Are you ready for some NFL football? Are you ready for a college gameday party? Then try any one of these recipes to ensure your tailgating experience is done the right way. Chicken, beef, lamb or seafood will surely make your tailgate party better by using your grill in that cold ass parking lot. These recipes are especially good due to the fact they can be eaten right off the grill with no plates. Kind of like touch football only with food.
- Charcoal grill, charcoal and charcoal starter
- Tin foil
- Meat thermometer
- Tupperware tubs
- Tongs, a spatula and some skewers
- 2lbs – Lamb Chops
- 2lbs- 80/20 Ground Beef
- 2lbs – Jumbo Shrimp
- Package of Chicken Drummies (8-10)
- 1 Can of Crab Meat
- Pineapple chunks, sliced cheese, cream cheese, bacon bits, Buns, and some good crackers
- Condiment station: Sliced onions, fresh lettuce, sliced tomatoes, BBQ sauce, hot sauce, cocktail sauce, salt, pepper with ketchup, mustard and mayo in squeeze bottles.
You’re good to go on the cooking utensils and ingredients. Now it’s time to put this beast of a spread together. The key to any great tailgate is the prep. Marinating times, pre-assembling the menu and building a good condiment station will surely make it easy for the cook and tasty for the guests.
- Lamb chops – Place the lamb chops, some good Greek salad dressing and fresh chopped rosemary in a Tupperware tub to marinate for a few hours in the fridge.
- Beef – In a large bowl, combine 2-3 lbs ground beef, some diced onions, some bacon bits, a splash of BBQ sauce and salt and pepper. Patty out your ¼ lbs burgers and separate each with a square of wax paper.
- Shrimp – Peel (leave tails on), devein and rinse before skewering 4-5 shrimp alternating with a chunk of pineapple after each. Place in a Tupperware tub.
- Chicken Drummies – Easiest of the bunch. Splash with hot sauce, salt and pepper and drop in them in their own Tupperware tub.
- Crab Meat – Open cream cheese and place in a nice Tupperware tub. Open Crab Meat can and drain and pile on top of the cream cheese. Cover the pile with Cocktail Sauce, add some sliced lemon wedges and then seal the Tupperware lid shut.
Charcoal starters come in a few different styles. The Bison Company has a 7 minute starter that just throws a flame on the briquettes till they turn orange and begin their journey to ash. Charcoal Chimneys are another style that can be found in most hardware stores or online at Amazon . Or you can even go the DIY route with a homemade version of these starters using the steps as posted in the Instructables website. Any way you start the coals, NEVER USE LIGHTER FLUID! Everything will taste like ass… I mean gas.
You’ve parked into the perfect tailgating spot at the arena. You’ve invited the coolest party buds in town. Your jersey is clean and very visible along with that flag mounted to the back of your truck showing your team spirit. Now, open the 6ft table and run a strip of tin foil down the center. Crimp the foil to each end securing it to the table as this will be your serving platter for the day. Arrange the condiment station and as each menu item comes off the grill, toss it into a pile on the tin foiled table and let the boys go at it like hyenas. Crab dip and crackers, shrimp skewers, lamb chops, bacon burgers, and chicken drummies. All walk about foods with no silverware! Easy clean up too, just roll up the tin foil and toss in the garbage. Tap the keg, crank up the music, light the grill and let’s get this party started.
- Appetizer: The Crab / Cream Cheese dip with those wonderful crackers. Just open the crackers and the Tupperware. Let the boys dig deep and squirt with the lemons.
- 1st Course: Shrimp on skewers. Once your coals have turned orange, place these on the heat and they will cook quickly. Baste with a thin layer of BBQ Sauce and watch how fast these walk around food stick go down.
- 2nd Course: Lamb Chops marinated in Greek dressing. These just need a good 3-4 minute sear on each side depending on thickness. Internal temperature on the meat thermometer should read 145ºF. Bonus, these can also be eaten with your hands.
- 3rd Course: These burgers got a little kick with the addition of bacon, onions and sauce when you made the patties. Try squeezing the centers of each to be a little thinner than the outer edges. This will help them cook more evenly and not still be cold and raw in the middle. These will finish quick when going for medium rare so watch carefully and try to only flip once to avoid breaking the burgers in half. Flames are not your friend, so move them to cooler areas of the grill as needed. Put the buns on the grill, face down, for a bit to toast. Cheese can be added with the trick of placing the bottom bun on top of the cheese and flipping over again onto the plate. This puts the cheese on the bottom and allows for more toppings to be added easily.
- Last Course: Chicken Drummies are a nice finish to any tailgate as these too can be eaten by hands, not requiring a plate, right up to the arena’s gate. Drop the chicken drummies down on the grill and sear good on one side and then flip. The trick to good drumsticks is to be sure and rotate them often as the meat is around a bone. Once the meat has slide up the bone a bit, they should be done. Sauce right before serving so not to burn and be sure to have some napkins on hand.
- Dessert: That would be the beer. The copious amounts of malt and barley fermented into a golden lager that satisfies the tongue and soothes the soul. Gulp, sip or chug your favorite flavor to your hearts content. After all, its freaking game day! Bottled, canned or kegged this wonderful elixir numbs your brain to the fact that your team sucks.
If you add all this up, and your friends bring the beer, you’re only out about $50-75 bucks and everybody eats very well. So grab a Frisbee, a football or those dumbass cornhole boards and let the games begin. Easy cooking, easy eating and beer. Not much else is needed for a great tailgate other than awesome friends and a win! The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder so enjoy this time of the year anyway you can, preferably near a charcoal grill in the parking lot of your favorite football team.
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em and don’t forget your grill.