While we all have competitive spirits here at DMA, we realize that we can’t all be professional athletes. So, when relegated to the sidelines, we do our best to make spectating an EXPERIENCE. This, of course, includes those comfort snacks that we turn to when close games have us nail biting, when celebrating big wins and, hopefully not as often, drowning our sorrows with some sort of delicious cheese concoction. With the Big Game approaching, we wanted to share our experiences with our readers and have compiled “The Perfect Tailgate Party Menu”. And while perfect for sports-focused get-togethers, we recommend this line-up for any event – Oscar-watching party, birthday celebration, or a random Tuesday night! Try one or two, or go for the whole she-bang. What would you add to make this menu even more perfect? GO __________!!! (enter your home team here)
The Entertainer – Dan’l Mackey Almy
This dish – the specialty of a fellow member of our Fightin’ Texas Aggie brethren – is always a hit at our tailgates.
Stuffed and Grilled Dove Breasts
Cleaned and washed dove breasts (bone in)
Peppered bacon (get the best you can buy – this makes a dramatic difference)
One bottle of dark beer (I use Shiner)
Season salt (not much)
Small pinch of garlic powder
Marinate breasts overnight (I have found the longer the better and usually try to do 48 hrs).
For the cream cheese mixture, grill a few de-seeded jalapenos until they are soft.
Chop finely and fold them in to the room temperature cream cheese. Stuff breast cavity with cream cheese mixture and cover the mixture with a 1/2 de-seeded raw jalapeno. Wrap breast tightly in peppered bacon and secure with a toothpick (completely covering the dove breast). Grill dove breasts on medium grill until rare (biggest mistake is over cooking – the easiest way to tell, take them off when bacon is crisp). Watch out for pellets (I only head shoot mine so you are safe at my tailgate) and enjoy with friends and beer.
The Health Nut – Brock Nemecek
I prefer to do my “hunting” at the grocery store, where I am always guaranteed to bag my limit. And then I bake ‘em up teriyaki style!
Teriyaki Chicken Wings
5 lb. bag chicken wings (I prefer drummettes)
1 tsp. fresh minced garlic
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. honey
1 bottle Kikkoman Teriyaki sauce
3/4 c. ketchup
Begin by washing the chicken wings (or drummettes) under cold water and pat them with a paper towel until dry.
To make the marinade, mix together the garlic, teriyaki sauce, sugar and 1/4 c. of the honey. Pour over the chicken wings and stir to make sure all the wings get covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator for about 6 – 8 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add a cooling rack to a baking pan, and spread the wings in a single layer. Mix the remaining honey, ketchup, and 3/4 cup marinade and generously brush chicken wings. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Take the pan out of the oven, remove the foil, and place them back in the oven for about 10 more minutes until the skin becomes a bit crispy and the meat tender to the fork.
The Visualizer – Kelly Pritchett
Why do I love this for tailgating? Maybe because blue corn tortilla chips make the perfect dipping utensil… or maybe because the zesty flavors of cilantro and lime keep me pumped as I’m sawin em off with the Fightin’ Texas Aggie 12th Man… OR maybe because it’s one of my mom’s special recipes… and nothing trumps a recipe from Mom!
Corn and Black Bean Salad
3 ears fresh sweet corn, boiled 3 minutes
15 ounces black beans,cooked, rinsed and drained
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
juice from 1/2 lime
salt and pepper to taste
*Whisk together all ingredients.
Remove corn kernels from cobs and toss with black beans, red pepper and red onion. Add to dressing and incorporate. Chill for a couple hours. Add cilantro and toss again just before serving.
The Analyst – Marci Allen
For me, there’s nothing that says football like fresh asparagus, crispy prosciutto and parmesan cheese!
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
16 spears fresh asparagus, trimmed
16 slices prosciutto
Fresh parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and coat with olive oil.
Wrap one slice of prosciutto around each asparagus spear, starting at the bottom, and spiraling up to the tip. Place the wrapped spears on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove, and shake the pan back and forth to roll the spears over. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until asparagus is tender, and prosciutto is crisp.
Sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese on top while still hot. Serve immediately.
Some of our other favorite tailgate foods:
Bleu Cheese Burgers
3 pounds lean ground beef
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup minced fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
12 French rolls or hamburger buns
In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, blue cheese, chives, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, salt, and mustard. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat grill for high heat. Gently form the burger mixture into about 12 patties. Oil the grill grate. Grill patties 5 minutes per side, or until well done. Serve on rolls.
1 can artichokes (chop to small pieces)
1 cup Kraft Light Mayonnaise (not regular, not low fat)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese + a enough to sprinkle on top
Mix items together. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 350F degrees for 30-45 minutes until top turns brown. Serve with crackers.
8 medium flour tortillas
16 oz light sour cream
1.5 packages light cream cheese
1 packet of dry Ranch dressing mix
2 large pickles (chopped)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 package deli turkey or ham
Mix sour cream, cream cheese, dry ranch dressing mix, chopped pickles and chopped onion. Spread mixture evenly over flour tortillas. Place desired amount (about 3-4 slices) of ham or turkey on flour tortilla. Roll flour tortilla into tight cylinder; place rolled tortillas in 2 large ziplock bags and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. When ready to serve, take tortillas out of bag and slice one inch sections along the entire length – one tortilla yields about 10 roll-ups.