Super Snacks: Bites to Try for the Big Game

The best part of football season being over is the snackage that’s about to go down. With Super Bowl 50 upon us this Sunday, we’ve picked a few classic Southern recipes to try as a nod to North Carolina, while dipping into Denver’s brewing territory with beer cheese and really, really great brownies.

Beer Cheese Dip Use Denver's Epic Brewing's Hop Syndrome, which is mild enough to pair with the cheese.

12 ounces bottled beer, pick something light and crisp

8 ounces cream cheese, cubed

1 pound pepper jack cheese, shredded

Directions Pour the beer in a medium saucepot and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Place cheeses in the pot. Whisk continually until both cheeses have melted and the beer cheese dip is smooth. It will look thin, but will thicken the moment it starts to cool.

Modified from

Southern Pimento Cheese Buy a tub from Cullum's Attagirl (726 E. Mistletoe Ave., 210-437-4263) which keeps the mayo ratio down while upping the spice with roasted red peppers.

2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup mayonnaise

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon onion powder

4 ounces diced roasted red peppers

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Directions Place the cheddar, cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder and roasted red peppers into a large bowl. Mix at medium speed using a hand blender until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Modified from

click to enlarge Super Snacks: Bites to Try for the Big Game
Bryan Rindfuss

Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork This recipe is hard to mess up. Serve as sliders with Hawaiian rolls, like the ones found at Smoke Shack BBQ (3714 Broadway, 210-957-1430) and pair them with their vinegary coleslaw. Or turn them into nachos with totopos, cheddar cheese, cotija cheese, pickled jalapeños and cilantro.

2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced

4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

½ tablespoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 (4 ½ to 5 pound) boneless pork shoulder

Directions Place the onions and garlic in an even layer in the slow cooker and pour in the stock. Combine sugar, chili powder, measured salt, cumin and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork and place the meat on top of the onions and garlic. Cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 6 to 8 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.

Turn off the slow cooker and remove the pork to a cutting board. Set a fine mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the onion mixture from the slow cooker through the strainer and return the solids to the slow cooker. Set the strained liquid aside.

Using two forks, shred the meat into bite sized pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker, and use a spoon to skim and discard the fat from the surface of the strained liquid. Add 1/4 cup of the liquid at a time to the slow cooker until the pork is just moistened. Taste and season with salt as need.

Modified from

Cocoa Brownie with Browned Butter Once you've found a brownie recipe you love, you never let it go. I first discovered this several years back as the cover to Bon Appetit and have jonesed hard for these thick and flavorful brownies ever since. No others will do.

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 ¼ cups sugar

¾ cup natural sweetened cocoa powder, (spooned into cup measure, then leveled)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, chilled

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup walnut pieces, optional

Directions Position rack in bottom; heat to 325 degrees. Line 8-by-8-by-2-inch metal baking pan with foil, pressing it firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. [Editor's note: If you were to want to turn these into Denver brownies ... add extra ingredients here.] Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla and 1⁄4 teaspoon (generous) salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot). Add eggs to hot mixture one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes. Stir in nuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached), about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 4 brownies.

Recipe from Alice Medrich/