Tasty tailgating

by • October 31, 2016 • Highlights, Trailside GourmetComments (0)923

These ‘eat with the game’ snacks are crowd pleasers

October brings with it the smell of fall and the onset of winter. School routines have now set in, and the weekends are full of sporting activity. That brings us to the discussion of tailgating. Weekend football games and various other sporting events bring us together – call it the art of parking lot cuisine. Step up to the challenge and prepare more than hotdogs and burgers.

A little forethought and some imagination will go a long way.


Stuffed and grilled jalapenos are easy to make and require your favorite ingredients, such as crumbled bacon and cheese. Photo by Mark Bly.

Stuffed and grilled jalapeño peppers are super simple. The sky is the limit for items to stuff. Just trim and core the peppers. Try cooked, crumbled bacon and layers of cheese stuffed in alternating layers. How can you go wrong with bacon?
Bacon you say?

Why yes, how about a treat I refer to as Bacon Crack. It’s simple to make in either your home oven or on a grill with a pizza stone. This stuff is hard to put down and will disappear quickly from your plate.

The ultimate tailgate treat is the humble Frito Pie, easy to make and totally delicious. Again, use what you have and go for what you love. You can’t go wrong with this iconic American display of decadence and gluttony.

And finally, I offer my interpretation of salt and vinegar chicken wings. Make this a day ahead so that you can enjoy your pregame festivities with friends and family. It’s a delicious treat that people will totally adore.

Go forth and enjoy the last days of fall. Enjoy yourself outside and get your pregame grub on.

— Sincerely
Mark J. Bly, The Flying Chef


Salt and Vinegar Chicken Wings

2 pounds chicken wings
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup white, distilled vinegar
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
The sauce recipe is identical to the marinade recipe. Make an additional batch to use as a sauce.
Cut wings into desired form. You may want to remove the wing tip.
Combine all marinade ingredients and pour into a large Ziploc-type bag. Add the chicken wings and marinate in the refrigerator for about four hours.
To cook the wings, start with a steam technique. Place a large pot on the stove and add to water until it is approximately 2 inches deep. Place a steamer rack over the top of the pot, or if you don’t have one, a wire cookie rack works just as good.
Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and steam the wings for 10 minutes. Remove wings with tongs, because they will be hot. Place on a pan or in a bowl. Pat the wings dry and set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a bowl, mix the baking powder, salt and garlic powder.
Sprinkle the powder mixture over the wings, or toss in the bowl.
Place wings on a sheet pan with a rack insert and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the wings and bake for another 20 minutes.
While the chicken is baking, mix the sauce. I just put all the ingredients in a plastic container with a lid and shake it up.
When chicken is done, place wings back in to a bowl and use half of the sauce and toss to coat. Place back in oven and broil for about 2 minutes. Flip and broil for 1 to 2 more minutes. Remove wings from oven and toss with remaining sauce.
Plate and enjoy.


Bacon Crack
Step one:
1 pound center-cut, thick-sliced bacon
½ cup brown sugar
½ tablespoons black pepper
½ tablespoons red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon espresso powder
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Step two:
1 sheet of puffed pastry. Crescent rolls in a tube are just fine.
1 cup brown sugar
1 Pound candied spiced bacon.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients from step one in a bowl and coat the bacon on both sides with the mixture.
Place bacon on baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool.
Chop or crumble bacon.
On a greased baking sheet spread out the pastry and prick with a fork.
Add bacon and top with the brown sugar from step two.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove form oven and let cool.
Cut into squares and enjoy.


Frito Pie
While controversy surrounds the invention of this late-night dish for the drunken masses, it stands on its own as an American icon of guilty pleasure food.
1 or more bags of Frito’s brand corn chips.
Your favorite chili (I recommend my crowd pleaser chili. The recipe can be found on my Flying Chef Facebook page, under Photos/Recipes.)
Cheddar cheese, grated
Sour cream
Jalapeños, sliced
Avocado sliced
Hot sauce
Set out all ingredients to let people choose their toppings. In a small bowl place bag of Fritos and slice open the top of the bag.
Start adding the toppings, and go crazy.
This is all about fun and personal taste, so add what you want and have a good time.

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