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Three Superbowl playoff party appetizers

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Super Pizza Pockets

(Mini Calzones)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 cup tightly-packed fresh spinach
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) package of store-bought pizza crust (recommended: Pillsbury)
  • All-purpose flour, for rolling out pizza dough
  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium-sized, heavy skillet. Add the sausage and cook until crumbled and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Turn off the heat and let cool about 10 minutes. Add the cream cheese, 1/3 cup Parmesan, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to a thin 20 by 12-inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise. The cut each half into 8 equal three and a half inch circles.

Spoon topping onto 1 side of each of the circles. Using a pastry brush, brush the edges of the circle with egg wash. Close the top of pizza dough over the topping. Use a fork to seal and crimp the edges. Place the pizza pockets onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush the top of each pizza pocket with egg wash. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the marinara sauce over low heat in a medium saucepan. Serve the hot pizza pockets with the marinara sauce alongside for dipping.

 

brie football

The Touchdown Brie Football

Ingredients

1 round (13.2 ounces) Brie cheese

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg, lightly beaten

Assorted crackers

Directions

  1. Slice Brie on both sides in an arch shape to make a football type shape. Stand the carved pieces on top and use any scrap to fill in spaces, it's all edible.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into a 14-in. square. Place Brie on top; fold pastry over the cheese and pinch edges to seal.
  3. Place seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush top and sides of pastry with egg. Cut strips from the scrap to make the seams and stitches of the football. Brush those with egg as well. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from the baking sheet. Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving. Serve with crackers. Yield: 10-15 servings. Serve with Your favorite chutney.

 Apricot-Roasted Chili Chutney

Servings: Makes about 2 cups

1/2 red onion diced

1½ cups dried apricots, coarsely chopped

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 1/2  cups water

¼ cup roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp  garlic chopped

¼ cup brown sugar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Stir onion, apricots, vinegar, peppers, brown sugar, and 1½ cups water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, adding more water if too thick, until fruit is soft and liquid is almost completely evaporated. Let cool. Do Ahead: Chutney can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.

 

chickens in a blanket

Chickens in a Blanket

For the marinade:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Cholula Hot Sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • 14 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts (2 to 3 large)

For the dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup half-and-half

For frying:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey

To marinate the chicken: Whisk the buttermilk, hot sauce and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut the chicken into 24 small pieces (about 3/4 by 2 inches each) and add to the marinade; cover and refrigerate overnight.

Make the dough: Whisk the flour, 1 teaspoon salt, the baking powder and sugar in a large bowl. Slowly pour in the half-and-half, stirring with a wooden spoon until a rough dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough comes together, about 1 minute. Pat into a rectangle, then roll out until it's 8 by 12 inches (about 1/8 inch thick). Cut the dough into 24 strips (about 1 by 4 inches each) and set on a parchment-lined baking sheet; refrigerate 30 minutes. You may also substitute your favorite premade biscuit dough.

Fry the chicken: Combine the flour, paprika, cayenne, thyme and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl. Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 360 degrees F. Working in batches, remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Toss in the seasoned flour, then fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; sprinkle with salt.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Wrap a strip of chilled dough around each piece of fried chicken, pressing lightly to seal; set on the baking sheet, seam-side down. Brush the dough with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and sprinkle with salt and paprika. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Combine the remaining 3 tablespoons melted butter and the honey; brush onto the biscuits while still hot.