While many people spend all week ideating their game day grub—planning out their menus and writing and rewriting their shopping lists—game day need not be the product of intense planning. Sometimes the best fangating™ eats are ones you pull together quickly! So whether you’re in the parking lot or at home celebrating game day with your friends and family, here are some great, clutch, last-minute recipes that won’t take long to make and can be eaten with one’s fingers! (Because let’s face it, the fangating™ experience need not be fancy but taste is at a premium)!
“Go for Gold” Chicken and Cashew Lettuce Wraps
These puppies are almost as fun to make as they are to eat. A little Asian fusion wrapped in lettuce, this dish is both yummy and meant to be eaten with one’s hands. Wrap them individually or set out the components and let your friends make their own wraps. Either way, you can’t go wrong . . .unless you don’t make enough.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
11⁄4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1⁄4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 cup finely chopped green onion bulbs, plus 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion tops
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
8 ounces snow peas, ends and threads removed, thinly sliced on the diagonal (about 2 cups)
1 large red bell pepper, julienned (about 1 cup)
1⁄2 red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
2 stalks celery, peeled and diced
1⁄4 cup chicken stock
1⁄4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1⁄2 cup roasted cashews
Freshly ground black pepper
16 Boston bibb or butter lettuce leaves
- Heat the oil in a wok or a large skillet over high.
- Place the chicken, cornstarch, red pepper flakes, and salt in a large zip-top plastic bag, and shake to coat.
- When the oil is hot, add the chicken, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the chicken turns opaque and is lightly browned. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
- Reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the green onion bulbs, garlic, ginger, snow peas, red bell peppers, onions, and celery to the wok, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, until tender-crisp. Transfer the vegetables to a plate.
- Stir together the chicken stock, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and vinegar in a small bowl. Add to the wok, and stir with a wooden spoon to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat, and simmer the sauce for 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Return the chicken and veggies to the wok, and toss to coat everything well. Add the green onion tops and roasted cashews, season with pepper, and toss again.
- Transfer the stir-fry to a serving bowl with a spoon. Serve with the lettuce leaves for wrapping.
Sure, you could order in pizza on game day. Or you could make your own! This recipe is a semi-homemade version of everyone’s favorite pizza indulgence with extra cheese on the inside. Except rather than dough, we’re cheating with pita bread! This dish is a cinch to make—it’s nearly impossible to mess up—and it’s a great recipe to set out for your friends whether you’re at home or in the parking lot. Chances are, there won’t be any left by game’s end.
2 store-bought (8-inch) pita rounds
4 ounces sharp provolone, shredded
4 ounces mozzarella, shredded
4 tablespoons Pomì marinara sauce
14 pepperoni slices
Fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 500°F.
- Cut a small slit into the top layer of each pita round, near the outside edge. As evenly as you can, stuff half of the provolone and a quarter of the mozzarella into each pita, and close the pita back up.
- Spread 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce on each flatbread. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top, dividing it evenly between the two flatbreads. Then add the pepperoni slices evenly.
- Place the pitas on a baking sheet, and bake for 9 to 10 minutes—until the cheese on top is melted, the edges are browned, and the cheese on the inside is starting to ooze out.
- Sprinkle with the basil and a grind or two of pepper. Slice into quarters or smaller bites, and serve.
Makes 1 large plate
Who doesn’t love nachos? But all too often at fangates across America, they’re served with tired, tasteless tortilla chips drowned in store-bought, nuclear-winter-proof fake cheese. Gross. These nachos—well they’re nacho standard nachos! This recipe is a fresh, flavorful take on nachos with a nod to the delicious flavors of the Mediterranean. As America’s tastes begin to favor higher quality and even fresher ingredients, even on game day—A.K.A. cheat day—these nachos are sure to go over well. Swap the fake cheese for freshly crumbled feta, preservative-laden store-bought salsa for homemade hummus and tzatziki and throw in some fresh veggie toppings. Now we’re talking.
“Fangating™” expert and celebrity cook Daina Falk, founder of the Hungry Fan®, is author of “The Hungry Fan’s® Game Day Cookbook,” which includes 165 Fangating™ recipes—including 40 that she collected from Olympians and professional athletes like LeBron James, Boomer Esiason, Michael Jordan and Andre Agassi! Daina merges sports, food and entertaining (including tailgating and homegating) to celebrate and curate game day revelry like none other. Reach her online at www.HungryFan.com.