8 Football Season Snack Recipes with Wine Pairings
If you’re anything like us during football season, you’ve invited all of your friends over to spend hours in front of the TV, rooting for your favorites, checking your fantasy team and snacking with abandon. And like us, you want to skip the standard chips-and-dip routine. Fortunately, we have the ultimate playbook for ramping up your snack strategy. Follow our menu and soon, your buddies will be cheering you for MVP.
This zesty but sweet guacamole from New York’s acclaimed Mexican restaurant, Toloache, is both easy to prepare and delicious when paired with a freshly made margarita.
- 1 Hass avocado from Mexico
- 1 tablespoon diced sweet onion (Vidalia or cippolini)
- 1 tablespoon diced mango
- 1 tablespoon diced peach
- 1 tablespoon diced apple
- ½ teaspoon of chopped jalapeño
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- Kosher salt to taste
Scoop the flesh out of the ripe avocados and mash in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients with a pinch of salt. Once well mixed, check the seasonings. Serve with warm corn tortillas or chips. Serves 4.
Recipe courtesy The Tex-Mex Cookbook by Robb Walsh (Random House, 2004)
That’s right: the carne comes first in this bowl of red. The recipe originated with Jorge Cortez of San Antonio’s La Margarita, who said the large chunks of meat called for the flip-flop in the name. Chili purists take note—no beans here.
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 pound sirloin, cut into 2-inch by ¼-inch strips
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ancho chilies
- Tortilla chips, if desired
Heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven, and brown the meat well, 5–10 minutes, until any water evaporates.
Add the onion and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, flour, cumin, bay leaves, black pepper and salt. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes, until flour is browned.
Add the anchos and 2 cups of water. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring and adding more water, if needed, until the anchos dissolve completely and meat is tender.
Remove any large pieces of ancho skin. Serve in a bowl with tortilla chips—or as a sauce for enchiladas or tamales. Serves 4.
Scott Ota, manager at Arro in Austin and current holder of the “Best Sommelier in Texas” title, recommends the hearty 2011 Texas GSM from Pedernales Cellars.
“Fruity and savory wines work best with chilies that don’t have tomatoes or beans,” says Ota.
“I love the bold fruit tones of this Rhône blend to balance the weight of the beef, and the secondary flavors and savory tones of the wine further highlight the spices of the chili.”
Beer alternative: Austin Beerworks Black Thunder (courtesy of Matthew Gutierrez, general manager & beer savant at Liberty Tavern in Austin).
Recipe courtesy Selene Restaurant, Santorini, Greece
Offering visitors a bite to eat and a drink dates back to the ancient Greeks. Today, meze are often enjoyed at an ouzeria, an ouzo bar that serves small dishes alongside the anise-flavored spirit.
Common Greek meze include tzatziki (cucumber and yogurt dip), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves),spanakopita (spinach and feta in phyllo dough), taramosalata (fish roe dip), keftedes (lamb meatballs) andsaganaki (fried cheese). No Greek meze is complete without olives and a salad made of tomato, onion, cucumber and feta. Keftedes are popular throughout the country, but you will only find these flavorful tomato keftedes on the sun-kissed island of Santorini.
- 4 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 ounce fine cornmeal
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes, finely diced
- 8 ounces white onions, finely diced
- 2 ounces scallions, finely diced
- ½ ounce fresh spearmint leaves, finely chopped
- ½ ounce fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 2 ounces tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, finely ground
- 1 quart sunflower or olive oil, for frying
Preheat frying oil to 375˚F, as measured with a candy or deep-fry thermometer.
In a large non-reactive mixing bowl, combine flour and cornmeal. Add tomatoes, onions, scallions, spearmint, parsley and tomato paste. Mix with hands until well combined, and season with salt and pepper. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Form fritters using hands or two tablespoons. Fry until they turn brown on both sides and float to the top. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels for a few minutes before serving. Yields 36 fritters.
Tsililis 2015 Theopetra Malagouzia-Assyrtiko (Greece). Strong mineral notes and bright flavors of mango and peach are a natural accompaniment to these fritters, with their hint of mint.
Recipe courtesy Louis Maldonado, executive chef, Spoonbar, Healdsburg, CA
Fennel & Aleppo Pepper-Spiced Spare Ribs with Saffron-Tomato Stew and Crushed Fingerling Potatoes.
