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Knob Creek Whiskey Recipes/Review

Posted by Brandon On October - 18 - 2014

Bourbon. For fans of this particular spirit just seeing the word probably already has you thinking about that aroma. It’s my favorite distilled product because whatever it ends up in just seems better. Pecan pie is good on its own. Throw some bourbon into it and it gets even better. Grilled lemonade is pretty great all by itself. Throw some bourbon in and it becomes your new favorite cocktail. Pretty awesome stuff. Bourbon. For fans of this particular spirit just seeing the word probably already has you thinking about that aroma. It’s my favorite distilled product because whatever it ends up in just seems better. Pecan pie is good on its own. Throw some bourbon into it and it gets even better. Grilled lemonade is pretty great all by itself. Throw some bourbon in and it becomes your new favorite cocktail. Pretty awesome stuff.

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(Disclaimer: We did receive sample bottles of Knob Creek Bourbon and Rye Whiskey. The fact these samples were provided to us free of charge in no way influenced our opinion of the product nor did it impact our ability to test and review the product fairly and objectively.)symonburger

Recently I was contacted about Knob Creek whiskey and some recipes they had developed in conjunction with Chef Michael Symon. They offered up some samples to test a few out and I was happy to give them a whirl. All of the recipes seemed quite appealing, what else would you expect from a big name chef, so I decided to make life a little easier on myself and try just two to start with.  I felt like they, and the whiskey, would give me enough info that I could make a call on all of them. First I tried the Burger With Knob Creek® Caramelized Onions, Gruyere & Horseradish. The video they made for this recipe is here; I really had doubts that the onions would pick up any of that bourbon flavor but much like the things I mentioned above, they only got better. They were super simple to make and would be easy to incorporate into a tailgate party. If burgers frequently find their way onto your menus give these a chance.

I also took the opportunity to try the Bratwurst & Kielbasa in a Knob Creek Rye Jalapeño Beer Broth recipe. Rye whiskey is a spicier so it is really at home with strong flavors like jalapeno and red onion. You would not believe the smell that this recipe puts out. The brats that came out of it were super juicy, a great reason to use a bath/broth, and picked up a little of that flavor. The only thing I thought could be better on the recipe was the measurements, they don’t match what Chef Symon does in the video(he used a whole bottle of beer), and even more specifically the addition of the water to bring the total volume of the liquid up.  For what it’s worth, and I’m going rogue on this one, if you try this recipe I think grilling the sausage before hand might give you a little nicer end product.   It’s a technique that I’ve learned from my work with Johnsonville recipes.  I don’t have real scientific evidence to back it up, but I theorize that the sausage develops very small cracks in the casing when cooking and those cracks would allow some of that super tasty broth liquid inside the sausage while it soaks.

symonbratsDue to time and stomach, I was just plain stuffed, constraints I did not try the other recipes sent to me, but they sound just as good or better and every bit as applicable in the parking lot. They were the Grilled Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey Pork Meatballs on Skewers, Grilled Ribeye with Knob Creek® Bourbon BBQ Sauce, and the Grilled Korean and Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey BBQ-­‐Style Wings.   For space constraints I’ve decided not to pack all the recipes in long form onto this post.  You can get all the info from the end of the videos and many of the recipes, along with a lot more, are also listed on Knob Creek’s site.

Of course it wouldn’t be much of a review without tasting the whiskey by itself, neat. Now I’m really not the sort of guy who can sit there and tell you that there are notes of this and hints of that. What I can tell you is what I like, and I liked these whiskeys. They were exactly what I expected, and in a lot of ways that’s a very solid compliment. If I were to drop money on a bottle labeled bourbon or rye, and it tasted like something else I wouldn’t be too happy.

Normally a review would end here with my assessment on if a particular product has a place at your next tailgate. I’m deeming Knob Creek Bourbon and Rye Whiskeys “Tailgate Approved.”  Luckily I do have one last surprise for you all. Along with the review opportunity I was also able to bounce some questions of Chef Michael Symon himself. Yes that same Michael Symon you’ve seen on “The Chew”, “Iron Chef America”, and all over the airwaves.  However the interview pushed the length of the post way over what we like to do so it will be released soon in a separate post.  I think Chef Symon gave us a few nice little tidbits that you can probably apply to your next tailgate. Stay tuned for that.  Update 10/24/14: The interview with Chef Symon can be found here.

For more information and to see other recipes you can visit Knob Creek directly at www.knobcreek.com.

