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Not-so-average Tailgating Food

Chef's Corner

Whether you’re tailgating at the stadium or at home, average hotdogs and hamburgers aren’t going to cut it anymore. It’s time to step up your game and try these gourmet mix-and-match options.

Guy cooking food on a grillThe Bases

The brilliant thing about this plan is that with four options for the base everyone at your tailgate is guaranteed to find something.

Rotisserie Chicken Taco—To make things as easy as possible, purchase a rotisserie chicken and soft-shell flour or corn tortillas the night before the big game. Shred the chicken with a fork and keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Lobster Po’boy—Buy a few lobster tails and steam them in salted water the night before. Once cooked, shred the lobster meat and keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Buy hoagie-style rolls of your choice.

Bacon-Wrapped Hotdog—The hotdogs should be cooked on a grill the day of the game. You can prepare the night before, however, by wrapping the bacon around the hotdogs and storing them until they are ready for the grill.

Simple Sliders—As with the hotdogs, the mini-hamburgers should be cooked on the grill the day of the game, but you can prepare by making the patties and storing them.

the toppings

While good meat is crucial for a successful tailgate, the toppings are what make the party fun. For easy  cooking on the big day, make the sauces the night before. Here’s our suggested lineup for toppings:

bacon wrapped hot dogs

1. Red Pepper Rémoulade—Mix mayonnaise, chopped sweet red pepper, capers (or chopped gherkins) and a dash of cayenne pepper to taste.

2. Simple Curry Sauce—Mix a cup of coconut milk with your desired level of curry paste. Add a little butter or flour for thickness.

3. Guacamole—A simple recipe includes avocados, cilantro, chopped onion and lime

4. Sautéed Onions—Slice red or white onions and sauté with olive oil, garlic salt and pepper. You can add red bell peppers as well.

5. Cream Cheese

6. Sauerkraut 

7. Sriracha

8. Pickled Jalapeños

9. Lemon and Lime Slices

10. Hard Cheeses—Cheddar, Cotija, jack, etc.

The Combos

There are a 101 ways to mix the ingredients listed, but below are a few combinations that are sure to be crowd-pleasers.

hamburgers on traysThe Touchdown: Bacon-Wrapped Hotdog with cream cheese and sauerkraut or sautéed onions

The Goalkeeper: Rotisserie Chicken Taco with guacamole, sautéed onions, jalapeños, Sriracha and lime

The Money Shot: Lobster Po’boy with Red Pepper Rémoulade and lemon

The Stolen Base: Simple Slider with cheese and Red Pepper Rémoulade 

The Trick Play: Rotisserie Chicken Taco with Simple Curry Sauce and lime 

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