Are you ready for some football food?

Published 12:56 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ignore the heat wave, pretend the leaves on the trees are changing to yellow and crimson instead of brown, look in the mirror and ask yourself this very, very important question “Are you ready for some football?”

If the answer is for you to break out into a loud “Hotty Toddy,” ring a cow bell or even play the LSU fight song this article is for you.

Whether it is Friday night, Saturday afternoon, Sunday afternoon or Monday night the folks in the Miss-Lou love football and heaven knows we are vocal in support of our teams. And no matter where we watch our games we love to serve good food. So if you’re laying out your spread on a college campus or just having people over to watch the game on television here are some fabulous tailgating recipes that you and your family will love.

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Critical to a tailgating party are foods that can be easily transported, served with little fuss and picked up easily to nibble on or wave around in one hand while you defend that stupid play your favorite coach just called. This isn’t the time for “girly” food you need things with substance and these taco squares will hit the spot.

Deep Dish Taco Squares

1/2 pound ground beef

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

1 cup Bisquick

1/4 cup cold water

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup sour cream

1/3 cup mayonnaise

4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Grease an 8 by 8 inch pan. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Brown the ground meat with the onion in it and drain well. Mix the Bisquick and water until a dough forms. Pat the dough into your pan, pressing 1/2 inch up the sides. Layer the browned beef, tomatoes and green peppers over the dough. Mix the last three ingredients together and spoon over the top of the peppers. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let set. Just warm before you cut. These travel really well the next day.

— Any Blond Can Cook

These little roll-ups are just yummy, hence the name. Best if served warm, but I can honestly say that I have never had any left over. And I have it on good authority that you can set some aside for your college child to have the next day and they will be forever indebted to you. You can also shorten the cooking time, let them cool, freeze them on a cookie sheet so they aren’t stuck together and then throw them in a freezer bag for later.

Yummy Roll-ups

1 pound lean ground beef

1 package onion soup mix

1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

3 8-ounce packages refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown the ground meant and drain well. Add the soup mixture and the cheese to the meat, stir and let cool. Roll out the dough. Cut each crescent in half, making 16 triangles from each package. Place a heaping teaspoon of meat mixture on each triangle and roll to enclose. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

I always try to have a variety of food at our tailgating parties. But there are some things that are just considered to be traditions that we don’t mess around with. I always order a large tray of chicken tenders from Abner’s along with their special sauce. And the Mengs always bring barbecue and rolls from a little place there in Oxford. If it is an early game we always have sausage balls and bloody marys. You probably have a recipe for both of these, but I find that old versions are still the best.

If you need a stand alone meat dish and want to make it yourself, you can’t go wrong with chicken drumettes. These aren’t spicy like buffalo wings but delicious.

Marinated Chicken Wings

3 pounds of chicken wings

1/2 pound dark brown sugar

1 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons garlic powder

Cut off and discard the tip of each wing, then cut the rest of the wing into two pieces. Place in a large shallow baking pan. In a medium bowl mix the remaining ingredients, pour over the chicken, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the chicken for 20 minutes in the marinade. Drain off the marinade and place the wings on a large baking sheet. Just before serving, preheat the broiler, broil the wings for 5 minutes, turn and broils for another 5 minutes or until they reach the crispiness you desire.

You need a dip or two to fill in the empty spots (you can’t have any empty spots on the table) with good chips. Make something sweet like lemon squares or chocolate chip cookies and you will be ready for kick-off.