Johnsonville – Make the Best of the Wurst Tailgate

Posted by Brandon On January - 31 - 2014

As much as we love them, sports tend to come with their frustrations.  Being a fan of some franchises that haven’t  seen championship glory in a few years, if at all, this is nothing new for me. However I can say with some amount of pride, that my Buffalo Bills did not finish dead last this year.  That unenviable distinction went to the Houston Texans.

Even though their team fell short of expectations, Texans fans were still rewarded for their loyalty when Johnsonville’s Big Taste Grill showed up at a local shopping mall for one last tailgate party.   If there was ever a silver lining to be had from such a miserable season, the arrival of a tractor trailer size grill loaded with premier sausage would definitely be it.  If that wasn’t enough donations were accepted for a local charity that specializes in helping people who have fallen on hard times.

Below you can see a couple of pictures from the event, and you can click here and here for some videos that the local news station produced.   After those be sure to check out a super easy recipe that I found on Johnsonville‘s page for a sandwich that should be right at home for whatever festivities you may be planning for this weekend’s big game.

 

Reuben Brat Hoagie

(Originally found at http://www.johnsonville.com/recipe/reuben-brat-hoagie.html)

What you need

  • 1 package (19 ounces) JOHNSONVILLE® Original Bratwurst
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/3 cup Thousand Island salad dressing
  • 1/3 cup coarse ground mustard
  • 1 loaf (1 pound) French bread
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sauerkraut, drained
  • 12 slicesSwiss cheese, thinly sliced

Preparation

  • 1 Grill brats according to package directions. When cool enough to handle, cut into ¼-inch bias slices.
  • 2 In a skillet, sauté onion in butter until tender; set aside. In a small bowl, combine salad dressing and mustard.
  • 3 Slice French bread lengthwise and transfer to a baking sheet.
  • 4 Spread salad dressing mixture on the inside of bread. Layer bottom of bread with six slices of cheese, brats, onions, sauerkraut and cheese.
  • 5 Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut hoagie and serve hot.

70 Layer Dip Recipe

Posted by Dave On January - 30 - 2014

Dr Evil "Super Bowl"I don’t know if you heard or not, but apparently there’s this thing going on Sunday called the Super Bowl? You may have heard about it once or twice this week from possibly a co-worker or a neighbor.

Outside of Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday is probably the one day when Americans consume the most calories. One of the more popular Super Bowl snacks is the 7-layer dip. Usually consisting of refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, shredded cheese, salsa and either sliced black olives, diced tomatoes or onions or whatever you like. Pretty standard stuff. But we here at Tailgating Ideas got to thinking.

This year’s Super Bowl features the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. One of the underlying story lines is the fact that the two states these two teams hail from, are the only two states in the union to have passed laws that legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

With that said, we thought that since we never like to follow the beaten path, why would we bring just a plain, old 7-layer dip? In honor of the two states the Super Bowl participants represent, we thought a 70-layer dip consisting of typical 7-layer dip ingredients and stoner munchie snack foods would make for a better contribution to your Super Bowl party buffet table.

Anti 7 Layer Dip

So here it is. The TailgatingIdeas.com 70-Layer Dip recipe.

1. Refried Beans
2. Sour cream
3. Guacamole
4. Shredded Cheddar CheeseCap'N Crunch Crunch Berries
5. Diced Tomatoes
6. Jalapeno Slices
7. Sliced Black Olives
8. Ground Beef
9. Chunky Salsa
10. Crushed Fritos
11. Peanut Butter
12. Sliced Bananas
13. Mini-Marshmallows
14. Cap’n Crunch Crunch Berries
15. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – Uncooked*
16. Nutella
17. Yellow Cake Crumbles
18. Nutter Butters
19. Nilla Wafers
20. BBQ Sauce
21. Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies
Flammin Hot Cheetos22. Flaming Hot Cheetos
23. Double Stuffed Oreos
24. Twinkies
25. Cheez Whiz
26. Strawberry Pop Tarts
27. Gold Fish
28. Rice Krispie treats
29. Cheese Puffs
30. Top Ramen noodles
31. Chili
32. Macaroni and Cheese
33. Gummi Bears
34. Crushed Cool Ranch Doritos
35. Funyuns
36. Bugles
37. Girl Scout Thin Mints
38. Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey
Raspberry Zingers
39. Raspberry Zingers
40. Chex Mix
41. Tater Tots
42. Chorizo
43. Diced Red Onion
44. Spanish Rice
45. Black BeansMini Corn Dogs
46. Mashed Potatoes
47. Totino’s Pizza Rolls
48. Turkey Gravy
49. Chick-Fil-A Cross Cut Fries
50. Cream Cheese
51. Sweet Chili
52. Apple Sauce
53. Chicken Nuggets
54. Pulled Pork
55. Pastrami
56. Mini Cinnamon Rolls
57. Spagehtti-O’s
58. Sliced Hard Boiled EggsBacon Strips
59. Sliced Bagel Dogs
60. Mini corn dogs
61. Melted Velveeta
62. Marshmallow Cream
63. Chocolate Pocky
64. Grape Jelly
65. Cut up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
66. Sweet pickles
67. Chocolate pudding
68. Whipped Cream
69. M&M’s
70. Bacon

