Here are some suggestions for your Super Bowl party's tasty food and beverages
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I doubt anyone needs reminding that Superbowl XLII takes place this Sunday. Considered by some a national holiday, the date for Superbowl has been chiseled into our brains since the start of football season last fall.

Most likely the menu for your buffet is set but you still have time to fine-tune your beverage selection. There are those rallying to serve something other than an ice-cold beer this year.

Savanna Ray, sommelier at Portland's Tabla Mediterranean Bistro is one such person. She submits the following list of wines to serve with the top favorite Super Bowl foods.

With chicken wings she suggests a few local wines, Argyle 2001 Brut Rose Dundee Hills AVA and Brooks 2006 Riesling.

To accompany sausages and hot dogs she suggests a French wine, Francois Chidaine 2004 from the Loire Valley and an Italian wine, Masi 2001. Frankly, I'd dump the hot dogs …

With ribs she suggests a Portugese wine, Quinta do Correio 2005 and JL Chave 2002, from the Rhone Valley of France.

With chili you might enjoy Seghesio Vineyard 2005 Zinfandel from the Sonoma Valley or Yalumba 2004 Shiraz/Viognier from Australia.

And with barbecued pork she like Domaine de Blanes 2004, from France or Avignonesi 2004 from Tuscany, Italy.

When asked to suggest alternatives to the same-old beer for Super Bowl parties, Tom Reider at Wizer's Oswego Foods and Jim Clark from Palisades Market, interesting enough, both came up the same solution: Sparkling wine or champagne.

'Its refreshing and festive,' said Tom. 'Super Bowl Day is pretty much a national holiday, why not make it festive?'

Jim Clark echoed that suggestion, commenting that it would be well received by those who watch the game for the commercials. He finds that hearty burgundies pair well with foods common on the Super-bowl buffet, as would local pinot noirs.

Champagne goes well with many different foods and its effervescence provides the carbonation people enjoy from beer or soda.

Jim said that we are blessed in the Northwest with great micro brews and Super Bowl is a perfect opportunity to sample some you may not have tried.

And how about something non-alcoholic? I like something a little bubbly, but without that HFC - high fructose corn syrup. Trader Joe's shelves never disappoint me. My favorite is the Villa Italia Italian Blood Orange Soda. They offer an Italian Grapefruit Soda, a Sparkling Mojito, and the house label French lemonades in Limeade, Lemonade, Pink Lemonade and Berry Lemonade. These are perfect alternatives to traditional sodas or alcoholic beverages.

As you might guess, my favorite parts of Sunday's event are the commercials, the halftime show, visiting with the fans and checking out the buffet. With that in mind, following are a few dishes you may want to add to your buffet.

Bon Appetite - Eat something new !

Maple-Pepper Salmon Bites

Serves 6 as an hors d'oeuvre

This is a quick recipe to make, but the salmon needs to marinate 24 hours. Easily doubled!

1 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup soy sauce

24 ounces skinned salmon fillet

¼ cup freshly ground black pepper

Cooking spray

Cut salmon into bite sized cubes. Combine maple syrup and soy sauce in a medium-sized bowl and add salmon, making sure the fish is fully immersed in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 500° F.

Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Put pepper in small bowl or plate and dip top of salmon pieces into pepper. Place each peppered piece on foil, then cook in oven for 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Roasted Squash, Red Pepper and Jack Cheese Quesadillas with Chipotle Lime Sour Cream Dip

Makes 24 to 32 hors d'oeuvres

A ¾ pound piece of butternut squash, seeded and cut into ¾ inch dice to yield about 5 cups

1 medium onion, unpeeled cut into eighths

1 large garlic clove, unpeeled

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

8 five or six inch flour tortillas

1 large red pepper, chopped

1 cup coarsely grated jack cheese

Chipotle Lime Sour Cream Dip:

1 canned chipotle in adobo, minced

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1 cup sour cream

To make the quesadillas, heat the oven to 400°F. In a shallow baking pan arrange squash, onion and garlic in one layer and drizzle with oil, tossing to coat. Roast mixture in middle of oven for 15 minutes, or until garlic is tender and transfer garlic to a work surface. Roast squash and onion until tender, about 15 minutes more. Discard peels from squash, onion and garlic.

In a food processor puree squash, onion and garlic with salt and pepper to taste, until smooth. Squash puree may be made two days ahead and chilled, covered.

Spread about one fourth squash puree on each of 4 tortillas and sprinkle each with one fourth of the bell pepper and cheese. Top each quesadilla with a plain tortilla, pressing gently together.

Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over moderately high heat until hot and cook quesadillas, one at a time until golden, about 3 minutes on each side, transferring to a cutting board.

Cut each quesadilla into 6 or 8 wedges and serve warm with chipotle dip.

To make the dip: Mix chili and lime juice into sour cream until combined. Dip may be made two days ahead and chilled, covered. Makes about one cup.


Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-635-8811 or by e-mailing [email protected] .

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