Get ready for some tailgating

Published 12:03am Wednesday, September 4, 2013

For those of you who know my family, you know this is our favorite time of the year.

It’s college football time, and when you play in the SEC, there’s nothing better. I’m not crazy about home games in the first part of September because it’s still so hot. But, one nice thing about going to games in Oxford is that we get some cooler weather faster than the some other teams.

My daughter-in-law, Lizzie has been pulling out all of the pretty tailgating supplies she and Matthew got for wedding gifts, and I’ve been gathering up a season’s worth of red Dixie cups, plates, napkins and so forth. We’ve got new table decorations, a new tent and a couple of new chairs, and we are ready for the first home game.

Just like the seats we sit in at the game, my children expect our tailgating menu to stay the same. They are creatures of habit and usually don’t like change. However with the addition of our newest family member, Lizzie, we’ve taken on some new food items, and they are great ones.

Tailgating in the Grove at Ole Miss has its challenges. We can’t have grills, and there aren’t any on-site electrical sources, so unless you bring a generator, you have to use chafing dishes with Sterno canned heat. We’ve managed to tailor our menu to work in the Grove, and here are two of our favorites.

This recipe is one I found several years ago and began using for my supper club. It was such a hit there that I began using it for tailgating also. It stays warm easily in a chafing dish.

 

Sausage cups

1 pound hot ground pork sausage

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 cup ranch-style dressing

1/3 cup shopped pimiento stuffed olives

1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1 16 ounce package wonton wrappers (3 1/1/2 inch squares)

 

Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium high heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain on paper towel. Combine sausage and next 6 ingredients. Coat 4 miniature muffin pans with cooking spray. Place wonton wrappers in pans, using fingers to create fluted shape. Lightly spray wrappers with cooking spray, bake at 350 for 8 minutes, turning pans after 4 minutes. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon filling into each wonton cup. Bake at 350 degrees for 9 to 10 minutes until browned and thoroughly heated.

Remove from pans and serve hot.

For tailgating I make the wonton cups ahead, cook them the 8 minutes, let them cool and store them in 2-gallon Ziploc bags. I make the filling and transport them separately.

Prior to the game I fill the cups, bake them and set them in aluminum pans, cover them with foil and then place them in a warm chafing dish when we get to the Grove.

 

Christina Hall writes a weekly food column for The Democrat. She can be reached at christina.hall@natchezdemocrat.com.