Prepare for the big game with a tasty spread.
Super Bowl Sunday is on the horizon, and that means it’s time to prepare for a day full of football, commercials and, most importantly, food.
By the time February rolls around, the cold, short days have us eager for excuses to host a party, making Super Bowl celebrations the perfect reason to go all out. While the traditional chicken wings, taco dip and veggie tray are easy go-to’s for the big game, score a touchdown with a unique burger bar.
Rachael Perron, culinary and branding director for Kowalski’s Markets, shares inspiration for building a dreamy burger bar for the big game. Regarding the football festivities, she says, “We actually celebrate the Super Bowl in our stores pretty heavily.”
Don’t Fumble the Foundation
The foundation of any burger bar is the meat. Perron admits it’s not the most glamorous part of building a burger, but strongly feels it’s the most important. Kowalski’s Markets offers a variety of options to create delicious burgers—and has vegan and dairy-free options, too. It offers plant-based burgers and meatballs that are 100 percent vegan and dairy-free.
“They are made with extra virgin olive oil and absolutely no preservatives,” Perron says. “With a rich, meaty texture and incredible flavor, you won’t believe they’re made from plants. I love them, and I eat meat.”
Once the base is secured, creativity can start flowing with the topping and condiments. Perron shares a few fun, unique ideas to top your burger:
- Kowalski’s Market organic black garlic barbecue sauce
- Deer Creek tequila habanero pimento cheese dip
- Onion dip or Buffalo dip
- Mike’s Hot Honey
- Stonewall Kitchen bacon onion jam
- Sprouts or microgreens
- Pickled, raw and caramelized onions
- Candied jalapenos
Selecting your favorite foods is just the first step in crafting a stunning burger bar. Next, you have to build it. Fear not, they’re a cinch to assemble when you follow Kowalski’s five simple steps:
Step 1: Condiments
Position condiments and other wet ingredients in bowls or jars on opposite sides of your board or in a triangle, away from the edge.
Step 2: Crackers, Cookies and Sliced Breads
Stack, fan out or layer individual servings of crackers, cookies and breads around the edges to create a border.
Step 3: Cheeses and Meats
Place larger/focal ingredients first. Place groupings of remaining items in groups of two or three across the board from each other. Swirl, pile and swoop single-serve portions near the appropriate pairings with little to no space between them.
Step 4: Snacks and Nuts
Pile small, loose pieces near the foods with which they pair best. Place them close to the center of the board to contain them. Keep color balance in mind as you place items. (Do not place items of the same color all in one area of the board).
Step 5: Fruits and Vegetables
Garnish with fresh food and a few inedible garnishes, if any. Place these in small groupings (do not scatter them over the entire board), filling any gaps. This helps to tie the board together visually.
Once it’s determined which teams will face off against each other on February 12, Perron suggests designing burger boards with team themes.
“Some examples could be the Green Bay Burger against an Oakland Burger, beer cheese versus a California plant-based burger with avocado and sprouts, or Minnesota Burger versus a Buffalo Burger—it could be a Juicy Lucy versus buffalo-blue cheeseburger,” she says.
Tuscan Gourmet Gorgonzola Burgers
- 1 1/3 lb. Akaushi ground chuck
- 1/2 cup(s) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 4 Kowalski’s pretzel buns, split horizontally and lightly toasted
- toppings: Prosciutto Crisps (see recipe below), baby arugula and Divina Fig Spread, to taste
Using clean hands, form beef into 4 hamburger patties. Grill burgers over high heat, covered, until done (about 4 minutes per side for medium doneness), turning once. Top evenly with cheese after turning. Remove from heat; let stand for 3–5 minutes, loosely covered with foil, before serving. Serve on buns with desired toppings.
Prosciutto Crisps: Preheat oven to 375°. Place 6 oz. very thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma in a single layer on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets; bake in preheated 375 degrees F until crisp and slightly darkened (10–15 minutes). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly (prosciutto will continue to crisp slightly as it cools).
Plant-Based Curry Burgers
- 1 Tbsp. Kowalski’s extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Kowalski’s plant-based burgers
- 4 Kowalski’s wheat burger buns, split and lightly toasted
- Curry Mayo, for topping to taste (ingredients and recipe below)
- mango chutney, for topping to taste
- shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix, for topping to taste
- red onion, thinly sliced, for topping to taste
Makes ~½ cup
- 1/2 cup(s) vegan mayonnaise (such as Sir Kensington’s brand)
- 2 tsp. Kowalski’s organic mild curry powder, or more to taste
- Kowalski’s freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste
- kosher salt and freshly ground Kowalski’s black peppercorns, to taste
Add all Curry Mayo ingredients to a small mixing bowl; whisk together until well combined. Set aside until ready to use. In a large nonstick skillet or griddle, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook burgers until heated through (2–3 minutes per side). Serve on buns with desired toppings.
Buffalo Bison Burgers
- 1 lb ground bison (or beef)
- 4 Kowalski’s Pretzel Buns, lightly toasted
- toppings: buffalo sauce, Blue Cheese Aioli (ingredients and recipe below), bibb lettuce, red onion, celery leaves, sliced tomatoes
Blue Cheese Aioli
Makes ~¾ cup
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
- freshly ground Kowalski’s black peppercorns, to taste
In a small mixing bowl, combine Blue Cheese Aioli ingredients; set aside. Using clean hands, form 4 hamburger patties with the bison. Grill burgers over high heat, covered, until done (about 4 minutes per side for medium doneness), turning once. Remove from heat; let stand for 3–5 minutes, loosely covered with foil, before serving. Serve on buns with desired toppings.
After the board is built, you’ll need something to sip on during the game. Anything that can be made as a batch and ahead of time is the route Perron suggests taking.
Blackberry Cucumber Cocktails
- 8 blackberries, plus more for garnish
- 2 sliced and peeled cucumber, plus more for garnish
- 4 large mint leaves, plus more for garnish
- 3 oz. gin
- 3 oz. Kowalski’s simple syrup
- 2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
- tonic water, to taste2 lime wedges, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, muddle blackberries, cucumber and mint; add gin, simple syrup, lime juice and ice. Shake to combine (at least 30 seconds); strain evenly into 2 lowball glasses over ice. Top glasses evenly with tonic water; garnish each glass with a small sprig
of mint, a lime wedge, blackberries
and sliced cucumber.
- 4 leaves fresh mint, plus more for garnish
- 5 fresh strawberries, plus more for garnish, stemmed and hulled (or up to 8)
- 8 oz. light rum, divided
- 4 oz. cold Lime Sour
- 4 oz. cold club soda
- 2 lime wedges, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint, strawberries and 1 oz. rum; add remaining rum, Lime Sour and ice. Shake to combine; strain evenly into two highball glasses over ice. Top glasses evenly with club soda; garnish each glass with a lime wedge, strawberry and a sprig of mint.
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