Northwest NEWS

September 2, 2002

Local News

Dining In: It's Tailgate Time

Mix football, fans and great food and you've got the winning recipe for a terrific tailgate party.
   Tailgating has become an all-American tradition as family and friends gather before the game to fire up the "gridiron grill" and score big with comfort food favorites like juicy steaks, versatile and creative potato dishes and tasty salads.
   Tailgating dates back to the very first college football games in the 1800s when fans traveled by horse and carriage and packed picnics to enjoy when they arrived.
   Today, tailgating is a part of many athletic events, particularly college football, and menus range from fast food to five-course gourmet meals. Tailgating is festive and fun, and with these easy tips, you can plan a successful tailgate party.
   Tried and True Tips for Terrific Tailgate Parties
   Select food that can be either prepared ahead and transported to the event or cooked there on a grill.
   When transporting food, be careful to follow food safety precautions. Cold foods should be kept at 40ˇF or lower and hot foods should be at 140ˇF and above to avoid food poisoning.
   Don't forget to bring a heavy cloth/blanket on which to spread out the food or bring a table and tablecloth. Disposable plates, cups, silverware and paper towels are also a must. And remember to bring any utensils or kitchen tools you might need.
   Plan to arrive a couple of hours prior to the start of the game and fly a flag or some other identifying emblem so your friends and family can find you.
   All the food should be ready at least an hour-and-a-half before the game starts so that you and your guests will have time to enjoy the delicious food before it's time to clean up and head to the stadium.
   When cleaning up, put away any leftovers, throw away all your trash and safely dispose of any hot coals left in your grill.
   Bring your own trash bags and some water to clean your hands and face.
   Potato Black Bean Salsa
   3 c. diced, cooked russet potatoes
   1 c. diced pineapple
   1 medium mango, diced
   1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
   1 c. diced red pepper
   1 bunch green onions, sliced
   2 jalape–o peppers, seeded and finely chopped
   1/4 c. chopped cilantro
   2 Tbsp. lime juice
   1/2 tsp. kosher salt
   In bowl, combine all ingredients; toss to blend.
   Then put into 2 1/2-quart bowl, cover and chill at least 2 hours to allow flavors to develop.
   Serve with grilled beef. Makes 8 servings
   Grilled Potato Wedges
   4 large russet potatoes cut into eighths
   2 Tbsp. olive oil
   2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
   Toss potatoes with olive oil and seasoning in a 4 1/2-quart bowl.
   Grill potatoes over medium heat, flesh side down until tender, about 15 minutes turning once. Makes 8 servings
   Herbed Potato and Steak Salad
   2 pounds small red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
   1 medium zucchini sliced
   1 orange, red or yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
   1/3 c. halved ripe black olives
   1/3 c. olive oil
   6 Tbsp. white or red wine vinegar
   1 large clove garlic crushed
   1 tsp. salt
   1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
   1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
   1 tsp. sugar
   2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
   3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh herbs such as basil, dill, oregano, rosemary, sage
   2 boneless strip sirloin steaks grilled to desired doneness, cut into strips
   In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with water; heat to boiling. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. Drain potatoes and cool slightly. Place potatoes, zucchini, bell pepper and olives in 9-x13-inch baking dish.
   In small bowl combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, mustard, sugar, parsley and herbs. Pour over potatoes and toss gently. Add meat to potato mixture.
   Note: This dish is easy to transport to your tailgate party. At the site, grill the steaks and add to the salad. Serves 8
   Au Gratin Potatoes
   2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/4-inch slices
   4 garlic cloves, peeled, slivered
   1/4 c. butter
   3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
   1 1/4 c. milk
   1 c. (4 ounces) shredded sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese
   3/4 tsp. salt
   1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
   1/2 tsp. ground mustard
   6 green onions, sliced
   1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
   Heat oven to 350ˇF.
   Place potato slices and garlic in large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain potatoes and cool slightly.While potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add milk and cook, stirring constantly until thickened.
   Add cheese and stir until melted. Stir in salt, pepper and mustard. Place about 1/2 of the cooked potatoes in a 7-x11-inch baking dish which has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon on half of the cheese sauce and half of the green onions.
   Top with remaining potatoes, sauce and onions. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered until lightly browned and mixture is bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes. Makes 8 servings
   Whiskey Marinade for Beef
   1 c. of soy sauce
   1/4 c. of steak sauce
   1 c. of whiskey
   2 Tbsp. roasted garlic or 6 cloves of garlic, minced
   4 boneless sirloin strips
   Mix marinade together in a Pyrex Portables 9-x13-inch dish. Place steaks in marinade, cover and refrigerate for 1 to 24 hours. Remove meat from marinade, discard remaining marinade and grill to desired doneness. Makes 4 servings