From Korean chicken wings to an outrageous lasagna, these Super Bowl-worthy eats are over the top
If you can't eat crispy, crunchy, savory foods during the year's biggest television event, when can you?
You've made it through a long month of trying to eat and cook better, and now it's almost the Super Bowl, a time when many of us indulge in pizza, chicken wings and all the guacamole we can eat.
To help inspire your weekend noshing, I've compiled a few recipes, including Korean-spiced chicken wings and boneless Japanese-style fried chicken called karaage, as well as old-fashioned cheese straws and a healthy(ish) dish made with fried prosciutto with orzo and asparagus.
But the most creative dish in this set is the Cubano mac and cheese lasagna from Dan Whalen's new book. He combines three beloved comfort food dishes into one cheesy, salty, carb-loaded casserole that is perfect for feeding a crowd of football fans who aren't necessarily watching their calorie intake.
Don't forget to show us what you're cooking for the Super Bowl this year by adding #Austin360Cooks to your posts on social media.
Cubano Mac and Cheese Lasagna
This dish has a lot going on. If you think about it, it’s a triple mashup. You need lasagna noodles instead of normal pasta elbows because the shape of the dish emulates a pressed sandwich.
— Dan Whalen
1 pound boneless country pork ribs, diced
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
8 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
1/3 cup yellow mustard
1 cup dill pickle juice
1 pound lasagna noodles
1/2 pound sliced rosemary ham
4 or 5 medium dill pickles, sliced thin
In a frying pan, cook the pork on high heat with some oil, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat when nicely brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter. Add the onions and sweat them on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and whisk until it combines well with the butter. Keep stirring for about 3 minutes until the color changes to a golden hue. Whisk in the milk, making sure to eliminate all the lumps. Bring to a boil, at which point the roux will cause it to thicken instantly. Reduce the heat to low and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add the cheeses to the pot in small batches, letting each batch melt before you add more. Add the mustard and pickle juice.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the noodles in salted boiling water for 7 minutes. You want to undercook them because they will cook more in the sauce. Build the lasagna by layering sauce, noodles, ham, pickles and pork. Repeat to fill the pan.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. The top should brown nicely, but if it doesn’t, give it a few minutes under the broiler. Let it rest for about 20 minutes before cutting and serving.
— From "The Comfort Food Mash-Up Cookbook: 80 Delicious Recipes for Reimagining Your Favorite Dishes" by Dan Whalen (Sterling Epicure, $19.95)
Japanese Fried Chicken (Karaage)
We usually prefer a wand-style grater for fresh ginger, but here the larger holes of a box grater were best; it was easier to squeeze juice from the thicker pulp. The chicken's distinctive tang came from shichimi togarashi — a Japanese rice seasoning with chile pepper, roasted orange peel, sesame seeds, seaweed and ginger. It's widely available in Asian markets. Tamari is a gluten-free Japanese soy sauce with a darker color and bolder flavor than other soy sauces, but any soy sauce will work. A large pot or Dutch oven (at least 6 quarts) was essential for frying. Don’t let the chicken sit for longer than an hour after coating it before frying; it will get gummy.
— Diane Unger
For the chicken:
3-ounce chunk fresh ginger, coarsely grated
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup tamari
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into thirds
2 cups (8 ounces) cornstarch
1 tablespoon shichimi togarashi (Japanese rice seasoning)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 quarts peanut or vegetable oil
For the dipping sauce:
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Gather the ginger in your hands and squeeze as much juice as possible into a large bowl. Add the ginger solids to the bowl and stir in the sake, tamari and lemon zest. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
Set a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the cornstarch, shichimi togarashi and pepper. Working 1 piece at a time, remove the chicken from the marinade, letting excess drip off, and dredge in the cornstarch mixture, pressing evenly to adhere on all sides. Transfer to the rack and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
In a 7-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil to 375 degrees. Add a third of the chicken to the hot oil and fry, stirring to prevent sticking, until the chicken is deep golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean wire rack, return the oil to 375 degrees and repeat twice with the remaining chicken.
For the dipping sauce, whisk together all ingredients. Serves 4.
