The “Make it Better” Super Bowl Menu

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A menu of football standards means plenty of opportunity to punch up the flavor and give your fans a real treat.  Here are my favorite ways to improve those great Game Day staples

Cheesesteaks:  Nothing improves the flavor of beef than bacon fat.  Not to mention, that a little bacon or crumbled bacon on a cheesesteak, or mac ‘n cheese, or chili, or burgers (you get the idea) is always a great idea.  Slow cook (and I mean slooooow cook) your bacon to help render out a lot of the fat.  Let your bacon drain on paper towels, then use it in your menu.  Drain that bacon fat off into a small glass bowl, then when you heat the skillet to fry up your cheesesteak meat, melt the bacon fat in the hot skillet and cook up that meat as normal.

Velveeta® Cheese:  Another Game Day classic, Velveeta® brand cheese seems to find its way into and onto just about everything.  Improve the flavor of whatever you’re making by adding about ½ cup beer (choose your favorite, but not too dark or too hoppy) for every 16-ounce (1 pound) block of Velveeta®.  Cumin, oregano, garlic powder (1/2 to 1 teaspoon of any or all), salsa, even cooked ground meat or sausage makes this brilliant brick of cheesy goo into a gourmet delight.  Okay, maybe not gourmet, but certainly it improves its already irresistible flavor.  For best results, cube cheese, put in a medium pot over medium-low heat.  Let everything melt and combine slowly.

Chili:  If you don’t have a pot of chili slow cooking by now, it’s not Game Day!  Canned versions become “home-made” with a simple addition of ground espresso granules and grated dark chocolate or a bit of cocoa powder.  For each quart of Chili you have cooking, add about 2 teaspoons of espresso granules (instant espresso, not the ground espresso coffee beans) and about 1 tablespoon of grated dark (bittersweet) chocolate.  In a pinch a teaspoon or two of cocoa powder (like Hershey® brand cocoa powder) will do.  Seriously.  It works.