Quick and tasty ideas for game day
(Family Features) Take your tailgating game to new heights this season with fresh dishes that are easy to make and serve, whether your tailgating tradition takes place at the game or at home.
Fast prep times and short ingredient lists make these recipes a cinch to prepare in advance and have ready to go as soon as you reach the parking lot or before guests arrive. The star ingredients are naturally hardwood-smoked sausages and seasoned deli meats from Eckrich, which offers a variety of smoked sausage flavors in traditional ropes and bun-length links as well as gluten-free deli meats such as Black Forest ham and oven-roasted turkey, all with just the right blend of seasonings for a rich, savory taste.
You can switch up the flavors of these recipes by subbing in different varieties of smoked sausage, such as replacing the original rope-style smoked sausage with Eckrich Jalapeno & Cheddar Links. The roll-ups are also easy to customize for guests using any type of deli meat, and they’re easy to enjoy on the go if you need a quick bite on the way to the stadium.
Tailgate Like a Pro
Try New Toppings
Smoked sausage and deli meats are easy to add to a bun for an instant meal, and there's plenty of ways to dress your tailgate menu up or down based upon the preferences of your guests. Be sure to keep some basics on hand for those who prefer traditional preparation, but for the more adventurous types, try out these ideas for toppings that create a new dimension of flavor.
- Grilled onion
- Grilled peppers
- Grilled, roasted or sauteed mushrooms
- Spicy mustard
- Flavored ketchup (think spicy, fruity or sweet)
- Ethnic flavors like curry or marinara sauce
- Hot sauce
- Roasted corn relish
- Crumbled or shredded cheese
- Bacon crumbles
- Repurpose coffee filters as holders for your sandwiches. They're easy to hold and help keep your favorite toppings contained.
- Up-cycle an empty six-pack container into a convenient cookout caddy to hold napkins, condiments and utensils. Not only is it quick to grab and place on the table, but it helps keep napkins from blowing away in a breeze.
- For kabobs, keep wooden skewers from charring by soaking them in water before threading on ingredients.
- Prepare toppings the night before and arrange them in a disposable foil pan for a quick and easy DIY topping bar.
Million Dollar Moment
This season, Eckrich – the official smoked sausage and deli meat sponsor of the College Football Playoff – is once again hosting the Road to the National Championship sweepstakes. Fans around the country will have the chance to make a 20-yard throw for $1 million at some of the biggest college football games of the season, including the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship in Atlanta. Visit EckrichFootball.com for your chance to win.
Find more game-day recipes at Eckrich.com.
Grilled Sausage Skewer Sandwiches
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 regular size package Eckrich Smoked Sausage
- 1 small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 6 wooden skewers, 10 inches long
- 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing, divided
- 6 bolillo or sandwich rolls, split
- 1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- Heat grill to medium-high.
- Cut sausage into 1/2-inch thick slices. Thread sausage, onion and bell peppers alternately onto skewers. Brush 1/4 cup salad dressing on skewered sausage and vegetables.
- Grill until sausage is golden brown and vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes, turning once.
- Brush remaining salad dressing on rolls. Fill rolls with grilled sausage and vegetables. Divide avocado and cilantro onto each.
Tip: To broil sausage rather than grill, heat broiler to medium-high, follow the same skewer preparation instructions and broil about 10 minutes, or until sausage is golden brown and vegetables are crisp-tender.
Ham and Turkey Roll-ups
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 4 ounces Eckrich Deli Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
- 4 ounces Eckrich Deli Black Forest Ham
- lettuce leaves
- 2 tablespoons chunky guacamole
- 1/4 cup chopped cucumbers
- 1 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Layer turkey and ham slices. Layer lettuce, guacamole, cucumber, cheese and bacon crumbles. Roll meat and secure with toothpick.
Potato Salad with Smoked Sausage
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 3/4 regular size package Eckrich Smoked Sausage, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 3 small red potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds), cooked and quartered
- 1 can (4 ounces) pitted ripe olives, drained and halved
- 2 cups Italian dressing
- 1 green onion, sliced (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- In large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in potatoes; cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
- Add olives, dressing, onions, garlic and pepper; mix lightly.
(Family Features) It’s not just a Spanish, tapas-style thing anymore. At all different types of bars and restaurants across the United States, you’ll find menus that continue to explore ways to feature favorite foods – like pork – in more bite-sized, snack-able ways. Beyond the walls of those eateries, street vendors, food booths and food trucks also are featuring portable, easy-to-eat dishes like kabobs and sliders.
One of the great things about street food is that it’s typically an easy way to sample a variety of dishes and global flavors without having to travel far or sit down to a formal meal – which is what makes these on-the-go options the perfect choice for your next tailgate, especially if juicy, tender pork is on your menu.
Whether at the game or in your backyard, a tailgate party is the perfect opportunity to share small but tasty plates with your neighbors, friends and family – perfect bites to enjoy while keeping a close eye on the action on the field.
Spicy Korean Pork Skewers deliver snack-sized game-winning flavor without a lot of preparation time, and without messy plates and silverware, the clean-up is something to cheer about, too. Marinated in an Asian sauce that gets a bold kick from chili garlic, soy and fresh ginger, bite-sized cubes of pork ribs are skewered and then grilled for an unbeatable addition to your game-day spread.
