From the Magazine

Debbie Matenopoulos’s Easy Apps Are a Super Bowl-Party Must

This isn't your basic bean dip.

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Debbie Matenoppoulos, host of the Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family, knows a thing or two about hosting a killer party — mouth-watering snacks included. Whether you’re a football fan or not, you’ll want to try out her Greek-inspired appetizers at your Super Bowl party or your own version of the big game. Read on for four recipes that will score big on Sunday!

Lightly Fried Zucchini

This crispy-crunchy, party-friendly finger food is a healthier alternative to fries or chips.

Servings: 10
Time: 1 hr., 15 min
Ingredients:

  • 4 medium zucchini (each about 10 oz.)
  • 1½ tsp. sea salt + additional
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Oil, for frying
  • Tzatziki sauce (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Line baking sheets with paper towels. Cut zucchini in half crosswise; cut each half into 8 wedges. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then coat in flour, shaking off any excess.
  2. In large skillet, heat 1⁄2″ oil over medium heat until shimmering. Test temp. of oil by gently placing 1 zucchini wedge into it; oil should bubble vigorously around zucchini. Working in small batches, carefully slip zucchini into hot oil. Cook, turning once, until wedges are golden brown, 4–5 min. per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels. If desired, sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately with, if desired, tzatziki sauce.

Greek Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Debbie says these treats are delish with or without sauce — after baking, broil ’em for a minute or two for extra flavor.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 25
Cook Time: 35
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cubed crustless day-old bread
  • 1½ lbs. lean ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 medium tomatoes, seeded, diced

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Oil large baking dish. Moisten bread in bowl of water; squeeze dry. Transfer to large bowl; mix in beef, garlic, 3⁄4 tsp. salt, 1⁄4 tsp. pepper and 1⁄4 tsp. cumin. Shape into 1″ balls. Arrange in dish. Bake until cooked through, 35 min. Meanwhile, in large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients. Cook, stirring often, until tomatoes break down, 5–7 min; over low, cook until thickened, 15–20 min. Serve with meatballs.

Chicken Souvlaki

An olive oil, lemon and oregano baste gives these bites big flavor. For a fun twist, Debbie tops the cooked chicken with shredded cheese, bakes until melted and serves with salsa.

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 20
Cook Time: 20
Ingredients:

  • Wooden skewers
  • 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1½” pieces
  • 1 Tbs. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. dried oregano

Instructions:

  1. Soak skewers in water 30 min. In bowl, toss chicken with salt and pepper; let stand 15 min. Heat grill to medium for 30 min., or heat grill pan. Meanwhile, whisk together oil, lemon juice and oregano. Reserve in covered container at room temp.
  2. Dividing evenly, thread chicken pieces onto skewers; brush with 1⁄3 cup reserved oil mixture. Grill chicken, turning once and basting with remaining oil mixture, until chicken is no longer pink in centers, 3–5 min. per side.

Tzatziki

This yogurt dip is guaranteed to satisfy garlic lovers; for a milder version, Debbie omits a clove and adds a bit of dill.

Servings: 6
Cook Time: 20
Ingredients:

  • Half of seedless English cucumber, peeled
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh dill
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed into a paste
  • Assorted vegetables

Instructions:

  1. Coarsely grate cucumber into bowl; toss with 1⁄2 tsp. salt. Transfer to fine-mesh sieve set over another bowl; drain 10 min. Working in batches, squeeze as much remaining liquid from cucumber as possible and transfer to another bowl.
  2. Add yogurt, oil, vinegar, dill, garlic and remaining salt; mix well. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, for 2–3 hrs. to let flavors blend. Tzatziki will keep for up to five days in refrigerator, but garlicky flavor intensifies as time passes.

For a sweat treat from Matenopoulos’s recipe box and some more winning Super Bowl bites, check out the February 3rd issue of Woman’s World, on newsstands now.

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