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Bring the Big Game Home!
World champion quarterback Joe Theismann and champion pitmaster Chris Lilly share tips for the ultimate backyard tailgate

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Luck O' the Irish Lamb Chops With Minty Ranch Dipping Sauce
Smoked Chicken With Alabama White Sauce

(Family Features) - Just because you don't have tickets to this week's most talked about football match-up doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself on game day. Why not use the opportunity to fire up the barbecue, gather friends and family, and bring the tailgating party home?

Chris Lilly, champion pitmaster and owner of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Ala., says the key to a successful backyard tailgate is a winning game plan. "I like to do as much as I can prior to game day so that when my guests arrive, I am free to enjoy myself," said Lilly. "Easy steps such as marinating meat the night before, preparing a checklist of necessary items to avoid last minute trips to the market, and choosing simple recipes make all the difference when you are trying to catch the first quarter."

World champion quarterback and restaurateur, Joe Theismann, says he has spent some of his favorite game days in his own backyard. "Tailgating at home gives you the ultimate home field advantage," said Theismann. "The grill is always going, the glasses are always topped off, and there is always room for a quick game of pickup football between family and friends."

For an even more authentic game day experience, create a menu featuring recipes that incorporate the flavors and ingredients of each team's hometown. When the University of Notre Dame takes the field this year, Theismann will be firing up Luck O' the Irish Lamb Chops to honor his alma mater. Meanwhile, Alabama native Lilly will grill Smoked Chicken With Alabama White Sauce over a bed of Kingsford Charcoal while cheering on the University of Auburn.

For more ways to bring the tailgate home, including additional tips and game day recipe match-ups, visit www.MealsTogether.com. While there, share your go-to plays, including charcoal grilling recipe secrets and strategies, for a chance to win great prizes during college football season.

Winning Game Plan

For a successful backyard tailgate, execute the following key plays:

  • Score an Early First Down. Marinate meat the night prior to game day, using a large Glad Storage Bag for even and easy coating.
  • Create a Burger Blitz. For a better game day burger, poke a small hole in the center of the patty. This will stop the meat from rising in the center, allowing for a delicious, evenly-cooked burger. For extra flavor, try adding a bit of KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce.
  • Avoid Pass Interference. Make sure there is a radio or small television by the grill and in the kitchen so you don't miss any of the action.
  • Pack the Stands. To really draw a crowd, add a bit of Kingsford Charcoal with Mesquite to your grill - neighbors won't be able to resist the rich, earthy smell of the charcoal fire. Before you know it, your yard will feel a bit like a stadium parking lot.
    - Take It Into Overtime. To really regulate cooking temperature, use two grills: on the larger grill, create hot and cool zones to rotate your meat from searing to indirect cooking; on the smaller grill, create a normal fire and cook hors d'oeuvres and desserts.

Luck O' the Irish Lamb Chops With Minty Ranch Dipping Sauce

Created by football analyst, world championship quarterback and restaurateur Joe Theismann on behalf of Kingsford Charcoal

Lamb Chops are one of the easiest and quickest meats to grill and one of the tastiest. A quick spice rub and you are ready to grill. Pick up a second rack for a heftier serving.

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 rack of lamb, cut into 8 chops
  • Juice of half a lime
Dipping Sauce
  • 2 cups plain yogurt, drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 package Hidden Valley The Original Ranch Dips mix
  • Chopped fresh mint

    1. Combine spices in small bowl and rub half over lamb chops. Turn over lamb chops and rub in other half of spice mix.
    2. Prepare charcoal grill and place each chop directly over hot charcoal. Grill 4 minutes; turn each over and grill another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest. Squeeze lime juice over chops and serve with dipping sauce.
    3. To make dipping sauce, combine yogurt, mint and dip mix and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve. Place a dollop of dip on each plate of lamb chops.
    4. Garnish with chopped fresh mint.
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Preparation Time
5 minutes

Cook Time
8 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Smoked Chicken With Alabama White Sauce

Created by champion pitmaster Chris Lilly on behalf of Kingsford Charcoal Southerners like their food with a little (or a lot) of spice, and Alabama is no exception. Chicken breasts are brined, smoked and dunked into a tangy, peppery Alabama white sauce. This multi-step process insures moistness of the meat and a complex, layered flavor.

  • 8 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Alabama White Sauce
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    1. In medium bowl add brine ingredients and mix well. Place chicken breasts in brine and refrigerate 1 hour. Remove chicken breasts from brine and wipe off excess salt.
    2. In small bowl add Alabama White Sauce ingredients and mix well.
    3. Preheat charcoal grill to 400°F. Place chicken breasts on hot grate over direct heat 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Remove chicken breasts from grill when golden brown and firm to the touch. The internal temperature of chicken breasts should be 160#&176;F.
    4. Submerge each chicken breast into bowl of Alabama White Sauce. Remove from sauce and serve.
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Preparation Time
15 minutes plus 1 hour for marinade

Cook Time
12 minutes

Makes 8 servings
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SOURCE: Clorox

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