Cooking On A Budget: Super Bowl Sunday - Pita Pocket Ideas

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday - Pita Pocket Ideas

Peter Piper picked a Pita Pocket.
Which Pita Pocket did Peter Piper pick?

It's coming up to Super Bowl Sunday - and this year is a classic match up. The New York Giants versus The New England Patriots.  Perhaps you are going to a friends home to watch the game or you are having a Super Bowl Party in your own home.
You want to do something different this year and make it special and still stay within a budget. One of the ideas I came up with is to have hand held food and what better way to do that than to serve the food in Pita Pockets? The idea here is you do some and ask your guests if they would stay within the Pita Pocket theme and whatever they make goes in a Pita Pocket as well. I have come up with a list of flavor combinations that will work well together and in some cases a sauce to go inside or be served on the side. You can offer these suggestions to your guests or let them be creative.
  • Vegetarian - you should always offer something that is totally vegetables as many people are choosing that way of eating as a lifestyle. So, instead of a salad why not saute up a group of vegetables that can be stuffed in the pocket? For instance: strips of colored bell peppers, red and sweet onions, zucchini squash and eggplant. Peel the eggplant.  Removing the outer skin of the eggplant cuts down on the bitterness. Cut all of the vegetables into strips. In a large saute pan or deep skillet add some olive oil to the pan.  Do the onions first and make sure to caramelize the onions well to bring out the sweetness. After that, add in the other vegetables, salt and pepper to taste and saute to the tenderness you want.   Make a balsamic vinegar reduction (one cup of balsamic vinegar reduced by 1/3 or 1 /2. When you have sauteed all of the vegetables, drizzle the balsamic vinegar over them and stuff the pockets. To keep the pockets warm, place on a cookie sheet, cover with foil and place in a 200 degree oven.
  • Sausage and Peppers -  Make up a batch of sausage, peppers and onions. Remember, it's easier to cut the sausage if it is still partially frozen. I would take the links and cut them length wise (left to right) and begin browning them in a deep skillet. After they have browned, add in your strips of onion and saute until the onions have softened and be sure to stir and get up all of the good bits from the pan. Next add in the peppers and some freshly minced garlic. (You can use any kind of pepper you like and you can use jar chopped garlic in place of fresh garlic or some granulated garlic.)  I prefer the long green "Italian" frying peppers - Cubanelle's. Most grocery stores carry the long light green peppers and some will also have the red cubanelle's as well. Once the peppers have begun to soften add in a can of plain tomato sauce.  Begin to add some layers of flavor with salt, pepper, dried spices like oregano and basil. For heat add in some red pepper flakes. Allow this to cook covered until the flavors have blended. Remove the cover and reduce out some of the liquid and you get the concentration of flavor. Make a day or so in advance if you want and reheat on game day. Fill the pockets with 1 long slice of sausage and some of the onion and pepper mixture. Wrap the bottoms with aluminum foil. One way you might serve these is stand them up in a rack.  Perhaps you have a stainless steel dish rack that is wide enough or a cooling rack for that matter.
  • Shredded Chicken with queso sauce (you can make your own with Ro-Tel and Velveeta Cheese) and Jalapeno Jack Cheese. Shred cooked chicken and place in a bowl. Stir in queso sauce and some finely chopped chili peppers. Place some of the mixture in a pita pocket along with a slice or two of Jalapeno Jack Cheese. On a baking sheet lined with foil, bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the Jack Cheese has melted. Wrap each in aluminum foil and place on a serving platter. Put the platter on a warming tray to keep them warm until serving time.
Other Pita Pocket Ideas: 
  • Ham, Roasted Red Peppers and Muenster Cheese with a honey and mustard dressing.
  • Bacon, lettuce and tomatoes with mayonnaise.
  • Wilted spinach sauteed with olive oil and minced garlic and red pepper flakes with bacon and sauteed mushrooms. You could omit the bacon if you want another vegetarian pocket.
  • Salami, Provolone cheese and lettuce with an olive oil and vinegar dressing.
  • Cobb Salad in a pocket.
  • Thin burgers with a McD dressing (ketchup, mayo and chopped pickles and onions) will go well for a selection for invited children.
  • Tuna Fish, Egg Salad or Chicken Salad pockets.
These are just a few ideas for you to pick from. Enjoy the time spent with family and friends sharing these delightful pockets of goodness.


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