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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on,
the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Super Bowl

FOOD FUN: Mashed Potato Stuffed Burger Recipe

You’re used to fries or potato chips with your burger. But how about mashed potatoes?

For some food fun, executive chef Craig (Andy) Beardslee of Hash House A Go Go in San Diego suggests a layer of Parmesan mashed potatoes between two eight-ounce burgers. This one-pound burger with mashed potatoes is not quite Paula Deen (who famously sandwiched a burger, fried egg and bacon between Krispy Kreme donuts), but it’s fun.

About the name: It’s not really a potato-stuffed burger. It’s more of a potato-layered burger; otherwise, the potatoes would be stuffed inside the burger patties. As in recipe ingredients, in naming, strive for accuracy!

We like onion with our burger; so when we tried this recipe, we added thinly sliced green onions (scallions) to the mashed potatoes. We also mashed the potatoes with basil oil, and on another occasion with truffle oil. Both are inspired choices, with or without the Parmesan cheese.


Ingredients For 1 Serving



Mashed potato stuffed burger: Just in time for Super Bowl supping. Photo courtesy Idaho Potato Commission.

  • 2 8-ounce ground prime beef patties
  • 6 ounces mashed potatoes with fresh shaved Parmesan cheese, griddled
  • 2 bread and butter plank pickles
  • 2 tomato slices
  • 2 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1 red onion slices
  • 2 applewood-smoked bacon strips
  • 1 ciabatta or sesame bun


    1. PLACE the mashed potatoes on a griddle in a pancake shape. Brown and turn.

    2. LAYER the lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles on bottom bun. Top with one beef patty.

    3. LAY on a mound of griddled mashed potatoes and add 2 strips cooked bacon. Top with the second beef patty, then the top half of the bun.



    SUPER BOWL: Buffalo Brussels Sprouts & Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

    Thanks to QVC for this recipe by Meredith Lawrence |Blue Jean Chef for QVC.

    “Deep-frying is not the most common way of cooking Brussels sprouts,” says Meredith, “but it’s delicious! You can alter this recipe by leaving out the breading and just deep-frying the sprouts, or by using a different type of dip, like honey-mustard or ranch, instead of the blue cheese.”



    For The Brussels Sprouts

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • Canola oil (for deep-frying)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

    Even people who don’t like Brussels sprouts will enjoy these! Photo courtesy QVC.

    Buffalo Hot Sauce

  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
    Blue Cheese Dip

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon chives, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper

    Buffalo grilled cheese sandwich. Photo
    courtesy QVC. The recipe is below.



    1. PREPARE the Buffalo hot sauce by combining the hot sauce and butter in a small bowl; set aside.

    2. PREPARE the blue cheese dip: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until the Brussels sprouts are ready.

    3. PREPARE the Brussels sprouts: Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Blanch the halved Brussels sprouts in vigorously boiling water for 2 minutes. Strain and drain well, rolling around in a clean dish towel to remove as much of the moisture as possible.

    4. FILL a straight-sided sauté pan with canola oil about 2-3 inches deep, and bring the temperature to 350°F.

    5. PLACE the flour and eggs in two separate shallow dishes. In a third shallow dish, or a zipper-sealable plastic bag, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Lightly dredge the Brussels sprouts in the flour, then dip them into the egg mixture. Coat with the breadcrumb mixture.

    6. DEEP FRY the breaded Brussels sprouts in the oil until nicely browned. Remove from the pan and place on a rack or paper towel-lined plate. Allow the Brussels to cool slightly and serve immediately with the Buffalo Hot Sauce and Blue Cheese Dip.


    This recipe comes from QVC’s resident chef, David Venable. David’s tip: To make these appetizer-friendly, simply cut the sandwiches into bite-size pieces and place a toothpick into each square!.


  • 8 slices French bread, sliced 1/2″ thick
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/8 cup onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup celery, minced
  • 5 tablespoons Buffalo Wing sauce
  • Softened butter

    1. SPREAD the butter evenly on four slices of bread and lay each slice, buttered-side down, on a work surface lined with parchment or wax paper. Set the remaining four slices aside.

    2. WHIP the cream cheese in a mixing bowl until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl once or twice. Add the Cheddar cheese and mix well; then fold in the blue cheese. Spread the mixture onto the plain side of each slice of bread.

    3. COMBINE the chicken, mayonnaise, onion, celery, and Buffalo Wing sauce in a new mixing bowl; toss until the chicken is evenly coated. Spread this mixture on top of the prepared bread slices and top with the remaining four slices.

    4. HEAT a large sauté pan or griddle over medium-low heat. Add the sandwiches and toast each side until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes. Serve.



