The recipe for the bean chili, barbecue potatoes, crisp and maple cream appear below. Now put on your team shirt, grab your noisemaker and enjoy the game.

Looking ahead to game day on Sunday? Whether you are watching professional or college football or international soccer, tailgating or watching from the living room couch, any gathering to watch a game implies food. No matter the game or the venue, there will be halftime! And at halftime, fans get hungry.


There’s always takeout, but real fans want real food, not something from the deli or the pizza delivery guy. So I’ve put together two menus. Both are friendly to outdoor or indoor cooking and eating. But taking into consideration that some fans are watching their calorie/cholesterol/sugar/fat (fill in the blanks) intake, I included a second menu.


The first is packed with hearty traditional offerings like sausage, peppers and onions; the second, lighter but no less zesty, is meat-free. This does not mean that you can’t add some meat to the second or mix and match the menu items.


The salads are easy to fix. The hearty Wedge Salad relies on quartered iceberg lettuce drizzled in blue cheese dressing and topped with bacon bits. Bottled dressing works just fine if you can find a good one. Buy a small wedge of blue cheese and crumble it into the prepared dressing for a chunkier version.


For the lighter salad, pick up some loose greens at the supermarket and make a dressing. Just start with oil (about 1/4 cup) and lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons), then add maple syrup and Grey Poupon mustard (about 1/2 teaspoon each). Whisk and taste as you go, adding salt and pepper and more of any of the above ingredients. When it tastes good to you, it’s done!


Change up the old standard sausage, peppers and onions, adding Portuguese sausage to the Italian sausage for bigger flavor. If you’re cooking indoors, make this a day ahead. Then slice the cooked sausages on the diagonal and put them with the peppers and onions on a baking dish. Add a few squirts of red wine and let it cook at 375 degrees until nicely browned.


With the baked beans, save yourself the hassle all the soaking, boiling and draining. Instead, buy many, many cans of your favorite beans and heat them up with some extra goodies. Try mustard, ketchup, chili sauce, bourbon, beer, pickle relish, chopped fried red peppers, Tabasco or Chipotle sauce — not at all once, but a mixture of the ones you like best.


For the victory celebration, serve a crisp –– any crisp –– because they are easy and in season. Top it with maple cream (better than whipped cream from a spray can).


The recipe for the bean chili, barbecue potatoes, crisp and maple cream appear below. Now put on your team shirt, grab your noisemaker and enjoy the game.


Menu I




Wedge Salad with Iceberg Letttuce, Bacon & Blue Cheese Dressing

Sausage, Peppers & Onions

Barbecue Potatoes

Jazzed-up Baked Beans

Menu II




Mixed Greens Salad with Maple-Mustard Dressing

Black Bean Chili with Orange & Cumin

Barbecue Potatoes

BLACK BEAN CHILI WITH ORANGE AND CUMIN


Easily doubled for a big crowd. Grate orange zest, the colored portion of the peel, with a hand grater (don’t press down too hard as white pith under it is bitter).




2 oranges, zest grated and juiced

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup chopped red onion

2 cloves garlic, chopped

4 teaspoons each chili powder and ground cumin

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed, drained

2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes and juice

Tabasco sauce

Sour cream

Chopped cilantro

1. Heat oil in heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Mix in garlic and spices. Add beans, tomatoes and half the orange juice. Simmer over medium heat until heated through, stirring often, about 15 minutes.


2. Mix in orange zest and remaining orange juice. Season to taste with hot sauce, salt and pepper. Serve with sour cream, chopped cilantro and extra Tabasco.


Makes 6 servings.


BARBECUE POTATOES




1/4 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons garlic salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

10 large red-skinned potatoes (about 5 pounds), quartered

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


2. Mix oil, chili powder, onion powder, garlic salt, sugar, paprika, salt and cayenne in a large bowl. Add potatoes. Toss to coat.


3. Transfer to baking sheet, spreading potatoes in one layer. Bake potatoes until browned and tender, stirring from time to time, about 55 minutes.


Makes 6 servings.


CRANBERRY-PEAR CRISP


Good baking apples make a great substitute for pears in this crisp.




3 cups fresh (or frozen) cranberries

3 ripe pears (i.e. Bosc, Bartlett) peeled, halved, cored, chopped

1/2 cup raisins, soaked in covered hot water 30 minutes, drained

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small bits

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter 2-quart baking dish.


2. Toss together cranberries, pears, raisins, sugar and vanilla.


3. Process oats, brown sugar, nuts, flour, cinnamon and salt to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture starts to hold together.


4. Spoon fruit mixture into prepared baking dish; cover evenly with topping. Bake until fruit is bubbly, top browned, about 50 minutes. Serve warm.


Makes 6-8 servings.


MAPLE CREAM




1 cup heavy cream

5 tablespoons real maple syrup

Whip cream to soft peaks. Continue whipping while slowly drizzling in maple syrup. 


Makes about 1 1/4 cups.


Linda Bassett is the author of “From Apple Pie to Pad Thai: Neighborhood Cooking North of Boston.” Reach her by e-mail at KitchenCall@aol.com.