A successful Super Bowl party requires the right mix of friends, fare and a sizable flat-screen TV. We can’t help with two of those, so for fare we are bringing out the big guns: Michael Symon, chef-owner of Lola Bistro and others, cohost of ABC’s The Chew and cookbook author. He’s a booster for his hometown Cleveland Browns and his cooking is a perfect mix of thoughtful and approachable. So we asked the chef with the super memorable laugh how to host a memorable Super Bowl party. Here’s what he says.
What are your go-to recipes when you’re having people over to watch the big game?
Any party I’m throwing is going to involve some form of pork! One of my favorites is smoked pork with apple dumplings (find it here). The combination of the smoky meat with the sweetness of the dumplings is just so good. Another fun one is spicy sriracha chicken wings which we make at my burger restaurant, B Spot (wing recipe here). Wings are the perfect football food, if you ask me, and the Sriracha gives these an extra kick.
What sorts of things can you make ahead of time?
You can make a really nice meat and cheese plate with some good salamis and cheese. Add some olives and a small bowl of jams, like fig or quince, and it looks totally gourmet.
How do you put a personal touch on your gathering?
Every Super Bowl party needs a great drink. I like to mix up a big pitcher ahead of time and throw it in the fridge so it’s ready when my guests arrive. One of my favorites is called the Spice of Life and it’s super easy. Combine 3¼ cups Knob Creek Bourbon Whiskey with a 330 mL bottle of white peach nectar, a handful of fresh mint leaves and ice. Serve over fresh ice and topped with a splash of ginger beer and a few mint leaves.
Any parting advice?
Hosting big parties can be stressful, so do as much as you can ahead of time. But most importantly, remember that it’s a party. Don’t forget to have fun!