The big question for some of us on Super Bowl Sunday isn’t who will win or which pricey TV commercial scores big with viewers. We want to know what there is to eat — and there better not be any fumbles.

Plan a snack attack. Sure, you can go out and pick up bags of chips and jars of dips, salsas or spreads. It’s a popular choice: 32 percent of Americans picked this as their favorite Super Bowl snack last year in a Harris Interactive poll conducted for Supervalu Inc. Yet there is something hackneyed about a menu culled from the supermarket aisles. Why not make your own snacks?

Keep it clean (and healthy). “Clean” has become one of the year’s buzzwords in cookbook publishing as authors offer dishes that not only taste good but are good for you.

Go deep — South. New Orleans is home to this year’s Super Bowl, and no matter how heated the contest gets on the field or in the stands, most people would agree the food culture of the Crescent City can’t be beat.

Deviled ham with pickled peppers

Prep: 15 minutes

Makes: About 1¼ cups

From “Salty Snacks” by Cynthia Nims. The flavor will be best if made at least 2 hours in advance.


Combine 8 ounces thick-cut ham, diced, and 2 tablespoons chopped jarred pickled peppers in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. (The mixture should be somewhat coarse, not a smooth puree.)

Add 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard. Pulse to blend. Taste for seasoning, adding a little vinegar or mustard to taste. If dry, add a little mayonnaise for a spreadable texture. Transfer to a serving bowl. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. Serve at room temperature with crackers.

Rosemary pecans

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 12 minutes

Makes: 3 cups

“Don’t let the simplicity of this recipe fool you, these nuts are simultaneously salty, rich, crunchy and deliciously complex, thanks to the rosemary,” writes Jared Koch in “The Clean Plates Cookbook.”


Arrange 3 cups raw pecan halves on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees until brown and fragrant, about 12 minutes. Transfer while still warm to a bowl; add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary and fine sea salt to taste, tossing to coat. Return pecans to baking sheet to cool.

‘KFC’ Korean fried chicken wings

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: 40 minutes

Makes: 36 pieces

Adapted from a recipe by chef Phillip Lopez published in “New Orleans Chef’s Table” (Lyons, $24.95) by Lorin Gaudin.

TIP: Melt the pepper jelly over low heat in a saucepan; sweet Thai chili sauce can sub in.


  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 5 cloves garlic, whole
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 piece (3 inches long) ginger, sliced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ cup salt
  • 18 chicken wings, tips removed, cut into 2 sections
  • 2 cups non-glutinous rice flour
  • Peanut oil for deep frying
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) jarred pepper jelly, melted or sweet Thai chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon each: toasted sesame seeds, chopped chives


1. Heat a large stockpot of water to a boil over high heat. Add lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, lime juice and salt. Cook, 5-8 minutes. Turn down to a simmer. Add chicken wings; blanch, 3 minutes only. (This will release some fat from the skin and make the skin tighter for frying.) Remove with slotted spoon; shock in ice water. Dry; tamp dry with paper towels.

2. Toss the wings in rice flour to coat well. Submerge wings, in batches, in hot oil at 350 degrees; fry until fully cooked inside, about 7 minutes. (Alternatively, place wings on a baking sheet and roast in a 375 degree oven, rotating the pan halfway through, 15-20 minutes.)

3. Place hot wings in a bowl; add melted pepper jelly or chili sauce. Stir to coat wings. Arrange wings on serving platter; sprinkle with the sesame seeds and chives.

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