Score major points with delicious dishes
(Family Features) If the crew is coming over to root for your favorite team, it may be time to spice up the menu. Whether you’re hosting the weekend get-together or watching the game after work, switch up your typical spread and serve something new to leave your guests cheering for more.
When it comes to choosing an ingredient that can lend a winning assist to nearly any dish and score you some major points, look no further than California Ripe Olives.
Variety is key when mapping out food for a crowd, regardless of the event. Plan on serving one main course and two sides, and consider no-fuss options like chips and dips. If there are kids in attendance, make sure there is something neutral for even the pickiest eaters to snack on. However, try your best to avoid anything that needs a knife and fork to eat – finger foods typically work best when the game is on and conversation is flowing.
The mild and unique taste of California Ripe Olives lends itself well to many different flavor pairings, such as these recipes for Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Olive Jam, Easy Olive Bread and Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade. Whether your guests are fans of spicy, mild, sweet or savory, the only limit is your imagination when you pull a can of olives from the pantry.
Family farms across California grow 95 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States. Each can is a labor of love. Multi-generational family farms work with family-owned canneries in California to produce each can and ensure only the highest quality olives make it from the farm to your game-day table. For more creative ways to use olives, including family recipes from growers across California, visit CalOlive.org .
Simple Entertaining Tips to Take Your Table to the Next Level
- A colorful platter is an easy way to spice up a spread.
- Pair something salty with something sweet for a juxtaposition of flavors.
- If you’re serving food on neutral plates, add some colorful linens.
- Plan the menu around a central theme or ingredient.
- Guests love choices – making more options available can make for better spreads.
- Use versatile ingredients, like California Ripe Olives, to keep picky eaters happy.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Olive Jam
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 pounds pork shoulder roast
- kosher salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, quartered
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 8 ounces dried peaches
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 cup California Black Ripe Olives, wedged
- 2 teaspoons country mustard
- 1 ounce arugula
- 8 onion rolls, split and toasted
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- In large, high-sided saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Season pork with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook in pan 3-4 minutes on each side until browned.
- Stir in garlic and continue cooking 3-5 minutes.
- Pour in chicken broth, peaches and chili powder; bring to boil.
- Cover loosely with foil and bake in oven 2 hours.
- With slotted spoon, carefully remove peaches and transfer to small mixing bowl. Mix olives and mustard with peaches; set aside.
- Continue to cook pork in oven 30-60 minutes until fork tender.
- Allow to cool slightly then shred by pulling apart with fork.
- Assemble sandwiches by spooning pork onto toasted rolls.
- Top with arugula and peach-olive mixture.
Easy Olive Bread
Recipe courtesy of The Wicked Noodle
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 10 ounces California Green Ripe Olives, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 loaf French bread, sliced in half lengthwise
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In bowl, mix cream cheese, butter and mayonnaise until thoroughly combined. Add garlic; stir well to distribute. Add cheddar cheese, green olives and green onions; stir to combine.
- Spread mixture on cut sides of bread. Bake 20-30 minutes, until cheese is hot, bubbly and starting to brown.
Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade
- 1/2 cup shallots, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped smoked sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (6 ounces) California Green Ripe Olives, drained
- 1 can (6 ounces) California Black Ripe Olives, drained
- 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- crackers or toasted baguette slices
- In food processor, pulse shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and garlic until finely chopped. Add olives, basil, salt and pepper; pulse again until chopped.
- Cover and chill 1 hour.
- Serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices.
Note: Recipe can be prepared one day in advance.
Photo courtesy of The Wicked Noodle (Easy Olive Bread)
Source: California Olive Committee
(Family Features) Burgers and dogs may be typical game day grub, but a lineup that never changes can get tiresome a few weeks into the season. Infuse new energy and homemade favorites into your game day menu so you can enjoy great games and good eats for a winning combination.
Explore new flavors. Add variety by building your meal around a different main dish, like ribs or pulled pork instead of burgers. Or invite guests to get in on the action and offer a DIY pizza or taco bar with a wide range of toppings for the ultimate custom plate. Then adapt your side dishes to fit the theme, like adding a barbecue spice seasoning to your party mix, for example, or offering a chipotle-style dip for veggies and chips.
