So, the Big Game will be gracing our TVs and some of us will be going or hosting Super Bowl get-togethers. A bevy of good appetizers can substitute a full dinner on Super Sunday.

If you’re hosting the big day, then here is my complete list of appetizers that you can serve and the most important element is that you’ll be able to sit and watch the game. There have been too many times I can count I’ll have people over and going back and forth to the kitchen prohibits me from really enjoying the game.

Four Men Watching a Football Game on Television
Photo via Ryan McVay

I’ve had some fun on my game day. My talented and creative friend Jay asked what he could bring to my Big Game party.

I blurted out a liverwurst bust of Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones! He was laughing pretty hard, but I was serious.

Now you should know that I’m not a Dallas Cowboy fan, and the Cowboys were not playing in that year’s Big Game. I supplied a few pounds of liverwurst and let him create a masterpiece.

Photo via Big Joe Henry
Photo via Big Joe Henry

Here are some pictures of the masterpiece Jay created:

Photo via Big Joe Henry
Photo via Big Joe Henry
Photo via Big Joe Henry
Photo via Big Joe Henry

He is one talented guy. My guests at the party were in awe of the masterpiece and although there were crackers around it to enjoy, nobody touched Jay’s work of art. That’s some of the fun you can have.

Enjoy the game, I hope your team wins and good luck eating!

Mama Connie's Bourbon Hot Dogs

Photo via Big Joe Henry
Photo via Big Joe Henry

This recipe comes from my good friend musician and New Jersey’s troubadour Pat Guadagno. Pat and I go way back and he’s been the music director on both my TV and live stage show of the Big Joe Henry Variety Show. Pat has given so much back to charitable causes.

He has one of the best singing voices and man, can he play the guitar! Pat really is a savant when it comes to his knowledge of music. It’s truly a tremendous gift. He’s a human juke box! More importantly, he is a great friend.

This recipe is from Pat’s mom, Connie and it’s a great appetizer. She was a good woman who raised a terrific family. Pat made these dogs and brought them over to a football party at my house and they are great! I love them, you will too! Thanks, Pat, for all the phenomenal music and for your friendship.


  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 12-ounce bottle Heinz Chili Sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 packs of Best Hot Dogs, cut into 1/3 bite-size pieces

How to put it together:

Warm first 3 ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add hot dogs. Mix together so they are evenly coated in sauce. Put in preheated oven at 325 degrees uncovered for 2 1/2 hours.

Stir occasionally. Serve with toothpicks.

Big Joe's Spicy Deviled Eggs

Photo via Big Joe Henry
Photo via Big Joe Henry

I don’t know what it is about deviled eggs but I love them. I eat them like Skittles! I like my deviled eggs a little spicy so I add the optional jalapenos to the recipe. These are easy to make and provide a great start to the festivities.

Some people say that deviled eggs are really only a summer starter. I say deviled eggs are great year-round!”.


  • 12 eggs, hard-boiled cooled in refrigerator
  • 5 tablespoons Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sweet relish
  • 2 finely chopped jalapeno peppers (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste paprika to top

How to put it together:

Once cooled, slice eggs in half removing yolks from each half and placing yolks in a bowl. Set aside halved whites. In the bowl with the yolks add mayonnaise, mustard, white vinegar, relish, jalapenos (or adjust according to your taste) and salt and ground pepper. Mix well with a fork to form a paste.

Add mixture to a pastry bag with large opening (I prefer star attachment). If you don’t have a pastry bag, fill a corner of a zip-lock bag and snip the corner with scissors. Fill egg white halves with mixture making a small mound.

Sprinkle filled eggs with paprika and serve. Serves 12 – 15.

Donna's Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

Photo via Big Joe Henry
Photo via Big Joe Henry

Donna Kennelly from Lincroft sent me this great version of a buffalo wing dip. I enjoy Buffalo wings, nice and spicy, so to put all that in a dip is great. Donna says that you can also turn this into an entree.

The first time that Donna tried this was at a friend’s Halloween party. She asked her friend for the recipe and soon Donna was off and running. She’s changed things up a few times since getting the original recipe.

One of the unique aspects I love about cooking is that making any dish better often happens by trial and error.

I can’t tell you how many times I said, “Hey that’s missing something” or “I should have left something out.” Make the recipe your own.

Donna did and we’re thrilled that she sent it in. Thanks, Donna.


  • 2 pounds of chicken tenders or thin chicken cutlets
  • 1⁄2 cup of Frank’s hot sauce (I use enough for a spicy taste but just add more or less depending on your heat factor)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1⁄2 small bottle Ranch dressing
  • 1⁄2 small bottle blue cheese
  • 1 cup extra sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles

How to put it together:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large sauté pan brown chicken tenders until cooked. Then shred cooked tenders. (Can be put in the blender a couple of pieces at a time to shred.)

