Chef James Tailgate Special – Florida State Edition

Triple Threat Tailgate Grub

This week I’m tripling up friends. I was down last week, but back with a vengeance this week. I thought, Florida? Lets do Cubano sandwiches. Nope, not practical. Besides, how many people bring what is, essentially, a panini press to a tailgate? Better yet, how many of you even own one. Fact is, it’s an essential part of the process, so I scrubbed it. We’re doing two side dishes this week, and a flat out awesome cookie recipe, that is also simple, and fast. I’ve cooked for quite a few tailgates, and the side dish game at most of them is weak, to say the least. I’m of course, not referring to the Harlow/DTT tailgate that can be found, EASILY, because of its epic proportion, and people, in front of Legends at ND. So here we go……

Three bean casserole.
Baked Three Bean Casserole with Crispy Bacon
INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

Kosher salt

2 cups Sweet and Sticky Cola Barbecue Sauce mixed with 1/2 cup water

Two 15 1/2-ounce cans baked beans

One 19-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

One 19-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

6 slices lean bacon

Preheat the oven to 375°. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, green pepper, onion, ginger and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Add the diluted Sweet and Sticky Barbecue Sauce and all of the beans and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the beans to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and arrange the bacon strips on top. Bake the beans for 45 minutes or until bubbling and the bacon is crisp. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Cola BBQ Sauce

Ingredients

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a generous pinch for the garlic

3 Dr. Pepper

1 1/2 cups ketchup

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 slightly heaping tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional for seasoning

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, plus additional for seasoning

1/4 teaspoon old bay

1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Smash the garlic cloves, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, and, with the flat side of a large knife, mash and smear mixture to a coarse paste.

Stir garlic paste, the 1/4 teaspoon salt, cola, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, chili powder, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, and allspice together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, stir in the lime juice, and season with black pepper and hot sauce, to taste.
Next up, who doesn’t love cornbead? This is a “kicked up” version, obviously because of the cayenne and chipotle, but you can bring it down by adding less, or none at all. It really doesn’t affect the cooking process. This can be done the night before, and unlike most baked goods, this actually tastes better the next day……
Ingredients

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus butter for baking dish

1 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

½ tsp. Cayenne

1 tsp. Dried chipotle powder

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Green onion and paprika for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, cayenne, chipotle powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, buttermilk, and butter. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and fold together until there are no dry spots (the batter will still be lumpy). Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.

Bake until the top is golden brown and tester inserted into the middle of the corn bread comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.

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Lastly, it’s dessert. Another thing that, at some tailgates is missing. Fact is, some of you consider cocktails and beer the dessert of the tailgate, but I’m going to throw this at you anyway. These cookies are ridiculously easy, and crazy good. White chocolate oatmeal…..

Ingredients

1 cup of butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup of white sugar

1 tbs. Vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 ¼ cup all purpose flour

½ tsp. Baking soda

3 cups of fast cooking rolled oats

2 cups of white chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350

In a stand mixer, or mixing bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the sugars, butter, and eggs. Add the vanilla, then bring in the dry ingredients. Once it’s thoroughly combined, add the oats and chips a little at a time until they’re thoroughly combined. Use a tablespoon or ice cream scoop to portion out whatever size cookies you like on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes. It’s just that easy.

Enjoy! And of course, Go Irish!!! Beat FSU!!!

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