HAPPY SATURDAY everyone and I trust that your week has been an amazing one. I don't know about you, but I am SUPER excited that football season is back, but as much as I love football the part I truly look forward to the most is the home hosted "tailgating" parties! Which is why in celebration of this honored and sacred tradition, I came up with a delicious menu of foods that include dip, sandwiches, ribs and more!
So without further ado here is a custom Tony tailgating menu that will make you the MVP of your home hosted "tailgating" event.
First up on the menu, finger foods that are ready for guests as they arrive! In football terms, It's time for your starter team to make there first appearances.
Starter #1: Mexican Spinach dip
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces sour cream
1 (1 pound) loaf processed cheese (i.e. Velveeta®), cubed
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a 2 quart or 9x13 inch casserole dish, combine the cream cheese, sour cream and processed cheese. Heat in the microwave until ingredients are soft enough to stir together, about 1 minute. Stir in the shredded cheese, diced tomatoes with chilies, spinach and taco seasoning mix. Spread evenly.
Bake uncovered in the preheated oven until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle tomatoes and green onions on top before serving. This can also be made ahead of time, refrigerated, and baked just before serving.
Starter #2: Grilled pepper poppers
1/2 cup (4 ounces) soft goat cheese
1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
16 jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
2. Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well. Spoon about 2 teaspoons cheese mixture into each pepper half. Place pepper halves, cheese side up, on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill peppers 5 minutes or until bottoms of peppers are charred and cheese mixture is lightly browned. Carefully place peppers on a serving platter. Sprinkle with cilantro.
Most of your guests (if not all of them) should be at the party so it's time to dish up the more hearty foods of the menu which I call the "Halftime must-haves".
Halftime must - have #1: Tony's Tailgate (to die for) sandwiches
1 (12 count) package Hawaiian bread rolls
1 pound shaved Black Forest ham
12 slices Gruyere cheese
1 (8 ounce) tub PHILADELPHIA Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon dried minced onion
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cut all rolls in half. Place roll bottoms in 9x13-inch pan.
Place equal amounts of ham on each roll bottom. Top with Gruyere.
On each of the roll tops, spread a generous amount of the cream cheese spread. Return the tops to the bottoms making sandwiches.
In a separate bowl, mix together the butter, Worcestershire sauce, onion and Parmesan cheese. Pour over your sandwiches and let sit for at least 20 minutes. (You can make these ahead of time and allow to sit in fridge overnight.)
Place sandwiches, covered in foil, in a preheated 350 degrees F oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until warmed through.
Halftime must - have #2: Chili of course!
2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon bacon bits
4 cubes beef bouillon
1/2 cup beer
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 (10.5 ounce) bag corn chips such as Fritos®
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day. To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded Cheddar cheese.
Finally with the last quarters of the game comes the last foods to be be served on the menu, it's time for your "Quarterback keepers".
Quarterback keepers #1: Baby back ribs
4 pounds baby back pork ribs
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 clove crushed garlic
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Place ribs on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Scatter 4 cloves of sliced garlic over ribs. Cover, and bake for 2 1/2 hours. Cool slightly.
In a small bowl, mix together white sugar, paprika, salt, black pepper, chili powder, and ground cumin. Rub spices over cooled ribs. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
In a small saucepan, mix together brown sugar, cider vinegar, ketchup, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, onion, dry mustard, and 1 clove garlic. Simmer over medium-low heat, uncovered, for 1 hour. Reserve a small amount for basting; the remainder is a dipping sauce.
Preheat grill for medium heat.
Place ribs on grill. Grill, covered, for about 12 minutes, basting with the reserved sauce, until nicely browned and glazed. Serve with remaining sauce for dipping.
Quarterback keepers#2: Cucumber Mango Salsa
3 mangos - peeled, seeded and diced
1 cucumber - peeled, seeded, and diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 large onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Stir together the mango, cucumber, jalapeno pepper, onion, garlic, and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Season with lime juice, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
Enjoy the foods listed on the menu and please have a fun and safe football season. Until next week, Bon Appetit!
CEO/President of Vincente Living, Lifestyle Expert and Diehard Seattle Seahawks fan!