Mix together all the other ingredients except shredded cheese. Add mixture to shredded chicken and mix together.

Put in an oven-safe baking dish and sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese and blue cheese crumbles on top. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until bubbly hot.

Enjoy with tortilla chips or crackers.

Big Joe's Pepperoni Pizza Dip

Photo via Big Joe Henry
Photo via Big Joe Henry

Eva from Jamesburg sent me this interesting dip that incorporates all the good tastes of pizza. It's a quick and easy dip that's great for your weekend parties or perfect for serving during the Big Game.

Eva says serve this tasty dip with vegetables and chips. I also recommend serving bagel chips or those toast rounds with this dish. Thanks Eva!


  • 1 8oz. pkg of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2oz.)
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce Parmesan cheese

How to put it together:

In a small bowl beat cream cheese, sour cream, oregano, garlic powder and red pepper. Spread evenly in a 9- or 10-inch pie pan or quiche dish. Spread tomato sauce on top of cream cheese mixture and top with pepperoni, onion, green peppers.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Then top with mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Continue baking for 5 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before serving with cut up vegetables or chips.

Big Joe’s Big Bowl Chili

Photo via Big Joe Henry
Photo via Big Joe Henry

In my humble culinary opinion chili is a dish that can be served year-round. I know that it’s more popular in the fall and winter, but I enjoy a good bowl year-round. Just make sure if you’re eating chili in the summer, you’re in air-conditioning.

This is a great dish for your Big Game party as you can leave it on very low heat on the stove and your guests can help themselves. Don’t forget to put the fixings out to top your chili

This recipe calls for kidney beans, I also like a full meat chili with no beans and have used sliced steak, instead of the ground beef and sometimes I have added kielbasa, or andouille sausage to my chili to add a good alternative to the beans.

Some people enjoy chili with rice or over pasta, I don’t, I prefer to get the full chili flavor from my dish.

Spices are so important to a good bowl of chili. If you can let the spices blend and hang out in the pot for as long as you can, you’ll get a more flavorful bowl of chili. Heat is an important additive but not so much heat that you lose the flavor of the chili. I’ve had that experience.

Photo by Kwon Junho on Unsplash
Photo by Kwon Junho on Unsplash

I like it spicy but when it’s so spicy your taste buds and palate overall are numb to the flavor and your mind is more concerned with the heat than the flavor than you’re losing the concept of serving a good tasting bowl of chili.

The great thing about chili is that if you make a big pot, once cooled, the leftovers can be stored in the freezer and ready for you after the beach, ski slopes, in front of the TV or with family and friends around the table.

Many have said to me that chili isn’t family friendly, meaning that the kids won’t like it because of the powerful spices. If you’re concerned about that you’re correct. It’s just as easy to make a kid’s batch next to the big pot of regular chili.

For the kids go easy on the spice and maybe you throw it over pasta. It’s a great opportunity for the kids to be exposed to the flavors of an iconic dish.

Enjoy my chili and let me know how you like it.

You'll need:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or corn oil
  • 2 cups medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons minced or pressed garlic (approx. 6 medium cloves)
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 dash cinnamon freshly ground pepper to taste (I like lots!)
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 ½ pounds 85 percent lean ground beef (or 3 lbs. of sliced sirloin steak in chunks)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 can (28 oz.) tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste salt & pepper to taste (yes, again!)
  • ½ cup chicken broth (only if chili starts to stick to the bottom of pan)

How to put it together:

Heat oil in large, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive Dutch oven over medium heat until simmering but not smoking, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, oregano, cinnamon, freshly ground pepper, and cayenne.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add beef if you are using sirloin chunks.

Add all the beef at this time cooking until seared on the outside all the way around. If you are using ground beef then add half the amount breaking it up with a wooden spoon until no longer pink and just beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Do the same for the remaining half (just easier in stages).

Add beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, tomato paste and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Remove cover and continue to simmer 1 hour longer, stirring occasionally.

Photo by Douglas Fehr on Unsplash
Photo by Douglas Fehr on Unsplash

If chili begins to stick to bottom of pot, stir in 1/2 cup chicken broth and continue to simmer until beef is tender and chili is rich and dark.

Adjust seasoning for your taste. Slow Cooker Option: At the end of step 1, transfer the cooked beef mixture to a slow cooker; add the rest of ingredients as directed in step 2. Cook the chili on the high setting for four hours.

I like to top it with shredded Colby cheese, chopped Vidalia onions, chopped jalapenos and of course, sour cream.

Wash it down with a cold beer but don’t forget to chill the glass!

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Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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