If you want to keep your menu authentic, serve these Korean pork skewers with white rice. Combine them with other small-plate pork dishes to offer your guests a variety of great-tasting choices.
Spicy Korean Pork Skewers
- 2 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup chili garlic sauce*
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 inches fresh ginger root, skins removed and chopped (or substitute 2 teaspoons ground ginger)
- 4 tablespoons filtered sake or dry sherry (optional)
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil*
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- In large bowl combine chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, ginger, sake, sesame oil and brown sugar and whisk to form a marinade. Add pork to marinade and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Heat indoor grill pan or outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
- Thread marinated pork on skewers, about four to five pieces per skewer. Transfer skewers to grill and cook uncovered, turning to brown evenly every two to three minutes until tender, about 10 minutes total. Serve immediately.
*You can find chili garlic sauce and sesame oil in the ethnic or Asian section of most major supermarkets.
Quick Tip: Make sure to leave plenty of room on the grill between each skewer to avoid overcrowding the meat and to ensure even cooking.
Source: National Pork Board
(Family Features) When planning a get-together with friends, finding the right playlist and inviting your favorite people over is easy, but planning the perfect menu can be daunting.
Whether it’s game day, the season premiere of your favorite show or just a casual night in, if you’re craving something satisfying and delicious, one simple solution is Mrs. T’s Pierogies.
You can easily add a creative twist to your menu by serving up bite-sized Bacon-Wrapped Pierogies, featuring Classic Cheddar Mini Pierogies, which are perfect for sharing. Or try adding some flare to your nachos by substituting chips with pierogies. Available in 15 tasty varieties, these potato-filled pasta shells are loaded with flavor and are the perfect canvas for all your favorite ingredients and spices.
Find more recipes to enjoy with your friends at MrsTsPierogies.com.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 32 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 box (12.84 ounces) Mrs. T’s Mini Cheddar Seasoned with Bacon or Mini Classic Cheddar Pierogies
- 14 slices bacon, sliced in half
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (optional)
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Defrost pierogies by placing in boiling water for 2 minutes or refrigerating overnight.
- Wrap half slices of bacon around each pierogy. Arrange pierogies on baking sheet. Sprinkle with brown sugar, if desired. Bake 16-18 minutes, or until golden brown, turning once.
- Optional: Saute wrapped pierogies 8 minutes, or grill 5 minutes until browned.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
- 2 boxes (16 ounces each) Mrs. T’s Classic Cheddar Pierogies
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Pico de Gallo (recipe below)
- guacamole (recipe below)
- sour cream (optional)
- pickled jalapeno peppers (optional)
Pico de Gallo:
- 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 small, diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 small, ripe avocado
- 1 seeded and minced jalapeno
- 1/2 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- To make nachos: Saute pierogies in butter over medium heat, approximately 8 minutes on both sides.
- Preheat broiler. On large, oven-safe plate, arrange hot pierogies; sprinkle with black beans and Monterey Jack cheese.
- Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with Pico de Gallo and guacamole, and sour cream or pickled jalapeno peppers, if desired.
- To make Pico de Gallo: Mix together all ingredients and set aside. Serve on top of pierogies.
- To make guacamole: Cut avocado in half and remove seed. With spoon, scoop out inside; place in bowl.
- Mash avocado with fork until slightly chunky.
- Mix in jalapeno, tomato, green onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Serve on top of pierogies.
Source: Mrs. T's Pierogies
Apps and starters perfect for game day
(Family Features) Rules may vary from one event to the next, but whether your favorite team kicks it, runs it or dunks it, sports fans and food always provide a winning combo. Gather your friends for the next big game with a menu that gets everyone revved up for a win.
A lineup filled with starters is just the ticket for a game day watch party or tailgate. Offering a series of finger foods and lighter fare lets your fellow fans grab a quick bite before the game or during a commercial break and continue snacking through the game.
Make no mistake, serving up a lighter menu doesn’t mean you need to skimp on quality – just the opposite, in fact. Make every bite count by using exceptional ingredients and introducing unexpected flavors such as the distinctive taste of Jarlsberg Brand Cheese, which has a rich, 60-year Norwegian heritage. Best known as a classic wedge, this mild, mellow and nutty cheese can also be served sliced, shredded and cubed.
Quesadillas are always a hit, and this version combines the best of gooey, melted cheese with bacon and a deliciously tangy salsa for a lively burst of fresh flavor. Then keep the mouthwatering cheese and bacon combos coming with a whole new take on grilled kebabs.
No game day is complete without pizza, and this one scores big with its unexpected blend of flavors for a pie that is smoky and tangy, sweet and savory, and briny and creamy all at once. Then round out your menu with these easy sliders that are big on flavor and small on prep time.
Find more ideas to liven up your game day menu at jarlsberg.com.
