Tailgating cookbook scores culinary touchdown
Scripps Howard News Service
By MARY CONSTANTINE
Scripps Howard News Service
It's tailgating time, and Oxmoor House Publishing has scored big with its recent release of "Southern Living: The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook."
The book provides an informative look at every SEC school campus (complete with color photos) -- including the recently added Texas A&M and Missouri teams. Each section includes a list of places to dine and historic places to visit, as well as school traditions.
For instance, am I the only one unaware that Texas A&M does not have cheerleaders? Instead, they have a five-member squad of male "Yell Leaders" appointed by the student body. It also has the nation's largest military marching band.
At Louisiana State University, mascot Mike, the Siberian-Bengal tiger, lives in a plush enclosure next door to the Baton Rouge stadium. Before kickoff of each home game, Mike is wheeled around Tiger Stadium in a custom-built trailer.
But that's not all the 256-page softbound book includes.
There's also a "Tailgating Food Safety Playbook" that offers tips on safely storing and transporting foods; instructions on how to prepare a grill; and "The Ten Commandments of College Football Fandom." Those include commandments such as "Thou shalt stay through the fourth quarter, rain or shine," and "Thou shalt support the coach."
The book features more than 150 tasty recipes, from Tennessee's Rocky Top popcorn (recipe below) to Alabama's Roll Tide breakfast roll.
There are eight categories: Countdown to Kickoff (food safety, etc.); Early Morning Warm-ups (breakfast and brunch items); Cheers (sweet tea, lemonades and spritzers); Crunchtime (appetizers); Best Bowls (soups, chilis and stews); Hot Prospects (grill recipes); Sideline favorites (side dishes); and The Sugar Bowl (desserts).
For the diehard SEC fan who enjoys traveling with the team, this book is a keeper.
A great way to stay warm on a cool autumn day of tailgating is with a winning bowl of taco soup.
Yield: 14 cups
1 pound ground beef
2 cans (16 ounces each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 package (16 ounces) frozen cut green beans
1 can (15 ounces) ranch beans, undrained
1 can (14.5 ounces) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package (12 ounces) frozen whole kernel corn
1 bottle (12 ounces) bottle beer (see note)
1 envelope (1 ounce) taco seasoning mix
1 envelope (1 ounce) Ranch dressing mix
Corn chips for topping
Cheddar cheese for topping
Brown ground beef in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 8-10 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Return to Dutch oven.
Stir pinto beans, next eight ingredients and 2 cups water into beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Serve with desired toppings.
Note: 1 1/2 cups chicken broth may be substituted for beer.
ROCKY TOP POPCORN
Yield: 2-3 servings
4 bacon slices
1 (1.3-ounce) bag popped microwave popcorn
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons buttermilk Ranch dressing mix
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels. Coarsely chop bacon. Pour popped popcorn into a large bowl. Toss with bacon, Parmesan cheese, melted butter and buttermilk Ranch dressing mix. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.
Note: Testing was done with Orville Redenbacher's Natural Simply Salted 50 percent less fat gourmet popping corn.
Mocktail or cocktail? Feel free to add a touch of Volunteer spirit to this drink.
TENNESSEE SMOKY SIPPER
Yield: 1 serving
1/4 cup grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Seltzer water or club soda
Grapefruit slices, garnish
Lime slices, garnish
In a 10-ounce glass, stir together grapefruit juice, honey and lime juice. Add crushed ice and top glass with seltzer water or club soda. Gently stir and garnish with grapefruit slice and fresh lime.
(Contact Mary Constantine of The Knoxville News Sentinel in Tennessee at firstname.lastname@example.org