Thursday, October 13, 2011


 What could be more exciting on an autumn Saturday afternoon than crisp clean weather, colourful foliage, college football, the conviviality between good friends, and special zesty tailgate party foods?  Maybe re-cataloguing your Rick Springfield record collection? Forget about it.When you pull into a stadium parking lot for a tailgate party, you can feel the excitement in the air, smell those lovely aromas and view the painted faces as fans all congregate, setting up their grills and getting their vittles ready.

About one- third of tailgaters don’t even watch the game, they just love the food and the camaraderie. Game day tailgating is like a picnic with intense excitement.

If you’re in charge of the food, remember that you want to enjoy yourself too and not be
chained to the tailgate.Therefore a simple plan is best. Bring some already prepared
favourites with the grillables. Keep it straightforward but don’t sacrifice taste. Do as
much prep work the day before as possible and on game day you can have a blast with
the other tailgaters.

 Food safety is imperative. Remember to keep cold foods cold and hot stuff hot. Make sure you transport your grill and your fuel safely. Set it up away from vehicles and your seating area and make sure the surface is level. Keep water or a fire extinguisher handy in case of emergencies. Don’t walk away from the grill, and remember to dispose of your charcoal safely.

In addition to the food, don’t forget the fixin’s; assorted condiments, disposable tableware, implements as well as paper towels and a couple of garbage bags. Don’t forget ice and beverages.

Here are a couple suggestions for your tailgating excursion:


 Mac ‘n Cheese

Hot spicy meatballs and sauce for sandwiches or with toothpicks

A favourite of mine for tailgating (or anytime) is: Jambalaya. This complex flavoured, delicious meal in a bowl will make your taste buds glad to be alive.Tailgate with this delectable dish and you might need security to help keep the hoardes of people, intoxicated from the aroma, from devouring the whole thing.

Jambalaya             serves 8-10


3 tablespoons lard, bacon fat or vegetable oil
5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
1 lb smoked sausage (such as Kielbasa) diced
1 lb ham, sliced and diced
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning; your choice or one I use:

3 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped green bell pepper (capsicum)
1 cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned is fine)

2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 15ounce can tomato puree
2 bay leaves
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
2 cups of raw rice


  • Fry the meats in the fat for about 5 minutes. Stir in half of the seasoning.
  • Add the vegetables and cook till soft.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except seasoning and bring to the boil.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes and taste for seasoning, adding remainder if desired.
  • Taste rice, if not quite tender, cook a few more minutes, adding water if needed

Refrigerate until you get ready to go. Re-heat in oven or microwave and bring to the stadium already hot.  If you use a cast iron dutch oven, put it on the grill to keep hot.

This is a dish everyone loves and a great meaty side dish for grilled meat. You can adjust the seasoning and of course add hot sauce on each individual serving. I personally like dried crushed red pepper on a bowl of this great concoction.

You could add one pound of peeled and deveined shrimp after 10 minutes of simmering if you want to; just use a little more water or stock in this case.

No matter what foods you choose to use when tailgating, this exciting time of year makes them especially mouth-watering. Try this Jambalaya; even if you don’t like football you can still have a good time.


Susan Oloier said...

I have never tailgated before. Your post makes me want to do it! So very thorough, too!

My Journey With Candida said...

I have only tailgated a couple of times. At one tail gate, a guy drove up, opened his hood and from his engine pulled out a cooked chicken. Neatest thing I ever saw.

Pegasuslegend said...

I have never tailgated before, you cant in florida you will get killed they will stop on purpose lol! Thanks so much for the sausage and peppers mention... one of my favorites as a kids and now... many good memories at the feasts in Upstate NY! have a great weekend!

Pegasuslegend said...

Oh by the way that was suppose to be funny I know that this was another kid of tailgating... hope you knew that... :)

anthony stemke said...

SUSAN: You can of course "tailgate" at home if you or other family members like to watch football on TV.
My best wishes to Zane.

MY JOURNEY: He had "manifold" chicken parts under that hood.

PEGASUS: Some tailgate parties get very raucous, excessive testosterone buildup I suppose. We love sausage and peppers (and onions), hard to find decent rolls though.
Oh, you were talking about tailgating, not tailgating, I get it cm.

Torviewtoronto said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Torviewtoronto said...

this jambalaya looks wonderful lovely food for this party :)

anthony stemke said...

TORVIEWTORONTO: It is a wonderful creole dish. You could easily omit the ham and use beef sausage, it will still be great. So pull up a barstool and dig in.

RaShelle Workman said...

I haven't tailgated since college. Loved it then. A blast.

The jambalaya sounds amazing. I must try it.

Leovi said...

Beautiful and a fun evening with a meal so rich .... Hope you Have a wonderful weekend!

anthony stemke said...

