When it comes to tailgating food, especially tailgating food for your grill, a good BBQ rub can either make or break your tailgate party. We had a chance to test out about some spice rubs that are not just something you find in your local grocery store but were put together by Daina Falk, a.k.a. The Hungry Fan.
Hungry Fan is led by TV personality, celebrity cook and spokeswoman, Daina Falk, or as she is better known by her moniker, “The Hungry Fan.” Falk is the daughter of sports agent, David Falk, and grew up around sports and extraordinary professional athletes. Combining her genuine, life-long interest in and enthusiasm for sports, Daina launched a media career in 2011, covering major sporting events such as the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and multiple Super Bowls for a variety of major networks. Utilizing her culinary training and flair for Game Day food, Daina simultaneously began a career as a celebrity foodie, doing in-person appearances and television cooking demos for such shows as NBC’s The Today Show and Late Night with Seth Meyers. Daina’s first cookbook (with Time Inc.) hits bookstores in August, 2016 and she begins a nationwide media tour to promote the book in April, 2016.
Needless to say, Daina Falk has been to a few tailgates and knows her way around a grill. She has created her first two spice packs, a BBQ Spice blend and a pumpkin spice blend. We were sent samples of both and had to try them out. Followers of @tailgatingideas on Instagram and @TailgatingIdeas on Twitter have probably already seen these photos.
The above photos were taken of a pork shoulder we smoked for about eight hours. We used the Hungry Fan BBQ Spice Rub and as you can see , it turned out fantastic. One of the things we liked most about the BBQ rub from Hungry Fan was not only the taste but the lower carbohydrates. As you know, most BBQ sauces contain a lot of sugars, thus giving them higher carbohydrates. In today’s day and age when many people are looking for places to cut carbs but still enjoy the taste of good BBQ, this might be a great way to do that. By using the Hungry Fan BBQ rub we were still able to get the BBQ sauce flavor but without all the unnecessary sugars and carbs.
We also tried out the Hungry Fan Pumpkin Spice blend. It may sound crazy but we actually tried the pumpkin spice blend in our beer. As you know pumpkin spiced everything is all the rage once the calendar goes to October including pumpkin lattes and even pumpkin beer. We added the Hungry Fan pumpkin spice to a milk stout and it turned it into a pumpkin stout and was actually quite good.
Now we all like a great tailgating recipe to impress our friends. In checking out The Hungry Fan website, we came across Yammy Barbecue Chicken Empanadas and thought it would be a great one to share. Here is the recipe.
Yammy Barbecue Chicken Empanadas
2 medium yams
1/4 cup sour cream
½ teaspoon Hungry Fan™ Pumpkin Spice Blend
4 chicken thighs
1 (2-ounce) pouch Hungry Fan™ Barbecue Spice Blend
1 cup Cin Chili’s Cin-Fully Hot (Cayenne Pepper) Hot Sauce
1/2 cup honey
10 (store-bought) empanada discs
Avocado oil or vegetable oil for frying
Fine sea salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Prick the yams several times each with a fork and place them onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tender.
Let the yams cool enough to handle, then remove skin. Place into a mixing bowl and mash well with a fork or potato masher. Add sour cream and Pumpkin Spice Blend and mix until incorporated.
Generously rub chicken thighs with Hungry Fan™ Barbecue Spice Blend.
Place the thighs into the refrigerator, covered, let allow them to marinate at least 30 minutes. (They’re best overnight).
In a bowl, combine the cayenne pepper sauce with the honey and another tablespoon of Hungry Fan™ Barbecue Spice Blend. Place the chicken thighs into the mixture and toss to coat.
Transfer the now coated chicken into a large skillet and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. Flip the chicken over and cover the skillet. Simmer until the liquid has thickened. Remove from skillet.
Use a fork to shred the chicken. Combine the chicken and any sauce left in the skillet into the yam mixture and mix.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the chicken and yam mixture into the middle of an empanada disc. Fold the disc in half to form a moon shape. Moisten the edges of the disc with and pinch to seal closed, or seal with a fork.
Fill a deep saucepan with oil to a depth of 2 ½ inches. Heat the oil until hot (350 degrees) over medium-high heat.
Cook the empanadas until golden brown, flipping once, for about 4-6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-covered plate to drain then, while still hot, sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Serve and enjoy!
We would highly recommend checking out hungryfan.com and taking a look at not only the spice rubs but their assortment of sauces as well. We’re sure you will find something to spice up your upcoming tailgates.