Super recipes for Saints’ Super Bowl parties

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 3, 2010

This Sunday the closest thing Mississippi is ever going to have to their own NFL team is playing in the Super Bowl. The New Orleans Saints have finally given their faithful fans the chance to say “I told you so” to nonbelievers everywhere.

When planning your get-together for the big game you want food as memorable as the moment of seeing the Saints run out onto the field, and that’s where I come in.

When planning a Super Bowl party you look for several things in your menu items besides just great taste.

You want dishes that can be prepared ahead and dishes that can be prepared in for a crowd so you don’t have to jump up and refill a dish everytime you turn around. Last week’s column included a hearty sausage and tortellini soup with stacked cheese toast appetizers, they met both of those requirements. Here are a few more to round out your Sunday “Who Dat?” party.

Pizza dip

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 (14-ounce) jar Ragu pizza sauce

1 small package Hormel sliced pepperoni

1/4 cup green pepper, chopped

1/4 cup green onion, chopped

1/4 cup chopped black olives (or more to taste)

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Fritos or pita crisps

For the first layer, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, oregano, garlic powder and crushed dried pepper. Place in a medium-size casserole dish such as a 9-by-9 dish (you have to double the recipe if you want to make a 9-by-13). Pour pizza sauce over first layer. Cut pepperoni slices into quarters and layer over pizza sauce. Over this sprinkle chopped green peppers, green onions and olives. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Top with cheese and return to oven to bake for five more minutes. Serve with Fritos or pita chips, best if served warm. When I make this and double it, I make it in two 9-by-9 pans instead of one 9-by-13. That way you can serve one and then bake and serve the other one after halftime.

From At the Table with Patty Roper

Next thing you need is a meat tray for people to make sandwiches from. My suggestion for this is always pork loin or pork tenderloin. Both of them are lean, there’s no waste and when sliced thinly you definitely get your money’s worth from either one. They also lend themselves to marinades and rubs and you can change the flavor by simply changing the ingredients of your marinade or rub. Try the recipe below, slice the meat thinly and spread on a tray. Serve with rolls and condiments.

Texas rubbed roast pork

1 boneless pork loin (5 to 6 pounds)

1 12-ounce beer

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 ground black pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Don’t trim any of the fat from the roast, you need it to keep the roast moist. In a large (I use a 2 gallon size) Ziploc bag combine the beer, olive oil, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce and honey. Submerge the pork loin and seal the bag and set in a large bowl. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 24 hours. Remove the pork from the marinade and pour the marinade into a large measuring cup. Combine the chili powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub it evenly over the pork.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet heat the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over high heat. Place the roast in the skillet and sear until the meat is evenly browned, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the pork to a large roasting pan and pour half of the reserved marinade around the roast. (Don’t pour over it as you will wash off some of the rub)

Bake for 45 minutes and add the remainder of the marinade to the pan. Bake another 45 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 140 to 145 in the center of the roast. Total roasting time is usually about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the meat from the pan and let it set for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Use an electric knife to get really thin slices.

Christina Hall writes a weekly column for The Democrat. She can be reached at christina.hall@natchezdemocrat.com