Food Ideas for the Ultimate Football Tailgate Party

Some things simply go together: football, great food and fun people. Enjoy these pleasures outdoors on a crisp fall day and your life is complete. The football teams may vary, the choice of your company is personal, but THE FOOD: there are some classic must haves!

When you pack for your day’s festivities keep it disposable, keep it simple and keep it small. You may need sternos, racks or a portable grill/stove and a cooler (which becomes a seat. A small crate packed with plates, napkins, foil, etc) will also serve as a seat is a good idea. One small item to keep in your car is a car AC adapter which converts the car’s power into an electrical outlet for you so any electrical equipment can be easily used in your car (did anyone say they need a blender?).

Remember the word, G-O-A-L, and you will have the equivalent of a tailgate touchdown.

G: Greasy foods. Let’s face it, we all want to indulge in those sinful foods! Serve some buffalo wings, cheeseburgers or ribs. Grab a roll of paper towels and a beer and you are good until halftime! If it will be cold out, a big pot or thermos of chili hits the spot.

O: Onions: There must be onions involved! The day before, prepare some sausage and onions in a pan and serve on long rolls. Saute onions with chili sauce to put on top of burgers or hot dogs. Arrange a blooming onion or onion rings in foil and place on the grill. Sour cream and onion dip with your kettle fries is an easy no-cook snack.

A: Appetizer-type foods: Aka finger foods, small bite sized foods which allow you to walk around, catch a pass in the parking lot and hold a drink are the ultimate in tailgating. Cubes of assorted cheese, sliced pepperoni, raw vegetables, shish-ka-bobs, Swedish meatballs and fried chicken are some favorites.

L: Libation: American football fans enjoy their assorted beers. Beer is a wonderful complement to the above mentioned foods. However, you could take it further and bring a pitcher of cranberry rum punch or apple martinis to extend the “fall theme”. A robust merlot for your wine drinking, football watching, hot dog eating friends is optional!

For the most part, tailgating should be about being casual, enjoying comfort foods and spending time with friends outdoors in the spirit of the game. So set your “goal” and get out there this season to enjoy one of America’s favorite pastimes!