Super Bowl Chili Party
One of my favorite party ideas is a chili party! Years ago to celebrate a major event in my life, I created a 3 C’s party—Chili, Champagne and Caviar. My fondness for chili has led me to use a chili party for most any time of year and for most any reason.
Even if you are not a sports fan, chili in the winter is always perfect. If you do happen to like football like I do, I like to have a party menu that can all be done ahead of time, freeing me to watch the game. This menu fits the bill perfectly.
Here, there are three appetizers that will stave off hunger until half time when you can serve the chili or you can let your guests help themselves to chili anytime they wish.
BLUE CORN PARFAIT BREAD
The best blue cornmeal is smoked in adobe ovens and then lava-wheel ground to a fine flour consistency. With the popularity of blue corn, a lot of blue corn on the market is “filled,” or blended with white or yellow corn. For the best flavor, buy pure blue cornmeal, if it is available. The moist quality of this bread has long made it a favorite with campers and picnickers.
Yield: 9-12 servings
1 cup blue cornmeal
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Melt the butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9-inch round or square cake pan. Remove pan with melted butter as soon as butter is melted. Combine the slightly beaten eggs, butter and sour cream. Then add the melted butter and blend thoroughly. Fold in corn kernels. Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients together and make a well in the center. Add the moist ingredients and combine to mix well, but do not overbeat.
1. Pour almost half the batter into the prepared pan. Cover with the sliced cheese and chiles. Pour the remaining batter over cheese and chiles and smooth to cover the filling. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm.
APPLESAUCE CAKE WITH CREAMY FROSTING AND SPICED WALNUTS
This is a fabulous cake, I think, which I have enjoyed for special occasions forever. It is the one I wanted for my 40th birthday. A wonderful ending to any dinner , this cake is dressy enough for even the most regal occasions. An option would be to bake the cake ahead of time, freeze it, and frost it just before serving. To save additional time, toast the chopped walnuts for the cake while browning the Spiced Walnuts for the garnish.
Yield: Serves 12
1. Prepare the Spiced Walnuts. Place the walnut halves in a shallow bowl. In another small bowl, beat the egg white until foamy, then add the remaining ingredients and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over ¾ cup of walnut halves and carefully stir so as not to break the walnuts. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. Place the spiced walnut halves on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, separating them so they do not touch each other. Place the 1 cup whole walnut halves in a shallow, ovenproof pan. Bake the spiced walnuts and whole walnuts until toasted, 10 minutes. Set aside the spiced walnuts until needed. Chop the toasted whole walnuts and set aside.
3. Prepare the cake: Butter the sides of the two 9-inch round cake pans, then cut a piece of waxed paper to fit the bottom of each and line the pans.
4. Place the remaining butter in the large bowl of the electric mixer and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until completely incorporated. Add the egg and beat until fluffy again, about 1 more minute.
5. Combine the flour with spices, salt, and soda and stir to mix well. Add half of the flour mixture, then half the applesauce, and mix on low speed until well mixed, about 1 minute. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture, then the remaining applesauce, mix again until completely incorporated, about 1 more minute. Add the chopped walnuts and currants and mix in. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans, smooth the tops, and bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
6. Place the cake pans on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each cake to loosen if from the pan and invert it into the wire racks to cool for an additional 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.
7. To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cake plate and spread one third of the frosting on top. Place the second cake layer on the first and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake.
8. Sprinkle the spiced walnuts in a ring about 1 inch from the edge of the cake. Scatter the remaining currants over the walnuts. Slice and enjoy.
**Plan of Attack—
Prepare and freeze— One month to Three months in advance—(less in advance if desired) Always label each item with the name of the food and the date.
Chile con Queso, and place in freezer weight bag or rigid container until two days before the party.
Tostados for Nachos, bake and place in a rigid container. Remove from freezer one day ahead.
Bowl o Red, prepare and freeze in rigid container until two days before the party.
Applesauce Cake, bake, cool and place on waxed paper covered cardboard or small baking sheets and flash freeze uncovered for a few hours until firm. Then package with a double layer of cello wrap, sealing well.
The tostados for the chile con queso will be purchased
Day Before the Party--
- Prepare the deviled eggs
- Prepare the blue corn parfait bread
- Frost the cake
Day of the Party--
- Prepare the fruit for the nachos and assemble
- Prepare the fixin’s ‘n mixin’s
- Set out the bowls, plates, silverware and napkins for buffet style service
One Hour Before the Party—
- Warm the chile con queso over very low heat and place in chafing dish or fondue pot to keep warm
- Warm the chili over medium heat, switching to low heat after first bubbles appear. I suggest serving the chili from the cooking pot, just clean up the inside with a moist cloth
- Place all the food on serving dishes
- Warm the parfait bread about 15 minutes before serving at 300 F
- Then enjoy your guests, the party and the game if watching!