Who loves tailgating?
There are not many things that I love to do on game day more than tailgating. Being from Wisconsin, it is kind of a way of life. During football season, fans will arrive at Lambeau Field HOURS before game time to take part in this beloved tradition. And it doesn’t stop with the Packers either! The Wisconsin Badgers have quite the tailgate parties themselves. Even the Milwaukee Brewers draw thousands before first pitch to grill brats and drink beer. With baseball season upon us, I wanted to share my three favorite tailgate crowd pleasers with you.
Hawaiian Chicken Skewers
My family and friends absolutely LOVE this marinade. There’s just something about the sweet yet slightly salty combination of the ingredients that is so delicious.
-1/3 cup ketchup
-1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
-1/3 cup soy sauce (I use low sodium)
-1/4 cup pineapple juice
-2 Tbs avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
-1 & 1/2 Tbs rice vinegar
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 tsp black pepper
Combine the first four ingredients and mix well until the brown sugar is dissolved. Then add all remaining ingredients and whisk until well blended and smooth. I reserve about 1/3 cup of the marinade to brush on the skewers while they are grilling. This recipe will coat about six chicken breaths. I just simply cut the chicken into cubes and place them on skewers. Try to keep the cubes all around the same size if possible so they cook at the same rate. 🙂
Taco Dip Roll-Ups
These three words go together like peanut butter and jelly. I love taco dip with tortilla chips, but when you’re tailgating, sometimes finger foods are the way to go. My besties fiancée loves these so much he asks me to make them every single game we go too! One thing I love about them is that they are so easy to customize depending on the crowd you’re feeding.
-2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
-1 cup sour cream (8 ounces)
-2 cups (usually one bag) finely shredded cheddar cheese | I like sharp cheddar for these rollups
-1/2 cup picante sauce or chunky salsa
-1 can (4.5 ounces) sliced black olives, drained and dried off with paper towel
-2 Tbs taco seasoning | I se the Taco Bell but you can use whatever kind if your favorite
-1 Tbs onion soup mix (such as Lipton’s)
-8 flour tortillas (10 inch) | You can use whichever kind you like. Sometimes I se whole wheat 🙂
1. In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add the taco and onion seasonings and mix well.
2. Stir in the shredded cheese, picante sauce/salsa and the olives and stir lightly with a spoon.
3. Spread the mixture and roll them up like a jelly roll. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
4.When you’re ready to serve (or before you leave) cut the rolls in to pinwheels.
This recipe will make about 3.5 dozen pinwheels depending how big you slice them. The recipe also works great if you cut it in half. You can also add other ingredients like shredded lettuce or jalapeños- anything you want really!
Parboiled Beer Brats
There is probably no greater tailgating tradition in Wisconsin than beer brats. They are a staple among tailgaters no matter which type of event you are going to attend. For those who have never had a brat, they are a type of German sausage most commonly made from pork. You can find all kinds of variations nowadays including chicken and beef made with dozens of flavor combinations!
-4 Tbs butter
-1 large onion, sliced in rings | I usually use a white onion
-2 cans of your favorite beer | You can use any regular or light domestic beer
- Melt the butter in a large pot.
- Add the onions and saute them about 5-6 minutes
- Add the brats and brown them just a bit on both sides
- Add the beer. Add water if needed so the brats are completely covered with liquid.
- Bring them to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. When the brats start to turn a light brown color they are done! You don’t need to cook them all the way through. Parboiling helps cut down the grilling time and adds great flavor. 🙂