The NFL Playoffs begin this weekend and if you’re looking for the perfect foods to watch the action, check out these recipes from Rania Harris!

Meatloaf Sandwiches

  • 2 pounds ground beef, pork and veal (a meatloaf mix)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • Three 1-inch slices good-quality stale white bread
  • Milk, for soaking bread
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup grated onion
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons store-bought balsamic syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Italian-American crusty white bread, for serving


Lettuce, tomato, red onion, thinly sliced fresh mozzarella and torn fresh basil leaves


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the meat in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Trim the crusts off the bread and place in a small bowl, cover with milk and soak to soften. Squeeze the milk from the bread and crumble as you add it to the meat. Then add the eggs, cheese, parsley, grated onion and garlic, and mix to combine. Form into a loaf about 4 inches high and put on the baking sheet. Spray with olive oil.

Mix the ketchup with the balsamic drizzle and Worcestershire. Season with pepper. Spread about 1/3 cup of the ketchup mixture over the top of the meatloaf. Bake until cooked through, about 1 hour.

Serve the meatloaf hot or cold on thick-sliced Italian white bread with the remaining ketchup mixture and the lettuce, tomato, onions, mozzarella and basil.

Serves: 8

Hoagie Dip in Bread Bowl

  • 1 medium sweet onion – diced
  • 3 pickled pepperoncini peppers – diced
  • ½ head iceberg lettuce – chopped
  • 1 large tomato, halved and seeded – diced
  • ¼ pound genoa salami – diced
  • ¼ pound ham – diced
  • ¼ pound prosciutto – diced
  • ¼ pound roast turkey – diced
  • ¼ pound provolone cheese – diced
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (or more to taste if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 1 round loaf Artisan style bread
  • Additional Artisan bread – cubed for dipping


Combine the diced vegetables, meats and cheese in a large bowl. Add the mayonnaise, olive oil, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes and stir until everything is well combined. Correct seasoning, if necessary. Refrigerate until ready to assemble and serve.

Carve out the center of the bread loaf to make a bowl (don’t cut through the bottom) and cut the scraps into bite-size pieces. Serve the hoagie dip in the bread bowl, with the extra bread and cubed Artisan bread for dipping.

Serves: 6 to 8