    SUPER BOWL RECIPE: Taco Sundae

    Wondering what to o with those banana split dishes? Make a taco sundae!

    This recipe is from Wholly Guacamole, which uses its Wholly Guacamole Classic Dip and Wholly Salsa. It takes just 20 minutes to prepare.


    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup salsa (your choice of mild, medium or hot)
  • 3 cups shredded lettuce
  • 14 ounces guacamole
  • 6 grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • Tortilla chips
  • ice cream scoop
  • Oval bowls


    There’s no ice cream in this sundae! Photo courtesy Wholly Guacamole.



    1. BROWN the ground meat; then add the taco seasoning, adding a little water as needed to distribute the seasoning evenly. Stir to mix well. Continue cooking another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 cup of the shredded cheese.

    2. HEAT the refried beans.

    3. COMBINE combine the sour cream with the Wholly Salsa dip in a small bowl.

    4. COVER the bottom of the dish with the shredded lettuce. Scoop the meat with the ice cream scoop, pack it with a spoon and place in the middle of the bed of lettuce.

    5. SQUEEZE the guacamole into the [cleaned] scoop, smooth with the back of a spoon or knife and place on one side of the meat. Place a scoop of beans on the other side of the meat.

    6. POUR a tablespoon of the salsa mixture over each scoop. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and place a cherry tomato on top. Serve with corn tortilla chips.



    SUPER BOWL: Football Pizza


    It’s easy to make “football pizza.” Photo
    courtesy Due Forni | Las Vegas.


    Turn pepperoni into a pigskin with this clever idea from Due Forni restaurant in Las Vegas (the restaurant’s name means “two ovens”).

    Whether you’re having pizza delivered on game day or making it yourself, it’s easy to add a football to your pizza.

  • Slice a pepperoni sausage thinly.
  • Slice mozzarella into “laces.”
  • Ten minutes before the pizza should come out of the oven, quickly remove and lay the pepperoni atop and mozzarella, as shown in the photo.
  • Return to the oven to heat the pepperoni and melt the cheese. If it’s delivery pizza, have a hot oven ready; lay down the pepperoni and cheese and heat for 10 minutes.
    Go team!



  • Football Cupcakes
  • Football Deviled Eggs: make laces with chives
  • Football Steak
  • Football Strawberries: Pipe white chocolate laces onto chocolate-covered strawberries


    RECIPE: Tipsy Chestnut Cake ~ A Chestnut Loaf Cake

    This wintery cake combines chestnuts and red wine, and has no added fat. Contributing blogger and cookbook author Hannah Kaminsky, who developed the recipe, explains:

    “Infused with a generous pour of Cabernet from the start and doused with an additional slug of brown sugar-enriched wine syrup—soaking each nook and cranny with a strong dose of sweet red wine—this cake knows how to party.

    “Studded with large pieces of roasted chestnuts, it’s a seasonal treat perfectly for the cold winter months. Though the jubilant days of Christmas and New Year’s feel like a lifetime ago, the current series of snow days are an excellent excuse to batten down the hatches and drown your sorrows—not in a stiff drink, but a strong slice of this tender cake.”

    We also recommend it as a gourmet Super Bowl dessert.



    Chestnut loaf cake with no added fat. Photo © Hannah Kaminsky.


    If you don’t want cake for “happy hour,” enjoy it as a snack at any time of day, or for dessert with a bit of whipped cream. Don’t forget—the cake is fat free.

    “Purely by accident,” explains Hannah, “the recipe became much leaner than intended by my inadvertent omission of any added fat. So while this isn’t diet fare, it is a better-for-you cake.

    “Happily, the texture doesn’t suffer one bit without the oil. I would have never realized my mistake if not for my recipe notes. I guess it’s obvious that not all of the wine made it into the cake!”



    Chestnuts roasted in a specialty chestnut
    pan. Photo courtesy



    Ideally, prepare the cake a day in advance to allow the wine syrup to thoroughly meld with the crumb. Since you need less than 1-1/4 cups wine, you can use up leftover wine—or serve the rest of a new bottle with the cake.

    Ingredients For 8-10 Servings

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder (recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) very coarsely chopped roasted chestnuts (fresh or canned)
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine (Such as Cabernet
    Sauvignon, Merlot or Pinot Noir)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    For The Crimson Wine Syrup

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • Pinch salt

    1. PREHEAT oven to 325°F with rack in the center. Lightly grease and flour an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan.

    2. WHISK together the flour, sugar, five-spice powder, baking powder and soda and salt in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Add the chopped chestnuts and toss to coat with the flour blend to prevent the pieces from sinking to the bottom of the cake. Set aside.

