If you spend the day of the big game in the kitchen, you're missing the point of a Super Bowl party.
Which doesn't mean you can't have great grub for the game. But getting the goods onto the coffee table shouldn't detract from your time on the couch in front of the screen.
Here are some tips for doing work in advance, so you can enjoy the big game:
¢ If your offerings will include veggies and dips, buy the produce washed and cut, or chop them the day before and refrigerate them separate plastic bags, says Sarah Breckenridge, an editor at Fine Cooking magazine.
¢ The dips should be done the day before, too. Most benefit from a day in the refrigerator, which gives the flavors time to develop. This is especially true if your dips involve any powdered seasonings.
¢ Hearty soups and stews are a good do-ahead option, says Kemp Minifie, executive food editor at Gourmet magazine. But avoid any with seafood, as it is likely to overcook when reheated.
¢ Guacamole can be tricky to make ahead, as it discolors quickly. The best bet is to do it that morning.
And be sure to add lemon or lime juice, as the acid will slow the browning. Also, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the guacamole before refrigerating.
¢ While it's not a good idea to do nachos ahead of time (the chips will get soggy), they can be prepped. Dice the tomatoes, chop the lettuce and brown the ground beef. Then it's just a matter of assembling and heating.