The Super Bowl is All About the Food!

Carla Hall shares what she'll be doing on football's biggest day.

And in the final game, Super Bowl XLIV, we have the New Orleans Saints, a team full of heart and strength, and the Indianapolis Colts, an efficient team that seems to defy nature by the book. I can’t say I watched throughout the season to see these teams get to this point. I did, however, peek at a playoff game or two. As shallow as it may seem, I was happy for the Saints, because, well, there’s a soft spot in my heart for New Orleans. Talk about a rebirth. This little city has a BIG heart, and just like the city, Drew Brees powers through. He’s like the little engine that could. As far as the Colts go, well, outside of Brett Favre, I don’t think I’ve seen so many sportscasters have such a man-crush on a quarterback as much as they have for Peyton Manning. I actually watched the AFC playoff game, and I have to say I was incredibly impressed by Manning’s ability to throw completed pass after completed pass as if he and his team were in The Matrix. OK, I now understand the man-crush thing. Sunday’s game is going to be action-packed, none of this scoring-every-30-minutes thing. In a word, fireworks. Football fans and fair-weathered viewers alike will be glued to the tube and interested in the outcome. 

As soon as I saw that the Saints were headed to the Super Bowl, my next thought was “Wow, I bet there are going to be a lot of great Super Bowl parties.” New Orleans is all about the food. Now, football aside, if I had to assign a cooking style to each of these teams based on their playing styles, it would easily be rib-sticking, finger-licking comfort food for the Saints and modern American prepared with a molecular gastronomy twist for the Colts.  The latter obviously has nothing to do with the local cuisine.

So with all of this energy around this game, an Ultimate Super Bowl party is required. Don’t miss an opportunity to step out of the regular game fare,  and be inspired by the cuisine of NOLA. If simple and tasty is up your alley, then let yourself be inspired by the mid-western meat n’ potatoes and sausages.

The staples for my Ultimate Super Bowl party are below. Of course I would fill in with chips, dips, nuts, and other nibbles.

Gumbo with chicken, andouille and shrimp over rice
Muffalettas (Don’t be afraid to make these ahead. They’re actually better.)
Mini Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches (inspiration … Indianapolis), jazzed up with some fun condiments like apple chutney and flavored mustards. Am I veering off the Midwestern path?
Grilled Brats with onions and peppers
Beef and Noodles Could this be the dish that inspired hamburger helper?  Hey, I’m not mad. 
Guinness Brownies and Toll House Cookies (all bite-size, so I don’t have to choose.)

Well, that’s it folks.  Enjoy the game wherever you are and with whomever you will have the most fun with.

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