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Mr Porter Eats

Six Super Bowl Recipes For Super Bowl Sunday

Forget fried chicken, here are some simple and satisfying snacks for half-time

  • Texas Po’Boy, Cobb and Kebab Cobb salads at Chopt. Photograph courtesy of Chopt

It might be one of the most mouthwatering sporting events of the year, but traditionally the Super Bowl hasn’t been the high point of the American culinary calendar. Food that can be enjoyed without taking your eyes off the game isn’t usually very sophisticated. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to fill your face with buckets of fried chicken or gloopy chilli this year.

Linguistically, “bowl food” couldn’t be more appropriate. But it is also convenient, quick, shareable, often healthy (compared to hotdogs and nachos) and can be eaten on a lap with a single utensil (something we at MR PORTER would forbid any other night of the year – and we still think you’re pushing your luck with the soup). For the uninitiated, bowl food is a product of the clean-eating era – a phenomenon characterised by nutritious, simple ingredients presented nicely in, yes, you guessed it, bowls. In recent years, acai bowls, poké bowls and burrito bowls helped make bowl food one of the hottest culinary trends, and it’s one that looks set to stay. Bowl food travels well so delivery is a good option, but as you’ll see from the following recipes (courtesy of some of our favourite takeout joints), it’s pretty easy to make yourself. Just be sure to prepare it before the half-time show.

THE MEATBALL SHOP’S SPICY PORK MEATBALLS

  • Photograph courtesy of The Meatball Shop

New York’s The Meatball Shop chain describes itself as “The Best Place on Earth”, and these spicy pork meatballs are its most popular dish. Which must make this the single best recipe on the planet. Serving up a batch (in bowls, of course) during the game might just push it to new levels of excellence, so approach this protein-packed dish with caution. If your team is playing and has the potential to win, you could exceed federal Super Bowl pleasure standards, which are not recommended. If you’re treating yourself, serve with a creamy parmesan cream.

Makes 12 (1½in) meatballs

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
2lb pork shoulder, ground
1 tbsp, plus 1tsp salt
4 jarred hot cherry peppers, minced
¼ cup hot cherry pepper pickling liquid
4 slices fresh white bread, minced
3 large eggs

Method:
Preheat oven to 230ºC. Drizzle oil into a 9 x 13in baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the surface. Set aside.

Combine the pork, salt, cherry peppers, pickling liquid, bread and eggs in large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated. Roll the mixture into round, golf-ball sized meatballs (about 1.5in), making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid – the meatballs should be touching.

Roast for 20 minutes, or until they are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center should read 75ºC. Allow meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish before serving in bowls (adding some shredded parmesan if you wish).

UNION FARE’S POKÉ BOWL

  • Photograph courtesy of Union Fare

Like the NFL Pro Bowl, the poké bowl (pronounced poh-kay) is synonymous with Hawaii. Unlike the Pro Bowl, it’s also synonymous with popularity. The tradition of putting chopped raw fish and seasonings over rice is millennia old and found in cultures all over Asia, but the Hawaiian touches of adaptability and freshness have made poké bowls one of the biggest food trends of the past year. It’s important to use the freshest fish possible. The hamachi here is mature yellowtail/amberjack – it might also be called buri. You can substitute any other fatty fish.

Makes 1 bowl

Ingredients:
Small handful of romaine lettuce, torn
8oz of hamachi, cubed
½ a small avocado, cubed
1 tsp crushed macadamia nuts
1 tsp pickled ginger (available from Asian supermarkets)
3 tbsp Kewpie Yuzu Kosho Dressing, or similar yuzu dressing
Pinch sesame seeds (optional)
2 tsp chopped spring onions (green scallions)
1 tsp chopped coriander (optional)

Method:
Make a bed of the lettuce in your serving bowl. In a separate bowl, add the hamachi, avocado, macadamia nuts and ginger, and mix carefully with the dressing, adding extra if needed. Garnish with sesame seeds, spring onions, and coriander if desired, and serve immediately.

GANSO’S RAMEN BOWL

  • Photograph by Mr Todd Coleman. Courtesy of Ganso

While most of these bowls are easy to make at home, ramen is a little trickier. Some purists say you shouldn’t even attempt to make ramen at home: it is an art that can take years to perfect. But most Japanese people are less precious – in fact, they voted instant ramen noodles the greatest home-grown invention of the 20th century. Like all the best American ramen restaurants, Ganso has its noodles supplied by Sun Noodle, whose products are now available to buy at Whole Foods and other select suppliers. Even if your stock isn’t salted with ancient wisdom, this recipe should give your ramen the right bite. And making a tare (the flavour base for the ramen) isn’t as hard as you might think.