— From "The Complete Milk Street TV Show Cookbook (2017-2019): Every Recipe from Every Episode of the Popular TV Show" by Christopher Kimball (Little, Brown and Company, $40)
Asparagus and Orzo With Crispy Prosciutto
I try to be sure to use up any expensive ingredients throughout the week to stretch out my dollar. Not that prosciutto is all that expensive, but it’s not cheap, either. So, if you’ve purchased prosciutto for another recipe, here’s a great way to stretch your dollar and make an amazing side dish while you’re at it.
— Audrey Johns
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
2 slices prosciutto
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch bites
Yellow onion, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup uncooked orzo
1 cup water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Line a plate with paper towels. In the Instant Pot, combine the olive oil and prosciutto. Set the pot to saute, medium heat, and cook for about 5 minutes, until crispy. Transfer to the prepared plate to drain.
Add the asparagus and onion to the pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute for 5 minutes, until the veggies start to soften.
Add the orzo and water to the pot. Cover and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure.
Sprinkle with the parsley and pine nuts, then crumble the prosciutto over the top. Serve hot.
— From "Lose Weight with Your Instant Pot: 60 Easy One-Pot Recipes for Fast Weight Loss" by Audrey Johns (William Morrow, $25.99)
Traditional Cheese Straws
The shatteringly crisp, ruffle-ridged cheese straw is so truly a Southern staple that I had to include a classic recipe here. Charmingly pretty on a plate, standing upright in a julep cup, artfully arranged on a silver platter, or attractively packaged as a gift, nothing complements a southern cocktail better.
— Perre Coleman Magness
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Makes about 60 (can easily be doubled)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Beat the butter and the cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until combined, then add the rest of the ingredients and beat until the mixture comes together in a ball.
If you have a cookie press, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to pipe long strips of dough using the star-shaped or wavy disk onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cut the strips into 2-inch pieces. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
If you don’t have a cookie press, pat the dough into a flat rectangle, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll the dough out into a thin sheet on a surface lightly dusted with flour. The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Use a sharp knife or a pizza wheel to cut the dough, first into long strips, then into 2-inch ribbons. Carefully transfer the straws to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Bake the straws for 13 to 15 minutes, until firm and lightly browned. Cool for a minute on the baking sheets, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. The cheese straws will keep for a week in an airtight container.
— From "Southern Snacks: 77 Recipes for Small Bites With Big Flavors" by Perre Coleman Magness (The University of North Carolina Press, $30)
Korean Fried Chicken Wings
A bar snack par excellence, the tender wings are coated in a sauce that is a balance of sweet, hot, sour and salty. The hot comes from the distinctively flavored Korean hot pepper paste, which is the same pepper paste that gives many kimchis their distinctive flavors. It is available wherever Asian foods are sold and is a great seasoning to have on hand. Serve the wings with plenty of beer and napkins.
— Andrea Chesman
4 pounds chicken wings
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup Korean gochujang (red chile paste)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons hot water
Lard or tallow, for deep-frying
White sesame seeds, for garnish
Separate the chicken wings into wings and drumettes. Reserve the bony tips for broth. Place the chicken in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, add the cornstarch and toss to coat. Set aside.
To prepare the sauce, combine the gochujang, honey, vinegar, soy sauce and water in a large bowl and mix well. Set aside.
In a large deep Dutch oven or wok, melt enough fat to fill the pot by several inches and heat to 375 degrees. Set up a sheet pan lined with wire racks to drain the fried wings.
Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Toss the wings in the cornstarch again, then shake off any excess. Working in batches, slide the wings into the oil and fry until golden and crispy, about 8 minutes, stirring and turning the wings on occasion. Remove the cooked wings from the fat, place on the wire racks and put the sheet pan in the oven to keep warm. Bring the fat back up to 375 degrees before adding the next batch. Continue until all the wings are cooked.
Just before serving, add the wings to the sauce and toss to coat well. Transfer the wings to a platter, garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately. Serves 4.
− From "The Fat Kitchen: How to Render, Cure & Cook With Lard, Tallow & Poultry Fat" by Andrea Chesman (Storey Publishing, $24.95)