Pretzels and potato chips? Pssh, been there, done that! This year, kick off the big game with an all-star spread of appetizers and sides, courtesy of Macy’s Culinary Council Chefs Rick Bayless, Marcus Samuelsson and Marc Forgione. From savory chorizo-infused meatballs to quesadillas with a delightfully modern twist, they’ve thought of the best crowd-pleasing recipes so that you don’t have to. So, whether you’re a football fanatic or completely lost when it comes to the rules of the game (what’s a first down mean again?), one thing’s for certain… you’ll be a winning hostess.
Rick Bayless’ Mushroom Quesadillas
2 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons corn oil, divided
6 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
6 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and cut into quarters
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 flour tortillas
12 ounces shredded Chihuahuan cheese
1 recipe Poblano Rajas (see below)
Frontera salsa, for serving
3 medium poblano peppers
1 tablespoon corn oil not divided
1/2 small white onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic, divided
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large sauté pan set over high heat until it is almost smoking. Add the mushrooms and garlic and don’t disturb for 1 minute. Then toss the mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring until they are beginning to brown and are completely cooked, 6-7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Reserve.
2. Lay the tortillas out on a work surface. Sprinkle 2 ounces of cheese evenly over each tortilla. Spread the mushrooms and Poblano Rajas atop the cheese, dividing the mixtures evenly among the 6 tortillas. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat for 1 minute. Add 1/4 teaspoon oil and turn the pan to coat. Carefully add the open-faced tortilla and cook until the cheese begins to melt, then fold in half (do not press down) and cook for a few more seconds. If the tortilla is browning before the cheese melts, turn the heat down a little. Remove with a spatula to a cutting board and cut into slices for serving. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Serve with your favorite Frontera salsa.
1. Directly over a gas flame or on a baking sheet under the broiler, roast the chiles, turning occasionally with tongs until blistered and blackened on all sides – 5-6 minutes.
Place the blackened chiles in a small bowland cover with plastic wrap. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel off and discard charred skin. Core and seed the pepper and then slice into very thin (1/4-inch) strips. Reserve.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet set over high heat. Add the onions and cook, tossing until browned but not soft, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the reserved chiles, herbs and salt and cook stirring for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and reserve.
Marcus Samuelsson’s Chorizo-Style Meatballs with Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa
Serves 24 Meatballs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano chile, seeded, if desired, and finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tomatillos, papery husks removed and finely chopped
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cubed
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño chile, seeded, if desired, and finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 fresh cilantro sprigs, chopped
4 drops Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces ground lamb
12 ounces ground pork
3 gloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons mild chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, rubbed between fingertips
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
For the salsa: In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the garlic, serrano chile, and shallot and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatillos and sauté until softened, another 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool completely.
With a rubber spatula, fold the avocado, onion, jalapeno chile, lime juice, cilantro, and Tabasco into the cooled tomatillo mixture. Season with the salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the salsa (this will keep the avocado from browning), and refrigerate until serving.
For the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the lamb, pork, garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, paprika, and a few grinds of pepper and mix well with your hands. Lightly moisten a large plate with water. With wet hands (to keep the mixture from sticking), shape the mixture into balls the size of a golf ball and place them on the moistened plate. You should have about 24 meatballs.
In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook, turning frequently, until nicely browned on all sides and cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain briefly.
Arrange the meatballs on a platter and serve right away, with the salsa on the side.
Marc Forgione’s Cheddar-Chive Biscuits
Serves 24 biscuits
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese such as Cabot
1 cup minced fresh chives
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons fleur de sel
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add the cream, cheese, and chives and stir with a wooden spoon until a rough dough forms. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead five or six times until the dough comes together.
3. Pat the dough out into a square about ½-inch thick. Using a sharp knife, trim the edges so they are even. Then, using the knife, cut five evenly spaced lines from one edge to the opposite edge. Now, starting on an uncut edge, cut three evenly spaced lines to the opposite edge. You should have 24 rectangles. Transfer the biscuits to the prepared sheet pans, spacing them at least 1-inch apart. Brush each biscuit with some of the melted butter and top with a few sprinkles of the fleur de sel.
4. Bake the biscuits, rotating the pans 180 degrees about halfway through baking, until cooked through and golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool briefly before serving. Serve warm.