Whether you’re down with the New England Patriots or upholding the Seattle Seahawks, you and your friends and family can chow down on Super Bowl Sunday with harmonious gusto. Because no matter which team you root for, everyone will get behind a spread of Southwestern noshes.
Fun, casual food is always a given for Super Bowl parties. This year, though, set your theme in Arizona, site of Super Bowl XLIX at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
Two snacks that speak of Arizona: A lively dip made with native white tepary beans, and Sonoran hot dogs, the near-iconic frank of the Grand Canyon State.
What, you might ask, is a Sonoran hot dog, aka hot dog estilo Sonora?
Bruce Kraig describes it in his book, Hot Dog: A Global History, as “one of the more interesting cross-cultural hot dog creations … found in the Mexican state of Sonora and in neighboring Arizona.”
This bacon-wrapped hot dog is grilled and, according to Kraig, dressed with “pinto beans, grilled onions, hot red or yellow pepper, grated cheese, chopped onions, chopped coriander, chopped tomato, hot chili sauce, mayonnaise and mustard.”
Mayonnaise? Yes, and it’s as much a must-have ingredient as the bacon, beans and hot sauce, according to Michael Stern, the Bethel, Connecticut-based co-author of Roadfood and other books chronicling America’s dining traditions.
“In terms of flavor, there’s a wonderful surprising balance to the spiciness,” he said in a telephone interview. “It’s a sweet, rich, dairy, eggy thing … a seemingly minor character but without it the Sonoran hot dog is different.”
The rest of the condiments can vary from recipe to recipe. The bun can also differ. A Mexican bolillo roll is the standard, but Stern says any “nice, big soft roll” will work.
No matter the bun or the topping, the result should be “the proverbial ‘gut buster,’” declares Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America, a book co-authored by Kraig.
Gut-busting is certainly an asset for many Super Bowl snackers. Gwen Ashley Walters, a cookbook author and blogger (penandfork.com) based in Scottsdale, however, offers a white bean dip as an equally lively if less filling option, especially when it comes to what you choose to use as edible scoopers.
“For my husband I would do carrot sticks or celery sticks,” she says. “For me? I would have the best corn chips I could get my hands on.”
Walters deliberately chose tepary beans for the dip because the beans are from Arizona. “They grow very well because they don’t need much water,” she says.
SONORAN HOT DOGS
This recipe from “Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America” calls for store-bought refried beans, guacamole and salsa verde; you can always make your own. “In Arizona these are served with a grilled guero chile and a grilled knob onion,” write authors Bruce Kraig and Patty Carroll, noting you can substitute an Anaheim pepper for the guero. Makes 4 servings.
4 hot dogs (6 to a pound are better)
4 strips bacon (chicken or turkey bacon are fine)
4 bolillos (Mexican rolls), split but not cut through
3/4 cup refried beans
1/2 cup prepared guacamole
1/2 cup shredded quesadilla cheese or another Mexican melting cheese, or Monterey Jack cheese
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 large tomato (or more), finely diced
1/2 cup salsa verde (or more if needed)
Wrap a strip of bacon around each hot dog; place on a hot griddle or grill. Cook until bacon is crispy. (The cooking time will vary with heat of grill.)
Meanwhile, place a layer of beans and guacamole on the sides of each split bolillo. Settle a hot dog in each bun. Cover each with a layer of cheese, onion and tomato. Garnish with mayonnaise and salsa verde.
Per serving: 660 calories, 28 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 53 mg cholesterol, 74 g carbohydrates, 27 g protein, 6 g fiber, 1,640 mg sodium.
SOUTHWESTERN TEPARY BEAN DIP
This recipe by Gwen Ashley Walters calls for white tepary beans, which are grown in Arizona. The beans soak up lots of liquid during cooking, so make sure to cover them generously with water. You may substitute other dried beans, like small navy beans. A larger bean should be soaked overnight. Walters’ recipe also calls for chiltepin, a very small dried chili “that packs a whopping punch.” Substitute red chile flakes or omit the heat entirely. Walters uses Mexican dried oregano, but Mediterranean oregano will do. Serve the dip with vegetables. Walters suggests carrots, bell peppers and jicama; crackers or tortilla chips, especially those made with blue corn. Makes 4 cups.
1 1/2 cups dried tepary beans
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Zest of half a lemon (1 teaspoon)
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground Mexican oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
2 to 3 chiltepin chilies, optional
Pick through the beans and remove any sticks, stones or other debris. Rinse well and drain. Place in a saucepan; cover with at least 4 inches of water. Heat to a boil; then reduce heat to low. Simmer until tender but not mushy, adding more liquid as necessary to keep covered, about 1 1/2 hours. Add 1 teaspoon salt in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
Place the beans in a food processor. Pour in 3/4 to 1 cup of reserved cooking liquid (or water); process until chunky. Add more cooking liquid or water if necessary to get a thick, dip-like consistency. Add the oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, cumin, oregano, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and chilies; pulse until smooth. Taste; add more salt or lemon juice if needed. Transfer to a bowl. May be made up to two days in advance. Store covered in the fridge.
To serve, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, top with a sprig of cilantro. Serve with sliced vegetables, crackers or tortilla chips.
Per tablespoon: 22 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein, 1 g fiber, 66 mg sodium.