Chicago Restaurant Copycat Appetizers for Super Bowl

Are you the type that could make a meal just out of appetizers? I do it every so often when a restaurant has AMAZING sides/apps. Super Bowl parties aren't exactly sit down dinner occasions, so make the munchies mobile. Here are a few of the standout appetizers from some fabulous Chicagoland restaurants. (Also, I just discovered Buffalo Wing Pretzel Crisps- so much healthier than chips, so I added those in!).

Morton's Steakhouse: Warm Blue Cheese Dip with Buffalo Wing Pretzel Crisps



Ingredients
  • 8 slices hickory-smoked bacon, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz. crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tbs. chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tbs. chopped almonds
  • Crackers, trimmed fresh vegetables, or sliced baguette, for serving
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat about 8 minutes or until nearly crisp. Drain bacon and wipe skillet dry.
  • Return bacon to pan, add garlic, and cook over medium heat until bacon is crisp, about 3 minutes. Make sure garlic doesn’t burn. Drain on paper towels.
  • Using paddle attachment of electric mixer, beat cream cheese in bowl until smooth. Add cream; beat well to mix. Fold in bacon, garlic, blue cheese, and chives.
  • Transfer to 2-cup baking dish; top evenly with almonds. Bake about 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve with sliced toasted baguette or Buffalo Wing Pretzel Crisps- seriously, I ate the whole bag in one sitting. These are ADDICTING!



Pinstripes: Meatball Sliders




Ingredients

For the Meatballs
  • 3 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons diced onion
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons bread or cracker crumbs
12 slices provolone cheese
1 cup marinara sauce
12 rolls or 24 pieces garlic bread
Wood skewers

Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350º F.
  • Mix ingredients for meatballs. 
  • Form golf ball-sized meatballs and drop into greased skillet on medium heat and turn occasionally to endure they are evenly browned, approx. 7 minutes.
  • Add sauce to skillet and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Slice dinner rolls/garlic bread and lay cut side up on baking sheet.
  • Place a piece of provolone on one side of the rolls, add a meatball and a spoonful of sauce from the skillet.
  • Place baking sheet in oven for five minutes to melt provolone. 
  • Remove, assemble and stick a skewer in each slider to hold.
5411 Empanadas: Mushroom and Blue Cheese Empanadas 



Ingredients
  • 6 portobello mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup amontillado sherry or a dry red wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 package frozen Goya discs, defrosted
  • 1 egg + 1 T water whipped together for egg wash
Instructions
  • Finely dice the mushrooms. 
  • Saute in olive oil until they give up their moisture and most of it has evaporated.
  • Add garlic, thyme, sherry vinegar and sherry; cook for 3 more minutes and season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove from heat and wait until it cools to room temperature until you fold in the blue cheese.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Lay out all of the pastry circles on a floured surface and brush edges with egg wash.
  • Add a tablespoon of mushroom mixture to the center of each circle. 
  • Fold the circle in half, pinch shut with fingers and crimp edges with a fork. 
  • Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and brush with egg wash. 
  • Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
ENJOY! Go team!! 
Wait, who is playing again? I am just here to eat :)

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