Make it a Bar! Chili & Guacamole (at your Superbowl party.)

People like Superbowl parties for one to three reasons.   1. Football.  2.  Friends  3.  Food …Or a possible fourth reason… laughing at the commercials with your friends, while eating food and talking about football.   The Superbowl is coming and food and friends are two things that I enjoy… so let us speak of food!

Do you know what I love?  Options.  Choices.  Customizable food.  Why?  Because it is fun.  At my wedding reception, I had a potato bar… During one part of the night… you could go and get mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes and proceed to the add various toppings of your choice…  it made potatoes into an event.  Most people don’t get overly excited about potatoes, but people DO get excited about a potato bar. (After typing “potatoes” so many times… I realized that I have two things in common with Dan Quayle… my first name and well… thank you spell-check for reminding me there is an ‘e’ in potatoes.  Oops.)

GUACAMOLE.  Last month, I was reading Rick Bayless‘s book called ‘Fiesta at Rick’s’ and he talks about a guacamole bar.  GENIUS!  A simple roasted garlic guacamole with lots of toppings! I get pretty excited about good guacamole but I get REALLY excited about customizable guacamole!  Apparently, 8 million pounds of guacamole is consumed on Super Bowl Sunday… so why don’t you try a guacamole BAR!  I set up a little guacamole bar at Christmas time and made a fair amount of guacamole and it didn’t last long so buy extra avocados.

CHILI. You know what else I love?  Chili.  All types of chili.  Texas-style, Cincinnati-style, NM Chili verde, chicken chili, vegetarian chili, sausage chili… I like it all.   (I also love chile peppers… but that is for another blog.)  I made a couple types of chili for my friends last week and set up a little station for toppings and thought… oh my!  Chili bar is the best idea ever.  ha.

MAKE IT A BAR. This year at your Superbowl party (or any other time)… if are making chili, guacamole… or even mashed potatoes… I suggest giving people some options and make it a BAR!  You’ll thank me later.  Not only is is FUN but it also let’s the picky people be choosy and the indulgent people be indulgent(y).  You know who you are.

VESSELS for serving:  For chili… the obvious answer is… bowls.  Small bowls are actually the best to encourage people to try a few variations and/or multiple types of chili.  For guacamole… the obvious answer is chips BUT a more exciting option would be toasted baguette slices, pita chips, large carrots sliced in rounds, cucumbers, etc… you get the picture.  Mashed potatoes… try plastic martini glasses… because… it is just fun and easy to carry around.

 TOPPINGS:  The options are endless but here are a few ideas: Diced tomatoes, chopped red onions, green onions, raw or fire-roasted peppers/chiles, cilantro, toasted hulled pumpkin seeds, various cheeses from cheddar to bleu to queso fresco, crumbled crisp bacon, lime wedges, sour cream…  you get the idea…

Hot and Cold: Keep the hot items hot and the cold items cold.  A crock pot is the easy answer for most hot food.  The obvious answer for cold items… ummm… ice.  A fun tip that I learned from Rick Bayless is to get a  terracotta pot that is slightly larger than your serving bowl and chill the pot and then stick your serving bowl in the pot, this will help keep cold foods cold and help slow the process of your guacamole turning brown.

Green and Red Chili Bar with Toppings

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