Add an unexpected twist. If you prefer a more traditional menu, there’s no reason to abandon all your favorite game day fare. Instead, reimagine a popular dish with a special or unexpected ingredient. For example, this recipe features a homemade pizza topped with creamy ranch dressing. An option like Litehouse Homestyle Ranch has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, no high fructose corn syrup and is gluten free. The dressing is a versatile addition to your game day spread since you can use it to top off everything from pizza and fries to tacos, burgers and more. For easy serving, look for the 20-ounce squeeze bottle, or opt for a glass jar or dip tub, whichever your recipe requires.
Don’t forget dessert. A good game requires lots of savory, hearty foods, but by the fourth quarter, you’re likely to start craving sweet victory and a sweet treat to go along with the win. Easy individual desserts are a great bet, that way you can grab a quick bite and get back to the screen before you miss any action. Think along the lines of finger foods like marshmallow cereal bars, brownies and cookies to offer a little something for everyone.
Find more ideas for your game day gathering at LitehouseFoods.com.
Homemade Pizza Recipe
Total time: 45 minutes
- 1 ball pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 jar pizza sauce
- pepperoni (optional)
- sausage (optional)
- ham or Canadian bacon (optional)
- black olives (optional)
- mushrooms (optional)
- peppers (optional)
- 1 package (8 ounces) fresh mozzarella, shredded
- 1 squeeze bottle (20 ounces) Litehouse Homestyle Ranch dressing
- Heat oven to 425° F.
- Prepare dough by pressing it onto a pizza pan or pizza stone. Spread pizza sauce over crust and top with pepperoni, sausage, ham or Canadian bacon, black olives, mushrooms and peppers, if desired. Sprinkle cheese evenly over top of pizza. Bake 20-30 minutes.
- Top with ranch dressing before serving.
Note: Toppings can be substituted as desired.
Source: Litehouse Foods
(Family Features) It’s game day, which means your party needs food and needs it fast. Use recipes that can pump up the crowd this season and make every game a win.
These quick recipes for an Olive Bar Flatbread and a Mediterranean Nacho Bar can leave the fans in your home screaming for more.
Your fans will almost assuredly be dipping, diving and running for these simple snacks created with fresh ingredients like Sabra Hummus, which is available in more than a dozen flavors in the deli section of your grocery store. Spread it on fluffy flatbread with your favorite veggies to create a snack that fans can go crazy over, or set it out buffet-style for everyone to munch on at halftime.
Find more game day recipes at sabra.com.
Mediterranean Nacho Bar
- Sabra Hummus
- Diced tomatoes
- Chopped green onions
- Chopped zucchini (1/4-inch chunks)
- Chopped Greek olives
- Chopped pepperoncinis
- Shredded lettuce
- Crumbled feta cheese
- Grilled chicken
- Pita chips
- Assemble hummus, tomatoes, green onions, zucchini, olives, pepperoncinis, lettuce, cheese and chicken in buffet format.
- Serve with pita chips.
Olive Bar Flatbread
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 3 tablespoons Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- 1 flatbread
- 1/2 cup desired vegetables, chopped (olives, roasted peppers, peppadew or artichokes)
- 3 miniature mozzarella balls, sliced
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- Place hummus on flatbread. Top with desired vegetables and mozzarella.
- Bake on lower rack 10-12 minutes, or until crispy and browned.
- Toss arugula with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on flatbread and serve.
(Family Features) Just like your favorite sports team, hosting a winning big-game party or tailgate takes planning, preparation and teamwork. To make your festivities fun-filled, remember these entertaining tips that are sure to score big with your fans.
Scatter the refreshments. Help direct movement and traffic flow by setting up food stations. Using different rooms or areas helps prevent congestion and encourages guests to mingle. Try placing finger foods and other appetizers in a couple of locations, beverages in another area and desserts in yet another space.
Embrace variety. Take into account taste preferences and dietary needs, and have an assortment of food and drinks available. Offer spicy options along with less seasoned dishes, both indulgent and better-for-you treats, plus an array of beverages for drinkers and non-drinkers alike.
Build your roster. If your party is a potluck, encourage guests to sign up for dishes so you don’t end up with multiple versions of the same thing. Create a discussion group online, or simply ask guests to indicate what they’ll bring along with their RSVP.
