Tailgate Thursday {bourbon-candied ginger and onion dip with homemade sweet potato chips}

With a drink in hand, we cheered loudly for the Pirates this past Saturday but we just couldn’t stand up to our competition.

Regardless of who wins any football game, the food and drink around our house is always winning.

On the drink menu, a French Tropics Summer Punch.  But I like to call it Pirate Punch for a fun tailgate cocktail.

In a pitcher, or small punch bowl, combine 3/4 cup vodka (we are partial to Tito’s), 3/4 cup St. Germain, 1 cup pineapple juice, 1 cup orange juice and 2 cups prosecco.  Serve over ice.

This is a fantastic drink for a tailgate because you can multiple the amounts to make a big batch and it’s a great make-ahead drink.

Warning: this is a potent drink!

(and yes, I have a chipped nail – I promise I will get it fixed this week.)

And to munch, bourbon-candied ginger and onion dip with homemade-homegrown (!!!) sweet potato chips.

This dip is another great addition to any tailgate because you can make it ahead.  (and some parts of this recipe you need to do in advance – like the candied ginger.)

For the candied ginger, thin slices of ginger are simmered in a combination of water, bourbon and sugar.  After simmering for 25 minutes, the ginger is removed from the bourbon simple syrup and transferred to a drying rack.  After about an hour, combine the ginger with 1/4 cup sugar and toss.  Spread that back out and allow to dry.  I did this the night before and let them dry overnight on the drying rack.

For the dip, onions, scallions, shallots and garlic are cooked over medium for about 20 minutes or until golden and caramelized.

The onions are transferred to a food processor and pureed.  The remaining ingredients are then added to the food processor, including Worcestershire sauce, Greek yogurt (I used 2% but you could also use sour cream), Duke’s mayonnaise, soy sauce, a little lemon juice, and the candied ginger.

Pulse until all the ingredients are combined.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed (I added more pepper than salt).

Allow this to chill.

sweet potatoes

During halftime, we fried our thinly sliced homegrown sweet potatoes.  How gorgeous is that purple sweet potato?!?!


This recipe worked perfectly (and the BBQ seasoning was incredible).

The end result was perfect for any tailgate.

And I have to admit – I was a little skeptical of this recipe.  I honestly was afraid that the bourbon-candied ginger was going to overpower the dip.  But the good news is that it didn’t.  I’d consider this an upgrade on a typical onion dip.

Now we’re 1-2 and facing Virginia Tech at home on Saturday.  Kick-off time is 3:30pm so I’m preparing a tailgate menu that includes food that travels easy (since we have an hour drive) but that’s hearty enough to count as lunch since we all know Big Guy will probably make me leave the house at 8:30am.








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