Killer Tailgate Treats for the Big Game

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Gimme a ‘S’! Gimme a ‘N’! Gimme a ‘A’! Gimme a ‘C’! Gimme a ‘K’! Gimme a ‘S’! WHAT DOES THAT SPELL?! No not ‘snakes’. Come on, it’s the cornerstone of any worthwhile sporting experience… it’s ‘snacks’ you silly goose! Those delectable little morsels that get you from meal one to meal two, your last defense against hunger, and the first thing you reach for on game day. With the big game right around the corner we at Home Chef thought you could all benefit from a play-by-play breakdown of some of the tastiest treats this side of the endzone. Whether you’re a fan of Broncos, Panthers, or just plain nachos the one thing we can all agree on is that having a solid spread is almost as important as the game. A weak lineup in the kitchen can be just as detrimental to the morale of your party as a team’s poor performance on the field. But don’t worry! Total taste bud domination is just a few sentences away. Simply cover the tailgate food pyramid (Dip, Wings, Sweets, Booze, and at the top of the pyramid the optional Fruit/Vegetable category) and the day won’t be judged by the winner of the game, but by who got to dip the last chip.

Dips

Let’s just dive in. The foundation of the tailgate food pyramid and an absolute essential to any viewing party, chips and dip go about as well together as a football and a quarterback. Whether you have a penchant for salsa, spinach artichoke, queso or something more exotic, dips are the perfect way to give your mouth a timeout from screaming at the refs from your couch.

We recommend: A simple guacamole.

(Serves 6)

  • 5 ripe avocados (slightly soft when pressed)
  • 2 large limes
  • One medium diced white onion
  • One large diced tomato
  • 3/4th a cup of finely chopped cilantro
  • One freshly chopped jalapeno for kick

Scoop out the avocados into a bowl and discard the seeds. Add lime juice first to prevent browning and then mix in the remaining ingredients for a quick and easy game day snack that’ll keep chips busy for hours.

Wings

Messy, saucy, but oh so satisfying! The game might be between Broncos and Panthers, but the win goes to the chicken. BBQ, Buffalo, Jerk, it doesn’t matter. If you’ve got football on the TV then you better have wings on your plate (and maybe a change of shirt).

We recommend: Honey Sriracha wings.

(Serves 6)

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup pure honey
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon regular soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lime juice

Turn your wings into wows with this simple sauce! While your wings are busy baking, melt butter in a small pot. While the butter is melting stir in honey, Sriracha, soy sauce, and fresh squeezed lime juice. Consistently stir until the sauce starts to bubble then remove from heat. When your wings are done transfer them into a large bowl, pour the desired amount of sauce over the wings, and toss until coated. Serve while crispy!

Sweets

Tailgating is all about the salty vs the sweet, the saucy with the dry. When your mouth is overwhelmed from the inevitable barrage of salt covered chips it’s time to call an audible. Cookies, cupcakes, and brownies offer a welcome resetting of the palate so you can better appreciate the smoky notes and oaky undertones of your next pile of sauce-laden wings.

We recommend: Chocolate, white chocolate chip cookies.

For a classic twist on an old favorite check out this fun recipe from thepionnerwoman.com

Booze

In the face of so many salty snacks it’s important to remember to stay hydrated. That’s where this critical section of the tailgating food pyramid comes into play. While anybody can grab a pack of cheap beer and enjoy the game, we think going the extra yard with a homemade spirit is a lot more fun.

Broncos fan? We recommend the Colorado Snowball.

1 part Colorado vodka, 2 parts Fresca, served with lime.

Panther’s fan? We recommend the Mint Julip.

2 parts bourbon, 1 part distilled water, a teaspoon of sugar, and 2 sprigs of spearmint.

Fruits/Vegetables

We know that getting the right servings of your fruits and vegetables daily is as important as a good night’s rest. But this is the big game, so don’t feel bad about taking a day off. That being said, if you’d like to trick your friends into ingesting some healthier fair, try stuffing some peppers with a lite cheese or covering a few strawberries in chocolate.

We recommend: Bacon Wrapped Dates.

(Serves 7-8)

  • 10 ounces pitted dates
  • 1/2 lb bacon (regular thickness) cut into thirds
  • Optional: goat cheese; mango chutney

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap the bacon around the date with the seam of the bacon facing downward, place on cookie sheet, and press down firmly to make sure bacon is secure. Bake for 20-25 minute or until crisp, let cool for 10-15 minutes, then serve!

Feeling creative? Make a small slice in the middle of the date and stuff with goat cheese or a mango chutney!