Bring On the Bar Snacks

By: Sara Levine
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With the one-two punch of March Madness and St. Patrick’s Day, chances are you’ll be spending some time in a bar this weekend. In addition to a well-poured Guinness, it’s always a treat when the establishment’s snacks go beyond peanuts and pretzels that have been sitting around for who knows how long.

The rules for great bar snacks are simple: No knife and fork required. Easy to share. Salty and/or spicy to encourage more drinking. And no matter how virtuous we are in our daily meals, we usually indulge when it comes to bar food — so it better be worth the splurge. Michael Symon gets this, so he’s making his own bar snacks on Symon’s Suppers tonight. Once he whets your appetite, you might want to start cooking and move the weekend reveling and game-watching to your place.

Michael visits Iron Chef buddy Marc Forgione at his eponymous restaurant in New York to check out Marc’s gourmet bar food specialties, like pig’s head sliders on house-made potato rolls, brushed with a little melted lard for good measure. Michael’s verdict: “It’s dirty good, in such a good way.”

If you’re squeamish about slow-cooked pork face, don’t worry. At home, Michael uses ground pork shoulder instead of the head in his Chipotle Porky Joe Sliders. He also fries up homemade Chips With Blue Cheese Fondue and Crispy Rock Shrimp With Lime and Coriander. Michael’s got lots of tips for fried perfection, like making sure your potato slices are super dry before they hit the oil, and adding ginger ale to traditional tempura batter to give the shrimp a hint of sweetness.

Tune in tonight at 9:30pm/8:30c for Symon’s Suppers.

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