How to Downscale Your Super Bowl Spread

You probably won’t be watching with a crowd, but you can still have wings, dip and a sub-style sandwich to eat during the game.

There will still be a field stretching 100 yards, with 11 players on a side. But many other calculations for Super Bowl LV have shrunk.

The pandemic has curtailed big, boisterous gatherings in sports bars or with family and friends at home. You probably won’t need as much food and drink for the smaller crowd during the four or so hours of football, commercials and entertainment. No six-foot hero from the local Italian deli this year; in its place consider a well-stuffed 16-inch version serving four to six. Chicken wings are a must; these are more Asian than Buffalo, with adjustable heat and quantities that can be scaled up or down. Similarly, the amount of the bright, tangy and easily made avocado dip can be expanded or reduced. Just don’t run out of chips.

All these recipes can be made early in the day. The hefty sandwich especially benefits from getting a little soggy, so it’s easier to eat. As for drinks — beer, wine, mixed drinks, soft drinks —there’s a good chance you already know what your small pod prefers; just have enough on hand, along with plenty of ice and napkins.

Yossy Arefi for The New York Times

Mustard-Soy Chicken Wings

Time: 30 minutes plus marinating

Yield: 4 servings

¼ cup lemon juice plus 1 lemon cut in wedges

4 tablespoons mustard, preferably Chinese-style

4 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon chile crisp or chile oil, or to taste

1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric

½ teaspoon five-spice seasoning

16 chicken wings

¼ cup minced scallions

1. Place lemon juice in a medium-large bowl. Whisk in mustard until smooth. Whisk in soy sauce, chile crisp, turmeric and five spice.

2. Separate each wing in three sections at the joints. Reserve wingtips refrigerated or frozen for making stock or another use. Place the other wing joints in the bowl and turn several times to coat thoroughly with the mustard mixture. Cover and refrigerate to marinate 3 to 6 hours.

3. Light a grill or broiler. Arrange wing sections on the grill grate or in a broiler pan. Brush with some of the marinade left in the bowl. Grill or broil until nicely browned, 15 to 20 minutes depending on the heat, turning each piece at least once and brushing with marinade as you turn them, until well-browned on both sides. Pile in a serving dish, strew with scallions and serve hot or at room temperature with lemon wedges.

Yossy Arefi for The New York Times

Avocado-Cilantro Dip

Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 cups (4 to 6 servings)

2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled

3 tablespoons lime juice

½ cup minced onion

3 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeños, or to taste

½ cup minced cilantro leaves


Jicama sticks and white tortilla chips for serving

1. Mash avocados in a bowl. Mix in lime juice, onion, jalapeños and cilantro. Season with salt. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface if not using immediately.

2. To serve, transfer to a bowl on a platter and surround with jicama sticks and chips.

Yossy Arefi for The New York Times

Antipasto Heroette

Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

10 sun-dried tomatoes in oil

8 cherry tomatoes

12 pitted black or green olives

1 large ciabatta, about 14 inches

⅓ cup pesto

½ pound mozzarella, preferably fresh

Salt (optional)

2 ounces prosciutto cotto or boiled ham, sliced thin

3 ounces sopressata, preferably picante, sliced thin

2 ounces mortadella, sliced thin

6 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, jarred or prepared, well-drained

1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, cored, in wide slices, fresh or jarred

A big handful arugula leaves

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Coarsely chop sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and olives together. Slice the bread through horizontally.

2. Spread pesto on cut side of the bottom half. Slice the mozzarella about ¼-inch thick and cover bottom half with slices. If mozzarella is unsalted you might want to season it with a little salt. Spread tomato mixture on top of cheese. Layer ham, sopressata and mortadella on top. Place artichoke hearts, then strips of red pepper over the meats. Scatter arugula on top.

3. Brush top cut side of bread with olive oil. Place on top of sandwich and press down. Tightly wrap sandwich in foil, preferably heavy duty, and press down on it again. Set aside 1 to 2 hours before serving

4. To serve, unwrap and cut into sections on a board or a platter.

Note: For a vegetarian sandwich, substitute 5 large portobello mushroom caps, brushed with oil, grilled and seasoned with salt and pepper for the deli meats. Vegan? Also replace the mozzarella with firm tofu.

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