Don’t forget the dips. Wings are a tailgating staple, and dips are a great way to complement those zesty flavors or cool the heat, but you may find yourself in a team rivalry when it comes to the preferred dip at the game day bash: ranch or bleu cheese dressing? Both pair well with a range of wing flavors, so these dips are sure to be crowd pleasers. The delicious combination of fresh herb and vegetable flavors make Litehouse Homestyle Ranch a perfect party choice, and Litehouse Chunky Bleu Cheese features fresh buttermilk, homemade mayonnaise and a blend of spices as the backdrop for award-winning artisan blue cheese chunks that will make your fellow sports fans cheer for more.
Expand on tradition. Tailgating is a time-honored tradition, and the food lineup is often based on familiar fare. Along with those fan favorites, don’t be afraid to put some new flavors into play, such as these Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings that add a tangy ethnic flair to traditional wings.
Find more game day recipes at LitehouseFoods.com.
Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings
Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 20 chicken wings
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Litehouse Instantly Fresh Garlic
- 3 tablespoons water, divided
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- sliced green onions, for garnish
- sesame seeds, for garnish
- celery sticks (optional)
- Litehouse Homestyle Ranch and Chunky Bleu Cheese Dressing
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- In large bag, combine flour and salt. Add chicken wings and shake to coat. Discard any leftover flour.
- Line baking sheet with foil and spray with pan spray of your choice. Place wings in single layer on baking sheet.
- Bake wings 40-45 minutes, turning halfway through.
- In sauce pan over medium heat, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, 2 tablespoons water and brown sugar. Whisk together remaining water and cornstarch, and pour into sauce. Bring to boil then simmer until thickened.
- When wings are done, toss with sauce, garnish with green onion and sesame seeds, and serve with celery sticks, ranch and bleu cheese dressing.
Source: Litehouse, Inc.
(Family Features) Whether you want to step up your hosting game or just plan to contribute to the game day spread, it’s easy to create the perfect plan with an array of premium food, without the premium price tags.
Simplify party prep and cleanup: Paper towels, plastic cutlery and game day-themed plates and napkins can make post-party cleanup a breeze, not to mention festive. Save time on party prep by picking up everything you need at one location. You can find these paper goods and all the ingredients for a tasty spread, including fresh produce, meats, dips, chips and snacks, at a grocery store like ALDI. There are plenty of options to fit nearly every lifestyle and budget.
Make it buffet style: Let your guests serve themselves on game day. Buffets showcase a wide variety of dips, chips and snacks and are an affordable, fun option to please all your guests. This party trick also makes it easy to grab a quick bite between plays or during commercial breaks.
Go after unusual suspects: Elevate traditional dips, hummus, guacamole and salsa with different dipping options. Crostini, crispbread, gluten-free crackers and unexpected veggies like rainbow carrots, sugar snap peas and asparagus would add dimension to your menu and put a spin on your favorite game day snacks.
Get out of the kitchen: Just because you’re hosting should not mean you don’t get to enjoy yourself. Avoid spending hours in the kitchen with this crowd-pleasing Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe. Mix the ingredients in a slow cooker, turn it on high and then you’re ready to kick off the party.
Find more ideas and recipes for game day at ALDI.com.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Recipe courtesy of Chef Leigh An, ALDI Test Kitchen
- 2 pounds Kirkwood Never Any! Chicken Breasts
- 1 cup Burman's Hot Sauce
- 1/2 cup Tuscan Garden Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- 8 ounces Happy Farms Cream Cheese, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon sea salt from Stonemill Sea Salt Grinder
- 2 teaspoons pepper from Stonemill Peppercorn Grinder
- 1 cup Happy Farms Colby Jack Shredded Cheese
- In slow cooker, combine chicken, hot sauce, ranch, cream cheese, salt and pepper. Turn slow cooker to high and cook 2 hours and 30 minutes.
- Shred chicken. Add cheese to slow cooker and stir. Turn slow cooker to warm and enjoy with tortilla chips, baguettes or crunchy veggies.
Tip: For easy shredding, place cooked chicken breasts in stand mixer with paddle attachment and turn on low until shredded.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
(Family Features) When the clock ticks down toward game day and you’re putting together a snacking plan of attack, turn to recipes like these that you and your guests can savor for all four quarters of action.
With different choices to draft from, there’s no need for a superstar main course at the center of the meal. Instead, rely on options like customizable brats and pulled pork sandwiches, baked chicken wings and game-day dips for winners all around.
