead of turning to grease-heavy and heartburn-inducing foods, why not consider some tasty and healthier options that will have everyone giving you a high score for food options?
New Orleans-based executive chef Tory McPhail, of the iconic Commander’s Palace restaurant, has the perfect New Orleans-style recipe incorporating pistachios into your menu. Pistachios are a great snack, and, better yet, they’re what athletes turn to when it comes to peak performance.
Director of Sports Nutrition at USC, Becci Twombley, recommends snacking with a purpose. “On the big day, people are snacking and eating more, so why not consider snacking on something like pistachios that provides you with added nutrients,” asks Twombley. Add protein-rich snacks, like one ounce of pistachios, which contains six grams of protein, to help you feel full faster.
Whether you’re a pro athlete or are calling the shots from the sofa, don’t let what you eat during the big day throw you off-course for the new year. Enter pistachios, your guilt-free solution; they are high in protein, lowest in fat among all nuts and low in calories. Looking for an added bonus? You’ll actually eat less because the act of shelling pistachios slows you down and allows you to feel full before you’ve downed a whole bag.
Take your guests by surprise and add some New Orleans flair into your dishes. “Eat your pistachios like we would eat our crawfish, by first tasting the shell and all to get the seasoning, then peeling off the shell to get the crunchy pistachio inside,” says McPhail. Looking for additional game day recipe ideas or want to pair your pistachios with a drink?-Visit the American Pistachio Growers’ website at www.AmericanPistachios.org to find out how your game day snacks can go from boring to gourmet, but don’t fret – even a novice in the kitchen can make this recipe.
Creole Black Skillet Pistachios:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2-tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce, such as Crystal Hot Sauce or Tabasco
1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 pound-salt-roasted pistachios in the shell
1 tablespoons black pepper
2 teaspoons creole seasoning blend
2 tablespoons sugar
Bring all your premeasured-ingredients close to the stove, since this recipe goes really quickly and takes only about 30 seconds of cooking. Place a medium-size cast-iron skillet on the stove over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until hot and starting to smoke. Add the oil to the black skillet and swirl across the bottom to coat. Add the garlic and swirl until the garlic starts to turn golden brown. Immediately add the hot sauce and Worcestershire and shake to reduce by half.
Pull the pan away from the stove, deglaze with the bourbon-and swirl while returning to the stove; flambe by lighting the bourbon-sauce mixture with a match to burn off the alcohol. When the fire goes out and the sauce is reduced, add the pistachios and-shake in the black pepper, creole seasoning and sugar while tossing the pan to coat evenly. Remove the pistachios from the skillet; immediately put in a serving bowl so the seasoning doesn’t become too dark or bitter.