Somehow Super Bowl Sunday has become the unofficial end of the holiday season — and we all want to go to a Super Bowl party, even when our team isn’t playing.
That means somebody has to host that party.
If you’re the lucky one hosting this year, keep these five rules in mind when thinking about your menu.
1.) Prepare in advance. Whatever you decide to make, the work has to be done before kickoff.
I like to invite folks an hour before the game starts — that way you can serve the drinks and have the core meal offered before everything gets underway.
2.) Have a low-carb offering. Yes, it’s the time of the year (actually all year round) when we have to think about eating healthier.
Admittedly, your chances of having success with eating healthfully at a Super Bowl party are about the same as the Cleveland Browns’ of winning next year’s game.
But it’s a good idea to have a low-carb offering. Your guests will gravitate to it, especially if it tastes great.
The most popular item at my supper clubs are the Asian skewer appetizers. Full of protein with a light teriyaki glaze, these are a real winner.
The beauty of these protein-heavy apps is that they let you to take care of your pre-game appetite without loading up on carbs.
3.) Open it up to potluck. In the spirit of sharing the cost and not doing all the work for your big get-together, it’s a great idea to invite folks to bring an appetizer or a dessert and their beverage of choice.
Chances are you’ll get an assortment of old-time favorites, such as the following (but you can also steer guests toward the healthiest choices possible, too):
- Pigs in a blanket
- Artichoke dip and chips
- Buffalo dip and chips
- Boiled shrimp with cocktail sauce
- Velveeta/Ro-Tel dip
- Chocolate cake
4.) Designate a kitchen assistant. Not everyone wants to watch the game. By February, more than a few people are pretty sick of football and couldn’t care less about watching commercials.
Find one or two folks who can keep an eye on the kitchen — and with a little direction have a halftime offering warmed up and served for folks coming back for more after they’ve watched two quarters of the game.
5.) Make sure there’s no soldier left behind. By the end of the night, no matter who wins or loses, the holiday season is really over.
The last things you need are sinful leftovers to tempt you in your own refrigerator.
I’m going to bet the Asian skewer apps will be long gone. But make it clear to your friends who brought the huge chocolate cake that if there are leftovers, they’ve got to take them home with them.
This way you can expedite cleanup and really get serious about eating healthier.
These rules should all but guarantee success for your Super Bowl party.
The principles behind these rules are also keys to starting a supper club. My recommendation is that you tee up the idea of starting a supper club during the party. Everyone likes to socialize with friends over a meal — and supper clubs are a fun way to do it.
Paul Kenny, a longtime foodie based in Germantown, Tennessee, is the author of the recently published “Impromptu Friday Nights: A Guide to Supper Clubs.” This article originally appeared in LifeZette last year and has been updated.