Hawaiian Sliders with Cheese, Ham and Pork
- 3 Hawaiian bread slider buns
- 1 cup pulled pork
- 3 slices ham
- 3 slices Jarlsberg cheese
- sliced pickles
- Dijon mustard, to taste
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Separate buns and layer pulled pork, sliced ham and cheese. Place sliders on oven-safe tray and bake about 10 minutes, or until cheese melts. Remove from oven and gently remove top bun. Add pickles and mustard before serving.
Cheese and Bacon Kebabs
- 18 slices bacon
- 2 1/2 cups Jarlsberg cheese, cubed
- 18 pearl onions
- 12 long skewers
- 1/4 cup roasted bell peppers
- 1 1/3 tablespoons capers
- 2 2/3 tablespoons olives
- 1/4 cup cucumber
- 3 1/3 ounces olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice and grated zest
- Cut bacon slices in half and wrap around cheese cubes. Place cheese cubes and pearl onions on each skewer, alternating ingredients. Roast in pan or on grill 2-3 minutes on each side.
- To make relish, chop peppers, capers, olives and cucumber, and mix with olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper.
Grilled Pizza with Cheese, Prosciutto and Figs
- 2 cups pizza or tomato sauce
- 4 1/2 cups pizza dough
- flour, for rolling
- 3 1/2 cups Jarlsberg cheese, coarsely grated
- 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced prosciutto
- 8 dried figs, each cut into six wedges
- dried red pepper flakes
- black pepper
- Heat grill and warm pizza sauce.
- Divide dough into desired number of pizzas. On floured surface, roll dough into long, thin ovals and spread with sauce. Sprinkle light layer of cheese over sauce. Add layer of prosciutto and a second layer of cheese. Dot with fig pieces then season with red pepper flakes and pepper.
- Reduce grill heat, slide pizzas onto grill and close lid. Cook 3-5 minutes, or until crust is lightly charred and cheese is melted.
- 4 slices thick slab bacon
- 1 small chili pepper
- 4 medium tomatoes
- 1 small shallot
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon coriander or cumin
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 small lime (juice and zest)
- 6 slices Jarlsberg Original or Hickory Smoked cheese
- 2 large tortillas
- Fry bacon, drain and chop.
- To make salsa, remove seeds from chili pepper and finely dice. Chop tomatoes then dice shallot and garlic clove. Combine pepper, tomatoes, shallot and garlic with lime juice, coriander, salt and pepper, to taste.
- Divide cheese slices and bacon on one half of each tortilla, top with 1/4 cup salsa and fold tortilla over, pressing down to close. In medium-hot, lightly oiled pan, toast tortillas about 1 minute on each side.
- Cut each tortilla in half and serve with remaining salsa on the side, or combine salsa with black beans and fresh chopped cilantro to make a side salad.
Source: Jarlsberg Cheese
(Family Features) For millions of football fans, the grill is as important as the gridiron when enjoying a weekend of games. There’s nothing like team spirit, the anticipation of kickoff and the smell of a delicious pregame tailgate wafting through the stadium parking lot.
National barbecue expert Rocky Stubblefield of Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q offers tips and recipes for game day grilling that will have the whole crowd cheering.
Keep it simple
Stubblefield says anything that cooks fast on the grill is great for tailgating – burgers, hotdogs, chicken – and to bring on the flavor without having to pack a carload of ingredients, use sauces, rubs and marinades. Prepare as much food as you can ahead of time and have a checklist for the things you always need but are easy to forget, like napkins and tin foil.
For perfectly shaped, evenly cooked burgers, make a thumbprint in the middle of each patty before grilling. Amp up the flavor by rubbing your burgers with Stubb’s Bar-B-Q rub before putting them on the grill – just like you would a brisket or ribs. No matter what you’re making, wait to put the sauce on until the very end of grilling to avoid charring and burning.
For dozens of easy, delicious tailgating recipes, visit stubbsbbq.com.
Toasted Pecan Burgers
- 1 pound ground chuck
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped green bell pepper
- 3 tablespoons Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Spice Rub
- Mix together chuck, onion, pecans, bell pepper, sauce and rub. Shape into 4 patties.
- Prepare grill for direct cooking. When coals are ashed over in charcoal grill, spread them in bottom of grill so food can cook directly over coals.
- Grill burgers over direct, medium heat, first on one side then the other, 7-10 minutes, until they reach desired doneness. Medium burgers register an internal temperature of 160° F.
- Serve with your favorite burger toppings on toasted buns.
Smokey Stuffed Jalapenos with Bacon
- 1/2 pound uncooked chorizo
- 16 ounces cream cheese
- 24 fresh jalapenos, halved and seeded
- 24 slices bacon (about 2 pounds), halved
- 1 cup Stubb’s Smokey Mesquite Bar-B-Q Sauce
- Heat skillet to medium heat and prepare grill for direct cooking.
- Remove chorizo casing and cook in skillet over medium heat until cooked through. Transfer cooked chorizo to paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool.
- Mix cream cheese and chorizo.
- Stuff each jalapeno half with cream cheese mixture. Wrap with half strip of bacon and secure with toothpick.
- Place peppers on grill and cook 8-10 minutes, turning frequently. Baste peppers with sauce during last 2 minutes of cooking.
Source: Stubb's Legendary Bar-B-Q