Kitchen Adventures: Changing up snacks for the big game

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By Becca Owsley


The big game is this weekend and with it comes snacks.

But your Super Bowl munchies can go beyond pizza and nachos and cheese dip. There’s nothing wrong with nachos with dip; it is wonderful and amazingly addictive. But for variety’s sake, there are a couple other ideas you can throw into the mix.

Meatballs are a popular party snack but they can be made in a variety of ways. Chicken Parm Meatballs are an interesting twist.

The final product didn’t exactly look like the photos on Pinterest, but, honestly, the photos on that website rarely do look like what comes out of the oven.

Like most meatballs, they aren’t difficult to make. After mixing all the ingredients, form into balls and bake. Covering them with sauce and mozzarella cheese at the end adds some extra flavor.

I didn’t have any fennel seeds so I left that ingredient out but used some rosemary to add a spice to the recipe.

I’ll admit, I still like beef meatballs better but this was a nice change to the traditional snack.

Also, Parmesan and Garlic Pretzel Bites are perfect for game day.

This recipe has a few more steps and takes more time to make but it’s worth the effort.

The first step is remembering to thaw some of the frozen rolls before starting the recipe. You also have to factor in more time after cutting the rolls into four smaller pieces because they need 30 to 45 minutes to rise before cooking.

Don’t skip the step when the dough is boiled a few seconds before you put the pretzel bites in the oven. The boiling process helps give the bites the brown pretzel look and texture while baking.

The recipe gave two options for the bites. I chose the parmesan and garlic option to go with the meatballs. They were delicious and when I took them to a gathering of friends, not a single one was left in the container at the end of the night. In fact, a couple requested more pretzel bites at future gatherings.

The other option is to roll the bites in cinnamon and sugar and dip in a vanilla glaze for a desert snack. This option sounds yummy, too, and is something I might try in the future.

No matter if you are a Broncos or Seahawks fan, these treats are sure to be hits at your Super Bowl party.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Chicken Parm Meatballs
1 1/4 pounds ground chicken
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 cup Pecorino (or Parmesan)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 egg, whisked
Zest of half a lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 14-ounce can pizza sauce
About 4 ounces fresh mozzarella (sliced)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, setting rack to upper third of oven. In a large bowl, using your hands, gently mix first 11 ingredients. Shape into lacrosse-ball-size balls (that would be somewhere between golf and tennis ball) and place a few inches from each other on a foil-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix one spoonful of your pizza sauce with olive oil. Brush this mixture on top of each meatball.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove meatballs from oven, spoon some sauce on top of each meatball and cover each with a slice of cheese. Broil another three to five minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden.  

Heat remaining sauce in a small saucepan.

Serve meatballs with a dollop of sauce

Source: www.quickneasyrecipes.net

Parmesan and Garlic Pretzel Bites
Frozen dough for Texas-size rolls (as many as you like, each roll makes four bites)
Grated parmesan cheese
Garlic power
Sea salt
Butter (melted)

Cut a thawed roll of dough it in four equal sections. Place dough bites on greased sheets. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and let dough rise until double in size (about 35-45 minutes).

Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil. When the dough has risen plop about 10 pieces into the boiling water, tossing gently for about 45 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon and place bites on paper towels to drain slightly. 

Move bites to greased baking sheets and bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until done and golden brown.

Brush bites with melted butter, sprinkle with kosher or sea salt and garlic and toss in Parmesan cheese. 

Cinnamon and Sugar Bites

For this variation, Mix about 1 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. After you butter the pretzel bites, toss in cinnamon and sugar mixture. Serve the Cinnamon and Sugar Pretzel Bites with vanilla glaze.

Vanilla Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Combine sugar, milk, butter and vanilla and mix well.
Source: www.justgetoffyourbuttandbake.com