Tailgate Thursday is baaaackkkk!!! And I think it’s going to be regular thing now that football season is here. Last week I shared with you some tailgate inspiration and this week I’m bringing you all the recipes from our tailgate last Saturday when ECU kicked off the season against Towson.
I take our tailgate menus very seriously. #nobojanglesallowed
Most tailgates start with a cocktail and while I usually pour myself a stiff mimosa, I decided to make Painkillers for this game. And yes, I took fresh nutmeg that I shaved on top of each and every drink.
With it being a later game (6pm) I knew we would need a hearty menu. I prepared a few snacks for when we first set up our tailgate and then we planned on a low country boil right before we headed into the game.
Above you’ll see Tastebuds Popcorn in purple and yellow – which for all my local folks, you must visit this new specialty shop in Nashville. Below the popcorn, a spicy goat cheese dip that was my favorite of the day. And paired with the goat cheese dip, Food Should Taste Good chips. I also had a tray of veggies to add a little bit of healthy to the mix.
I made the spicy goat cheese dip the night before and I highly recommend making it ahead of time so that the flavors can develop. This dip couldn’t be easier to make – simply throw everything into a food processor and whirl away. Before serving, simple sprinkle with a few more red pepper flakes and be prepared for your friends to devour this appetizer.
Pimiento cheese is a tailgate staple in our household and this is my favorite so far (I’ve probably made 10 variations to pimiento cheese). This classic pimiento cheese is another great make-ahead dip that only gets better with time. This dip is also best after sitting at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Surprisingly this version doesn’t have a ton of mayo but it does have a little cream cheese which gives it a rich flavor and creaminess. Served with black pepper triscuits for dipping.
And all tailgates need a little something sweet – The Chewy chocolate chip cookie. I made the dough the night before and simply baked the cookies on Saturday morning. They are insanely chewy with the perfect amount of chocolate. This cookie is a winner.
After several hours of hanging out and people watching, it was time for our low-country boil. My in-laws brought some local shrimp from Ocean Isle Beach and it was some of the best shrimp I’ve ever had. Juicy and tender and full of flavor without being fishy at all. The corn was some that we had frozen out of the garden and we used purple potatoes (arrrgghhh!!!!). We also added in a couple of quartered onions for even more flavor. And to complete the low-country boil: two types of cocktail sauce. Mike’s Cocktail Sauce was by far the favorite and one of the best cocktail sauces I’ve ever tasted and the White Cocktail Sauce uses sour cream and mayo instead of ketchup for an interested twist on the classic cocktail sauce.
Such a fun start to football season! Even more fun with a Pirate win.
This weekend ECU faces the Gators in the Swamp. And while we won’t be going to the game, I can promise that I already have a fantastic football menu planned for Saturday afternoon/evening including chicken wings and hummus (yes, hummus).