When college basketball season heads toward the big tournament, it’s time to get together with friends to celebrate or commiserate. Here are some finger food ideas to enjoy while sitting in front of that big screen and rooting for your team. In addition to these recipes, add a few simple creations of your own, like a platter of fresh vegetables with your favorite dressing or a large submarine sandwich made with a French baguette and loaded with meats and cheeses from your deli, lettuce, tomatoes and any other condiments you like. Skewer cherry tomatoes and pickles and stick them into the sandwich at intervals so that you can cut between then to create individual servings.
Creating a spread for your friends doesn’t have to be complicated or take a lot of time!
Turkey Joe Sliders
1 lb Ground Turkey (I used a mixture of thighs and breast)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
2 tbl Olive Oil
1 sm White Onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 Banana Pepper, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
2 cloves Garlic, peeled, smashed and chopped
1/4 cu Barbeque Sauce (your favorite brand)
1 tbl Worchestershire Sauce
1 can Tomato Paste (6 oz size) and 6 oz of water
6 Hot Dog Buns
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Season turkey with salt and pepper and add to pan. Saute until turkey is opaque. Add onions, pepper and garic and reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 10 minutes until onions and peppers are tender. Add barbeque sauce, Worchestershire sauce and tomato paste. Fill tomato paste can with water, stir to get extra paste still inside and pour into pan. Simmer for 30 minutes until mixture thickens.
Slice hotdog buns crosswise into thirds to make mini buns. Spoon mixture into each mini bun and serve.
Buffalo Chicken Wraps
2 tbl Butter, melted
1/2 cu Louisiana Hot Sauce
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 lb Chicken Tenders, cut into 1” pieces
1/4 cu Olive Oil
1 Celery Stalk, chopped
1 Green Onion, chopped
1/2 head Iceberg Lettuce, thinly sliced and chopped
1/4 cu Light Mayonnaise
3/4 cu Crumbled Blue Cheese
4 lg Flour Tortillas or Mountain Bread, 9” diameter
Combine butter, hot sauce and cayenne pepper in a large sealable container. Set aside. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Carefully add chicken tenders and saute until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken pieces to a paper towel with a slotted spoon or tongs. After slightly drained and still hot, add chicken pieces to hot sauce mixture, seal and toss to coat. Set aside.
Combine mayonnaise and blue cheese and set aside.
To assemble each wrap, soften tortillas by either placing them in a hot skillet for about 10 seconds per side or in a microwave oven for 10-15 seconds. Lay each tortilla flat and place a portion of the chicken, lettuce, celery, onion and blue cheese mixture just slightly off center near one end. Fold that end over the mixture and then fold in the sides. Roll the tortilla to complete the wrap and slice on a diagonal. Repeat with remaining tortillas.