Super Bowl 2018: Make these super simple game-day eats

There are cooks who look forward to Super Bowl Sunday, a day when they’ll devote long hours to smoking ribs, slow-cooking chili or finessing the chicken wings for a crowd, all before kickoff. 

Those cooks are great friends to have on game day. Their kitchen marathons allow the rest of us to focus on the easy contributions: the snacks, the sides, the beer. 

To that end, I offer a couple of cinch recipes from Southern Living’s recent cookbook, “What Can I Bring?” by Elizabeth Heiskell (Oxmoor House, $30). 

Heiskell’s bacon-wrapped breadsticks are as easy – three ingredients! – as they are crispy and sweet. And they can be prepped the night before. (Here’s a video tutorial for making the bacon bites.) She also makes a caramelized onion dip that beats store-bought by a country mile. 

A caterer and vegetable purveyor based in Oxford, MS, Heiskell has a repertoire of Southern dishes “for any occasion life serves up,” as goes the book’s logline. 

So if you get too time-strapped (or lazy) to make anything from scratch this Sunday, save the recipes for another occasion, for those days when you might ask your party host, “What can I bring?” 



The following recipes and author notes are excerpted from the 2017 cookbook “What Can I Bring?” by Elizabeth Heiskell with permission from Time Inc. Books.  

Bacon Bites  

“So here it is in all its glory . . . our most talked about, sought after, and begged for recipe. We love these served in mint julep cups or silver goblets. Although this recipe calls for just three simple ingredients, there are a few tips that will make you a pro. Always line your rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Watch the bacon bites, and, if they are cooking too fast on the bottom, roll them over so they can caramelize evenly. As soon as they are done take them off the pan, otherwise they will superglue themselves to the foil. Once they are cool you can stack them in an airtight container and they will keep for two days.” – Elizabeth Heiskell  

Serves 22 


2 cups packed light brown sugar 

22 bacon slices 

22 very thin breadsticks (from a 3.5-ounce package)  

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the brown sugar in a large pan or baking sheet. 
  2. Wrap 1 bacon slice around each breadstick, starting at 1 end of the breadstick and barely overlapping the bacon. Roll the breadsticks in the brown sugar, pressing to adhere. (At this point, you can cover and refrigerate overnight, if desired.) 
  3. Place breadsticks on an aluminum foil-lined 12- x 7-inch baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until bacon is cooked through and almost crisp, 35 to 40 minutes. 
  4. Immediately remove the warm sticks from baking sheet, and place on wax paper. (They will stick like glue if not moved immediately.) Cool to room temperature.  

Caramelized Onion Dip  

“This recipe is best served in a classic fashion, with Ruffles potato chips. When caramelizing the onions, don’t add any sugar; the key is salting the onions. Adding salt during the cooking process will extract the water from the onion and deepen the natural sweetness.” – Elizabeth Heiskell  

Serves 10 


1/4 cup olive oil 

2 ounces (1/4 cup) salted butter 

2 large onions, very thinly vertically sliced (about 7 1⁄2 cups) 

3/4 teaspoon table salt 

1/2 teaspoon black pepper 

4 ounces cream cheese, softened 

1/2 cup sour cream 

1/2 cup mayonnaise (such as Hellmann’s) 

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 

Potato chips (such as Ruffles)  

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium; cook until butter melts. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is caramelized, about 50 minutes, reducing the heat as needed to prevent the onion from burning. Remove from the heat; stir in salt and pepper, and cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Coarsely chop the onion mixture. 
  2. Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth; fold in the onion mixture. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. Serve with the potato chips.

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