There are many reasons the Big Dance is a perfect excuse: You have several weekends to choose from. It will force you to pick a team to root for. And, since basketball-watching cuisine is usually limited to pretzels and beer, you can get away with serving the gourmet equivalent: fancy finger food!
The Invite: Evite has several March Madness-themed design options on offer:
The Food: Three finger-licking recipes easy to make and guaranteed to crowd-please.
Passes the ultimate party food test: A tasty way to get drunker, without drinking.
1 package Hidden Valley dip mix (original flavor)
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese
6 oz. beer (of your choice)
6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
Mix first four ingredients and chill. Use any type of pretzels for dipping.
Bombay Sliders with Garlic Curry Sauce
Like White Castle, only spicier! Plan on three burgers per person, and top with tomato, red onion, and cucumber slices.
1 cup mayonnaise, divided
6 1/4 teaspoons curry powder, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced
2 pounds ground turkey
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup minced green onions
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon hot chili powder or Hungarian hot paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 small dinner rolls, cut horizontally in half, lightly toasted
Mix 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 1/4 teaspoons curry powder, and next 3 ingredients in small bowl for sauce. Let stand at room temperature while preparing sliders.
Place turkey, next 6 ingredients, remaining 1/4 cup mayonnaise, and 4 teaspoons curry powder in large bowl. Mix with fork or hands just until blended (do not overmix). Divide mixture into 12 equal portions. Using wet hands, form each portion into patty about 1/2 inch thick.
Preheat broiler or heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. If broiling patties, brush rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil and arrange patties on sheet. Broil (or cover patties in skillet and cook in batches) until cooked through, pressing patties down lightly with spatula before turning over, about 3 minutes per side (or 4 minutes per side if cooking in skillet).
Place patties on bottom halves of rolls. Top each patty with sauce. Cover with roll tops. Place 3 sliders on each of 4 plates and serve.
Mini “B’ball” Cupcakes
Cuter than Elmo and easy as pie.
1 package cupcake mix (your choice)
1 16 oz can buttercream frosting
Red and yellow food coloring
2 tubes black gel icing
1 mini muffin pan
Bake cupcakes according to package directions.
Set aside and cool.
Spoon frosting into a small bowl.
Add five drops yellow food coloring, then two drops red. Mix well. Keep adding coloring in the same ratio until you attain your desired orange tint.
Frost cupcakes. (Tango tip: For best results, place frosting in refrigerator to chill for five minutes before you frost.)
Use black gel to tube to draw basketball “seams” as shown in photo.
(Tango tip: First draw a cross across the cupcake, then draw one semicircle on each side.)
Beer is de rigueur during March Madness, so be sure to stock the fridge. But in Tango’s opinion, adding a witty champagne cocktail is the party equivalent of a slam dunk.
Hint: In basketball parlance, “on the bubble” is where teams on the verge (but uncertain of getting invites to the Big Dance) are said to reside.
Ingredients: - 1 oz Inniskillin Vidal Oak Age Ice Wine - 1 oz Lychee Juice - 3 oz Brut Champagne Garnish: slice of star fruit
Pour all ingredients into a champagne flute, adding the champagne last. Garnish with a slice of star fruit.
Cocktail created by: Junior Merino, Master Mixologist, Cocktail Times.com.
Photo: Peter Pioppo from Studio P
Recipe courtesy of: www.cocktailtimes.com