Here is the South—the absolute heart of collegiate football—tailgating whether at home on outside the stadium is oh so familiar. And, food is pretty much synonymous with waiting for the game to begin. Continuing for my strategy to a stress free tailgate party at home.
During the fall season, we begin planning the next week’s nibbles as soon as the cheers (or tears) are gone. We like watching our favorite team in the comfort of own home. Hey—you don’t have to stand in line for the bathroom; you can drink alcohol legally; and, you can have really good food for much less that a hotdog for five bucks.
Eating a medically mandated gluten free diet has taken some of the sparkle out of attending games in the stadium. The only thing we can eat safely is the popcorn—not much fun. Thus, we decided to give up our
tickets, opting instead to cheer on our Auburn Tigers from our cushy seats in
our den. Besides, partying inside is always climate controlled. Auburn
Hosting a lively group for an extended period of time, such as the Super Bowl, can pose its own set of challenges, especially for the one in charge of preparing the food. Unlike tailgating out of doors, folks tend to want to munch their way through the entire game.
I typically have some type of main dish such as Rick’s Special Quick Chili (Click for recipe) over baked potatoes topped with a little sour cream and cheese. Call me strange, but I like a slice of Jalapeno Cornbread (Click for recipe) to go along with mine. We usually eat our “entrée” during half time. My trick to making chili for a group, I make the chili the week before and freeze it so that I can be stress free when my guests ring the doorbell. I take it out of the freezer one day ahead and then into a crock pot just before the game starts so that it will be nice and hot by half time.
But, that leaves you with four total quarters that folks would like a little something to eat along as they watch the game. Having to spend a couple of days in the kitchen preparing for the BIG game is a real mood breaker. To help you out, I have developed four—count ‘em—four different and oh so easy dip recipes, as in 20 minutes or less to prepare. That is a different dip for each quarter.
Now, for the secret to making your Super Bowl party SUPER—buy a huge bag of gluten free 100% corn chips, fruit that has already been cut up and veggies that have already been cut up. The day prior to the game, slice the Against the Grain baguette, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt before popping in a 375 degree oven for about 8 to 10 minutes per side or until golden. When completely cooled, place in an air-tight container.
All of your friends will think you worked all week getting ready for game day. Don’t dare dispel that rumor!
Oops! I almost forgot about the beverages. I am fortunate to have an extra refrigerator that I basically use for entertaining. If not, a couple of ice chests or punch bowls will also work for keeping chilled drinks handy. Depending upon the number of guests, I like to have an assortment of soft drinks, water, wine and beer on hand. Having them already chilled down allows each person to serve himself.
Okay, what are you going to use to serve you food and beverages? As a rule, I don't use paper anything, but the whole idea of tailgating is informal. You would never use china and crystal outside the stadium, so why would you want to at home when watching the game with family and friends. With such good quality paper and acrylic disposable products available, why would you put yourself through the hassle? Be sure to have large garbage can lined with a tough garbage bag for easy cleanup.
I've given you permission to be casual and game plan for game day, the only thing left is to enjoy the game with your friends!
1 32-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
8 ounces shredded Mexican cheese blend
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
¼ medium onion, finely minced
½ teaspoon garlic salt
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Heat mixture in slow cooker until cheeses melt. Serve with 100% corn tortilla chips.
Yield: Approximately 5 cups
Creole Veggie Dip
2 cups small-curd cottage cheese
1 2/3 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
Salt to taste
Combine cottage cheese, sour cream, Creole seasoning and salt in bowl of food processor. Pulse until thoroughly combined. Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to three days.
To serve, transfer to bowl; garnish with fresh parsley and sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Arrange various veggies around dip.
Yield: 3 2/3 cups
Maple Infused Fruit Tip
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
Place heavy cream, sour cream & maple syrup in a medium mixing bowl. Combine thoroughly using a hand blender. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Serve with fruit of choice.
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Artichoke Caesar Dip
2 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts, drained & quartered
1 16-ounce gluten free Caesar salad dressing
2 cups Parmesan cheese grated
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1. Please artichoke quarters, Caesar salad dressing, Parmesan cheese and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process on high until contents are of a creamy consistency.
2. To serve, pour dip into serving bowl. Serve with toasted baguette rounds made from Against the Grain baguette.