As we near the start of the season, I must admit that while I love the actual games themselves, I do love the whole gameday experience very much including the tailgating options. Today we'll explore the 2011 choices for best tailgating food...beer to follow shortly.
Late shout out to Jennifer (@jennycupcakes1) who swears by @BCHysteria's wife's buffalo chicken dip w/tortilla chips....Wesley and I may have to check that out before the Northwestern game in a couple of weeks!
Little reminder you can follow me @BCMike22 and @BCDraft to keep up to date on...well, whatever the hell I want to tweet I suppose.
Enough twibble, on to the draft....
For those of you lucky enough to have enjoyed the bliss that is the beer-dog, you already know. Sure, dogs are great on the grill and I’m actually a fan of a little char on mine when I enjoy one off the coals, but make no mistake, the best way to eat a hot dog is to have a beer-dog. To make a beer dog, you need to throw in a quality dog (Nathan’s footlongs will do just fine) into a crockpot with a darker (not dark) beer, such as Shiner Bock, Sam Octoberfest, etc., for a couple hours at low temp, building up before you serve them. The dogs plump up and are super juicy, delicious melded with that fantastic dark malt flavor from the beer. Serve them on a toasted hot dog bun and whammo—you have the PERFECT tailgating food, a delicacy you can eat with one hand and enjoy a cold brewkowski in the other.
2Wesley) Spicy Hamburger
Mike, your first pick is going to be hard to beat. But I am going to go with my favorite game food, its hot off the charcoal grill a freshly made hamburger that has a few shakes of tabasco in the middle, and then heavy on the pepper on the outside
When it gets to the pink perfection its ready to scarf down.. But you have to cover it with a soft kaiser roll
Wesley—nice call on the spicy burger. I’m a huge fan of the McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning which actually is phenomenal on burgers. If you like burgers and spicy—make sure you give it a “fair shake”—you won’t be sorry.
Next here I’m going with the old standby, Cheez-balls. Now, while you might think taking the Cheez-balls this early in the draft is a mistake; let me tell you why it’s not. You put out ANY food along side the cheez-balls, and I promise you what will happen…people will reach in a grab a handful of cheez-balls and scarf them down while they look at the other food and decide what they want. They’re simple, super easy to eat, and provide a nice starchy base for liquid consumption as the day/night goes on. Plus, as an added bonus, you can throw them at your friends with respectable accuracy. Unlike Doritos or Potato Chips which will get soggy and nasty with the humid September games, the little orange bundles of cheez bliss will be crunchy ready to satisfy that craving at any point during the event.
4W) Cheese and Crackers
Mike, Sucks that you came with the Cheese balls, although good, tasty and very portable item but Cheese and crackers are where its at.. And I'm not trying to be uppity or anything like that at all.
Cheese and crackers are filling, tasty, and just great on a warm day to continually snack on and forget that time is flying by. Basically Cheese and crackers = the Bees Knees.
5M) The Pretzel Necklace
Well folks, Wesley just threw the draft. Cheese and Crackers? Can I get you some Pino Griggio with that, punkin? (in my best Keyshawn voice) C’mon, man!! While cheese and crackers are more than acceptable at a dinner party or an afternoon snack before dinner, you have to step up your game when tailgating my friend.
That’s why I’m rolling with for my third selection. I’m going with the beer festival favorite, the Pretzel necklace. Easy to assemble at home with a couple of feet of yarn or string, you can hang delicious pretzels ready to be eaten up whenever you choose. The real beauty in this is the hands-free aspect, you can have a beer in one hand, a Bloody Mary in the other, and still be able to grab a pretzel or two without having to put anything down.
Now I do have to say, there is SOME risk of these pretzels getting soggy with the summer air or losing their crunch, so you don’t want to overpopulate your pretzel necklace. 20-30 small ones or 8-10 bigger ones will do you just fine, and given how close it is to your pie hole I promise you’ll run out before they turn soggy. Lastly, for you single gents or ladies out there, it makes for a nice conversation piece and can lead to a nice co-ed asking to nibble on your necklace for a little game day sustenance.
6W) Chips – Doritos
Mike I knew you would hate on the Cheese and crackers, but I know you will be enjoying them on September 3rd!
With my next choice, I go with a good classic , easy choice.. Doritos are easy, cheap, no prep.. And a favorite amongst at all tailgating events both young and old
7M) BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Wesley, I like the Doritos pick. While I do think they can get nasty if left out over time, it’s tough to go wrong with Doritos—it's a safe choice as not many people really dislike them.
Next up, I’m going with another delicious option—BBQ pulled pork sandwich. They only, and I mean *ONLY* drawback to BBQ and pulled pork is that it is inherently messy, something that a tailgate aficionados such as our readers know all too well. Enter the hamburger bun, ready to sop up off of that tastiness for us. Now, let’s make sure you’re not just throwing meat on a bun and covering it with sauce—that would be a rookie mistake. The moisture from the pulled pork will go right through the bun and you’ll be left with a sandwich that dissolves in your hand and not in your mouth as the BBQ gods intended.
What you want to do is cook the pulled pork in advance enough that it’s still fully hot and in the cooker, but drained of the juices and has been simmering WITH a good base BBQ sauce first. If you want to dab a little more on the end or add a touch of spicy to it after it’s on the bun—that’s fine, but this way the pork will stick together with the sauce and allow you to enjoy this delight with one hand only—again, an important factor in the top food for tailgate debates.
8W) Deviled Eggs
Call me crazy, ok, ok, I am....but there is nothing better than a Deviled Egg or 12 on a hot day.. But hold on there cowboy a dozen deviled eggs can put a hurtin' on ya, especially if you are mixing with some frosty adult beverages.
Deviled Eggs are easy to transport, have a little zing on them, and a fan favorite, as you typically will never have to bring any back home, and yes go heavy on the paprika!!
9M) Raw Veggie Plate
Are you trying to get people sick? Deviled eggs out in the sun for hours? What’s next, raw chicken? Listen—I love me some deviled eggs, so I’m with you on your affinity for the dish, but a tailgating food they are not…unless it’s a noon game and you’re tailgating at 8 or 9 am….in which case I would have to admit it's a good call.
With my last selection, I’m going with the great enabler, the Raw Veggie Plate. First, it’s just nice to give your friend’s new vegetarian girlfriend something to eat while the rest of your Neanderthal friends scarf down various forms of roasted animals…but it can be part of your day, too. Know why? First you have that beer dog, follow it up with some cheez balls and in between grabbing a couple cold ones you throw down a BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. But what’s that? A couple carrots sticks and a broccoli floret or two and all of a sudden you’re not pigging out, you’re enjoying a well balanced meal. That’s right, you’re an adult enjoying a healthy option because you care about what goes into that temple of a body of yours.
What’s that? You’re asking me if I want another Beer-Dog? Oh sure, why not—I just had some veggies so I can afford to splurge a little I suppose....
10W) Hot Wings
Listen BCMike, I like seeing some vegetables on the side to decorate a plate, but I didn’t become this big bundle of joy by overloading on them.
You think I threw this draft , well here is where I win it… This is an easy HUGE crowd pleaser, that you can make your own on a grill, or you can go a lazier route and pick them up on the way. But hot wings are always a pregame W in my book!
BCMike drafted: Beer-Dogs, Cheez-balls, Pretzel Necklace, BBQ Sammich, Veggie Plate
Wesley drafted: Spicy hamburger, Cheese and Crackers, Doritos, deviled eggs, hot wings