For some, football season is all about the team rivalry. For others it's all about the commercials (especially during the Super Bowl). With our family, it's all about the food! Finger food reigns. You need something you can eat between cheering on your favorite team and, of course, chewing out the refs for questionable calls.
Hands down the favorite finger food for my crew is Super Nachos. I lie out the nacho fixin's and let each person load up their plate and then microwave each portion. So what does it take to construct a "super nacho"? Here's a play-by-play.
The team players
- Quality chips. Notice I don't say here 'expensive' chips. I've found that some of the less pricey brands, like Santitas, taste better than the costlier brands. If you're kids are already Tostitos fans, go ahead and grab those. If I have time, I swing by Mexicantown in Detroit and grab a bag (or two!) of fresh-made chips.
- Seasoned chicken. Pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store (Costco's are the best). Or, throw four or five fresh or frozen chicken breasts into a Crock-Pot with a half-cup water or chicken broth, and a few flavorings like onion wedges, minced garlic and cumin. Cook for five to six hours or until the chicken shreds easily with a fork.
- Homemade refried beans. Canned refried beans never really lose that tin-like aftertaste, no matter what you add to them. Refried beans are so easy to make it's worth an extra step. Buy one or two cans of whole pinto beans (depending on how many guests you're expecting). Warm a heavy-bottomed skillet or pan to medium-high heat. Add either a tablespoon or two of lard to the pan (Crisco also works well) or, as an alternative, vegetable oil. Allow the oil to heat until just sizzling. Pour the beans (including the liquid) into the pan. Let the beans gently simmer for four to five minutes and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir the beans frequently so that they don't stick to the bottom of the pan. (You may want to add 1/4 cup water or chicken broth to the beans.) Continue cooking for 10-15 minutes or until the beans absorb most of the liquid. At this point, you can either mash some of the beans with a heavy spoon in the pan, or remove the beans from the pan and blend using a hand-mixer; then return to the pan.
- Flavorful cheese. Pass on the mild cheddar cheese and use something tangier, like Monterey Jack or sharp cheddar cheese.
Layer a large plate with nachos and then beans, chicken pieces and, finally, cheese. Microwave each plate for 45 to 60 seconds on full power or until all of the cheese is melted.
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Offer sour cream, shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes as toppers on the nachos. You should also have a selection of salsas on hand, like green salsa verde and the traditional picante. You might also buy a bottle of Cholula sauce (the Mexican equivalent of ketchup) to add a little heat to your meal.
No matter if your favorite team wins or loses, with this yummy football-ready meal, your family will be cheering for more. After all, it's good to the last crumb!