super bowl food spread

Epic Super Bowl Party Planning Guide

The Super Bowl is upon us and SURE! We care about the game. But really - let’s be honest. We care more about the party and the food. So we decided to put together an all-inclusive guide to help you get ready as well as prepare the menu for your best Super Bowl party yet. Did you know that 1.25 BILLION pounds of chicken wings and 12.5 million pounds of bacon are consumed on Super Bowl Sunday? Studies show that it is the second most calorie dense day of the year, beat only by Thanksgiving. Here at Anova, we respect this gluttonous comfort-food tradition of the Super Bowl. We specially designed the following five recipes to honor the American sports holiday. And don’t worry - we have BOTH chicken wings & bacon on it!

But There’s More…

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably the one throwing the Super Bowl party at your house. I just love cramming as many people as possible into my living room and providing a killer spread to keep everybody happy. That being said, I am human, I work a full time job, and I don’t have four days to prepare. For that reason, when I wrote the following recipes, I designed them so that you could prepare multiple ones simultaneously and none would be particularly long cooks.

The Playbook - In Preparation

Throwing a party does take a bit of preparation, both mental (menu planning, formulating your guest list, writing the shopping list) and physical (tidying the house, doing the actual shopping, preparing the food). There is a lot to get done, and oftentimes, we underestimate the amount of time it takes to do it all. This is normal. When we make our mental models of how the execution of our well-laid plans is going to go, we tend to forget that a huge percentage of our neighbors are also throwing Super Bowl parties and will be shopping at the grocery stores, as well. Longer lines mean longer wait times. More people out shopping means more traffic. As a chef who has worked countless holiday events, I have a few pieces of time-saving advice for those of you who are going to be braving the markets Saturday or Super Bowl Sunday itself:
  1. Do your shopping EARLY. When I say early, I do not mean a leisurely 11am instead of in the afternoon. I mean look up the hours of your local grocery store or Costco online and get there 15 minutes before it opens. If you have a 24-hour grocery store available to you, I suggest that you go at 4 or 5 in the morning. That may sound crazy, but 4-5am is when most of the stores are restocking their shelves so you will likely find what you are looking for. There are also almost NO customers - you don’t even have to get out of your pajamas!
  2. Whenever you do shop, be armed with a written shopping list so that you can cross things off as you put them in your basket. Even lists written in the notes section of your phone are not as efficient as a good old fashioned written shopping list - it’s hard to keep track of what you have and haven’t put in your basket if you can’t cross it off. This little trick will leave you less likely to forget anything.
  3. Speaking of forgetting anything - include paper goods and ice on your shopping list. Napkins and ice are the top two things that clients always ask me to pick up as I am en route to their homes, and you will need ice for both your drink chilling area and your actual drinks. Disposable plates and cups will make your life a LOT easier; sometimes, I even invest in disposable/recyclable platters. They often can be washed and reused, which is especially great when you are going to a potluck at somebody else’s home - no plate to wash before you go home or collect at a later date.
  4. Make sure you have enough containers - and their matching lids - on hand for the leftovers, especially if you are hosting a potluck! Unless I bring the containers (which I typically do), I have yet to go to a client’s home where there are enough containers for leftovers! You can get creative with Ziploc bags, or you can take a beat at the grocery store to pick up some disposable aluminum tins with lids or even some Gladware or something like it.
  5. Have one or two non-alcoholic options available for your guests. I have recently become the person who not only brings either food or wine with me to a party, but also a case of flavored sparkling water. It’s a $5-or-less investment that people are ALWAYS grateful for. I have yet to go to a party where it isn’t gone by the time I leave.

Huddle - The Setup

Okay, the shopping is done. Next moves, preparing your house and making the food. The following can be done WHILE you’re sous vide-ing!
  • Clear your kitchen counter of any unnecessary appliances. No matter where the television is, your guests are going to congregate in your kitchen at some point. You will also be preparing food if not serving it there, as well. More counter space will serve both of these reasons well, so move the toaster oven to a closet and stash your cooking utensils in the pantry when you’re done using them.
  • Empty the garbage, recycling, and dishwasher before your party. This is going to make cleanup SO much easier!
  • Take anything you do not want shared out of your bathroom cabinet and check that there is ample toilet paper available for your guests. It also helps if it is visible.
  • Pick out your pre-Super Bowl musical playlist or station. Ambient noise really sets the tone for a party. Chances are, you invited your friends and family to come before kickoff, and you can totally have the pre-game show blasting in the house, but even a hint of music in the background will help everybody get into the Super Bowl party mode faster.

Hut-Hut-HIKE! - The Super Bowl Recipes

We know this is the party you were REALLY waiting for! Multiple iterations of each of these recipes were tested in our kitchen over the last few days, and I think the crew here at Anova wish it was Super Bowl every week! Well, not really because we do prefer to eat much more healthfully, but I was expressly forbidden from creating anything too-healthy for this decadent day...
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