Deep breath in.
Hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill ... chicken ... barbecue!
It’s tailgating season once again. Time for friends and friendly foes to fire up the portable grills (or open up that catered hot box) and once again feast on the hopes of a winning season.
I went searching last week to see what new items were available for the football fanatic.
What we’ve assembled is an array of products: from plastic cups to fancy stemware; collapsible coolers to really cool insulated bags; koozies to cutting boards; chairs and even a portable table.
Don’t want to cook? Check out the list of local restaurants close to Williams-Brice. Classic tailgating fare of fried chicken and barbecue (with a few extras) are readily available. Just make sure you place your orders early.
Want to try something new, food-wise? There are some new cookbooks out, just in time for the first game.
The first is Taste of the Town by Todd Blackledge and JR Rosenthal (Center Street publishing) is subtitled “As seen on ESPN: A tour of college football’s best places to eat.” Funny, all of the SEC teams, schools throughout Texas, the Midwest and the South are represented with dining locations and recipes ... with the notable exception of North Carolina (unless you count East Carolina). Hmmm ...
Also new in print is The Southern Tailgating Cookbook: A Game-Day Guide for Lovers of Food, Football & the Southby Taylor Mathis (UNC Press). Not only are there recipes ranging from drinks and appetizers to main meals and desserts, there are also sections of helpful hints to those fans venturing out on away games. For instance, “Game Day Greetings” alerts you to the hand gestures and chants you may see or hear from the opposing team’s fans: “You’ll see hand gestures in South Carolina, where Gamecock fans make a ‘Spur’ with their hands by extending their thumb and pinky finger. North Carolina State fans’ ‘Wolf Pack’ and the University of South Florida’s ‘Go Bulls’ are similar to the Texas ‘Hook ’em.’ ”
This helpful hint page is just before the mixed drink recipes, so be careful out there whilst drinking and gesturing!
And of course, if you can find a copy, The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook by Southern Living is one of the best out there. Each SEC team is profiled and has a specific menu built around the school (or state).
South Carolina Foghorn Leghorn
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
3 medium strawberries (quartered)
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Muddle all ingredients in a 10-oz. glass. Fill glass with crushed ice and top with seltzer or club soda. Gently stir and garnish with a fresh strawberry.
1 pound box of angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 pound fresh fish (flounder, orange roughy or grouper)
1 bunch fresh spinach, cooked and drained well and combined with 1 to 2 tablespoons cream cheese and salt and pepper to taste
2 cups diced tomatoes, plus 1 or 2 sliced tomatoes
2 to 4 teaspoons each olive oil, butter or hollandaise sauce
1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped or 1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 lemon, sliced
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400
Cut 4-inch squares of tin foil and spray them with cooking spray.
Place enough pasta to fit into the middle of each square, cover with a 1/2 pound portion of fish, top with a teaspoon each of the spinach-cream cheese mix, sprinkle with diced tomatoes and drizzle with the butter, olive oil or hollandaise. Add a sprinkling of chopped garlic and a lemon slice.
Cover with shredded cheese and a slice of tomato
Seal the foil packets tightly and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes
Jerri Spurrier, Taste of the Town
Harry’s Hot Balls
Makes 24-30 balls
2 cups Bisquick
2 cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup seeded and finely chopped jalapeno peppers
1/2 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)
1/3 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
1 pound bulk hot sausage
1/3 cup chipotle Tabasco sauce
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl, mix together the Bisquick, cheese, jalapenos, scallions and peppers. Tear the sausage into small pieces and add to the bowl. Add Tabasco. Mix by hand until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Pinch off a small piece of dough and place in the palm of your hand. Roll it between your hands to form a 1-inch-sized ball. Continue until all of the dough is used. Place sausage balls on a lined baking sheet and bake 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Let sausage balls cool then store in a resealable container.
The Southern Tailgating Cookbook