Whether you tailgate outside a stadium or in your own backyard, here’s a game day guide to fan-pleasing food. You’ll look like a pro with these easy-to-prepare pre-game treats.
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Think outside the burger and brat box, and rally your crowd around these colorful kabobs.
1 package refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 (6-ounce) can pitted ripe olives, drained
1 (6-ounce) package turkey pepperoni slices
1 bottle of Kraft Light Asian Toasted Sesame dressing
8 ounces cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
8 ounces marinated mozzarella medallions
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
Prepare tortellini according to package directions; drain and cool. Place tortellini, artichoke hearts, olives, and pepperoni on bamboo skewers, available in most grocery stores. Put skewers in a 9x13-inch baking dish; drizzle with salad dressing turning skewers to coat. Cover and chill 8 hours.
Before serving add cheese cubes and tomato halves.
Yield: 4½ dozen kabobs
Pepperoni rolls are a tailgating tradition. Fans go to their favorite bakeries and convenience stores and buy bags of them. But Jane Kopcak Martin of French Creek has her own special ingredient—ramps! Her Ramperoni Rolls are legendary! Since ramps make their appearance in early spring, you can freeze or can them for use later in the year.
½ cup evaporated milk
½ cup water
5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup warm water
1 package dry yeast
6 cups bread flour, divided
3 (6-ounce) packages pepperoni slices
1 large block Pepper Jack cheese, sliced
2 cups ramps with leaves, diced
In a saucepan mix milk, ½ cup water, sugar, salt, and butter. Heat the ingredients until the butter melts. Do not boil or overheat.
In another bowl, combine 1 cup water and dry yeast. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of flour and heated milk mixture and mix, using a wooden spoon or mixer with dough hook. Add in the yeast mixture and mix. Stir in 2 more cups of flour. Use last cup of flour to spread over bread board or counter, and kneed dough until it is smooth and blistered. Put dough into greased large bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Keep warm in a draft-free place. Let dough rise for about 1 hour or until it slightly rises above bowl.
Preheat oven 350°. Remove dough from bowl and place on bread board. Divide in half. Let it rest. Break off palm-sized pieces of dough and pat flat. In the middle of the piece of dough, place several slices of pepperoni, a slice of cheese, and 1 tablespoon of ramps or to taste. Fold dough around pepperoni, cheese, and ramps, forming a roll. Put rolls into a greased 9x13-inch glass baking dish. Cover rolls with a towel and let rise for a second time for 1 hour.
Bake rolls for 20 minutes or until golden brown. To make sure the rolls are finished baking, tap the top of the rolls; they should sound hollow. For a healthy version, use whole wheat flour and turkey pepperoni.
Yield: 30–50 rolls, depending on size
Mini Bleu Cheese and Pear Muffins
Give your spread some extra spirit with these bite size bits of bleu.
1 (14-ounce) can pear halves in natural juice, drained
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
⅛ tablespoon salt
¾ cup bleu cheese, finely crumbled
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
6 tablespoons canola oil or melted butter, cooled
¼ cup walnut pieces
Preheat oven to 400°. Grease 2 24-cup mini muffin pans or line with 48 mini muffin paper liners. Chop pears into small pieces. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the cheese and pears.
Lightly beat the eggs, then beat in the milk and oil. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the beaten liquid ingredients. Stir gently until just combined; do not over mix.
Using an ice cream scoop, spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Sprinkle walnuts over the tops of the muffins. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch.
Let muffins cool, then serve warm.
Yield: 48 muffins
Pickles and cheese are a party-perfect accompaniment to sandwiches and salty foods.
1 jar whole refrigerated kosher dill pickles, drained
1 (6-ounce) tube pasteurized processed
Cheese with jalapeno peppers, room temperature
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
Cut pickles in half crosswise. Use an apple corer or vegetable peeler to core pickles. Set aside. Using a beater, combine process cheese and cream cheese. Spoon cheese into a plastic bag and cut tip of bag. Pipe mixture into pickle halves. Cover and chill 1 hour. Cut pickles into ½-inch slices. Chill in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Yield: 60 servings