Find more recipes for hosting game day at Culinary.net.
Top Your Tailgate
Take your tailgate or home viewing party to the next level by setting up a topping station with a variety of both traditional and unexpected condiments and garnishes to let your fellow fans customize their grilled fare. Include options such as:
- Ketchup and mustard (with flavor variations for added zing)
- Sauerkraut or cole slaw
- Chopped fresh and grilled onions
- Chili (homemade or from a can)
- Pickle spears and relish
- Barbecue sauce
- Assorted shredded and crumbled cheeses
- A variety of peppers
A Game-Day Winner
Game time is no time to mess around when it comes to fast, savory snacks. Crispy and light, tangy and bold, these wings have you covered for all your game-day needs. These spicy hot wings pair perfectly with Litehouse Chunky Blue Cheese or Homestyle Ranch Dressing and may result in another game day rivalry: blue cheese vs. ranch. Whether you’re hosting the game-day party or bringing a dish to a friend’s bash, these wings can make mouths water from the opening kickoff to the final whistle. Find more game-day recipes at litehousefoods.com.
Crispy Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings
Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
- 4 pounds chicken wings
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- nonstick cooking spray
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup hot sauce
- 1/2 cup Litehouse Chunky Blue Cheese or Homestyle Ranch dressing
- 1/3 cup Litehouse Blue Cheese Crumbles
- Lay wings on rack on rimmed baking tray and let dry in refrigerator overnight, or pat dry with paper towels.
- Heat oven to 250° F. Put one oven shelf in lower quarter of oven and one in top quarter.
- Place wings in large re-sealable bag. Add baking powder and salt. Shake bag to coat wings evenly.
- Line tray with foil. Spray rack on baking tray with nonstick spray. Place wings skin side up on rack. Bake on lower shelf 30 minutes.
- Move tray to higher shelf and turn oven up to 425° F. Bake 40-50 minutes, rotating tray halfway through. Wings are done when they are dark, golden brown and skin is crispy.
- While wings bake, whisk together butter and hot sauce; keep warm.
- Remove wings from oven and toss with hot sauce; sprinkle immediately with blue cheese crumbles. Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing, carrots and celery sticks.
Dip into Game Day
Game day is about huddling up with friends and family, and feeling good about the food you share. Kick off the big game with Sabra, the official dip of the NFL, and help the crowd go wild when you put a twist on traditional hummus by topping it with bruschetta. Available in more than a dozen flavors, Sabra Hummus is made with fresh chickpeas, a touch of garlic and smooth tahini, making it a wholesome and delicious accompaniment for your favorite game-day chips, crackers and veggies. Find more big-game recipes at sabra.com.
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 2 cups multi-colored cherry tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional (optional)
- salt, to taste
- container Sabra Classic Hummus (10 ounces)
- To make bruschetta: Cut cherry tomatoes into quarters or eighths, if large. Place in small mixing bowl. Stir in garlic, basil and olive oil, and season with salt, to taste.
- Scoop hummus out of container and swirl onto serving plate. Top with bruschetta and drizzle with touch of olive oil, if desired. Serve with fresh vegetables or pita chips.
A Heaping Handheld
Snack like a champion during the big game with recipes that please palates without overfilling like these Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches. Since guests can pile their sandwiches as high as they like with sweet pork and optional toppings, there’s no need to worry about serving sizes. Find more honey-infused recipes for tasty meal solutions at honey.com.
Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Honey Barbecue Sauce
Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 bone-in pork shoulder roast (4 pounds)
- 2 cups hickory chips
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
- 1 1/2 cups honey
- 1 cup ketchup
- 8-10 rolls
- chopped jalapeno peppers (optional)
- chopped onion (optional)
- chopped pickles (optional)
- To make Pork Rub: Stir together sugar, chili powder, paprika, seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cumin, pepper and cayenne pepper.
- Massage Pork Rub over surface of pork and let stand 30 minutes.
- Soak hickory chips in water; drain well. Wrap chips in foil; punch holes in foil and place on top of gas grill set on high. When chips begin to smoke, place pork on grill and cook until well browned on all sides with lid closed, about 30-45 minutes.
- Heat oven to 300° F.