*The consumption of raw cookie dough is unhealthy and is dangerous. Please understand that we included this ingredient for comedic value because eating raw cookie dough has been a stereotypical drunken/stoned munchie food since, well, forever. Seriously, there are real health risks to eating raw cookie dough

Book Review: Pro Football Cookbook

Posted by Dave On November - 18 - 2013

Pro Football Cookbook CoverTailgating is all about friends, family, good music, good company and of course good food and drink. Most tailgaters break out the standard hot dogs and hamburgers because they are easy and have wide appeal. After all, who doesn’t eat hamburgers and hot dogs? If you are one of those tailgaters, not that there is anything wrong with burger and dogs, but if you are, you may need a little help to spice things up a bit.

Paul Swaney is the primary author of Stadium Journey and he has joined forces with chefs from around the country and have compiled 96 recipes – an appetizer, entree and cocktail, inspired by every NFL team and their respective home region.

Upon receiving a sample copy of the Pro Football Cookbook, I figured it would be filled with run of the mill recipes stolen off of the internet that are the stereotypical tailgating foods you would expect to see in the local parking lots. You’ve seen them before; Philly Cheese Steaks for the Philadelphia Eagles. Clam Chowder recipe for the New England Patriots. Even the cliche shrimp gumbo for the New Orleans Saints. But just like a good offensive coordinator in the NFL, the Pro Football Cookbook calls an audible every now and then and mixes it up for a surprise play that results in a touchdown.

(Disclaimer: We did receive a complimentary copy of the Pro Football Cookbook. The fact this sample copy was provided to us free of charge in no way influenced our opinion of the book nor did it impact our ability to review it fairly and objectively.)

As you might expect, some of the classic recipes reflecting the culture and tradition of a number of NFL franchises are included in this book. Classics like the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich (page 89) for the Kansas City Chiefs is a can’t miss. Paying homage to the Baltimore Ravens, the recipe for Maryland Crab Cakes can be found on page 21 because, if we learned anything from the movie Wedding Crashers, Crab Cakes and Football – That’s what Maryland does.

Garlic clovesIn addition to those recipes you would come to expect to represent a certain team or region of the country, to use a baseball term, you get thrown a curve ball every now and then. The entree recipe for Indianapolis is the Turducken Cordon Blue Burger. (page 77) You have to try the 49 Clove Garlic Chicken recipe (page 139) which not only pays homage to the San Francisco 49ers but pays respects to the Bay Area’s close proximity to Gilroy, Calif. which hosts the largest Garlic Festival.

I’ve only highlighted a few of the entrees but there are a total of 32 of those, 32 side dishes that accompany the entree and a cocktail that is either indigenous to the team’s region or uses a local ingredient that region is famous for. A classic example would be the Shiner Margarita (page 55) which uses Shiner Bock beer for the Dallas Cowboys drink recipe suggestion. Another would be Fried Pickles with Remoulade Sauce (page 107) for the side dish for the New Orleans Saints. (Fried Pickles are a New Orleans staple and no trip is complete without scarfing a dozen of these little babies.)

In all, food writers from 12 different states contributed to create this unique NFL themed cookbook. Other contributors to the cookbook include:

  • Baron Von Gottsacker, CEO and “Flavor Junkie” of Bent Spoon Gelato in Sheboygan, Wisconsin
  • Christopher Crump, Owner/Operator of Nomad Catering in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Joshua Guiher, Owner/Operator of the Frasier Street Deli in State College, Pennsylvania
  • John Dawson, Food Blogger for Patio Daddio BBQ in Boise, Idaho

Of course I was not able to cook and grill all 64 entrees and side dishes. I surely was not able to make and drink all 32 pro football inspired cocktails. But I know a good recipe when I see one and I will definitely be making some of these for the remainder of the football season and into the playoffs.

Dave Lamm with Pro Football Cookbook in front of stadiumFor tailgaters stuck in a rut, this cookbook would be great for some new recipe ideas to make everyone in the parking lot stand up and take notice. The Pro Football Cookbook is a fantastic road map for tailgaters to have a built-in menu to reference for a meal theme based on that weekend’s opponent. Your team is playing the Washington Redskins? Make Hogs Sandwiches, Roasted Redskin Potatoes with Mustard and a Red Gin Rickey (pages 160 – 163) to wash it all down. When it comes time for your Super Bowl party, find the section of the two different teams playing and make those recipes for your guests and people will think you are a world traveling genius.

