Super Bowl Bites

I'm a little afraid to admit this, but I can't remember if I watched the Super Bowl 12 years ago or not. 12 years ago I would have been 13 (I guess I'm also admitting to being 25) and I'm not quite positive I had been bitten by the football fan-wagon yet. I find this a little weird. I can remember enjoying Super Bowl parties at 15 & 16 and I've never considered myself anything but a Ravens fan. Anyhow, I know I will remember this Super Bowl. I don't think I could be more excited to get to see my boys play on Sunday. I am a little bummed that I won't be getting to host any sort of party, actually I won't even get to cook this Super Bowl Sunday. I'm heading out to Colorado with Rob on Saturday and I'll be spending Sunday (up until 3 pm MST) attempting to refresh my snowboarding skills. (The last time I went was two years ago, I'm hoping its like riding a bike.) Sunday evening, I will be rocking my purple Ray Lewis jersey at a bar that serves wings, nachos and pitchers of beer and pretending that I'm not closer to San Fransisco than to Baltimore.

So even though I won't be cooking come Sunday, I've still got a few game-day worthy recipes I wanted to share. The first are these sliders, which I will admit were created out of a desire to use up leftovers, but definitely delicious enough to be made outright.

Roasted Garlic, Swiss and Pot Roast Slider
Roasted Garlic, Swiss and Pot Roast Slider

Roasted Garlic, Swiss and Pot Roast Sliders (if using whole pot roast recipe, makes at least 24 sliders)

sliced pot roast (I actually used leftovers from this

Martha Stewart recipe

, use the whole roast to make sliders for a crowd)

slider buns (or whatever bread/bun you prefer)

shredded swiss cheese

1-2 heads roasted garlic (you can actually just throw these in with the pot roast (just be sure to slice the tops off the heads first)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange bottoms of buns on a baking sheet and top with a piece of pot roast and a generous sprinkle of cheese. Place the baking sheet in the oven just until the cheese melts. Meanwhile squeeze all the roasted garlic out of the cloves into a bowl and smash into a paste. Once the cheese has melted, take the pan out of the oven. Smear a bit of the roasted garlic paste onto the waiting buns before placing them on top of the sliders. Repeat until you've made the desired amount of sliders.

Open Roasted Garlic, Swiss Cheese and Pot Roast Slider
Open Roasted Garlic, Swiss Cheese and Pot Roast Slider

I like to think these next highly-addictive & incredibly-easy bites have been a sort-of good luck charm for the Ravens this post-season. A version of these nibbles were made when they beat the Broncos and when they beat the Patriots. I'm sharing both versions with you in the hopes that at least one of you will make some for the team's sake. My crazy superstitions aside, these things are crazy good. Like, so good you will have second thoughts about sharing them.

Glazed Sausage Bites
Glazed Sausage Bites

These Maple-Glazed Apple-Chicken Sausage Bites were the first batch. I just happened to have some Apple-Chicken Sausage in the fridge (because I buy it whenever I find it) and with guests coming over, let Google help me find a recipe.

I wanted to make another batch the following Sunday, but lo and behold, the Apple-Chicken sausage was no where to be found (at least where I was shopping). I reluctantly went with Sweet Italian Sausage, fingers crossed that Google could again come to my aid. The verdict? I'd say my guests enjoyed them, the platter was completely devoured before halftime.

Apricot Balsamic Sauce Ingredients
Apricot Balsamic Sauce Ingredients

Apricot Balsamic Sausage Bites (inspired by this recipe)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup apricot preserves

1/2 cup stone ground mustard

2 packages sweet Italian sausages (I like the

Applegate

and

Al Fresco

brands )

To make the glaze, heat olive oil over medium heat. add the balsamic vinegar and allow to reduce by about half. remove from heat and add apricot preserves and mustard. mix until combined.

Meanwhile preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and slice the sausage into 1 inch pieces. Arrange sausage slices onto a large baking sheet that has been lightly greased. Bake for 8 minutes. Open the oven door and slide the oven rack out a bit so you can generously brush the glaze onto the sausage slices. Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 8 minutes. Garnish bites with a toothpick if you want. Arrange on a large plate & serve.

You will have glaze leftover, I suggest pouring into a nice bowl and serving it alongside the sausage bites for dipping.

(If you happen to be a 49ers fan, you should make these anyway. They really are that tasty, forget my crazy belief that these snacks could somehow affect the universe and help my team beat yours. ;-) Either way, yay for a Har-bowl!)

And what kind of Baltimore fan would I be if I didn't tell you to make something covered in Old Bay? ;-)

Old Bay and wings
Old Bay and wings

Old Bay Baked Wings (feeds 4-6 people)

3 pounds chicken wings

olive oil

salt & pepper

Old Bay

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top of that. (Thanks to Michelle for the tip to use the rack from a toaster oven.) Put all the chicken wings in a bowl and cover with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Toss the chicken wings until all are evenly coated with oil. Place wings on the wire rack and bake for about 50 minutes. The skin should be nice and crispy. As soon as you remove the pan from the oven, dose the wings in Old Bay. As they cool the seasoning will stick to the wings. Allow to cool for about five minutes, plate and serve.

Baked Old Bay Wings
Baked Old Bay Wings

Go Ravens!!

Superbowl XLVII Bites Spread
Superbowl XLVII Bites Spread