Makes enough for 1 bowl (and tare for plenty more)

For the tare:
¼ cup mirin (rice wine available at most good supermarkets)
¼ cup sake
½ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 bunch scallions, roughly chopped
1 piece ginger (a 2in knob will be sufficient), cut into chunks

To serve:
Good-quality bone broth – enough to fill your bowl
1 portion Sun noodles
Soft-boiled egg
Nori seaweed sheets
Sesame seeds
Small handful of bok choy and/or rotisserie chicken, optional

Method:
Combine the mirin and sake in a pot and boil until the alcohol burns off – the liquid may flame up when it reaches boiling point: don’t panic. Turn off the heat and let the flame naturally extinguish itself.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and stir to make sure the sugar dissolves over a low heat. Simmer very gently for 10 minutes, then take off the heat and allow to cool. Strain the garlic, scallions and ginger when the tare is completely cold. Keep refrigerated for up to two weeks, and use as needed.

To serve, add the tare to a good-quality bone broth (vegetable broth can also be used) at a 1/10 ratio. Prepare the Sun Noodles to the packet’s instructions (do not cook them in the broth) and add once cooked.

Garnish with a soft-boiled egg cut in half (run it under cold water first), some torn sheets of dry nori seaweed, and some sesame seeds. Bok choy and rotisserie chicken can also be added.

CHIPOTLE’S CHICKEN BURRITO BOWL

  • Photograph by Mr William Brinson. Courtesy of Chipotle

It seems counterintuitive to try and improve on perfection. Why take the wrap off a burrito? But that’s the genius here. Not only do you lose the surprisingly calorific tortilla wrap, it’s easier to season the burrito more evenly, and you’re left with less mess at the end. You also won’t end up with half the contents landing in your lap as Mr Tom Brady tries to pull off another flea-flicker. Like those watching the Super Bowl, it’s best marinated the night before.

Makes 2-3 bowls

For the chicken:
1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (approx 200g)
Small red onion, chopped
Juice of ½ lime
Generous slug of pure olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pasted
Pinch of cumin
Pinch of dried oregano
Salt and pepper
900g boneless chicken thighs

For the rice:
2 cups long grain rice
Juice of 1 lime
Handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp olive oil

Toppings:
Small handful of black beans
2 tbsp sour cream
Small handful of sliced romaine lettuce
Small handful of grated Monterey Jack cheese 

Method:
Drain the adobo sauce from the peppers into a food processor. Add 4-5 chipotle peppers (removing seeds with gloves or a spoon to reduce spiciness if desired). Add onion, lime juice, oil, garlic and spices, and blend until smooth. Add more liquid if required – the consistency should be runny. Place the chicken and marinade into a zip-lock bag, and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, preferably overnight. Cook on an oiled skillet, turning until well browned.

Cook the rice, then add lime juice, coriander, salt and olive oil, and mix well.

Chop the cooked chicken, browning again on the skillet if desired. Add rice to bowls, top with chicken, and add beans, sour cream, romaine lettuce, cheese and more chopped corainder if desired.

CHOPT’S TEXAS PO’BOY SALAD

  • Photograph courtesy of Chopt

A delicious vehicle for fried chicken, this Texas Po’Boy salad from Chopt can use store-bought bird and takes only a few minutes to make. Chopt recommend Valentina-brand hot sauce for an extra kick.

Makes one bowl

Ingredients:
¼ cup red onion, sliced into medium strips
8 cup romaine lettuce, shredded (about 1 large head)
1 cup boneless fried chicken, diced (cold)
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
⅓ cup (or more to taste) Ranch dressing mixed with your favorite hot sauce

Method:
Preheat oven to 200ºC. Toss onions with olive oil, then roast on a lined baking tray for 15-20 minutes or until lightly caramelised and tender. Once cool, roughly chop into bite-sized pieces.

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Toss salad with just enough dressing to lightly coat the greens. Serve with any extra dressing on the side.

JUICE GENERATION’S ALMOND BUTTER BLISS ACAI BOWL

  • Photograph courtesy of Juice Generation

Depending on what time zone you’re in, you might be getting up to watch the Super Bowl in the early morning, in which case you’ll be wanting a breakfast bowl. Acai bowls are a particular favourite of early-rising surfers, but they also make a healthy dessert option for those with a sweet tooth. New York health food chain Juice Generation makes some of the best, and boasts regulars such as Ms Salma Hayek (who codeveloped its Cooler Cleanse line of juices), and this year’s Super Bowl half-time performer, Lady Gaga. Juice Generation uses Sambazon acai (available on Amazon) which comes frozen, and they use almond milk in their base. You’ll need a blender or NutriBullet.

Makes 1 bowl

For the base:
¾ cup almond milk
2 packs of Sambazon acai
1 tbsp almond butter
½ banana

Toppings:
½ banana, sliced
1 to 2 strawberries, sliced
¼ cup granola
1 tsp almond butter
1 tsp coconut shavings

Method:
This only takes seconds. Add the base ingredients to a good-quality blender. Blend on the highest setting until the acai pulp thickens. Add extra almond milk if necessary to loosen. Serve covered with the toppings.

Watch in style

  • rag & bone Cotton-Jersey Henley T-Shirt

  • John Elliott Kake Mélange Loopback Cotton-Blend Jersey Hoodie

  • Officine Generale Cotton-Jersey Sweatpants

  • Thom Browne Striped Ribbed Merino Wool Socks

  • O'Keeffe Stafford Suede Sneakers

  • Braun BN0211 Classic Slim Stainless Steel Mesh Watch