March Madness Potlucks

It’s that time of year again. Time for the best tournament of the season, the NCAA basketball tourney. The weeks of games across the country inspire watching parties and gatherings of all types. This is also a perfect time to have a March Madness potluck. You can gather your friends together and organize a potluck that is sure to be a tournament favorite. Here are some recipes that are surefire hits for all that attend your party.

Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dip, source: MyRecipes.com

Ingredients
DIP:

  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

WINGS:

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (such as Frank's RedHot)
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 pounds chicken wings, tips removed, wings separated at joints

Preparation

  • 1. Make dip: In a bowl, combine blue cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice and garlic powder, stirring well. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
  • 2. Make wings: Preheat oven to 450ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a large cooling rack on top of sheet and mist with cooking spray.
  • 3. In a small pan, combine ketchup, hot sauce, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar and butter. Cook over low heat, stirring, until well combined and smooth. Pour into a bowl and let cool.
  • 4. Pour 1/4 cup of sauce into a small bowl; cover and set aside. In a large bowl, toss wings with 1/2 cup sauce until coated. Place wings on rack. Roast for 10 minutes, then brush with more sauce. Roast 10 minutes longer; brush with more sauce. Turn wings over, brush with sauce and roast 10 minutes. Brush with more sauce and roast for a final 10 minutes.
  • 5. Remove wings to a large bowl and toss with reserved sauce. Serve with blue cheese dip on the side.

Chili con Carne, source MyRecipes.com

Ingredients
DIP:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 2 14.5-oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 15.5-oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15.5-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

Preparation

  • 1. Warm oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper. Sauté meat until no pink remains, 3 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
  • 2. Add sausage to skillet; sauté until browned, 3 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker. Add onion, garlic and jalapeños to skillet; sauté for 2 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin and oregano; sauté for 1 minute. Transfer to slow cooker. Pour beer into skillet; bring to a boil, stirring. Pour into slow cooker.
  • 3. Stir tomatoes and both kinds of beans into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours. Serve hot, with toppings such as scallions, sour cream and shredded Cheddar.

Mixed-Berry Pretzel Tart, source MyRecipes.com

Ingredients
CRUST

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

FILLING

  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 7 ounces plain Greek yogurt (not fat-free)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3-oz. packages strawberry gelatin
  • 1 16-oz. package frozen unsweetened sliced strawberries
  • 1 16-oz. package frozen unsweetened blueberries
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Preparation

  • 1. Make crust: Preheat oven to 400ºF; mist a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place crushed pretzels in bowl of a food processor. Add sugar and melted butter and pulse to combine. Press pretzel mixture into baking dish and bake for 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely, about 20 minutes.
  • 2. Make filling: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar until well blended, about 2 minutes. Fold in yogurt and vanilla. Spread over cooled pretzel crust, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
  • 3. In a large bowl, dissolve both packages of gelatin in 2 cups boiling water. Let cool until mixture begins to get syrupy, about 15 minutes. Stir in strawberries and blueberries and pour over cream cheese layer. Chill until firm, 2 to 3 hours.
  • 4. Whip cream until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Cut tart into squares and serve with whipped cream.

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