Football fans gathered around the tube for hours can work up big appetites. What do you serve?
Something high on appeal and low on labor, that's what:
--Ham slices (roast beef too) left from the holiday feast can be used to roll up a favorite chopped vegetable salad bound with mayonnaise. Rolled up, they're easy to eat out of hand after a satisfying cup of onion soup or other easy-to-sip soup. End the meal with a fruit cup or pass a basket of fruit.
--It could be wursts, if you plan it right. You can have an electric griddle filled with sizzling sausages of all types, or put out an assortment of sausages (anything from franks to duck sausage) on a large cutting board and surround with fixings to pile on them for make-your-own sandwiches. Things like pickles, mayonnaise, catsup, relish, onions, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, chili or whatever moves the spirit.
A Heap of Hearty Sandwiches
--Vienna sandwiches. They're easy if you have the brisket or corned beef ready to slice and the juice hot and ready to sop onto the bread. Set up a food station out of the line of fire. Keep the broth hot in a chafing dish and the beef sliced on a board. Have mustard and pickles on hand and lots of fresh French rolls in a basket. To prepare the beef, pour a 12-ounce can of beer and a 12-ounce jar of salsa over a 4-pound beef brisket and cook, covered, at 325 degrees for 3 to 4 hours or until tender. Let the beef stand while the gang works up appetites, then slice.
--Any leftover turkey, pork or ham? Cut it into 1-inch cubes and stir-fry or bake (375 degrees on a cookie sheet), just until heated through. Then serve the cubes on wood picks with a variety of favorite dips.
--Roast beef, ham and turkey leftovers (or freshly made for the game) can be sliced and piled on a tray with heaps of assorted bread slices, lettuce, tomatoes, and horseradish for the fans to make their own sandwiches. Serve the sandwiches with favorite salad dressings, mustards, catsup and all that good stuff.
--At half time, put out fixings for tacos, which the fans can make themselves. Cook a large batch of seasoned ground beef and put on the buffet table with shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, salsa sauce, guacamole, sour cream and sprigs of cilantro. Heap crisp corn tortillas in a basket and let 'em at it.
--Hamburger fans might enjoy hamburgers to order if you set up an electric griddle during half time. Prepare the hamburger patties ahead and store them between wax paper in the refrigerator just like the professionals do. Place sliced tomatoes, mushrooms, shredded lettuce, cheese and olives, mayonnaise, mustard, catsup, relish and pickles in serving bowls before the game begins. At half time, start grilling and make way for the fans.
Bowls of Hot Stew, French Bread
--Beef stew, anyone? Why not, if you prepare a double batch a few days before the game. Store the stew in a covered container in the refrigerator and heat it up for the last event of the day. Serve the stew in bowls (not plates) with crusty French bread. And don't worry. No one will miss the game.
--Chili lovers will love getting a big, hot bowl of chili to sooth the spirit or celebrate with the winning team. Have an automatic crock pot? So much the better. Keep the extras--crackers, shredded cheese, diced onions, sour cream and such--on the side.