I am the daughter of a devoted sports fan. My father follows most major flavors of professional athleticism (he is lukewarm about hockey). He is devoted to college sports, regularly attends triple A games, and even stays up-to-date with football scores from the high school my sister and I attended.
And so, though I don’t care a whit what happens in the world of football, basketball, or baseball, I pay a tiny bit of attention for my dad. I make a point of reading to just enough each fall to be able to talk about the World Series with him. I listen to his thoughts about the Oregon State Beavers and the University of Oregon Ducks. And come Super Bowl time, I provide the game day snacks.
My feeling about Super Bowl eating is that you need a balance of real food and snacks. A slow cooker full of chili or some oven-toasted sandwiches are good for the main event. But when it comes to the snackable bits, I like to do a bit more than the standard store-bought regulars.
A quick blender salsa takes all of five minutes to make (that includes time to open cans) and is worlds better than nearly anything you can buy. What’s more, if you’ve got heat fiends attending your shindig, you can make their day by increasing the jalapeno count (I’m a wimp and get enough heat from just a single, seeded pepper). Serve it with oven-toasted tortilla chips. They’re easy to make and fresher tasting, too.
If your sports fan is devoted to the classic combination of onion dip and potato chips, don’t think that a homemade version is off the table. I like to make mine with caramelized onions and some cream cheese for extra tang.
Homemade potato chips are something of a commitment, but they’re not actually hard. You slice, soak, and dry a pound of potatoes. Once the oil is hot, you fry them in small, short batches until barely brown. They get salted immediately upon leaving the oil and continue to crisp as they cool. It’s a lot of effort for something you can easily buy, but truly, you’ve not lived until you’ve eaten a potato chip just a few minutes out of a fryer.
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 4-ounce can fire roasted green chiles
- 3/4 cup minced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
Place all ingredients in a blender (or food processor) and blend in short bursts until the ingredients are well incorporated. Don’t process to the point of having a smooth puree. You want a salsa that still has a little texture.
When it’s achieved a consistency you like, pour into a large container and refrigerate. This salsa is best after it’s had a little time for the flavors to marry (overnight is ideal, but even a couple hours is good). It will keep up to five days in the fridge.
Makes 4 1/2 cups
Oven Baked Tortilla Chips
- 12 corn tortillas
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil (like sunflower or canola)
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a length of parchment paper and place a rack over it (the parchment paper will prevent drops of oil from getting sticky and gross on the surface of your baking sheet).
Stack the tortillas and cut them into six wedges. Place tortilla pieces in a large mixing bowl and drizzle the oil over them. Using your hands, toss the pieces to coat.
Lay the tortilla wedges out on the baking rack. (You’ll need to toast them in two batches). Place on the top rack of the oven and toast for 12 to 15 minutes. Stay close, as they burn easily.
When chips are sufficiently toasted, remove from oven. Sprinkle with half the salt and let cool for a few minutes. Once they’ve cooled, remove chips from baking rack and place them in a bowl. Repeat baking process with remaining chips.
These chips will keep up to 5 days in an airtight container. If they get a little soggy, simply re-toast until crisp.
Caramelized Onion Dip
- 2 pounds yellow onions
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 16 ounces sour cream
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Peel and dice the onions.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. Let it melt until it begins to foam. Add onions and reduce heat. Cook, stirring regularly until the onions have reduced by more than half, approximately 60 to 70 minutes. When they’re done, they should be dark brown and incredibly fragrant.
While the onions cook, place sour cream and cream cheese in a large bowl and let them come up to room temperature.
When onions are finished cooking, let them cool for 15 to 20 minutes, so that they don’t liquefy the sour cream. Once they’re no longer hot, scrape the onions into the mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
Add lemon juice and zest, salt, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.
At this point, you have a choice. You can either serve the dip as-is, with the bits of onion scattered throughout. Or, you can scrape the whole mess into a food processor and puree the onion into the sour cream. Either is delicious, but a pureed dip is more in keeping with the traditional Lipton’s version.
Makes approximately 4 cups
Homemade Potato Chips
- 1 pound Russet potatoes (approximately 2 large)
- 2 cups neutral oil (like sunflower or canola)
- Kosher salt
Scrub and dry potatoes. Using a food processor, hand-held slicer, or excellent knife skills, thinly slice the potatoes so that they’re approximately 1/16 of an inch thick.
Place potatoes in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let them sit for 30 to 45 minutes.
When you’re ready to fry, pour oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pot (my preferred frying vessel is a 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven). While the oil heats, fish potato slices out of the water and lay them out on paper towels, so they can dry.
Oil is ready for frying when it reaches 350°F. Carefully fry potato slices in batches of 5 to 7. Use a spider to turn them after 45 seconds to a minute.
When chips are golden brown, remove them to a paper towel or newspaper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each batch with salt as it comes out of the oil.
Once all the chips are cooked, turn off heat and slide your frying pot to the back burner to cool.
Homemade potato chips are best eaten the day they were cooked, but will keep for 1 to 2 days in an airtight container.
Makes approximately 60 to 75 chips, depending on how thickly you slice them.