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Ingredients of a Super Bowl party include (clockwise from bottom) cheesy mashed potatoes, cowboy caviar, cranberry barbecue meatballs, barbecued beef hoagies, and a dessert of Hello Dolly bars (aka Ditka bars, aka Colts by 7 bars) at Lewis Choi's Super Supper business in Dublin, Calif., on Thursday, Jan, 25, 2007. (Cindi Christie/Contra Costa Times)
SUNDAY'S Super Bowl is the glorious culmination of the season for football fans. They'll don their Bears and Colts jerseys, break out the pompoms — or beer — and glue themselves to the plasma screen.

For the rest of us, it's a great excuse to gather with friends and chow down on hoagies and other super snack fare — and try to cheer on teams that aren't the Raiders or 49ers.

That's not a problem for chef Lewis Choi or his buddy Paul Redicks. The Dublin duo hasn't let a little thing like football rivalry — Choi's a die-hard Bears buff, Redicks' a Colts devotee — get in the way of their friendship.

"Absolutely not," said Redicks. "Everyone knows the Colts are going to win, so it won't be a problem."

Choi, a culinary school grad who spent years working in restaurant kitchens before opening Dublin's Super Suppers (there are franchises throughout the Bay Area including in Fremont and San Carlos) with his wife last fall, rebuffs the jibe with an easy grin. His mind is on food anyway.He's planning to serve Cowboy Caviar with pita triangles, Barbecued Beef Hoagies, Cranberry-Barbecue meatballs and other hearty fare to his fellow Bears fans as they cheer their team's victory on Sunday.

Redicks will nosh on similar fare across town, texting chortling little messages to his friend every time the Colts surge ahead.

Super Bowl parties pose unusual challenges for partygivers. The event lasts forever — in "football time," four 15-minute quarters equal a four-hour game. And the hosts would much rather watch touchdowns than tend a simmering pot.

The happy medium between kitchen slavery and total takeout, said Choi, is a meal assembly outfit like Super Suppers.

More than a dozen businesses, including The Full Plate, Ensembles and Dream Dinners, have opened in Bay Area suburbs in the past couple of years. The staff does the sous chef thing — the shopping and tedious chopping. The customer assembles the dishes, pops them in the oven and, er, takes all the credit and watches the game.

The Dublin franchise is particularly popular, says Choi's wife, Minah, with moms' groups which come for private parties. Glance at the reservation calendar of any of the other venues and you see a similar pattern.

Groups of friends, book clubs and parent groups make it a social outing.

But on this particular morning — a practice session for the real Super Bowl buffet — it's the savory scent of barbecue sauce and sweet aroma of multi-layered cookie bars that fill the air.

"A little before — in the morning — I'll make my own avocado dip," says Choi. "Definitely wings. You always have to have some kind of wings. Cranberry meatballs. Hello Dolly bars. The nice thing about this is you don't have to put all that prep into it."

Er, Hello Dolly Bars?

They're the classic "Seven Layer" or "Magic Cookie Bars." They're going to serve a cookie named after a Barbra Streisand musical to Chicago Bears fans and Colts die-hards?

"Um," says Choi. "How about Ditka's Magic Bars?"

No," says Redicks. "Colts by Seven Bars."

Cowboy Caviar

Recipe courtesy of Super Suppers. This recipe is easily cut in half if you don't have a giant crowd coming over. The numbers in parentheses represent a half batch.

3 (or 11/2) cups black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 (or 3/4) cups garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
2 (or 1) cups pinto beans, drained
2 (or 1) cups red kidney beans, drained
1 (or 1/2) cup canned diced red bell peppers, undrained
1 (or 1/2) cup fresh diced green bell peppers
1 (or 1/2) cup fresh diced green onions
1/2 (or 1/4) cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup (or 2 tablespoons) sliced, pickled jalapenos, optional
1 (or 1/2) cup canned diced green chile peppers, undrained
2 (or 1) teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 (or 3/4) cups Italian salad dressing
1 (or 1/2) cup mild picante sauce
1 (or 1/2) teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 (or 1/4) teaspoon black pepper
Pita wedges or tortilla chips

Combine everything (except the pita wedges or chips) in a large mixing bowl, tossing gently to blend. (The mixture can be frozen at this point. Thaw completely before proceeding.)

To serve hot, place contents in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until heated through and just beginning to simmer. Or, serve at room temperature.

Serve with tortilla chips or pita wedges.

Makes 3 quarts.

Per half cup of caviar: 150 Calories, 5 g Protein, 17 g Carbohydrates, 8 g Total Fat, 1 g Saturated Fat, 0 Cholesterol, 540 mg Sodium, 5 g Fiber. Calories from fat: 47 percent.

Hello Dolly Bars

Recipe courtesy of Super Suppers.

