Kickoff of the big game is this Sunday at 3 p.m. Some lucky Southlanders will be viewing Super Bowl XXI live in the Pasadena Rose Bowl, but most of us will be watching it on television.
Viewing the game from your own living room has some definite advantages--not the least of which is the opportunity to serve some great food. A little planning ahead will ensure that even the cook won't miss any of the action between the Denver Broncos and New York Giants.
Stock the refrigerator well in advance with plenty of beer, along with soft drinks (including the dietetic variety) and perhaps some juices. Before guests arrive, set out some food to nibble during the first half. This might include cheese, crackers, fruit, nuts and a favorite dip to go with vegetables.
Have guests arrive in plenty of time to get settled with a favorite beverage before kickoff. These may be replenished from the refrigerator when there's a break in the action, or place a supply in a cooler to be kept close at hand.
Time for the Good Stuff
Half time will provide the opportunity to serve some super sandwiches--super-flavored and/or super-sized. The ingredients for Philadelphia Cheese and Steak Sandwiches can be prepared in advance, and the sandwiches completed in just minutes.
If a larger crowd is expected, choose Super Jumbo or Super Hero Sandwich, both of which may be assembled before the game. Accompaniments to any of these hearty sandwiches might include potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans, potato chips or a relish tray.
Arrange a selection of desserts--baked yourself a day ahead or purchased--on a tray early in the day. Cover with plastic wrap until the fourth quarter, then serve with plenty of hot coffee.
PHILADELPHIA CHEESE AND STEAK SANDWICHES
1 pound beef tip steaks
4 French rolls
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 large green pepper, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup pasteurized process cheese spread, melted
Cut steaks 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, then into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Split or slice rolls lengthwise and wrap in foil.
Heat rolls at 350 degrees 5 to 7 minutes. Saute onion and green pepper in oil in large skillet over medium-high heat 4 minutes. Add steak strips and stir-fry 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place equal amounts beef mixture on bottom half of each roll. Top with equal amounts cheese. Close sandwiches with roll tops. Makes 4 servings.
Note: 4 thin slices American or provolone cheese may be substituted for the pasteurized process cheese spread. To melt, divide meat mixture into 4 portions in skillet. Place 2 slices cheese over each portion. Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, 1 minute or just until cheese is melted.
SUPER JUMBO SANDWICH
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon horseradish-style mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 (2-pound) round loaf white bread, unsliced
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tablespoon snipped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon crushed dried basil
6 thin slices red onion
3 cups leaf lettuce, cut into strips
6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced cooked roast beef
1 sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced black olives
Combine sour cream, mustard, salt and pepper. Set aside. Slice bread in half horizontally. Remove soft center of bread, leaving shell about 1 inch thick.
Crush garlic and combine with butter, parsley and basil. Spread cut surfaces of bread with herb butter.
Separate red onion slices into rings. Layer lettuce, onion, cheese, roast beef, reserved sour cream dressing, red pepper slices and olives onto bottom of bread loaf. Replace bread top. Wrap sandwich in plastic wrap for storage, then cut loaf into 8 wedges. Makes 8 servings.
SUPER HERO SANDWICH
1 (36-inch) loaf French bread
2 cups mayonnaise
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
1 (4 1/4-ounce) can chopped black olives
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 heads curly leaf lettuce
3/4 pound Jack cheese, thinly sliced
3/4 pound Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
3 large tomatoes, sliced
1 (8-ounce) package turkey ham slices
1 (8-ounce) package turkey pastrami slices
1 (6-ounce) package turkey breast slices
1 (16-ounce) package turkey salami slices
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
Slice bread in half horizontally. Combine mayonnaise, chiles, olives, cumin and garlic powder. Spread on cut sides of bread.
Line bottom half of loaf with lettuce. Layer cheeses, tomatoes, ham, pastrami, turkey breast and salami over lettuce. Top with onion, separated into rings. Replace top half of bread loaf. Wrap sandwich in plastic wrap for storage, then slice. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Note: Special order 36-inch loaf French bread from bakery, or substitute 2 (1-pound) loaves.