Wyrick is the editor and executive chef of The Vegan Culinary Experience http://www.veganculinaryexperience.com, a free vegan culinary magazine designed by professional vegan chefs. He has taught alongside doctors Neal Barnard, John McDougall, and Gabriel Cousens and is the first vegan instructor to teach in the Le Cordon Bleu program. You can reach Chef Wyrick at ChefJason@veganculinaryexperience.com.
Fans Whoop It Up at Super Bowl Party!
By Chef Jason Wyrick
Chances are, you're not just having vegetarians at your Super Bowl Party, and that means you need to provide food that everyone is going to like. You also need to make sure that you have fun, too! That means not only choosing food that will please everyone, but choosing food that does not require you to be in the kitchen all day and racing to finish everything before kick-off time.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, if your Super Bowl Parties are like the ones I've attended, there will be drinking, shouting, and a little mayhem. Try not to choose foods that are particularly messy or easy to spill, or you may find your home paying for it after the party is over. Below are a few of my favorite recipes for serving at just about any party but are particularly fun for Super Bowl time.
Take three pounds of potatoes and wrap them in foil (I wrap them all in one big foil packet instead of wrapping each one individually; you are more than welcome to indulge in that craziness if you wish, but that is not for me!). Bake the potatoes at 425 degrees for 45 minutes.
Allow them to cool down to the point where you can handle them, but they are still a bit warm. Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Gently scoop out the inside of each half, but try to leave at least a quarter-inch wall in the potato.
Mash the filling with 2 tablespoons of vegan margarine, 2 tablespoons of Vegenaise, one-half teaspoon of salt, and one-quarter teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Fill the potatoes with this filling and then sprinkle paprika on top. Place them on a baking tray and bake them at 375 degrees for 10 minutes just before serving them.
First, let's talk about the easy way. Get yourself two or three packages of Tofurky's Beer Brats and slice them into bite-sized pieces. Fill a pan with about 2 teaspoons of olive oil and bring it to a medium heat. Sauté the brats for about five minutes, and then add half a bottle of beer to the pan. Sweet beers work best for this. If your beer isn't sweet, add one-half teaspoon of sugar to the pan. Allow the beer to reduce around the brats until a glaze forms. Place these on a serving platter with a toothpick in each one.
The slightly more involved way to prepare these is to lightly brush the brats with oil and then smoke them on the grill for about 15 minutes. Once they are done smoking, slice them and prepare them the same way as above. (Yes, you will still sauté them.)
I like serving a sauce alongside these that I make by mixing together one-quarter cup of brown mustard, 1 tablespoon of sweet agave nectar, and either 1/8 teaspoon of cloves or 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle powder. Everyone goes crazy for these little tempting bites, and I've met very few meat eaters who cared that these brats weren't made from meat. Of course, a beer glaze always helps in that department.
Decorative Sugar Cookies
Take 2 3/4 cups of whole-wheat pastry flour and mix that with 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, and one small pinch of salt.
Take one cup of room-temperature vegan margarine and whip that with 1 1/2 cups of finely ground turbinado sugar.
Prepare 1 1/2 teaspoon of EnerG Egg Replacer by whipping it with 2 tablespoons of water. Mix this into the margarine along with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Slowly add the flour mix into the margarine mix until it is evenly incorporated. Cover this and refrigerate for one hour.
Lightly grease a cookie sheet with some of the margarine and heat your oven to 350 degrees. Separate the dough into one-inch balls. Place the balls on the cookie sheet and gently press down on them. Bake them for about 8 minutes.
While they are cooling, mix together your icing. Take one cup of confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar) and add in 1 teaspoon of almond extract. Add in 1 tablespoon of soy creamer and stir it together. Continue adding in 1 tablespoon of soy creamer at a time until you have a thick, sugary icing.
Add food coloring by separating the icing into different batches if you want to be really decorative. Once the cookies have fully cooled, spread the icing onto them in a thin layer. If you are decorating the cookies to look like your favorite team's helmet (you are decorating them in Cardinals' colors, aren't you? Of course you are! Good for you! You will need a pastry bag with one of the small tips attached.
Out of all the recipes to serve, these cookies are a definite winner. Well, they might get trumped by margaritas, but they are the stand-out food.
Now that you've got a start on your Super Bowl food, make sure you serve it with the right accompaniments. Super Bowl food should always be served with good drinks, good laughs, and a bit of trash-talking. Hey, didn't I tell you Panthers and Falcons fans to stop crying? Now get on with the game and have fun. Go Cardinals!