- 2 tablespoons toasted and crushed fennel seed
- 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper
- 2 tablespoons toasted and ground coriander
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 10 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
- 3 racks of St. Louis style spare ribs
- 36 French fingerling potatoes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 5 bay leaves, divided
- 3 medium-sized yellow onions
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons minced shallot
- 3 tablespoons minced thyme
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 4 ounces Red Boat Fish Sauce
- 4 ounces white wine
- 6 cups peeled plum tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon saffron
Combine the fennel seed, Aleppo pepper, coriander, lemon zest and 6 tablespoons of kosher salt. Heavily season the spare ribs and let sit overnight. The next day, preheat an oven to 400˚F. Pull the ribs out early so they can temper, wrap each rack tightly with foil and put into the oven for 2 hours. Remove and loosely open the foil to release the heat. Let the ribs cool to room temperature, and then cut the ribs individually.
In a large pot filled with water, add the potatoes, garlic, 2 bay leaves and 4 tablespoons of kosher salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the potatoes are tender. Allow the potatoes to cool in the water. Remove and individually smash each potato like a pancake. Set aside.
Cut the yellow onions in half. In a very hot cast-iron pan, burn the cut side until very black. In a large saucepot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and add the minced garlic, shallots, thyme, carrot and 3 bay leaves. Sweat for 25 minutes, deglaze with the fish sauce and white wine and reduce until nearly dry (au sec in French). Add the tomatoes, burned onions and 1 cup of water, bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Add the saffron and continue to cook for 1 hour. Constantly check the seasoning and keep adjusting the salt.
In a large casserole, lay down the spare ribs and pour the tomato stew over them. Place the potatoes throughout and cover with foil. Bake at 375˚F for 45 minutes. Serve family style. Serves 6.
Rochioli 2011 River Block Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $72: To match the richness of the ribs and complexity of the saffron-tomato sauce, look for a velvety smooth, seductive Pinot from the Russian River Valley, like many by Rochioli, Merry Edwards or Kosta Browne. Rochioli’s River Block from the 2011 vintage has the appellation’s classic cola spice and mouth-coating wild cherry notes, with enough brightness and structure to remain interesting over many years.
Recipe courtesy Do or Dine, Brooklyn, New York
Whether it’s for brunch, dinner, having friends over to watch the game or watching a movie and eating them all yourself, these overnight-braised tacos from Do or Dine combine a great way to get some use out of your slow-cooker while simultaneously reminding everyone that tacos are basically always a great idea at any time.
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 2 pounds beef bottom round roast
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 bell peppers, sliced
- 2 jalapeños, julienned
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 cup of a robust red wine
- 2–4 cups beef stock
- 1 dozen eggs, scrambled
- 12 corn tortillas, heated
- 1 bunch of cilantro
Rub the spices and salt onto the roast. Heat the oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the garlic, onion, peppers and jalapeños, and cook for about 5 minutes. Place the veggies in a slow cooker.
Sear both sides of the roast for 2 minutes in the skillet. Then place it and the carrot in the cooker. Add any loose rub spices to the skillet and deglaze with wine, then add it all to the cooker. Pour enough beef stock into the cooker to cover the roast. Cover, and cook on low for 6–8 hours overnight.
In the morning, remove the roast and shred with a fork. To build your tacos, add eggs first, then beef, then the veggies. Top with cilantro. Serves 12.
Any red wine that takes a few hours to open up will suffice. That way, you can use it to cook and by serving time, the wine is at its peak. One that worked well in our test kitchen was the 2012 A Tribute To Grace Grenache, from Santa Barbara County. While prepping the beef, the wine was lean and tight with little fruit, and big green-olive aromas. Hours later, it was exploding with both scents and flavors of cherry and raspberry.
Let the heat on these wings give you an excuse to reach for another drink while watching the game this football season.
- 3 pounds chicken wings, patted dry with paper towels
- Coarse kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil, plus more to fry
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2–3 tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup hot sauce
- 2 limes, zested and juiced, plus lime wedges for serving
Place the chicken wings in a large bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
Preheat an oven to 400˚F. Spread the chicken wings on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil. Place in the oven and roast until the chicken wings are firm but not fully cooked through, about 20 minutes.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in honey, hot sauce and lime zest, and let simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the lime juice and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Using a large pot, pour in enough of the vegetable oil to reach 5 inches up the sides. Place over high heat and heat the oil until it registers 375˚F on a deep-fry thermometer.
Working in small batches, fry the wings, turning occasionally, until they are crisp and golden brown, 5–7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the wings from the oil and drain on a paper towel–lined baking sheet. Put the wings in a large bowl and toss with the hot sauce butter. Transfer to a platter and serve hot with additional lime wedges. Serves 6–8.
Recipe courtesy of Lee Ann Whippen, chef-partner, Chicago q.
