Guy Fieri shows us great Super Bowl food tips / Ohn Lee / Food Networks
To ease traffic, put drinks in the garage / Creatas, Getty Images
Set up a TV just for the hard-core fans / John Rensten, Getty Images
Super Bowl XLV official football / Wilson
For football fans like celebrity chef Guy Fieri, Super Bowl Sunday is a great American holiday — and it's worth going all-out for. That means food, food and more (good) food.
"The Super Bowl is the game of games," says Fieri, host of Guy's Big Bite and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network. "I only wish that it was 10 hours longer. I like to treat the Super Bowl as the great event that it is."
When hosting a party for the big game, Fieri doesn't settle for chips and dip. But the menu doesn't have to be fancy. Here, his best tips for pulling off a great party:
Keep the food coming. "I don't like to burn out my entire Super Bowl with cooking," Fieri says. "I want to watch the game. I want to see the pregame show. And of course I gotta see the commercials." To be able to do it all, choose foods that can be prepped beforehand so that it keeps coming throughout the game — which can last more than three hours.
Click on these to see Guy Fiori's Super Bowl recipes:
Homemade pizzas are a great option. Ask at your local pizzeria if they'll sell you balls of raw pizza dough. Then create a variety: one with vegetables, plain for the kids, meat for the carnivores and even a sweet riff, like a s'mores pizza with chocolate and marshmallows. The pies can be assembled early and partially cooked. Then just throw the next one in the oven to crisp it up as soon as the crowd eats up the last.
Choose a fan area. Fieri likes to turn on all the TVs in the house. He limits one to just the football purists who want no talking, no talking, no talking; one for the people who like to talk and watch; and then one in the kitchen so that those who are cooking can still scream at the refs for a bad call.
Think about flow. Keep everyone out of the traffic spots by putting the drinks in the garage. Fieri fills three coolers with different categories of beverages: waters, non-alcoholic and beers. Then people can go get whatever they need without getting in your way in the kitchen.
Give people choices. Even with classic football-watching foods like chicken wings, you can be creative. For instance, Fieri puts out his oven-baked chicken wings with a series of sauces: teriyaki, tequila-lime, plain for the purists. Or try a nacho bar with fresh-made tortilla chips and a whole slew of condiments: onions, tomatoes, ground beef, a warm cheese sauce on the stove, the works. Same goes for his chicken lettuce cups and bloody Mary flank steak.
Present some healthy alternatives —sort of. "This is a day of indulgence," Fieri says, "but there are ways to give people the option of being more healthy." Take that nacho bar, for instance: People can apply as little cheese as they want. And by baking instead of frying chicken wings, you're also eliminating some excess fat.
"My mom will raid the fridge for baby greens and pick the stuff from the nacho bar to create her own salad," Fieri says. "The food-bar approach allows people to choose what they want."
Pay attention to details. Even at a rowdy Super Bowl party, it's nice to feel civilized. Fieri always has a pot of hot water, lemon wedges and folded thick paper towels at guests' disposal so they can clean their hands after eating chicken wings or other messy foods. And he likes to use more substantial plastic tumblers from the 99-cent store instead of disposable cups. Write a name on each so people can keep track of their own cups for the duration.
Invite people who will pitch in. Ask over a special crew of friends, each with a skill of his own. "My buddy Paul is the technical guy," Fieri says, "so he'll make sure the surround sound is going. Cletus will help out with the food. And I have some buddies who are real snobs about beer, so I tell them to bring what they want to drink."
Stock up on doggy bags. Fieri keeps a supply of disposable containers on hand so he can send friends home with extra food. Or you can ask your friends to bring their own Tupperware. "You're not going to eat all six pizzas that are left," Fieri says. "So you might as well share."
And isn't that what game day is all about?