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Last-Minute Snacks, Little or No Work

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While chips and salsa have become standard party fare throughout the country, one likes to offer a little something extra when it’s Super Bowl Sunday. Here are some more hints for last minute snacks to pick up, or make yourself, from SavorSA.

Dried okra and other veggies: Consider putting some of these colorful dried snacks out along with the other salty stuff — nuts, chips and so forth. If you haven’t tasted dried okra, prepare for a pleasant surprise. Check out the dried wasabi peas, too. These are sometimes in the bulk bins, sometimes packaged.
Dress-ups for cream cheese: Put an 8-ounce block of cream cheese in a bowl and drench it with a bottle of raspberry-chipotle sauce or something else sweet and spicy. These sauces are usually easy to find on the bottled sauces aisle.  Or, top the cream cheese with a pint of fresh jumbo lump crab meat, then pour the contents of a jar of chilled cocktail sauce over the crab. Serve either of these with crackers, melba toasts, or whatever you like.
Cocktail wienies: Oh ,why not, just this once. Toss the little smokies into a crock pot an hour or two ahead of time, pour in a jar of orange marmalade and a regular small jar of French’s mustard. Heat them up on high, stir.  Put out a box of toothpicks. (It’s bad, but oh, so good.)
Baguette and olive oil: This is possibly the simplest of all snacks. Pour olive oil onto a plate with a bit of seasoned salt, cracked pepper, Italian herbs and Parmesan cheese. Slice a fresh baguette (we like Whole Foods’ best) and serve.
Salty fishes: You might have friends, and you know who they are, who like pickled herring with sour cream, anchovies,  smoked oysters, sardines, etc. Put the herring and sour cream in a bowl in the center, arrange the other snacks around the bowl. An assortment of (salty) olives might be appreciated with these, too. Trimmed scallions and red radishes add color.
Raw vegetables: Pick these up at the store, but instead of the usual dips find a good red pepper or roasted garlic hummus to serve as the dip. Keep pita chips and crackers handy, too, for those who will just go for the hummus.  (I recommend the Cedars brand of garlic hummus at Whole Foods.)
Ready breads: Don’t make your own toast points. Check out the many brands of pita chips now on the market. Stacy’s are addictive. H-E-B has introduced its own line. Also, opt for melba toast in your favorite flavor or cocktail rye. You’ll save a great deal of time.
Pickled treats: Most supermarkets carry much more than pickles and olives that make for easy treats. Try roasted red peppers, giardiniera, chow chow or peperoncini. Middle Eastern and other international markets have a host of pickled options beyond the norm, from baby eggplants to unripe grapes. You may be find pickled brussels sprouts to your liking.
Say cheese: What could be easier than picking four or five different types of cheeses from around the world and serve them with some nuts, dried fruit, a few chunks of dark chocolate and an apple or pear? Just make sure the selection appeals to a variety of tastes. Go for a wide array, such as a raw cheese from Southern California, a goat cheese from Portugal, a dry Manchego from Spain, an herb-wrapped soft cheese from France and an aged cheddar from Wisconsin.You could complement the tray with a couple of Italian or Hungarian sausages or sliced salami.
Sweet treats: Sure you can buy a pricy Super Bowl decorated cake, but a box of good shortbread cookies, a jar of whipped cream and some chopped fruit, such as kiwi or strawberries, would look pretty on a platter. Cover the platter with the cookies, put a dollop of whipped cream on top and garnish with the fruit.

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