- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Along with the beer, the chips and the salty nuts, you might want something a little more substantial to nibble on while you’re watching the Super Bowl on Feb 1.

After all, you’re probably burning a lot of calories yelling at the television.

For many years, halftime provided a respite so hungry fans could break for a meal. However, because the entertainment is as worthwhile as the game these days, you probably don’t want to skip a minute.

Ham-filled mini cheese-and-olive biscuits are the perfect solution to the football fan’s dilemma.

You can make the biscuits several hours in advance, so you’re not in the kitchen during a crucial play.

The servings are flexible and feed anywhere from two to five fans, depending on appetites, though two ham-filled biscuits makes a light entree. That way you’re covered, whether you’re watching the game as a twosome or inviting another couple to join you.

Here are some pointers to make assembly even easier:

• Prepare the biscuits several days in advance. Once they’re baked, cool and freeze immediately.

• To serve, place the biscuits on a baking sheet and heat in a preheated 350-degree oven for five to 10 minutes. Consume the biscuits you thaw and heat; the quality will deteriorate if you refreeze them.

• Each 2-biscuit serving has 218 calories; 12.5 grams total fat; 5.5 grams protein; 22 grams carbohydrates; 9.5 milligrams cholesterol; 313 milligrams sodium and 1 gram dietary fiber.

Cheese-and-olive biscuits

Makes 10 biscuits (2 to 5 servings).

1 cup flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup margarine, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/3 to 1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons pitted chopped green olives

Combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Cut in margarine and cheese until mixture is crumbly with little chunks of margarine. Add milk, about 2 tablespoons at a time, until dough comes together. It should be soft, but not wet. Gently knead in olives.

Pat dough to a disk about 3/4-inch thick on a lightly floured surface.

Cut into 10 2-inch circles with cookie cutter. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake in preheated 425-degree oven for 17 to 18 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Remove from oven. Remove biscuits to wire rack to cool.

Note: Freeze any leftovers.

Ham and arugula on cheese-and-olive biscuits

Makes 2-5 servings.

10 cheese-and-olive biscuits

Dijon-style mustard

10 paper-thin deli ham slices

Baby arugula leaves

Open each biscuit and put a dab of mustard on bottom half. Fold ham slice into quarters and place over mustard.

Top with two or three arugula leaves. Close with top half of biscuits.

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