What would a Super Bowl be without a great party around it? Unless you are a fan of the Baltimore Ravens or San Francisco 49ers, you need the good company of friends and family to get you through the 3.5 hours of football.
OK, maybe you don't need them, but it does make things more festive. But what you do need is a great menu that will bring out the true spirit of the Super Bowl and really football in general. You can make things a little more special because this is the Big Game, though it's not necessary.
The best piece of advice you can get is don't try to get too fancy. You have to know your audience for the Super Bowl. If a guest is looking for filet mignon, tell them there is a lovely restaurant down the street and send them packing.
In anticipation of the Big Game, here are the absolute-must foods that you need to have on your list to ensure a great time will be had by all.
Basics: Chips/pretzels and dip, hamburgers
These are always the essentials of any great Super Bowl party. If you want to add hot dogs or bratwurst, or substitute them in place of hamburgers, that is OK.
Regardless of the direction that you go, chips and/or pretzels with hot dogs, bratwurst and/or hamburger have to be somewhere in your house for consumption before the game starts.
Some might consider these "boring" since everyone is going to have them. Wrong. Using classics in a situation that requires such things is having a good read on the people that will be over, the reason they are coming over and, most importantly, limiting the work you do.
Solid additions: Guacamole, crackers and cheese, game-inspired desserts
If you have chips, then guacamole makes a nice alternative to dip. I prefer dip, so I give it a higher priority here. But if there is guacamole on the table I am certainly not going to complain about it.
A nice set of crackers with cheese is always a good choice. It's a solid finger food that can help tide you over before you get to the main course, or it can serve as a big part of the meal that gets you full.
The dessert portion of the evening can be fun. Some people will make cupcakes or brownies inspired by one of the teams involved in the game or just NFL in general. You have to have a delicious snack after stuffing your face with all those greasy foods.
Recommended eats: Cocktail weenies, shrimp, mozzarella sticks
Finally, we approach the end of the must-have foods with a few personal recommendations that you really can't go wrong with.
Finger foods are the name of the game, and two of the best out there are cocktail weenies and shrimp. Some people may not dig on seafood at a Super Bowl party. If they don't, well, that's their problem. Shrimp with some cocktail sauce is spectacular for this kind of event.
Just to spice things up a bit, who doesn't want the joy of mozzarella sticks during the Super Bowl? It will easily fit into the food groups you need covered during the game, which is basically a lot of fat and grease. Your stomach will thank you later.