Tailgate parties will be heating up from Boonville to Gary, making a pit stop at 500 South Capitol Ave., Indianapolis this Sunday, 6:30 Eastern Time.Roughly 70,000 stalwart Super Bowl attendees will be cozying up under the retractable dome of the $720-million Lucas Oil Stadium. Frigid temperatures outside, the field turf will soon sizzle as hot and hunky quarterback stars — New England’s Tom Brady and New York’s Eli Manning — bandy their football prowess with halftime punctuated by an iconic tight end – Madonna.
For the remaining 151.6 million fans, it’s high-definition homebound when friends coast-to-coast share in the Big Game comradery and gustatory orgy. Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest grilling day of the winter season, along with the second largest food consumption day of the year, losing out to Thanksgiving.
With just days to go ‘til the XLVI extravaganza, it’s time to strategize a creative and healthful game plan if you’re hosting a shindig. Organize a regional potluck incorporating the cuisines of New England, New York and Indiana.
For a New York state of mind, culinary cultures merge into a melting pot of American, Latin, Italian, Greek, Cuban and Jewish deli. Try black bean chili with plantain chips and mango salsa; lighter, leaner, turkey, chicken or lamburgers; do a football field pizza – fill a rectangular cookie sheet with premade pizza dough, marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella, replicating the field of play with chopped broccoli and green peppers, the end zones with black olives and crumbled Italian chicken sausage, pepper strips for goal lines, onion rings for yard markers, and mozzarella sticks for goal posts.
Serve turkey pastrami sliders topped with pickle chips, and shake up New York-inspired libations like a Long Island Iced Tea or a classic Manhattan.
Some light and lively New England eats might include a seafood or corn chowder or chili, lobster rolls with New England–style hot dog buns, turkey or roast chicken subs or grinders, Boston baked beans, and for your just desserts New England apple, rhubarb or blueberry popovers.
Quench that Big Game thirst with crisp apple cider or cranberry cocktail, local New England
or geographic-appropriate libations as the Cape Codder.
For Hoosier cuisine, die-hard carnivores should at least choose organic pork tenderloin and grass-fed rib-eye steak for the sandwiches, Stromboli with goat cheese, corn on the cob and air-popped popcorn along with persimmons pies, blending northern and southern Indiana faves.
Patriotic Red, White and Blue Bean Chili
This all-American dish is a winner for any event.
1/2 can red kidney beans
1/2 can white navy beans
1/2 can black beans
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 medium red onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 bottle amber lager beer
1 can or jar (28-ounce) pureed tomatoes
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
Sea salt, cracked pepper, Tabasco
Method: In a large skillet, heat half the oil on medium and add the turkey. Cook thoroughly, about 10 minutes, strain with a slotted spoon, transferring to a bowl.
Heat the remaining oil and sauté the onion, pepper and garlic until tender. Add cumin, chili and oregano, chocolate and beer, stirring until the liquid thickens. Add turkey and tomatoes, and cook on low, partially covering until the chili thickens, about 45 minutes, adding beans the last 10 minutes.
Season to taste with salt, pepper, Tabasco, and garnish with red, white and blue toppings–roasted red peppers, white onions, Greek-style yoghurt, blue cheese. Serve with tortillas.