Tasty tailgating recipes for tailgating times are on my mind. Our favorite team is picked, we’ve rallied our friends, and the ideas for tailgating recipes are flowing. Tailgating is a parking lot or stadium grounds pregame ritual based on the principle of celebrated camaraderie and good food and drink shared among home team friends and fans. Tailgating sets the pregame football excitement in motion.
As fall and football season make their collective presence known, the party atmosphere is everywhere. Selecting tailgating recipes takes time and thought. Dishes pleasing to the masses and the pocketbook as well as ones that prove easy to prepare determine many tailgating menus, ours included. Here’s the starting lineup of tailgating recipes for this season’s tailgating times beginning with the pass a good time crowd-pleaser, Cajun Lemonade.
2 cups light rum
1 (12-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
1 (1-liter) bottle club soda, chilled
Crushed ice & garnishes: sugarcane sticks, lemon slices
Stir together first 3 ingredients. Add club soda just before serving. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish, if desired.
Pub-Style Pretzels and Beer Cheese Sauce
1 ½ cups warm water
1 packet active yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour (will need extra for kneading)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 large egg
½ tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon flavored seasoning of your choice (This recipe uses McCormick Grill Mates Molasses & Bacon)
Smoked Gouda and Cheddar Beer Sauce Ingredients
Yield: about one cup
½ cup of beer (This recipe uses Sierra Nevada for its strong taste. Use a wheat beer or blonde ale for a milder taste.)
½ cup grated smoked Gouda
½ cup grated sharp cheddar
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 ½ tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon ground mustard
¼ teaspoon paprika
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place a non-stick baking mat on a cookie sheet.
In a large mixing bowl, add yeast to warm water. Stir until dissolved. Stir in salt and sugar. Once mixed, add flour one cup at a time. Mix thoroughly until dough is thick and no longer sticky.
Create a floured surface for kneading. Knead dough for approximately 5 minutes. Separate dough into even sections, about six.
Roll dough into ropes (Image 1), making width even throughout. Make pretzel shapes by creating a circle with the dough. Twist ends and press down to finish shape (Image 2).
On a plate, mix sea salt and seasoning together for sprinkling. Beat egg in a small bowl and brush on pretzel tops. Place pretzels on baking sheet, and sprinkle salt mixture on top.
Bake for 10 minutes. After the first 5 minutes, switch to broil. Keep an eye on them to avoid over-browning. Remove from oven and serve warm with beer cheese dip.
Smoked Gouda and Cheddar Beer Sauce
In small saucepan, heat beer on low until it bubbles. Slowly whisk in flour, then add cheese (Image 3). Whisk until smooth.
Add sour cream, mustard and paprika while whisking. Add more flour for a thicker sauce, or more beer for a thinner sauce. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Yield: 6-8 pretzels
Tailgating Olive Dip
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup olives, chopped (I use green salad olives)
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. juice from olives
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon hot sauce, optional
½ cup finely chopped pecans
Soften cream cheese. Mix remainder of ingredients. Best to prepare the night before to allow flavors to marry. Keep chilled during transport. Serve with pita chips or cracker of choice.
Imitation is the highest form of tailgating tablescapes flattery.
Flamin’ Cinnamon Cider
In a large saucepan heat cider over medium heat until hot, but not simmering. Add candies; stir until melted. To serve, float apple slices on the cider mixture. If desired, top with orange peel strips.
I like items that pull double duty. Is it an urn for a fall foliage centerpiece or is it a stylish holder for bottles of liquid fall in a glass aka apple cider?
Caramel Peanut Popcorn Snack Mix
15 cups popped popcorn (about 3/4 cup kernels)
vegetable cooking spray
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup butter
½ cup dark corn syrup
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts
1 (10.5 oz.) package candy-coated peanut butter pieces (such as Reese’s Pieces)
Preheat oven to 325°. Spread popcorn in an even layer on a lightly greased (with cooking spray) heavy-duty aluminum foil-lined 13- x 18-inch pan. Stir together brown sugar and next 3 ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; bring to a simmer, and simmer, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Pour over popcorn, and stir gently to coat.
Bake at 325° for 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Add peanuts during last 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and spread on lightly greased (with cooking spray) wax paper. Cool completely (about 20 minutes). Break apart large pieces, and stir in candy pieces. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.
