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Special Feature

 

Southwestern Super Bowl Party

Other sports can be enjoyed right out of the can, so to speak, without any Here's a fun idea for a Super Bowl Party: Kick Off with a Hot Sauce Table!

Football

Super Bowl XXX in 1996 was held in Phoenix, AZ, where the sun shines almost everyday, where sunsets come in rainbow hues, and, as our Phoenix Skycap remarked on our last visit, it's "the place where clouds come to die." It is also a diner's delight, where chefs like Roxsand Scocos and Vincent Guerithault skillfully incorporate the best assets of Southwestern cuisine into a broader range of original and inspiring dishes.

For those of you celebrating the Super Bowl, we includes a Southwestern selection of favorites. And we also present below some specialties from The Great Hot Sauce Book, by Jennifer Trainer Thompson, as well as her profiles of Arizona's leading hot sauces.

We invite you to take the Hot Sauce Challenge. But we're not talkin' asbestos tongues here. There is a certain element of the population that believes in "mo' hotter, mo' better." We, on the other hand, like to taste our foods. As Mark Miller reminds us, chiles are fruits, each type with its own flavor tones—cherry, citrus, chocolate, woodsy—the variations are endless. And for us, it is the subtleties of these flavors that best enhance other foods. The challenge is balancing the addition of heat and hot sauces with the basic flavors of a dish, so that the flame of the chile does not dominate but rather emerges as an exciting enhancement to the meal.

So fire up the range, decorate your den with hot sauce posters and chile ristras. You can set up your buffet with bandanas for napkins (they're cheap!) and bowls of fresh chiles, limes and colorful peppers as centerpieces. Forget bagged chips and don't bother frying your own either: seek out a favorite Mexican restaurant or tortillaria that fries their own chips freshly and order some bags to go; then reheat them in a low oven just before serving. (You can also get the best flour and corn tortillas from them as well.) For those that drink, get some really good Mexican beer and serve it with fresh lime wedges and salt. Margaritas are another alternative. For those that don't drink, a chilled pitcher of fresh lime-ade and grapefruit juice splashed with fizzy water are great refreshments. Please note, though, that the only effective antidote to a chile's burn is a dairy product like milk, sour cream, ice cream, etc. So have some of these on hand, too, for those tasters with the more tender tastebuds.

Here are the ingredients for a Southwestern Buffet, great for Superbowl or any other reason for celebrating with friends:

Southwestern Buffet Recipes

Part of the appeal of hot sauces is the bottle and the labels themselves, which come in the most creative packages imaginable. Set out a whole slew of 'em in various ranges of heat, shape, style, color and folksy humor. The Great Hot Sauce Book lists these selections from Arizona, site of this year's Super Bowl. Use these and/or ones available in your local area.

 

Visit our main Super Bowl page for more links and party recipes.

 

Copyright © 1996 & 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007


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