Helmed by Chef-Partner Lee Ann Whippen of TLC’s hit grilling show, BBQ Pitmasters, this urban ’cue joint in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood draws crowds for its lip-smacking barbecue, house-made rubs and award-winning sauces—all in a modern, upscale setting. Whippen brings 14 years of barbecue competition experience to the table, and is a Certified BBQ Judge with the Kansas City Barbecue Society (she also defeated Iron Chef Bobby Flay in a pulled pork-themed Throwdown, a Food Network cook-off show).
- 1 pork butt (or “Boston Butt”), approximately 6–8 pounds
- 1 cup Chicago q’s BBQ Championship BBQ Rub (see recipe below)
- ¾ cup apple juice
- 1½ cups barbecue sauce
- 12 (4-inch) pretzel rolls
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 1½ tablespoons Spanish paprika
- 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1¼ teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- Smoker or charcoal grill/gas grill with
- Room for indirect heat
- Hickory- or apple-wood chips (soaked in water for 1 hour prior to use) or hickory- or apple-wood chunks (approximately 4” x 2”)
- Spray bottle
The night prior to cooking, trim the fat off the pork butt to ¼-inch thick and coat heavily with dry rub. Wrap the meat in plastic wrap, or place it in a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
Remove pork from the refrigerator 2 hours prior to cooking. Heat the smoker to 225–250˚F and place seasoned pork butt in smoker, fat side up.
Add 3 large handfuls of wood chips or 3 wood chunks on top of the coals or in smoke box. After 3 hours, add 3 more large handfuls of wood chips or 3 wood chunks and spray with the apple juice. Continue to spray the pork with apple juice every hour, for 12 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 190–195˚F when inserted into the meat. If the exterior of the pork becomes too dark during the smoking process, wrap it with heavy-duty aluminum foil with ½-cup apple juice in bottom of foil.
When the pork has finished cooking, use a fork to shred the meat into the desired consistency and top with barbecue sauce. Serve on toasted pretzel rolls. Serves 10–12.
Championship Pig Powder Dry Rub:
Combine the salt and brown sugar in a food processor or blender and process until well blended. Add the chili powder, Spanish paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, taco seasoning, onion powder, dry mustard, cinnamon, nutmeg, curry powder, coriander and cumin and blend well. Next, add the granulated sugar and process again until all the ingredients are well mixed.
Beverage Director Claudio Aceves recommends a Pinot Noir from Flowers Winery on the Sonoma Coast to pair with the pulled pork. “It has crisp acidity and medium tannin levels that balance nicely with the savory flavor of the pork,” she says. For another great pairing, try this barbecue dish with a full-bodied Tempranillo.
Recipe courtesy Clayton Miller, executive chef of Wit & Wisdom, A Tavern by Michael Mina at the Four Seasons Hotel, Baltimore
You don’t have to be a slave to your stove to make this crowd-pleasing dish. Inspired by the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay region, this rich, warming crab dip is a favorite at Wit & Wisdom, but can be made at home in less than an hour.
Similar to velouté sauce, Béchamel is used to make traditional Italian lasagna and also serves as the base for many standard French sauces, such as Mornay and Soubise. Here, it adds a creamy texture and flavor to the Maryland crab dip.
- Maryland Jumbo Crab Dip:
- 1 cup grated Comté
- ¼ cup grated pecorino Romano
- 1 cup Béchamel (recipe below)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1½ teaspoons Chesapeake Bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped chives
- 1 pound Maryland jumbo-lump crab meat, shells removed
- 1 teaspoon green onions, chopped, for garnish
- Steamed artichoke leaves, to serve
- Cucumber slices, to serve
- Pumpernickel crostini, to serve
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1¼ cups whole milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
Preheat an oven to 325˚F.
In a medium bowl, mix together the cheeses, Béchamel, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, hot sauce, seasoning, parsley and chives. Once incorporated, gently fold in the crab meat. Lightly coat an oven-safe bowl with nonstick spray, and pour in the mixture.
Bake the mixture uncovered for 30–40 minutes, or until golden brown on top and warmed throughout. Garnish with chopped green onions, and serve with steamed artichoke hearts, cucumber slices and pumpernickel crostini. Serves 4–6.
Melt the butter in a saucepan set over low heat, and then add the flour. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly until the flour is cooked but hasn’t changed color, about 5 minutes. Stir the milk into the mixture, and bring it to a simmer, stirring constantly for about 15 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Let cool in a refrigerator before using. Yields 1 cup.
- 1Fruit Guacamole with Chips
- 2Carne Con Chili
- 3Tomato Keftedes (Tomato Fritters)
- 4Fennel & Aleppo Pepper-Spiced Spare Ribs
- 5Braised-Beef Tacos
- 6Napalm Spicy Chicken Wings
- 7Barbecue-Smoked Pulled Pork Sliders
- 8Maryland Crab Dip