This year the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day are four days apart, which is an improvement on previous years since the NFL moved the Super Bowl to the second Sunday in February.
Food for the two occasions couldn’t be more different; the Super Bowl is all about easy-to-eat foods such as pizza, Buffalo wings, chili, hearty soups, hoagies and chips with dip. Valentine’s Day is about fine dining and chocolate, whether at a favorite restaurant or at home.
Because of the massive amount of food consumed, the Super Bowl is considered a major food holiday, right up there with Thanksgiving and Christmas. Valentine’s Day stands on its own as the one day a year dedicated to the pursuit and declaration of love. It’s also a major restaurant holiday that is so popular that reservations spill over into the days before and after. An estimated 58 million pounds of chocolate is sold each Valentine’s Day, with a reported 57% of all celebrants buying candy for their true love. It’s third in national candy sales behind Halloween and Easter.
If you are planning on dining out, you need to make your reservation soon. If you are buying chocolate, you should be able to find some up until the last minute. And if you are hosting a Super Bowl party, get your list together and head for the supermarket soon. Have fun on both days, even if your favorite team isn’t playing.
Here is a recipe that will serve as a Valentine dessert or a treat for a Super Bowl party. It comes from Julie Klein, owner of Lovin’ Oven in Frenchtown, N.J., by way of Edible Jersey magazine.
¼ pound melted butter
2½ cups crushed chocolate wafer cookies
2½ cups sugar
4½ tablespoons light corn syrup
9 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Combine in a bowl:
4½ ounces butter
9 tablespoons heavy cream
1½ tablespoons sour cream
3½ cups chocolate chips
2 cups heavy cream
For the crust:
Toss melted butter and crushed cookies together until moistened and push into 12-inch removable-bottom tart pan. Par-bake for 10 minutes, until set and smelling like chocolate!
Let crust cool while making caramel.
For the caramel:
Whisk to combine, set over high heat on stove, and leave alone until it boils and turns dark amber in color.
Meanwhile, combine in a bowl:
When caramel mixture is amber, remove from stove and add butter, heavy cream, and sour cream (being very careful to avoid steam burns). Whisk everything together until smooth and butter is completely melted, pour into cooled crusts, and refrigerate until set (2 hours).
When cooled, top with chocolate ganache:
Heat heavy cream until almost boiling then pour over chocolate in heat-resistant bowl to melt. Once melted together, pour ganache over top of caramel tart.
Cool for 2 hours to set ganache. Top with chunky sea salt right before serving.