Cave Spring Connection Mama Taney's Kitchen

It’s game time

Super Bowl is quickly approaching.  Not only is it the biggest game of the year, but it is also one of the biggest food and eating days.  One of the things that makes Super Bowl so much fun when it comes to cooking is the variety that each year brings.  Sure, you have your staples, but ultimately the dishes made depend on who is playing whom. 

This year we’ve got the New York Giants playing the New England Patriots, and I’ve got two dishes for you that are guaranteed to please.  Bacon-Wrapped Italian Meatballs in honor of the Giants and Clam Dip in honor of the Patriots.

photo by Carrie E. Cox
photo by Carrie E. Cox

Bacon-Wrapped Italian Meatballs
This is an amazing dish that is easy to make.  You can use either store bought Italian-style meatballs or you can make your own.  The recipe below includes everything you need to make them yourself, but if you choose to use store bought simply allow them to thaw and skip to step four.

2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 ½ cups breadcumbs
2 – 3 TB. Parsley
2 – 3 TB. Olive Oil
2 packages sliced bacon
1 twelve ounce bottle of dark beer, like a stout
2 cups brewed coffee
1 bottle bbq sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar

1. Prepare your meatballs first by mixing the first five ingredients together in a bowl.  If you really want your meatballs to stand out, grate the Parmesan cheese yourself by hand as it makes a world of difference in taste. 
2. Once everything is blended nicely, begin making your meatballs.  To give you an idea on how big the meatballs should be, we’ll be wrapping them with half a strip of bacon, so you don’t want to make them too big. 
3. Heat your olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat.  Place formed meatballs in the frying pan, leaving enough room that they can be rolled about a bit to ensure even cooking.  Using a slotted spoon will help a lot here, as you can easily roll them in the pan as well as lift them out when they’re done.  Each meatball should take approximately four minutes to cook.  When they’re done cooking transfer them to a plate and allow to cool.
4. Make your sauce.  In a large bowl whisk together the beer, coffee, BBQ sauce (I used Sticky Finger’s Carolina Classic), and brown sugar.
5. Cut the strips of bacon in half.  This can be easily done using a clean pair of kitchen scissors.  Wrap each meatball with a half-strip of bacon, securing with a toothpick. 
6. After wrapping the meatballs with bacon, place them in the bowl of sauce. 
7. Load the bacon-wrapped meatballs on your grill, to be cooked over indirect heat for about one and a half hours at 275-300F.  You can use the grill grate as well as the warming rack of the grill.  If, for some reason, you don’t have access to a grill you can also return them to the frying pan.  The main thing in this step is cooking the bacon to desired crispness.
8. Serve on a large plate or platter and be ready for them to disappear before your eyes.

photo by Carrie E. Cox
photo by Carrie E. Cox


Clam Dip
When thinking of the Patriots everyone is quick to think of serving clam chowder but, really, who wants to eat soup while watching football.  Occasionally you want something different, but nine times out of ten, the best foods for football are those that don’t require a lot of attention while you eat.  After-all, if you’re focusing on your food you’re more likely to miss part of the game .. or the commercials!

8oz package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1 (6.5 ounce) can minced clams
2 – 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 – 3 dashes Frank’s hot sauce
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. chipotle seasoning
a pinch of ground black pepper

1. This one is very easy to make.  Simply blend all the ingredients listed above together.  You can tweak it to your preferences by adjusting how much Worcestershire and hot sauce you use.  Serve with crackers.


Next week in Mama Taney’s Kitchen we’ll be cooking up recipes for Valentine’s Day, so make sure to check it out.  If you have any questions about the recipes listed, or if you have a recipe you think should be tried out, you can contact Carrie at

Mama Taney’s Kitchen is written by Carrie E. Cox

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