Tailgating Time

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On Game Day, like any other day, New Orleanians opt for gourmet

NOL Oct07_MedRes_Page_44_Image_0001.jpgTailgating is, in itself, a competitive, public spectacle. Serious tailgaters work to establish the most elaborate setting for their party. Tables, chairs, custom-designed logo carpets and grills—all the comforts of home—are taken along for the party. Tailgaters in Louisiana are serious about their food, often preparing days before the event. If you are not up for cooking but still down for the party, you can call your local grocer to order party platters, dessert trays, game day cakes, jambalaya, pasta dishes and even barbecue. Get your menus planned and your beverages iced down in a cooler because it’s tailgating time, New Orleans!

Nothing can spoil a great tailgating party!
Here are some tips for the next time you plan to tailgate:

  • Select food that can either be cooked ahead and transported to the event, or cooked on-site with a grill.
  • Follow food-safety precautions when it comes to transporting food.
  • Keep cold food cold (40 degrees or lower) and hot food hot (140 degrees and above) to avoid food poisoning.
  • Don’t forget to bring bottle openers and corkscrews, if necessary.
  • At the very minimum, you’ll need a large, heavy cloth on which to spread out the food. A table to go under the cloth is all the better.
  • Pack disposable plates and cups. Who wants to do the dishes after having so much fun?
  • Be prepared to clean up after yourself. That includes putting any leftovers you plan to keep in cold storage, throwing away your trash in available cans or bags
  • that you’ve brought along, and safely disposing of any hot coals from your grill. Don’t leave a hot grill unattended if you’re heading in to the event.
  • Bring paper towels or wet wipes to help with cleanup before, during and after your tailgate.

Gourmet-Style Tailgating Menu and Recipes

NOL Oct07_MedRes_Page_44_Image_0002.jpgCreole Italian Shrimp or Crawfish Dip
By Chef Sal Impastato of Sal & Judy’s Products
Serves 16 to 20 as party dip
1 jar Sal & Judy’s Creole Italian Pasta Sauce
1 pound Velveeta cheese, diced into ?-inch cubes
1/2 pound (8 ounces) boiled shrimp, peeled, deveined and minced (can also substitute an equal amount of crawfish tails)
Garlic crostini or crackers for dipping
Place the Creole Italian Pasta Sauce in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the diced Velveeta and minced shrimp. Simmer, stirring often, until cheese has completely melted, about 8 minutes. Serve in a chafing dish or crockpot over low heat to keep warm.

Gourmet Stuffed Blue Cheese Burgers
Pre-made and packaged for you at Whole Foods

NOL Oct07_MedRes_Page_44_Image_0003.jpgCreole Italian Potato Salad
By Chef Sal Impastato of Sal & Judy’s Products
Serves 6 to 8 side portions
2-1/2 pounds of red new potatoes, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces, boiled and well-drained
1/2 cup of finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup each chopped red, yellow and green bell peppers
1/2 cup minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1-1/2 teaspoons of minced fresh garlic (about 2 medium-sized cloves)
1/2 cup sliced black olives (optional)
1/2 cup sliced green olives (optional)
1/2 cup diced marinated artichoke hearts (optional)
1-1/4 cups Sal & Judy’s Creole Italian Salad Dressing
Combine all ingredients except Sal & Judy’s Creole Italian Salad Dressing in a large bowl. Toss gently to blend ingredients. Pour salad dressing evenly over the salad and fold in using a rubber spatula to blend well. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

NOL Oct07_MedRes_Page_44_Image_0004.jpgBread Pudding
By Chef Jezz Jones, Dorignacs’s Food Center
1 loaf of French bread
6 eggs
1 small can of crushed pineapple
1/4 cup raisins
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon real vanilla
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup fruit cocktail
1 dash cinnamon
1 stick real butter
Slice French bread into small pieces and set aside. Add eggs, pineapple, raisins,
sugar, real vanilla, half-and-half, fruit cocktail and a dash of cinnamon and mix
well. Fold in French bread and to pan. Pour stick of melted butter on top and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.