Battle of the team-themed snacks

Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 9:35 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 9:35 a.m.

Thursday night kitchen counters and coffee tables will be filled with snacks and finger foods for the big game.


Hot Crab Dip

The Florida Gators and Oklahoma Sooners will battle for the National Championship, and if fans want to munch on game-watching goodies that represent their team and state, look no further.

For the Florida lover, a unique crab dip recipe mixes up ingredients best known to the Sunshine State — citrus and seafood. Of course, appetizers that sport a Gator theme or famous Gator name or feature alligator meat is always a winner.

By reputation, Oklahoma produces lots of cattle and wheat. But the state has so many foods linked to it, in 1998 the government adopted an official state meal: fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, pecan pie and black-eyed peas. So a dish that includes any of these foods (i.e. a black-eyed pea and corn salsa) would fit right in at a Sooner party. If you prefer tried-and-true classics on the menu, go with Buffalo wings — a toast to Oklahoma's state animal.

Here's a taste of a few recipes for party foods for Thursday night:

Florida fiesta

Hot Crab Dip

Nonstick spray coating

1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

3/4 cup Florida Orange Juice (may substitute Florida Orange Juice from concentrate)

1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, well-drained and chopped

2/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise dressing

1/3 cup sliced green onions

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup diced pimiento

1 6-ounce can lump crabmeat, drained, flaked, and cartilage removed

Spray an unheated medium saucepan with nonstick coating. Heat over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook and stir until tender. Remove from heat. Add orange juice, artichokes, mayonnaise dressing, onions, cheese, and pimiento.

Gently fold in crabmeat. Transfer to a 1-quart casserole.

Bake, uncovered, in a 400-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly. Cool five minutes. Stir before serving.

Serve warm with pita chips, vegetable dippers, or assorted crackers. Makes about 3-1/2 cups. Serves 12.

Pita chips go great with this dip. To make the chips, cut four pita rounds in half horizontally. Cut each half into six wedges. Place in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 350-degree oven 8 to 10 minutes.

Source: Florida Department of Citrus

Gator Chomp

This recipe is by Chris Weaver, who was Albert from 1985-1987.

Creamed Seminole (1 cup white rice)

1 Tiger tail (1 kielbasa sausage, cut into halves)

Eyes of 100 Bulldogs (2 cans of red kidney beans)

1/2 bean can water


Chopped Volun-tears (1 onion, chopped)

Cook the rice using the package directions. Pour just enough water into a large skillet to cover the bottom of the skillet. Add the sausage. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, turning occasionally; drain. Cook for 5 minutes longer or until brown on both sides.

Combine the beans and 1/2 bean can water into a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Cut sausage into 2-inch pieces. Stir butter into the rice. Spoon the rice onto serving plates. Top each serving with sausage, beans and onion. Serve with corn muffins or blueberry muffins.

Serves 3 to 4.

Source: "Gator Championship Recipes" — presented by the Florida Goal-Liners

Storm Roberts' Tasty Tail-Gator Marinated Chicken

10 to 15 larges cloves of garlic

1 1/2 cups tarragon vinegar

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons Worcestershire

4 tablespoons Grey Poupon mustard (or any French mustard)

3 to 4 pounds chicken breasts

Place the garlic in a large zip-top plastic bag. Crush with a garlic press or the old fashioned smash ‘em way. Add the vinegar, honey, oil, Worcestershire sauce and mustard.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Place in the plastic bag. Rub the marinade into the chicken and coat well. Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Grill until the chicken is cooked through, basting occasionally with the remaining marinade.

The garlic, vinegar and honey give this chicken a sweet glaze and unforgettable taste. It goes best with a Gator football victory.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Source: "Gator Championship Recipes" - Presented by the Florida Goal-Liners


Spicy Bean Salsa

2 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

2 (15 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped green bell pepper

2 (4 ounce) cans diced jalapeno peppers

2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained

2 cups Italian-style salad dressing

1 teaspoon garlic salt

In a medium bowl, combine black-eyed peas, black beans, corn, onion, green bell pepper, jalapeno peppers and tomatoes. Season with Italian-style salad dressing and garlic salt; mix well. Cover, and refrigerate overnight to blend flavors.

Makes 24 servings. (For 12 servings, use half of the ingredients)

Source: Submitted by Susan Navarrete on

Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

2 1/2 lbs chicken wings, tips removed and cut in half at joint, rinsed and wiped dry

1/2 Cup red hot pepper sauce

1 Teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/2 Teaspoon salt

6 Cups vegetable oil, for frying

1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons season salt

In a large shallow, non-reactive bowl combine the chicken, hot sauce, pepper, and salt, and toss well to combine. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and let marinate, for at least 1 hour, and up to 3 hours. In a heavy pot, heat the oil to 360 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and 2 tablespoons season salt. Remove the chicken from the marinade and add to the flour one at a time, tossing to coat evenly. Add the chicken in two batches to the hot oil and cook, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the chicken wings from the fryer with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce.

Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

1/2 Cup sour cream

1/4 Cup heavy cream

8 Ounces blue cheese

1 Teaspoon hot red pepper sauce

1/2 Teaspoon Worcestershire

1/2 Teaspoon salt

Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process on high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour into a decorative bowl.


Fried Okra

6 cups oil, for frying

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons House Seasoning, recipe follows

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 pounds fresh okra, sliced 1/2-inch thick

1/2 cup buttermilk

Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven to 350 degrees F. (You may not need to use this much oil; do not fill the pan more than halfway up the sides with oil.)

In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, House Seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Dip okra in buttermilk and then dredge in cornmeal-flour mixture to coat well. Carefully add okra to the hot oil and cook until golden brown. (It may be necessary to fry the okra in batches.) Remove from oil, drain on paper towels, and then serve immediately.

Yield: 6-8 servings

House Seasoning:

1 cup salt

1/4 cup black pepper

1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.


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