4 1/2 (or 1 1/2) cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 (or 1/2) cups melted, unsalted butter
4 1/2 (or 1 1/2) cups finely chopped pecans
4 1/2 (or 1 1/2) cups semisweet chocolate chips
6 3/4 (or 2 1/4) cups sweetened shredded coconut
4 1/2 (or 1 1/2) 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk

Spray three 9x13x1 1/2-inch pans with non-stick coating.

In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter.

In each pan, layer about 11/2cups graham cracker crumb mixture, followed by 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and 2 1/4 cups shredded coconut.

Drizzle 1 1/2 cans sweetened condensed milk over the coconut in each pan, making sure to cover the corners. (The cookies can be frozen at this point. Thaw completely before baking.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake about 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Let cool, then cut into 24 bars (about 21/4-by-2 inches).

Makes three batches of 24 bars.

Per serving: 280 Calories, 4 g Protein, 29 g Carbohydrates, 18 g Total Fat, 9 g Saturated Fat, 20 mg Cholesterol, 85 mg Sodium, 2 g Fiber. Calories from fat: 57 percent.

Cranberry-Barbecue Meatballs

From "Super Suppers Cookbook" by Judie Byrd (Meredith Books, $19.95)

Nonstick cooking spray
1 recipe Basic Meatballs (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 15-ounce can jellied cranberry sauce
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange Basic Meatballs on prepared baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through (internal temperature should be 160 degrees).

Meanwhile, for sauce, preheat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, bell pepper, and garlic in hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Turn heat to low. Add cranberry sauce, vinegar, honey, mustard, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and, if desired, red pepper flakes. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Add cooked meatballs; heat through.

Plan Ahead: Prepare basic meatballs up to one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Make sauce the day of the game.

Freeze Ahead: Place cooked meatballs and sauce in a freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months Defrost completely in refrigerator. Reheat over low heat until hot and bubbly.

Makes 24 large meatballs.

Per large meatball: 140 Calories, 8 g Protein, 12 g Carbohydrates, 7 g Total Fat, 2.5 g Saturated Fat, 12 mg Cholesterol, 200 mg Sodium, 0 Fiber. Calories from fat: 50 percent.

Basic Meatballs

From "Super Suppers Cookbook" by Judie Byrd (Meredith Books, $19.95)

1/2 cup soft white bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine bread crumbs and milk; let soak 5 minutes.

Add ground beef, chopped onion, egg, herbs, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Form meat mixture into 24 large or 48 small meatballs. Arrange on prepared baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through (internal temperature should be 160 degrees).

Makes 24 large meatballs.

Pulled Beef Sandwiches

From "Super Suppers Cookbook" by Judie Byrd (Meredith Books, $19.95).

4 (or 1) pounds cooked roast beef, shredded
9 (or 3) cups shredded cabbage
2 (or ) cups ketchup
1 15-ounce can (or cup) beef broth
3/4 (or 1/4) cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons (or 2 teaspoons) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon (or 1 teaspoon) yellow mustard
2 (or 1/2) teaspoons salt (or to taste)
24 (or 8) hamburger buns

In a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven combine shredded beef, cabbage, ketchup, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, mustard, and salt.

Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer for 1 hour more, stirring occasionally. Serve on buns.

Plan ahead: Prepare up to 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Reheat over low heat.

Freeze ahead: Place all ingredients, except, hamburger buns, in a freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months. Defrost completely in refrigerator. Cook as directed.

Makes 24 sandwiches.

Per sandwich: 400 Calories, 22 g Protein, 28 g Carbohydrates, 22 g Total Fat, 8 g Saturated Fat, 65 mg Cholesterol, 810 mg Sodium, 2 g Fiber. Calories from fat: 50 percent.

Chicken Wings with Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce

24 meaty chicken wings, tips removed, cut into wings and drumettes
8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 teaspoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons dried coriander, crushed
2 teaspoons fish sauce

Place chicken wings in a large resealable plastic bag; add garlic, ginger, soy sauce, honey, coriander, and fish sauce. Seal bag; turn to coat chicken wings. Refrigerate for 2-24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place wings on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, 25 minutes. Turn and bake 5 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink. (Or broil 10 minutes. Turn and broil about 5 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink.)

Plan Ahead: Prepare through Step 1 up to 24 hours ahead. Continue according to Step 2.

Freeze Ahead: Place wings in marinade and freeze up to 2 months. Defrost completely in refrigerator. Continue as directed.

Makes 24 wings.

Per wing (including marinade): 160 Calories, 10 g Protein, 6 g Carbohydrates, 11 g Total Fat, 3 g Saturated Fat, 40 mg Cholesterol, 290 mg Sodium, 0 Fiber. Calories from fat: 63 percent.