As our NY Giants take on Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend, I thought it would be fun to have their local foods represented for both teams in the way of appetizers. This was very easy for the NY Giants, but the challenge was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When I think of Southern Cuisine, I think of fatty fried foods or rich complex meals that do not lend themselves well to being converted to appetizers.
Remembering the great tail-gate parties that I’ve attended in the Meadowlands and the variety of food that was there, it inspired me to re-think the word appetizer. Maybe I should focus more on tasty bites of really good food.
Here are a few fun, easy recipes for you to make for the game this weekend.
NY Giant’s Game-Day Meatballs
This recipe is a combination of my Uncle Ronnie’s meatballs and mini cocktail meatballs. Ground turkey can also be used but you would need to add 1 tsp. of vegetable oil to the mix.
1lb ground sirloin
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp Soy Sauce
1/4 c bread crumbs
1/8 ground black pepper
Put the oil in a shallow skillet and heat. Mix ground sirloin, Worcestershire sauce, the egg and bread crumbs together. Roll into mini meatballs and fry. Remove from oil when cooked (about 3 minutes) and put them in a deep dish. Sprinkle the soy sauce over them and black pepper to taste.
Serve meatballs with blue and white toothpicks.
Tampa Bay Key Lime Bites
8 oz. sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp. of lime zest
4 oz. key lime juice
3 egg yolks
2 c heavy cream
¼ c sugar
48 vanilla wafers
Pre-heat oven at 325-degrees Bake: 8-10 minutes
Mix condensed milk, lime juice, zest, sugar and egg yolks in a bowl. Whisk or beat until mixture is light and fluffy (about 8 minutes). Spray the bottom of mini cupcake tins with cooking spray and place one vanilla wafer in the bottom of the tin. Spoon the wet mixture on top of the vanilla wafer filling the pan approximately ¾ the way up the sides leaving room for the whipped cream to go on top.
Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until the top is firm but not browned. Allow this to cool for a few hours in the refrigerator to completely set-up. This is great to make the day before and just finish it the day of the game. Remove from the pans and whip the heavy cream. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of each mini-lime pie and garnish with lime zest or fresh mint.
NY Bagel Pizza Bites
Here’s an easy recipe for homemade pizza bites that you can control the amount of salt that is added. I find the frozen bagel bites are too salty and extremely expensive. Check with your local supermarket to see if they have discounted day old bagels. They are much cheaper and make great foundation to build your pizza on.
6 day old bagels (if you get fresh bagels, leave them on the counter uncovered overnight)
1 can pizza quick sauce
1 c shredded mozzarella
½ c sausage -browned and out of casing
1/8 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp fennel seeds
Salt & pepper to taste
Slice the bagels thinly and lay them out on a cookie sheet. You should get approximately 10 thin slices per bagel. Spray the bagels with the cooking spray and toast them in the oven for about 3 minutes. Do not let the bagels get too brown, they will taste bitter and burnt. Spread a little pizza quick sauce on each slice and add browned sausage, seasonings and top with shredded mozzarella. Bake until mozzarella melts and turns a light golden brown.
Tampa Bay Smoked Stuffed Fish Footballs
2 cups smoked white fish (make sure there are no bones)
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
4 tbsp. sour Cream
1/8 tsp Old Bay Seasonings
1/8 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp liquid smoke
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
¼ tsp relish
1 pint of cherry /grape tomatoes
In a food processor add fish, mayonnaise, sour cream, seasonings and liquid smoke. Grind on high until the mixture is paste-like. Put in a large bowl and add the relish stirring just enough to mix. Cut the tomatoes in halves and stuff the tomatoes with the fish mixture. Serve on a bed of lettuce.