- Remove pork from grill and place in turkey-size oven bag set in large, shallow baking dish. Add water and seal well; pierce bag several times with small knife. Cook 3-3 1/2 hours, or until meat is tender and pork bone can be removed easily. Remove from oven. Remove bone and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Shred meat into small pieces, removing fat. Add juices from cooking bag, skimming off excess fat.
- In separate saucepan, stir together barbecue sauce, honey and ketchup, cooking until hot and honey has dissolved. Stir most of sauce into shredded pork and mix well.
- Serve on rolls and drizzle with remaining sauce. Top with jalapenos, onions and pickles, if desired.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Brats and Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches)
(Family Features) When hosting a game-day party, you’d think the focus would be on the score or the award-winning commercials, but it’s actually a great reason to indulge in flavor-filled bites. When the big day rolls around, let your guests obsess over the game while you serve up ooey-gooey dips, saucy wings and football-themed desserts that can keep them happily glued to their seats.
Dip into delicious. No watch-party menu is complete without a cheesy dip. This over the top dip brings big flavor and is perfect for kicking the party up a notch as your team works to post that next big win.
Slow cook your cornbread. Not only does this recipe for cornbread amp up the flavor with paprika, garlic powder and cheese, you can set it, forget it then enjoy it with your favorite chili or ribs.
Go ahead and wing it. Wings and football go together like quarterbacks and touchdowns. This year, try a south-of-the-border version and rub wings in cheesy taco seasoning. For extra flair, serve them on a platter with taco fixings.
Fan-favorite desserts. Win or lose, there’s always room for dessert. It can be surprisingly simple to create fun and tasty football-themed treats. These bite-size truffles require just five ingredients and are the perfect finishing touch(down) for your game-day spread.
Find more flavorful game-day recipes and ideas for your party at McCormick.com.
Chocolate Raspberry Football Cookie Truffles
- 4 cups crumbled chewy chocolate cookies
- 1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Raspberry Extract
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 ounce white chocolate, melted
- In large bowl, mix crumbled cookies, marshmallow creme and raspberry flavor until well blended. Shape mixture into 1-inch ovals. Set aside.
- Melt chocolate as directed on package. Using fork, dip one cookie truffle at a time into chocolate. Tap back of fork 2-3 times against edge of dish to allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place on wax paper-lined tray. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or until chocolate is set.
- Spoon melted white chocolate into small, re-sealable plastic bag. Cut small piece from one bottom corner of bag. Close bag tightly then pipe lines on truffles to resemble football stitching. Let stand until chocolate is set.
Note: Cookies can be stored in covered container at room temperature up to 5 days.
Texas Trash Dip
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 cans (16 ounces each) refried beans
- 1 can (4 1/2 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
- 1 package McCormick Taco Seasoning Mix
- 4 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
- nonstick cooking spray
- chopped cilantro (optional)
- tomatoes (optional)
- sliced olives (optional)
- avocado (optional)
- tortilla chips
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In large, microwavable bowl, heat cream cheese and sour cream on high 1 minute, or until cheese is softened. Remove from microwave. Mix with wire whisk until smooth. Add refried beans, green chilies, seasoning mix and 2 cups cheese; mix well.
- Spread bean mixture into 13-by-9-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top with cilantro, tomatoes, sliced olives and avocado, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips.
Cheesy Taco Wings
- 2 1/2 pounds chicken wing pieces
- 1 package McCormick Cheesy Taco Mix
- nonstick cooking spray
- 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1/4 cup finely chopped tomato
- 2 tablespoons sliced green onion
- 1 tablespoons crumbled queso fresco
- Heat oven to 450° F.
- In large bowl, toss chicken wings with seasoning mix. On large, shallow foil-lined baking pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, arrange wings in single layer.
- Bake 30-35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and skin is crisp.
- On large serving platter, arrange lettuce. Top with wings, tomato, green onion and queso fresco.
Slow Cooker Cheesy Cornbread
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup milk
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 packages (8 1/2 ounces each) corn muffin mix
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- Spray inside of 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. In slow cooker, mix milk, eggs, corn muffin mix, paprika, garlic powder and salt until well blended.
- Stir in corn and 1 cup cheese. Place clean kitchen towel over slow cooker and cover with lid.
- Cook 2 hours on high, or until toothpick in center of cornbread comes out clean. Uncover.
- Sprinkle cornbread with remaining cheese. Let stand, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
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