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"Big Game" Party Planning 101

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Oh, the "Big Game"—the one day of the year when people throw caution to the wind and sit down in front of their televisions for a hearty feast of heavy food, washed down with cases of beer. If you are not headed to Indianapolis on the LUV airline to watch this year’s football championship in person, keep reading for some of Dish Trip’s favorite Bowl bites that will leave you satisfied while cheering on your team of choice – the New England Patriots or the New York Giants!

Souper Bowl Matchup: The Battle of the Chowders

Dish Trip’s Jamie Rogers rarely choose sides when it comes to food. Dipping sauces for chicken strips? She always gets mustard and sweet-and-sour. Lemonade or iced tea? A little of both, please. BBQ? A dry rub, with sauce on the side.

But, when a New England and Manhattan… err… New York matchupl came up, she decided to test out recipes for their respective chowders and choose a side. Definitively.

New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder

When it comes to New England, the thicker the better, but only when it comes to accents. The chowder should be thin and creamy and well-seasoned. Remember the paste that weird kid used to eat in Kindergarten? Forget it. Focus on the simplicity of the chowder.


1/4 pound cubed salt pork

1 yellow onion, chopped

6 medium red potatoes, skin on, cut into 1/2″ cubes

2 cups milk

2 cups half-and-half

Two 5 oz. cans of baby clams, with juice reserved

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large saucepan, cook the salt pork over medium heat until the fat runs.

Add onion and cook until soft. Pour off about of half the fat.

Add potatoes to the pan and stir. Add clam juice and just enough water to cover the potatoes. Simmer until potatoes are tender.

Add milk and half-and-half and bring to simmer. Add clams and butter; simmer a few minutes until clams are heated through and butter is melted.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with oyster crackers.

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Manhattan Clam Chowder

To start with – it’s the red one. Legend says that it was Portuguese immigrants who swapped the milk base for the tomato one when they settled in New England. It’s not a real New Yorker. What it is, however, is a hearty soup with rich flavors.


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 large celery stalk, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

One 6oz. can of tomato paste

3 sprigs parsley

3 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

6 medium red potatoes, skin on, cut into 1/2″ cubes

Two 8oz. jars of clam juice

One 28oz. can of whole tomatoes, chopped, with juice reserved

Two 5 oz. cans of baby clams, with juice reserved

salt and pepper to taste


In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and add onion, celery and garlic, cooking until soft.  Add crushed pepper and tomato paste, stirring into the mixture.

Add herbs and potatoes to the pan and stir. Add clam juice and simmer until potatoes are tender.

Stir in tomatoes, juices and clams. Simmer a few minutes until clams are heated through. Remove herb sprigs and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a hunk of crusty bread.

And the winner is: Well, we don't know. We’re foodies. Do we really have to choose?

Skinny Super Bowl Dips

Dish Trip’s Laura Koster reveals that there’s only one kind of skinny dipping she’s game for – and, that’s serving slimmed up versions of favorite dips for Sunday's festivities.

This year, she whipped up three dips that pack so much flavor, and her taste testers didn’t notice a difference. Ingredients like light sour cream, light mayo and fat free Greek yogurt make great substitutions in creamy dips. And surprising ingredients like chickpeas in a cookie dough dessert dip will amaze. Just remember to save some for your guests.

Her creamy garlic dip calls for three heads of garlic, which become buttery and mellow once roasted. Tangy Greek yogurt, fresh herbs and lemon zest additionally add a punch of flavor to this crowd-pleasing dip.

Herb Dip


3 garlic bulbs

½ cup light mayo

½ cup plain, fat free Greek yogurt

1 tsp lemon zest

2 T fresh sage, chopped

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Olive oil for roasting


Cut tops off garlic bulbs. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil and roast in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes. Once cool, squeeze out garlic pulp and fold in with the remaining ingredients. Chill and serve with crudités and pita chips.

Want a recipe for Skinny Guacamole? While avocados are a super food, they’re calorie dense. Swapping out some of the avocado with a pea puree lightens up this recipe and gives it a brilliant green hue.

Guac Attack


1 10-ounce bag frozen peas, thawed

1 ripe avocado, diced

1/3 cup sweet onion, finely chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped

3 T lime juice

1/3 cup plum tomato, chopped

¼ cilantro, chopped

Sea salt and pepper


Whirl peas in food processor until a chunky consistency is reached. Add avocado, onion, jalapeno and lime juice and pulse until combined. Pour into a bowl and fold in cilantro and tomato. Season to taste. Serve with baked tortilla chips and crudités.

Ever consider chickpeas … in a dessert dip? You’ve got to try it! Laura spotted the recipe on a healthy dessert blog called Chocolate Covered Katie. It’s high in protein, gluten-free and delicious. Your family and guests will never guess that there are beans hidden.



1 can of chickpeas, drained

Heaping 1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp baking soda

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

¼ peanut butter or nut butter

2 T milk

½ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup chocolate chips

2 T oatmeal


Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a food processor, and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips. Serve with graham crackers as well as apple and pear slices for dipping.

Buffalo Chicken Nacho Sensation

But, who says your whole game-time spread has to be only for the health-conscious? Dish Trip’s Chris Grimmig had an epiphany one day to combine two of his favorite football foods into one delicious dish: Buffalo Chicken Nachos. Layering shredded chicken, bleu cheese, and buffalo sauce atop tortilla chips may have been one of his best ideas yet.


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup celery (3 medium stalks)

1/3 cup green onion (2 bulbs)

2 cups of extra sharp shredded cheddar cheese (you can also mix in some crumbled blue cheese)

1 bag tortilla chips (pick your favorite, I used “Tostito’s Restaurant Style”)

1/2 cup buffalo sauce (your favorite, I love “Texas Pete’s”)

1/4 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing (I used “Hidden Valley Ranch”)


Bring 2 cups of chicken stock to a rolling boil.  Drop 2 chicken breasts into the boiling stock, reduce to simmer, and cook for 20 mins.

Meanwhile, dice 1/2 cup of celery and 1/3 cup green onion.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

After 20 minutes, remove the chicken from the liquid and shred finely with a fork.

In a glass casserole dish, layer tortilla chips and shredded cheddar cheese (make sure you don’t just cheese the top!!)  Put in oven for 7 minutes (or until edges of chips just slightly begin to brown).

While the chips cook, brown the shredded chicken in a sauté pan over medium heat with 1/2 cup of buffalo sauce.  Heat until the sauce is entirely soaked up by the chicken.

Remove casserole dish from oven and distribute chicken over the top of the chips.   Garnish with celery and green onion.  Drizzle with ranch or blue cheese dressing, and a bit more buffalo sauce.

Serve piping hot, with an ice cold beer!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @dishtrip or friend Dish Trip on Facebook for more dining details in a city near you.  Thanks for reading—we’ll see you on the next Dish Trip!

Dish Tip for Dish Trip? Do you have a favorite recipe or holiday tip that we should know about?  Share with us in the comments below.

This Contribution was Written By Dish Trip Team Members: Jamie Rogers, Laura Koster, and Chris Grimmig