RASHELLE: Yes, tailgate parties are a lot of fun and jambalaya goes great there.

LEOVI: Thank You, you have a great weekend too.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Mmm, love the sound of the foods you've listed here. Gonna check my fridge, you got me hungry!

Happy Friday, Anthony!


The Golden Eagle said...

I've never tailgated, but if I ever do I'll know what to fix now. :)

anthony stemke said...

ELIZABETH: Thank You, I'll bet you are tense, the countdown continues. Best wishes.

THE GOLDEN EAGLE: You bet. I love jambalaya almost anytime.

Kalyan said...

Those are some nice tail-gating food ideas...easy to make and carry...the recipe is also nice and easy to prepare.

Plateful said...

Oh yeah there's nothing like great company and delicious food to enjoy this beautiful season. Jambalaya sounds exotic, never tried it before.

Nicki Elson said...

Mmm, love Jambalaya, and I never would've thought of it for tailgating, but it's perfect! I'm one of those who enjoys the tailgate and skips the game.

Gail M Baugniet said...

Great suggestions for a tailgate party, Anthony. When I lived in Wisconsin, tailgating at Green Bay Packers home games was (and still is) a way of life with bratwurst and beer, and of course cheese.

Joyce said...

I love tailgate foods...your recipe sounds good. I've never thought of doing jambalaya for a tailgate-thanks for sharing!

anthony stemke said...

KALYAN: Thanks, I couldn't agree more.

PLATEFUL: Jambalaya is absolutely delicious. When tried for the first time, diners wish they'd tried it sooner.

NICKI: Me too, I have more fun at the grill.

GAIL: I LOVE brats 'n beer which is what they always had at these affairs. Just to add a new element I brought jambalaya and the fans went wild for it. Also love the sausage 'n peppers Italian style.

JOYCE: Jambalaya is convienient. First time I introduced it the fans went wild.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've only been to a couple football games (the Lobos when we lived in NM) and never had the opportunity to tailgate.

Lynda R Young said...

I've not heard the term tailgating in regards to food before. And I've not tried Jambalaya before either. It sounds yum.

anthony stemke said...

L. DIANE: New Mexico is enchanting. I remember the Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996. Someone from New Mexico wanted to make a reservation and was told couldn't take a reservation from a "foreign" country. It was the funniest thing on local radio for weeks.
Please try thr jambalya, it too is quite enchanting.

LYNDA R.: Jambalaya is a wonderful dish, jam-packed with flavour.

Joanne said...

Great recipes! My Husband does the tail gate party every year when he goes to the Army Navy game.
Blessings, Joanne

Southpaw said...

Shoot! Now, I really want a chili cheese dog. Darn you Anthony!

nutschell said...

tailgaiting parties are so much fun! usually we just grill hotdogs and burgers and have salads. But jambalaya sounds like it would fit well at a tailgaiting party. :D

Alexis AKA MOM said...

I love tailgating parties, and these are great recipes. You always have the yummiest items!!!

I agree Chili Cheese Dog sounds yummy right about now!

anthony stemke said...

JOANNE: Hi, I'll bet there is a lot of tailgate action at that game.

SOUTHPAW: Aw go ahead, live a little.

NUTSCHELL: Hamburgers and dogs will always be great tailgating foods, don't worry about it; my friends were doing foods like that but when I brought jambalaya they loved it to death. So it passed the taste test for sure.

ALEXIS: Thank you for those kind words
Okay, chili cheese dogs for everybody.

Malli said...

You are so right about the aroma at tailgate parties.... BBQ and chili dogs. They all smell soooo good although I prefer the salads and salmon!!Great tips:)

anthony stemke said...

I love broiled seasoned salmon and salads too. We have about 5 or 6 salads a week and wild salmon at least twice a week.
But for a tailgate party bbq and chili dogs and brats are always a big hit.

the Junkie book said...

but why is it called tailgate?

can imagine how delicious Jambalaya would be...look at all that goes into it and the cooking method and finally so as the Stemkes cook it!!

kathy stemke said...

THE JUNKIE BOOK: These sporting event tailgate parties are called tailgate because in the beginning, they would use the tailgate of a pickup truck as a work surface table. and the rest is history.
Thank You for asking.

sanchez said...

I love tail-gate parties! I never have tried Jambalaya but I have always wanted too! Your recipe sounds delicious though. I'll have to give it a world for one of my tail-gate parties. My tail-gate parties are a hit thanks to my DISH Tailgater! It’s a portable, compact HDTV System. It only weighs 10 pounds and you don’t even need a second account to get the party started. Working for DISH I can tell you that it really completes the party.

anthony stemke said...

SANCHEZ: Hey, that Dish thing sounds great,I bet you all have a wonderful time tailgating.

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