Corn and Black-Eyed Pea Salad aka Death Valley Salad
2 cans black-eyed peas
2 cans white corn, drained
2 cans yellow corn, drained
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium purple onion, finely chopped
1 medium bunch green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper, optional
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup white vinegar
Chop bell pepper, celery, purple onion, and green onions, add to large bowl. Add black-eyed peas, drained white & yellow corn. In separate mixing bowl combine sugar, oil, and vinegar, mixing well. Pour over salad, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 ½ pounds ground sirloin or chuck
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large Spanish onion (1 ½ pounds), coarsely chopped
8 large garlic cloves, minced
3 large jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
2 ½ tablespoons sweet paprika
¼ cup tomato paste
Two 28-ounce cans peeled Italian tomatoes, coarsely chopped and juices reserved
3 cups chicken or beef stock or canned low-sodium broth
Two 19-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Pinch of cinnamon
Coarsely chopped cilantro, for serving
Sour cream, for serving
Heat the olive oil in a enameled cast-iron casserole. Add half the ground beef in large chunks and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat until brown on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Stir and cook until most of the pink is gone, about 3 minutes; keep the meat in large chunks. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining meat.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the casserole. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeños and cook over moderately low heat, stirring often, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the ancho powder and paprika and cook over low heat, stirring often, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the paste is glossy and starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, the chicken stock and the cooked beef and any accumulated juices. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Add the kidney beans, chipotles and oregano and simmer for 30 minutes longer. Season with salt, pepper and a large pinch of cinnamon. Remove from the heat and let stand for at least 20 minutes. Reheat before serving.
Serve the chili in bowls, topped with a generous sprinkling of cilantro. Can be refrigerated for up to 4 days and frozen for up to 2 months.
Food presentation, especially when tailgating, should be fun. These Chili Cook-Off Wooden Spoons from Personalized Gallery take first, second and third place in the category of how fun!
Serveware ideas include mahogany wood chargers, sugar molds used as a utensils holder, cast iron skillets in assorted sizes, Lodge cast iron mini serving bowls perfect for chili, soup and stew, cake stands, chalkboard picks, baker’s twine, take out boxes, and galvanized hot dog trays (clearance priced right).
Burlap is the original if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it tailgating accessory. I like to keep burlap on the list of tailgating decorating and tablescape items because of its durability and inexpensive price tag. Versatile for table covers, table skirts and table runners, burlap is a very forgiving fabric. Spills happen. If a stain should occur, cover it up with a serving tray or platter of food (hey, every good tailgating host and hostess does it) for the duration of your tailgating soiree. There’s no use in crying over spilled chili, dip, cocktails, etc… Between tailgating times, head over to the fabric store or online retailer near you for several more yards of this tailgating friendly fabric.
Jack Cheese and Smoky Chipotle Fondue
4 slices bacon, halved crosswise
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red or yellow sweet pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (16 ounces)
2 8 – ounce carton sour cream
2 -3 teaspoons finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
French or Italian bread, cut into bite-size cubes
Tortilla chips or tortilla chip cups
In a heavy, medium saucepan, cook bacon till crisp. Remove bacon; reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Drain bacon on paper towels; crumble bacon and set aside.
Add green onion, sweet pepper and garlic to saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat about 5 minutes or till vegetables are tender. Stir in flour. Stir in cheese, sour cream and chipotle peppers. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.
Transfer cheese mixture to fondue pot over a fondue burner or slow-cooker on the low-heat setting. Top with crumbled bacon. Keep warm up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with bread cubes or tortilla chips.
The Hummingbird Cupcake
Prepare cupcakes according to box directions. Allow to cool. Stir 1 cup chopped toasted pecans and 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon into canned frosting. Garnish with fresh pineapple wedges, banana chips, and pecan halves.
Go Team Go Serving Pitcher. Pick one up on your way to the game at Cracker Barrel. Yes, Cracker Barrel.
Citrus Tea Punch
6 cups water, divided
½ cup sugar
3 whole cloves
2 family-sized tea bags
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 cup orange juice
1 (6-ounce) can thawed lemonade concentrate, undiluted
Lemon slices (optional)
Combine 4 cups water and sugar in a heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until sugar dissolves; remove from heat. Add cloves, tea bags, and cinnamon; steep 5 minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve into a pitcher; discard solids. Add remaining 2 cups water, juice, and lemonade concentrate; stir well. Chill. Serve over ice, and garnish with lemon slices, if desired.