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Kara’s Sights & Bites: Super Bowl 58 wasn’t a total loss

By Kara Kimbrough

Super Bowl 58 has come and gone, quickly replaced last week with Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras hype. But that didn’t stop me from putting into practice some really good tips I picked up at a Super Bowl gathering I attended. Since they’re ones that can be utilized all year, not just during the biggest sporting event of the year, I decided to pass them on to you. It may be too late to recycle this year’s leftovers, but keep these in mind for Super Bowl 59 or this summer’s celebrations:

1. Leftover dip doesn’t have to be thrown out. Many flavors can be recycled into ingredients for other dishes the following week. Just a small example of the ideas from the dip expert at our party:

·         Use leftover French onion dip as the topping for baked potatoes, fajitas or tacos

·         Need a marinade for chicken before baking or frying? Coat chicken with any sour cream-based dip (after all, it’s similar in nature to buttermilk, a common coating) and marinade for tender, delicious chicken.

·         Plenty of queso left over? Use it to make any cheese-based soup or include in a casserole that calls for cheese in the filling or as a topping

·         Vegetable or Greek dips make the perfect salad dressing, potato salad or slaw. Dilute with lemon juice or vinegar if needed

2. Chicken wings are always a staple at any Super Bowl party, but despite their popularity, there are usually leftovers. After pulling/shredding the leftover meat, use it to make:

*Chicken parmesan over pasta

* Chicken taco soup

* Chicken fried rice

* Chicken quesadillas

3. And last, every Super Bowl party has the requisite vegetable tray that rarely gets eaten. Take all those leftover celery sticks, carrots and broccoli, chop them up and add to salads, soups or place in Ziploc bags and freeze them for the next time you make a recipe that calls for chopped vegetables.

One of the best tips I received at the Super Bowl party was from a friend who brought two dishes she said were “inspired” by favorite restaurant appetizers and entrees. I’ve already made my personal favorite, potato skins. I followed my friend’s advice, made a large batch and placed most of them in the freezer. When a craving emerges for the crunchy baked potatoes topped with cheese and bacon, along with sour cream once they emerge from the oven, all I have to do is pull a bag from the freezer.

The team I was pulling for didn’t win the Super Bowl, but I left with plenty of useful advice and recipes that “inspired” me much more than anything that took place on the football field.

Crispy Loaded Baked Potato Skins

 

8 medium baking potatoes

Tablespoon of vegetable oil

Tablespoon of butter, divided

Tablespoon each: salt and pepper

Cup of shredded Cheddar cheese

8 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped

Cup of sour cream

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash potatoes thoroughly, then price potatoes with a fork, rub oil over surface and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in 13×9 baking pan and bake for one hour. Remove from oven and let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and cut small slice off bottom so potatoes will lay flat. Scoop out middle of potato skins, reserving for another use. Place potato halves back in baking pan, skin sides up, and brush with melted butter. Bake 20-25 minutes until crisp. Turn potatoes over and top with equal amounts of cheese and bacon. Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with sour cream and chives.

(To freeze, place in Ziploc bags after baking and freeze for up to 3 months.)

Kara's Sights & Bites: Super Bowl 58 wasn’t a total loss

Kara’s Sights & Bites: Super Bowl 58 wasn’t a total loss

Famous Fast Food Restaurant’s Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds ground beef

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

3 (14 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes

1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles

1 cup water

2 (1.25 ounce) packages chili seasoning (such as McCormick® Mild Chili Seasoning Mix)

1 (14 ounce) can kidney beans, undrained (optional)

1 (14 ounce) can pinto beans, undrained (optional)

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon white vinegar, or more to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Press ground beef into the hot oil to form one large patty; let the bottom brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir and break browned beef into crumbles. Continue to cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes longer.

Stir celery, onion, and bell pepper into beef and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with green chiles, and water. Break apart large chunks of stewed tomatoes. Stir in chili seasoning. Stir in kidney and pinto beans. Season with salt and pepper.

     Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour. Mix vinegar into chili just before serving.
Kara Kimbrough is a food and travel writer and travel agent from Mississippi. Email her at kkprco@yahoo.com.

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