Wayne's Weekend

Wayne's Weekend

Make Your Own Stadium Sized Platter For The Big Game

Build a stadium filled with chips, dips, cheeses and snacks simply by folding aluminum foil

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Take some aluminum foil, cream cheese, dips and snacks and you can build your own stadium sized party platter for the big game. (Published Thursday, Feb 2, 2012)

    Building a football stadium sized party platter takes a bit of patience and diligence.  The steps are pretty easy, but it’s critical that you are consistent with the initial measurements.  Starting with uniform pieces will insure that the fully assembled stadium will turn out correctly.

    I suggest doing it with someone because an extra hand or two will help make sure everything is consistent and make the time go by faster.  You can assemble this directly on your dining table.  Either place a tablecloth down first (and perhaps a sheet of plastic), or a large piece of craft paper. But, it’s much better to get an inexpensive piece of particle board from your hardware store and just cover that with craft paper.

    STADIUM SHAPED PARTY PLATTER
    Serves a medium sized crowd

    Materials and Ingredients

    For The Stadium


    Aluminum Foil
    For the Inner Ring
    22-23 Sheets heavy duty aluminum foil (18" wide size)
    For the Outer Ring
    18-19 Sheets heavy duty aluminum foil (18" wide size)
    For Upper Deck Cradles
    18-19 Sheets 7" x 5 1/2"
    Buying the 18” wide rolls of aluminum, you’ll need about 22 yards in length

    Portable Surface
    1/2" thick piece of particle Board (optional) 30" x 36" wrapped in parchment or craft paper

    For The Dip Pan In The Center Of The Stadium
    2 disposable broiler pans (roughly 11 1/2" x 8 1/2" x 1") (one to build around and one to drop into first at serving time).

    Heavy Duty Clear Tape (2” wide roll), optional

    For The Food
       
    Stadium Surfacing
    67 Keebler Club Crackers (or any cracker roughly "1  1/2 x 2 1/2" in size)
    54 Graham Crackers
    2-3 containers Spreadable Cream Cheese (8 oz size)
    9-12 Toothpick Mini American Flags (optional)

    Dip Tray (6 cups of dip)   
    5 cups Guacamole Dip
    1 cup Salsa (for the end zones)
    10 Cooked Pasta Noodles (spaghetti or linguini - to make yard markers)

    For The Stands (lower)
    Assortment of chips, popcorn, pretzels, about 6-7 medium sized bags
       
    For The Stands (upper)
    Assortment of cheeses and meats, about 18-20 loosely filled cups worth

    Outside Base Of Stadium
    Hot Dog Buns, cut in thirds, crosswise, for mini sandwich buns

    Method

    To make the box seats for the lower section:

    Take an 18” square sheet of aluminum foil.  Fold two ends toward the center until they meet (don't overlap them). This will make a rectangle 9" by 18".  Fold the piece onto itself once again to form a piece 4 1/2" x 18". 

    Bring the two short ends together and join them with a small 1/8" fold.  Fold 2 more times (keeping the folds very tight and only about 1/8" wide).  The result is a big aluminum cylinder.  Next, turn that cylinder into a rectangle with two short sides 3" wide and two long sides 4 3/4" wide. Simply form the basic rectangle and crease the corners so that it holds its shape. Create the rectangle so that the seam is in the middle of one of the short sides. 

    Take the short side without the seam and make a 2" cut down each of the two corners.  Fold that front flap down.  You should now be able to fold each long side to form a triangular “wing” that starts at the top of the short side that you didn't cut and goes to the cut edge of the opposing side.  Make 14 boxes like this.  When you line two boxes side by side, you can use the wing of one box to flap over and connect to the adjoining box.  You'll need four on the long side of your dip tray and three on the short side. 

    To make corner boxes, follow the same process, but squeeze the front end of the box together and let the extra aluminum fold to the outside of the box and fold it over to make a pie wedge shape.  You'll need two of these at each corner to complete the lower deck of your stadium, for a total of 8.  I did find that I needed extra space along the back of the pie shaped pieces, so I release one of the folds along the back and then put a piece of tape over it to keep it form unfolding further.  I make one extra box just in case I make a mistake along the way.  Build this row of stadium boxes around one of your disposable broiler pans.  You can put tape across the back wall of this ring of boxes for added stability. If you are using a board or other portable surface, use a bit of tape rolled inside out on the bottom of the broiler pan to hold it in place as well.  You can also tape the outer walls to the base.

    To make the seats for the upper section:

    Take an 18" square of aluminum and fold a 6" wide piece toward the center.  Take the opposite side and completely fold it over the first forming a piece that is 6" x 18".  Use the same method of forming a big cylinder from above (making 3 tight folds over the short edge).  Then, make a different sized rectangle that is 2" on the short side and about 5 1/2" on the long side with the seam along one of the long sides.  This time you will be making a flap along the long side.  So, cut only 1" down from the top along the corners of the side opposite the seam side.  Fold the front flap down.  Fold the sides out to form little triangular wings.  Repeat to form 18 of these pieces (I make one extra just in case I make a mistake...or if the inner circle of boxes is a bit larger than it should be and you need to expand the outer row of boxes.

    Line these large pieces behind the lower boxes and join them together by connecting the wings.  You can use a bit of tape here, too, for added stability.  And, much like the corner pieces in the lower section, you may occasionally release a fold from the seam of some of these sections as you curve around the lower corner pieces.  Tape those seams to keep them from unfolding further.  At this point your stadium basic shape should be complete. If you have a gap, use the extra box piece.  You can size it down, accordion style, to make it fit.  Tape these to the base as well.

    Upper deck cradles:

    Take a 7" x 5 1/2" sheet of aluminum and lay it over one of the upper deck pieces.  Overlap about 1" of the long side over the back of the upper deck piece and press it into place.  Overlap about 1" of the opposite side over the front edge of the piece and press it into place.  This should create a "hammock" like cradle in the box for placing food.

    Covering surfaces:

    You can cover the front edge of the lower deck front by spooning a generous amount of cream cheese on the back of a club cracker and simply pressing it into the aluminum.  Repeat the process, with pieces overlapping each other slightly and cover the top edges.  As an option, repeat the process with the front surface part of the upper deck that is exposed above the lower deck.  The crackers can a bit above the rim of the upper deck aluminum as well.  But, I found that there wasn't much exposed space above the lower sections so I didn't add the crackers here.

    For the outside, use full graham crackers to cover the walls of the upper deck.  Be sure to overlap the pieces and take them just a bit above the top edge of the aluminum.  Also be sure to add a generous amount of cream cheese and press them securely into the aluminium.  Place hot dog mini buns around the lower portion of the stadium.

    Place mini flags into the aluminum foil at equal intervals along the top of the upper deck out wall.

    Filling it up

    Fill the second broiler pan with guacamole in the middle, and salsa on the ends.
    Put cream cheese in a small disposable plastic bag and cut a small hole in one corner. Pipe a line of cream cheese along the edge of the pan and the curly parsley into it.  Carefully place this pan over the existing pan in your stadium.

    Fill the lower boxes with chips, popcorn and pretzels.  The full sized container holds about 3 cups of food and the wedge shaped containers hold about 1 1/2 cups.

    Fill the upper deck with meats, cheeses and other assorted snacks.      The upper deck sections with the “hammock” inserted, hold about 1 cup of food.

    Once you have a basic understanding of this platter, feel free to make modifications and change the type of food you are using. 

    If you have any questions or comments, please send me an email at wayne@waynesweekend.com or follow me on facebook or twitter.