    3. MIX the wine, applesauce and vanilla in a separate bowl; then add to the wet goods into flour mix. Use a wide spatula to combine, stirring just enough to blend without over-mixing. It’s perfectly fine to have a few lumps remaining.

    4. TRANSFER the batter to the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top before sliding the pan into the oven. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until deeply browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. While the cake is baking…

    5. PREPARE the red wine syrup by combining the wine, brown sugar and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. If you’’d like the wine to retain a bit of its alcoholic bite, cook just until the sugar has dissolved. Alternatively, allow it to simmer for 5-10 minutes for the alcohol to boil out.

    6. PREPARE the baked cake while it is still warm by poking it numerous times with a skewer. Go deep to allow the syrup to penetrate far into the crumb. Pour the hot syrup over the cake and let cool completely before removing from the pan. Although the cake tastes best the next day after soaking a bit, it’s quite delicious to slice and serve as soon as it’s cool.


    Like adobo, chili powder, curry powder, fines herbes, garam masala, herbes de provence, ras-el-hanout, togarishi, za’atar and other spice blends, ingredients and the proportion of ingredients vary based on the cook or the manufacturer. Some five-spice recipes include anise seed, black or white pepper, cardamom, galangal, ginger, licorice, mandarin peel, nutmeg and turmeric.

    Since five-spice powder is also used in other Asian cuisines and in Middle Eastern cooking, there are regional preferences as well.

    Blend together:

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground star anise
  • 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, toasted and ground
    Store any extra spice in an airtight jar.



    RECIPE: Guacamole Canapés & Mini Iceberg Wedges

    Deconstructed guacamole. Photo courtesy
    Wholly Guacamole.


    First of all: What’s a canapé (can-uh-PAY)?

    It’s a type of hors d’oeuvre: a small, savory bite on a base of bread, toast or pastry. It is a finger food, eaten in one or two bites.

    Canapés are often served at cocktail parties, and in the hands of a caterer or chef they can be beautifully decorated works of edible art. Canapé is the French word for sofa. The idea is that the toppings sit on a “sofa” of bread or pastry.

    These Super Bowl snacks are much more down to earth, as befits the occasion. They’re guacamole canapés, a change of pace from the same old, same old guacamole and chips.

    Since the tomatoes and onions are separate from the mashed avocado, this is effectively “deconstructed guacamole.”

    The recipes below are courtesy Wholly Guacamole.



  • 1 baguette (French bread loaf)
  • Guacamole (use prepared chunky guacamole or make your own)
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, sliced into small, thin wedges
  • Salt and pepper to taste

    1. SLICE baguette into 1/2 inch slices and toast lightly. Spread approximately 2 tablespoon of guacamole on each slice.

    2. TOSS diced tomatoes with onions an cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    3. DISTRIBUTE tomato/onion mix to canapés. Top with lime slices and serve on a platter.



    Most people enjoy a classic wedge salad: iceberg lettuce with blue cheese dressing. Here, we turn it into finger food.


  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • Crumbled blue cheese
  • Blue cheese dressing (here’s our recipe)

    1. CUT lettuce into mini wedges, about 3 inches each. The objective is to pick them up by hand.

    2. TOP with bacon and tomato slices.

    3. DRIZZLE with blue cheese dressing and top with optional crumbled blue cheese. Serve on a platter.


    Mini iceberg wedge salad, for when you just want a taste. Photo courtesy Wholly Guacamole.




    PRODUCT: Super Bowl Macarons, Valentine Macarons


    The battle of the macarons. Photo courtesy
    Dana’s Bakery.


    In addition to the Super Bowl, we’re celebrating the Mac Bowl: the battle between two macarons for the title of tastiest.

    Dana’s Bakery, a wonderfully creative maker of delicious macarons (a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week—here’s the review), has created two flavors for the occasion:

  • Denver Chocolate Peanut Butter Macarons
  • Seattle Sea Salt Caramel Macarons
    In vibrant team colors, each bite is a victory. Get yours at The line is certified kosher.

    Who needs chicken wings, guacamole and pizza? We’re set with our Super Bowl macarons. Game on!




    For Valentine’s Day, Dana has transformed the classic Sweethearts candy, also called conversation hearts, into macarons.

    Sweethearts are made by the New England Confectionery Company (NECCO), makers of Necco Wafers. Each hard heart-shaped candy is printed with a romantic message: “Be Mine,” “Kiss Me,” “Adore Me,” and “Crazy 4U” are some of the messages.


    Sweethearts date all the way back to 1866. In 1847, 26-year-old Boston pharmacist Oliver R. Chase invented a machine that cut lozenges from wafer candy—similar to Necco Wafers.