After looking over all 96 entrees, sides and drink recipes included in the Pro Football Cookbook, we are going to give it the Tailgating Ideas “Tailgate Approved” stamp of approval. Some recipes may be better prepared at home on a griddle or in your oven but true tailgaters know that a few gadgets like the Sizzle-Q and the Tailgate HotBag can make all the difference.

Stadium Journey Pro Football Cookbook is available in hardcover from Amazon.com for $17.70 and would make a great gift for any tailgater this holiday season.

Bojangles’ Tailgate Everything

Posted by Brandon On October - 15 - 2013

As a longtime advocate for simple tailgates, it should come as no surprise that I don’t think cooking on site is essential for a good time. In fact I’ve had great times when we had pizza or sub sandwiches. Fried chicken is another great grab and go type food, and if you’re in the Southeast you’ve probably even seen the bright yellow box of Bojangles’ chicken in the parking lot at some point. If you have it’s probably because Bojangles’ has one of the most noticeable tailgating-centric marketing plans that I’ve seen thus far.

Probably the best thing about Bojangles’ offerings is that they have large order pricing listed for just about all of their menu items. While we’ve all seen the “Family Size” or other large order type of listing, Bojangles’ is the only one that I know of that labels these options with the word “Tailgate.” Even though you might think of your tailgating group as family, if you’re out with the bros you might find it more comfortable to order your grub by using slightly less affectionate terminology.

tailgateeverything

Recently I received an email telling me that they upped their tailgate love by introducing the “Tailgate Everything” promotion. Among the things included on their site are some tailgating themed tips for managing your life, items for purchase, and some interesting recipes where you can turn their regular menu items into something different at your party. The section on tips for improving your tailgate really spoke to me, although I think given the current situation in Washington we might have a tough time booking the Blue Angels for a flyover, but fingers crossed nonetheless.skewersbiscuit

They were also kind enough to pass along some vouchers for samples so I decided to give a couple of these recipes, the Grilled Cheddar Bo Biscuits and the Roasted Chicken Bite Skewers a whirl. Both of which I’m pleased to say were easy to make, and quite tasty.

From Bojangles’/TailgateEverything.com
Grilled Cheddar Bo Biscuits
Ingredients

  • 1 Bojangles’ Biscuit
  • 2 slices of your favorite cheese, cheddar or smoked Gouda
  • liquid margarine
  • foil wrap

Directions

  1. Cut the Bojangles’ Biscuits in half
  2. Place the bottom half of the biscuit on a double layer of foil wrap 
  3. Place 2 slices of your favorite cheese on the bottom half of the biscuit
  4. Cover with the top of the biscuit and spray with liquid margarine
  5. Wrap in foil
  6. Place on a medium hot grill, cook 3 minutes on each side until cheese has melted
  7. Serve with grilled vegetables of your choice or grilled watermelon

From Bojangles’/TailgateEverything.com
Roasted Chicken Bite Skewers
Ingredients

  • 2 orders Bojangles’ Roasted Chicken Bites (freshly purchased)
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 oz Italian salad dressing
  • 4 wooden skewers

Directions

  1. Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes prior to using
  2. Cut peppers and onion into 8 pieces each
  3. String skewers alternating the already cooked chicken bites and fresh vegetables
  4. Place on medium grill and brush with Italian salad dressing, turn and continue to brush until the vegetables are cooked (to speed up the grilling process, wilt the vegetables in the microwave before assembling the skewers)

Even though we typically reserve the “Tailgate Approved” designation for product reviews, I think Bojangles’ is deserving of it here. They are making it easy for the fan on the run to swing by and grab some eats to enjoy before the game, and they’re even having some fun with it outside of the parking lot. You can see more  and enter to win some prizes at tailgateeverything.com and they’re on Twitter @Bojangles1977.

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About Me

TailgatingIdeas.com is a tailgating blog dedicated to bringing you the latest and most intriguing tailgating ideas out there. Whether it is the latest tailgating gear reviews, a great new recipe or a funny list to make you smile, our goal is to inform and entertain the avid and the casual tailgater alike.

Started in August 2007 by tailgating enthusiast Dave Lamm, TailgatingIdeas.com has evolved into an advocate for tailgaters rights and is not afraid to touch on controversial issues confronting those who frequent the tailgating parking lots.

To learn more about TailgatingIdeas.com and our team of writers, reviewers, cartoonists and contributors, please visit the About Us page.

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