By SARA MOULTON
I’m not really sure why, but when sports fans assemble in front of their TVs to watch the Super Bowl, major sustenance seems to be required. The big game clearly inspires its viewers to go big.
This recipe is made to order for the occasion. In fact, it’s two recipes. The first is for potato skins lathered with roasted garlic rosemary butter and baked until crispy. The second is for onion kale dip spiked with fresh chiles (a variation of the classic spinach and onion dip).
You can bake and scoop out the potatoes a day ahead of time — saving the innards for delights such as hash browns or shepherd’s pie — then just slather the skins with the butter and pop them into the oven about 15 minutes before the game starts. You can also prepare the dip the day before. Convenience aside, the dip’s flavor will improve if it’s allowed to sit in the refrigerator for a while.
Both dishes can be made healthier. Brush the potato skins with olive oil (mixed with garlic and rosemary) instead of butter and replace half of the sour cream with non-fat Greek yogurt. Taste-wise, you’re welcome to swap in spinach for kale, if that’s your preference. As for the chiles, I call for chopped fresh jalapenos, but you can replace them with pickled jalapenos, minced chipotles in adobo or hot sauce. And if you don’t like spicy food, leave out the chiles.
Each of these recipes is more than capable of standing on its own (although if you roll with the dip, you’ll need to serve your favorite chips or crackers in place of the potato skins). But together? Touchdown!
Decadent Snacks for the Super Bowl
Start to finish: 4 hours (1 hour active)
Servings: 8 to 10
For the dip:
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
5 ounces baby kale, coarsely chopped
2 ounces light cream cheese
1 1/2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
One 8-ounce container sour cream
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno with the ribs and seeds, or to taste
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
For the potato skins:
3 pounds russet potatoes
1 head garlic (about 2 inches across)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
Make the dip: In a large skillet cook the onion in the oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the kale, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until all of the kale is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cream cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir until the cream cheese is melted. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the sour cream, jalapeno, lemon juice and salt to taste. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
Make the potato skins: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Prick each potato several times and arrange them on a rimmed sheet pan. Cut off and discard the top quarter of the head of garlic, wrap the garlic in foil and
add it to the sheet pan. Roast the potatoes and garlic in the lower third of the oven until the potatoes are very tender and the garlic is very soft, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (The garlic may be done before the potatoes.)
Remove the sheet pan from the oven and let the potatoes and garlic cool for 15 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 425 F. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, and then each half in thirds lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh, (reserving it for another use) and leaving a 1/4-inch thick layer of potato on the skin. Into a small bowl squeeze out the garlic. Add the butter, rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the bowl; mash and mix well using a fork.
Arrange the potato wedges on the sheet pan, skin side down, and divide the garlic butter evenly among the top sides of the wedges, spreading it to coat all of the surface. Bake the wedges on the lower third of the oven until golden and crisp, about 18 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with salt and let cool briefly on a rack before serving.q
Nutritional information per serving: 227 calories; 115 calories from fat; 13 g fat (8 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 37 mg cholesterol; 270 mg sodium; 23 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 5 g protein.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Sara Moulton is host of public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals.” She was executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years and spent a decade hosting several Food Network shows including “Cooking Live.” Her latest cookbook is “HomeCooking 101.”