    Macarons for your Valentine, atop a bed of Sweethearts candy. Photo courtesy Dana’s Bakery.

    While it turned out to be the world’s first candy-making machine, the original intent was to create lozenges to soothe the throat or to settle the stomach. The line between “losenge” and “hard candy” is pretty slim.

    In 1866 Oliver’s brother, Daniel Chase, designed a machine that pressed designs onto the wafers, and began printing sayings on what had become “candy.”

    Sweethearts were launched by NECCO in 1901. In 2010 the recipe was changed to allow for bright modern colors; contemporary sayings have been added, such as “Email me” (no doubt soon to be “Text Me”) and “LOL.” NECCO receives hundreds of suggestions a year on new sayings.

    Sweetheart macarons are available from



    RECIPE: Chinese Steamed Dumplings With A Twist


    Buffalo chicken dumplings: fusion food.
    Photo and recipe courtesy IMUSA USA.


    The Chinese New Year begins on January 31st; the Super Bowl is February 2nd. Here’s a dish that combines both concepts: Buffalo Chicken Steamed Dumplings.

    The recipe for this fusion food—Chinese steamed dumplings crossed with Buffalo chicken wings—was developed by IMUSA USA. The company manufacturers cookware for international cuisine, including the bamboo steaming basket in the photo.



  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • ½ small onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons curly parsley
  • ½ cup celery
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Dumpling wrappers (you can use won ton
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup Buffalo style hot sauce, like Frank’s
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • Preparation

    1. MIX first 9 ingredients (chicken through pepper) by hand in a medium bowl until evenly combined.

    2. ASSEMBLE dumplings by placing dumpling wrapper on a flat surface. Roll a small ball of the chicken mixture between your hands, about a tablespoon, and place in the center of the wonton wrapper.

    3. DIP a finger in a cup of water and run it around the edges of the wrapper. Pick up a wrapper and chicken ball with one hand (between your thumb and index finger) and begin pinching hard around the wrapper until it tightly wraps the chicken ball. Re-pinch if necessary.

    4. SPRAY the steaming basket with non-stick spray and add the dumplings. Steam for 10 minutes until fully cooked.

    5. MAKE the hot sauce by gently heating the hot sauce and the butter. Spoon some sauce on a plate and place dumplings on top. Garnish with more crumbled blue cheese, if desired.



    FOOD FUN: Football Steak


    A football filet mignon. Photo courtesy
    Empire Steak House | NYC.


    To some, watching a football game while digging into a big, juicy steak is a slice of heaven. That’s why more than a few steak houses have big-screen TVs.

    Chef Jack Sinanaj of Empire Steak House in New York City has gone one better, preparing a special Empire Super Bowl Steak: a 20-ounce filet mignon carved in the shape of a football.

    And yes, you can eat your steak while watching the game on three large screen plasma TVs. There’s a “viewing party” on Super Bowl Sunday, February 2nd.

    Or, you can try carving your own at home.


    The restaurant used grill marks to add the laces. That may be a challenge for some home cooks, but if you’re good with a piping bag, you can add the laces with piped blue cheese butter or other compound butter.



    RECIPE: Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

    Looking for “gourmet” Super Bowl fare? Try this recipe from Dietz & Watson. Just a bit of fresh basil elevates bacon-wrapped shrimp to new flavor heights.

    Serve the shrimp on a platter for game-watching, with cocktails or as an appetizer or first course for dinner.


    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 16 jumbo shrimp (thawed if frozen), peeled and
  • 16 fresh basil leaves
  • 16 slices bacon
  • 16 flavorless wooden toothpicks
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 12 ounces barbeque sauce
  • 4 teaspoons grated horseradish
  • 2 dashes hot pepper sauce
  • Garnish: lemon wedges, basil leaves

    Fresh basil elevates the flavor of bacon-wrapped shrimp. Photo courtesy Dietz & Watson.



    1. PREHEAT oven to 375°F and butterfly the shrimp: Make a deep slit along the back of each, but not all the way through.

    2. RINSE the shrimp and pat dry. Place one basil leaf inside the slit in each shrimp. Wrap each shrimp in a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.

    3. HEAT the oil over high heat to 350°F in a medium stockpot or saucepan. When hot, carefully add the shrimp, a few at a time. Deep-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp from the oil and place on a tray lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

    4. COMBINE the barbeque sauce, horseradish and hot pepper sauce in a skillet. Add the shrimp to the sauce and heat, basting the shrimp for 5 minutes, until they are heated through. Serve on a platter garnished with lemon wedges and sprinkle with a chiffonade of basil.

    A chiffonade is a cut that creates long, thin strips. Stack the leaves, roll them tightly and slice perpendicular to the roll. See the photo above.



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