Super Bowl Bites – Pancetta Wrapped Shrimp, Paprika & Pepper Jack Cheese Dip, and Candied Pecan Crostini with Gorgonzola & Honey

Looking to wow your guests with a super bowl menu that is both delicious and a little bit sophisticated?  This one has it all.  It’s perfect for a gathering of both sexes – a little something for everyone.  If you are having a larger crowd you can certainly double or triple the recipe to meet your needs.  And if you want something more substantial to round out the menu I’d recommend a slider bar.  Mini burgers served on slider buns or brioche rolls and then an array of fixins’ so everyone can make their own burger.  Fun and easy entertaining.

For the crostini recipe I candied the nuts ahead and stored them in an airtight container.  That means all you really have to do on game day is make the crostini and assemble.  I really don’t think crostini holds up well made a day ahead and always recommend just making it an hour or so beforehand.  The closer to game time the better.  As for the pepper jack cheese dip?  This one can be made a day ahead and covered and refrigerated.  Bake right as your guests are arriving as it’s really best right out of the oven.  And those little shrimp are super easy.  I bought some beautiful shrimp at Costco that were already deveined so it made my job really simple.  I just removed the rest of the shell but kept the tail on (you can remove it if you want).  Then I wrapped the shrimp in about 1/2 slice of pancetta per shrimp, set it with a skewer, drizzled with a little olive oil and lemon zest and then broiled them about 2 inches from the broiler until just cooked through and the pancetta was starting to crisp.  I flipped once about half way through.  Only takes a few minutes tops.  That’s the only tricky part.  You don’t want to over cook the shrimp but you want the pancetta to crisp so I’ve found it’s important to get pretty close to the heat source to make those 2 things happen in unison.  You could always do them in a skillet on the stove top and  cook about 30 seconds per side.  Or grilling them is a great option too.  Anyway you do it the shrimp are great at room temperature and your guests will love how easy they are to pop in their mouth right off the skewer.  Finger food at it’s best

 

*Note: The recipe ingredients and steps below is for all 3 separate dishes: Pepper Jack Cheese Dip, Pancetta Wrapped Shrimp, and Candied Pecan Crostini with Gorgonzola and Hone

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Super Bowl Bites

Prep Time: 25 mins
Bake Time: 25 mins
Serves: 4-6 people

Ingredients

  • Pepper Jack & Smoked Paprika Cheese Dip
  • 5 oz cream cheese - room temperature
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 8-10 dashes Tobasco sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Pancetta Wrapped Shrimp
  • 12-14 raw shrimp (16/20 count), peeled and deveined with tail on
  • 12-14 mini skewers or toothpicks
  • 6-7 slices pancetta
  • zest, 1 lemon
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Candied Pecans
  • 3/4 cups raw pecans
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardomom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinammon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Crostini
  • 1/2 baguette, sliced on the diagonal into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Candied Pecans & Gorgonzola Crostini with Honey Assembled
  • Candied Pecans (see above), roughly chopped
  • 1/3 lb mountain gorgonzola or creamy gorgonzola
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Fresh thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)

Method

  1. Pepper Jack and Smoked Paprika Cheese Dip
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cream cheese, mayo, tobasco, onion powder, paprika, and salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix well with a rubber spatula.
  3. Fold in the cheeses. Place in a medium baking dish and baked for 20-25 minutes until warmed through and bubbly. Remove from oven and blot the top dry and then broil for 1-2 minutes until browned on top.
  4. ******
  5. Pancetta Wrapped Shrimp
  6. Remove any shells from the shrimp,and season with salt and pepper. Wrap each shrimp in approximately 1/2 piece of pancetta, secure with a small skewer or tooth pick. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon zest.
  7. Place on a baking sheet and broil - approximately 2 inches from the heat source - until partially cooked through. Flip once and continue cooking until just done. (shrimp should be light pink but not tough)
  8. ******
  9. Candied Pecans
  10. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small sauce pan over low heat gently warm the honey and add in the spices. Toss in the pecans until coated and place in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  11. Bake for 18-20 minutes, giving the mixture a careful stir about half way through. Remove from sheet pan and let cool.
  12. ******
  13. Crostini
  14. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  15. Combine the metled butter with the olive oil. Place the sliced bread on the sheet pan and brush with the oil and butter mixture on the top side. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  16. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until gold brown around the edges. Remove from pan and let cool.
  17. ******
  18. Candied Pecans and Gorgonzola Crostini Assembled
  19. Spread a generous amount of blue cheese on each piece of crostini and then place on a serving platter.
  20. Top each piece with chopped candied pecans and a tiny bit of fresh thyme, if using. Place any extra pecans and fresh thyme around the platter. Drizzle a little honey over the top and around the platter.

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