Friday, October 4, 2013

Tailgate Two - Tasty Tips

 Last weekend Caroline volunteered to get together the food that needed to be heated and/or grilled at a tailgate gathering for 25.  Many people at the company she works with were Hospitality and Tourism Management majors from the same university - and it was Homecoming!  I was thrilled to be able to help and she texted me her menu wish list.  Along with the usual hot dogs, hamburgers, and brats, she wanted to serve Spinach Artichoke Dip and Buffalo Chicken Dip.  The group had access to grills, but if a pan is just set right on the grill, the bottom is sure to burn.  The answer was to put rocks in the bottom of an empty pan, pour water in it, and then set the pan with dip in it on top of that.  Caroline said it worked perfectly and every one loved the hot dips on a fall day.  As for keeping the Chipotle-Cilantro Slaw and potato salad cold, she employed the opposite method.  Ice was put in the bottom of an empty pan, and the pans with the slaw and potato salad were set on top of that.  The spinach dip recipe came from the days when Caroline was working in the John Purdue Room for a class toward that above mentioned degree.  The chicken dip is from Jenn Ford, a teacher friend of mine.  Both could be made a bit healthier by substituting low fat cream cheese, light mayonnaise, and Greek yogurt for the real cream cheese, mayo, and sour cream.  The slaw is from Southern Living Magazine and to help it travel well, Caroline kept the dressing in a jar and the peppers in a baggie until the last minute.  The potato salad is a family favorite and a nice change of pace when surrounded by other dishes loaded with mayonnaise.  Below are the recipes - Enjoy!

Put ice in bottom pan to keep it cool
Put rock in each corner w/ water, top with pan

Spinach Artichoke Dip for 12


8 cups loosely pack fresh spinach

1 (15 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained & quartered

12 oz. cream cheese, cup into cubes

2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

 1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt


Blend all the ingredients together.  It can help to use the bottom of a glass to work the cream cheese in.  Place in an eight by eight pan and either bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes until brown on top and heated throughout  - or if you are tailgating use indirect grill heat.  This is the best recipe I have found for spinach artichoke dip. I am always asked for it!


Buffalo Chicken Dip for 12


2 cups cooked, diced chicken

16 oz. cream cheese (2 bricks), cubed

1 cup ranch salad dressing

3/4 cup Frank's hot sauce

1 1/2 shredded mild cheddar cheese



Mix everything together.  Place in an eight by eight pan, bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes until brown on top and heated throughout  - or if you are tailgating use indirect grill heat.

 Chipotle-Cilantro Slaw for 12 from Southern Living


1 (16 oz.) package shredded coleslaw mix

2 canned chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoon sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh  lime juice

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon lime zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper


Place the coleslaw mix and chili peppers in a serving dish.  Whisk the rest of the ingredients together, add to the coleslaw mixture, and toss until coated.  Serve immediately or cover and chill up to one hour. I mix the cilantro in with the dressing, but the original recipe calls for it to be mixed with the slaw first.

Favorite Potato Salad for 12


1 pound redskin potatoes, washed & cut

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/4 cup diced yellow onion

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender, but not falling apart!  Drain, place in a serving bowl and set aside.  Whisk all the other ingredients together and pour over the still warm potatoes.  This is great served right away, but also good chilled. 

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