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Festival Foods

Football Cheese
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Football is happening! The Badgers are headed to the Rose Bowl and the Packers are rock-in! I thought it would be great to share some football cheese recipe ideas.  These can be used anytime, of course, these are not just for football.  The first recipe is an appetizer that is easy and very creative. Cheese Dip Football 2-8oz Cream Cheese, softened 1-8oz package or 2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (If a spicy kick is preferred use pepper jack cheese) 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese 1/2 cup Salad Dressing or Mayonnaise 1/4 tsp. pepper 2   green onions, chopped 1 cup chopped Pecans or cooked and crumbled bacon 2 Tbsp. pimiento strips Serve with crackers BEAT first 5 ingredients with mixer until blended. Stir in onions. Refrigerate several hours. FORM into football shape; coat with nuts or bacon ADD pimentos for the lacing. Serve with crackers Next I have included an Olive & Feta Dip. You would be surprised at how many of your guests will ask about the great taste.  If you are only familiar with ripe olives you will really enjoy the added burst of flavor the Kalamata olives provide. Olive and Feta Dip 1 cup Mayonnaise 4oz Cream Cheese 3oz Crumbled Feta Cheese 1/3 cup chopped Kalamata Olives 3 Green Onions, chopped 1 clove garlic, finely chopped ¼ Teaspoon Oregano Serve with Pita chips or wedges Combine all seven ingredients, Place in a 1 ½ quart casserole dish and bake 30 minutes or until heated through. (Makes 2 cups) Here is a sandwich idea that is a bit different than a sub, BBQ, or a meat filling with gravy. Tasty, warm, and delicious! Chicken Parmesan Heroes 1 jar about 28-30oz of your favorite marinara/spaghetti sauce (Prego traditional is my favorite) 6 skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 2#) 2 cups Flour 3 ½ cups bread crumbs 1 cup (3oz) Parmesiano-Reggiano (Parmesan cheese may be substituted) 5 large eggs, slightly beaten 2 cups Vegetable oil 4-12” long loaves of Italian Bread, halved lengthwise 1” Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, thinly sliced. Gently pound chicken breasts to 1/3 inch thickness between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or in a plastic bag using a flat side of a meat pounder or a rolling pin. Season chicken with salt & pepper. Place sauce in sauce pan on medium heat, while sauce is heating prepare chicken Mix flour, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper in a shallow bowl. In a second bowl mix bread crumbs and Parmesiano-Reggiano. Dredge Chicken breasts in flour mixture, shake off excess flour, then dip in egg, let excess egg drip off, dredge in bread crumbs until evenly coated. Place chicken on a cookie sheet or wax paper. Do not stack, keep in a single layer. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Heat vegetable oil in a deep 12” frying pan over moderately high heat until oil is hot but not smoking. Fry chicken about 3 pieces at a time, turning only once, until golden brown and just cooked through, about 6 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towel after frying. Arrange bottom halves of bread on large baking sheet, and tops on another baking sheet with sliced side up. Spread ¼ cup sauce on each half of bread. Arrange chicken on bottom halves of bread. Top each open faced sandwich with another ¼ cup sauce and one fourth of the mozzarella on each bread. Bake open faced in lower part of oven about 3 minutes or until cheese melts. The take tops and place in upper part of oven and bake until edges are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Watch tops closely. J Place tops on bottoms, slice and serve! So good! So tasty! Wishing all a Happy New Year and may your favorite teams win!

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