Monday, September 7, 2009


Amazing game on Saturday. Roll Tide! Leftovers still lingering? No worries. Freeze any remaining pulled pork and I'll show you what to do with it another time. Any Blue Cheese-Ranch Dip left? Thin it with a little milk or buttermilk and make a Cobb Salad tonight with deli fried chicken tenders and cooked bacon served over torn lettuces with avocado slices, tomato wedges, cucumbers, and hard cooked eggs.

As we turn our attention to the first home football game of the season, we must ask ourselves one simple question-- Paper or plastic?
Well, both really. You gotta make things easy on yourself if you plan to eat well and have a good time before and after the game. Stock up now on tailgate essentials for the entire season such as: plastic utensils, trash bags, paper plates, zip-top plastic bags, paper cups, napkins, paper towels, and plastic containers, so that all you have to do on Friday night is pull what you need. It's always best to choose coolers on wheels for easy transport. Taking an entire menu of food? Plan to pack separate food and drink coolers. If not, be sure to leave a little room for cold items to cozy up next to your Bud Light. You want to make hoofing it across campus as painless as possible.

So down to the food. There's a lot to do and a short window if you plan to offer up good eats on game day. This week's menu will step right up and tackle all of the important points like tastiness, ease of preparation, and pack-ability.


Cold Fried Chicken
Hard Cooked Eggs Tutorial
Green with Envy Deviled Eggs
Marrow's Tomato-Cucumber Salad with
Garlic-Red Wine Vinaigrette
For the Cold Fried Chicken: Pick up fried chicken Friday evening (Publix, KFC, Popeye's-- your favorite) and place in an air-tight plastic container. If you want to get real fancy, wrap flat leaf parsley sprigs in a damp paper towel and place in a small zip-top bag. When you get to your tailgate spot, sprinkle parsley leaves over chicken. Just buy according to your crowd size.

Hard Cooked Eggs
Makes 12
Prep: 20 min.

Game Plan: Prepare Friday night. If you must, you can boil the eggs Thursday, but expect the filling for Green with Envy Deviled Eggs to be a little lumpy.

Place eggs in a single layer in a 3 qt. saucepan and cover with about 1-inch of water. Bring eggs to a rolling boil over high heat. Cover eggs with lid, turn off heat, and let stand 8 minutes (use your timer, here). Remove lid, drain in a colander, and rinse with cold running water. Place eggs back in 3 qt. saucepan and shake so that eggs crack all over. Place eggs back in colander and fill same 3 qt. saucepan with ice water. Peel eggs (they'll still be a little warm) in colander under cold running water and then add to ice water to stop the cooking process. Your now ready to make Green with Envy Deviled Eggs.

Rolling boil:

Peeled eggs that have plunged into an icy bath:

Perfectly cooked eggs. No green rings here:

Green with Envy Deviled Eggs
Makes 12 servings
Prep: 15 min.
Game Plan: Prepare Friday night.

12 Hard Cooked Eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise (Hellmann's is best-- How do I know? Ohh, I know alright. Nothing like a mayonnaise tasting to figure that one out.)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard (Go ahead and buy some. I use it a lot.)
1 handful parsley, just grab it from the bunch and chop it (or 2 Tbsp., chopped, if that's scary)
1 green onion, chopped (Mine was ginormous. Sometimes you have to use your best judgement when it comes to larger than life produce. So really, 1 big or 2 small ones.)
Salt, pepper, and Tabasco, to taste

Cut eggs in half with a sharp paring knife (I wipe the knife clean with a paper towel in between each cut), remove yolks, and place in a small mixing bowl. Mash yolks well with a fork. Stir in mayonnaise, and next 3 ingredients. Add salt, pepper, and Tabasco, to taste-- (Mix it all up and taste it. When YOU like it, it's done).

Spoon mixture into a gallon-size plastic zip-top bag and cut about a 3/4-inch hole in one corner of bag. Pipe mixture into egg halves.

The Extra Point: Sandwich two egg halves together and layer with parchment paper in an air-tight container. Place next to the beer in fridge so you don't forget to pack them.

Marrow's Tomato-Cucumber Salad
Makes about 12 servings
Prep: 10 min.

Game Plan: Prepare Saturday morning. I promise, it's that fast. I use a mandolin to slice the cucumbers and onion really thin. You can get one from Target for about $18. Ohh, and BTW, it's not scary to use at all. Just pay attention to what you're doing and you'll be fine.

3 to 4 large tomatoes, sliced (No worries if they aren't homegrown. Beefsteak are a great choice.)
1 pt. grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 very large cucumber (or 2 medium), sliced
1 medium vidalia or sweet onion, sliced
Salt and Pepper
Garlic-Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/2 (4-oz.) package crumbled feta (Add the entire package if you like.)
Chopped fresh parsley (or basil... even better)

Layer tomatoes, cucumber, and onion in a portable (4 qt.) or 2 (2-qt.) containers with lids sprinkling salt and pepper between layers. Drizzle with Garlic-Red Wine Vinaigrette. Top with feta and parsley. Snap on lid and place in cooler last so that tomatoes do not get too cold (for best flavor). (The tomatoes and cucumbers will release a lot of liquid once salted and allowed to stand a bit. Toss the mixture together lightly once you get there and serve with a slotted spoon.)

Garlic-Red Wine Vinaigrette
Makes about 1/2 cup
Prep: 5 min.

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 tsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together first 4 ingredients; add oil in a slow steady steam until well blended and emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.

The Extra Point: Yummy on any salad or sandwich, too.
Let me know how I can help.
Chow, y'all!


  1. Becca, you would be proud. My son wanted a boiled egg for breakfast and it was cooked perfectly. Thanks! As expected, he only like the white part.


  2. So glad it was helpful to you! Like father, like son...

    Roll Tide!