The question that often comes to our Web site is, “What foods should I serve this week?” Actually the answer to this question depends on the weather. Early in the season, August and September, we football tailgaters experience much hotter weather than we do around Thanksgiving. It’s not uncommon to be so hot in September that you don’t even want to cook at the game. Later in the year we may need to find warmth and offer hot foods like chili. For this reason my staff has conducted tailgate lot surveys in many parts ofAmericato find out what tailgaters prefer at different times of the year. Complete surveys of all times of the football season are published on our Web site. To set your menu, check out the results of these queries:
- What is your favorite warm weather main course?
- (1) Sausages (bratwurst or Italian) 32 percent. (2) Sandwiches 25.6 percent. (3) Hamburgers 13.2 percent (4) Chicken 12.4 percent
- What is your favorite warm weather side dish?
- (1) Chips and dips 20 percent. (2) Green salads 18 percent. (3) Potato salad 16 percent. (4) Veggies 12 percent
- What is your favorite warm weather desert?
- (1) Bars 42 percent. (2) Cookies 26 percent. (3) Fruit 13 percent. (4) Cake 10 percent
Here’s a great menu item for warm weather tailgating. It’s a sandwich you can put out and satisfy a large number of tailgaters quickly and easily, leaving more time to socialize before the game.
- French’sDijonMustard 2 tsp.
- Balsamic Vinegar 1 tsp.
- Olive Oil 4 oz.
- Warm water 2 oz.
- Salt and Pepper – Ground
- Large loaf of Italian or French bread.
- Red, Green and Yellow Peppers sliced and roasted
- Mushrooms – portabella or other favorites sliced and roasted
- Very thinly sliced Polish Ham or Prosciutto 1 lb.
- Very thinly sliced turkey breast 1 lb.
- Feta Cheese 8 oz.
- Fresh herbs like basil, parsley and or cilantro.
In a bowl, combine mustard and vinegar. Mix in Olive oil and then warm water. Salt and pepper this mixture to taste and put aside for now. Slice the large loaf of bread length wise. Scoop out the bulk of the bread so that the crust is like a shell. Paint on some olive oil and then sprinkle the Feta cheese over the whole sandwich bottom. Now add the sliced peppers and mushrooms. Drizzle this with a little of the vinegar mixture. Add layers of ham and turkey and drizzle again with a little of the vinegar mix. Place the top crust on the sandwich and then wrap it in plastic wrap. Place weight (like a large iron skillet) on top of the bread and press it for one hour. Place the sandwich into the fridge overnight. On game day, unwrap the sandwich and slice it with a sharp knife. Rewrap it and place it into your food cooler. At the game the sandwich can be placed on a wooden board and served with a pie spatula. Use the remaining vinegar mix at the game to drizzle the slices as desired.