Now that Thanksgiving is behind us and the pro basketball season is back on, there are at least three days per week devoted to watching professional sports games on TV (four if you include holiday decorating/shopping as a Winter Olympic sport). That means pulling out your easy-to-do and healthy finger snack recipes to make at a moment’s notice. Go Raiders! Go 49ers! Go Warriors! Go Foodies!
BBQ Beef Sandwiches (serves 8-10)
3 lbs beef roast, cooked, cooled and shredded, preferably rump roast
2 onions, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup minced celery
1½ cups water
½ tsp dry mustard
2 cups ketchup
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 Tbsp brown sugar
¼ tsp paprika
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
½ tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
1½ tsp chili powder
1. In a large saucepan or small soup pot, brown onions in butter until tender.
2. Add all other ingredients including cooked and shredded beef.
3. Cover and cook over low heat for at least 2 hrs, uncovering for the last ½ hour or so; or in a crock pot on low heat for 6-8 hrs.
4. Serve on buns or rolls.
Sweet Chili-Glazed Chicken Wings serves 2)
2 lbs. chicken wings
¼ cup peanut oil
3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 ½ Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp minced ginger
¾ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 cup rice vinegar
¾ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 Tbsp chili-garlic sauce
Steamed white rice
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
1. Cut each chicken wing in half at joint. Mix oil, cilantro, soy sauce, 2 Tbsp garlic, ginger and ¼ tsp crushed red pepper in large bowl. Add chicken wings and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Using tongs, transfer chicken wings to large baking sheet. Bake until cooked through and golden brown, about 20 min. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, sugar, water, chili-garlic sauce, remaining ½ Tbsp garlic and remaining ½ tsp crushed red pepper in medium saucepan.
3. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer until glaze mixture thickens to syrup consistency, about 20 min. Transfer baked chicken wings to large bowl. Pour glaze over; toss to coat. Serve chicken wings on steamed white rice; sprinkle with green onions.
Double Chocolate Mocha Brownies (makes 32)
1½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter
5 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp instant-espresso powder or instant-coffee granules
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 15x10x1” baking pan with foil, allowing 2” of foil to hang over ends of pan, and grease foil well (except overhang) with 1 Tbsp butter.
2. Melt remaining 11 Tbsp butter with unsweetened chocolate in a large metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and whisk in sugar, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt (mixture will be grainy), then add eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until batter is smooth.
3. Toss together flour and chocolate chips in another bowl and add to batter, stirring until just combined.
4. Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake in middle of oven until top is firm and edges just begin to pull away from sides of pan, about 20 min. (do not overbake).
5. Cool in pan on a rack 5 min., then carefully lift brownies from pan by grasping both ends of foil and transfer to rack to cool 10 min. more. Cut into 32 squares and lift brownies off foil with a spatula.
Bacon and Cashew Caramel Corn (15 cups)
½ cup popcorn kernels
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 oz bacon, chopped
½ cup unsalted raw cashews (one 2.5-oz package)
1 tsp coarse kosher salt or coarse sea salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1 oolong tea bag
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat popcorn and oil in covered heavy large pot over medium-high heat until kernels begin to pop. Using oven mitts, hold lid on pot and shake pot until popping stops. Pour popcorn into very large bowl. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until almost crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain; cool. Add bacon and cashews to bowl with popcorn. Sprinkle with coarse salt and cayenne; toss to coat.
2. Bring cream and tea bag just to boil over medium heat. Remove from heat; let steep 15 min., occasionally pressing on tea bag with back of spoon to release flavor. Discard tea bag.
3. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil; coat with nonstick spray. Coat 2 wooden spoons or heat-resistant spatulas with nonstick spray; set aside. Stir sugar, ¼ cup water, and corn syrup in large saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high; boil without stirring until syrup turns deep amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 13 min. Remove from heat and immediately add cream (mixture will bubble up). Stir until blended. Immediately drizzle caramel over popcorn mixture; toss with sprayed spoons until evenly coated. Transfer to sheet.
4. Place caramel corn in oven and bake until caramel is shiny and coats popcorn, tossing mixture occasionally, about 20 min. Cool completely on sheet on rack, tossing occasionally to break up large clumps.
Note: Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight in refrigerator.
Healthy Bean Chili (serves 6)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pound ground beef
½ medium yellow onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
1 tsp minced garlic (or 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped)
2 15.5-oz cans low sodium red kidney beans, drained (reserving liquid)
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp sugar
Adobo all-purpose seasoning with pepper, to taste
1. Heat oil in medium pot over medium-high heat. Add beef, onions and garlic; cook until browned, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, about 10 min. Stir in reserved bean liquid, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder and cumin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 1 hour.
2. Stir in reserved beans, sugar and Adobo. Cook until heated through, about 10 min. more. Divide chili among serving bowls.