A Fresh Tailgate Menu

Quick and tasty ideas for game day

Take your tailgating game to new heights this season with fresh dishes that are easy to make and serve, whether your tailgating tradition takes place at the game or at home.

Fast prep times and short ingredient lists make these recipes a cinch to prepare in advance and have ready to go as soon as you reach the parking lot or before guests arrive. The star ingredients are naturally hardwood-smoked sausages and seasoned deli meats from Eckrich, which offers a variety of smoked sausage flavors in traditional ropes and bun-length links as well as gluten-free deli meats such as Black Forest ham and oven-roasted turkey, all with just the right blend of seasonings for a rich, savory taste.

You can switch up the flavors of these recipes by subbing in different varieties of smoked sausage, such as replacing the original rope-style smoked sausage with Eckrich Jalapeno & Cheddar Links. The roll-ups are also easy to customize for guests using any type of deli meat, and they’re easy to enjoy on the go if you need a quick bite on the way to the stadium.

Tailgate Like a Pro

Try New Toppings

Smoked sausage and deli meats are easy to add to a bun for an instant meal, and there’s plenty of ways to dress your tailgate menu up or down based upon the preferences of your guests. Be sure to keep some basics on hand for those who prefer traditional preparation, but for the more adventurous types, try out these ideas for toppings that create a new dimension of flavor.

  • Grilled onion
  • Grilled peppers
  • Grilled, roasted or sauteed mushrooms
  • Spicy mustard
  • Flavored ketchup (think spicy, fruity or sweet)
  • Ethnic flavors like curry or marinara sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Roasted corn relish
  • Crumbled or shredded cheese
  • Bacon crumbles

Handy Hacks

  • Repurpose coffee filters as holders for your sandwiches. They’re easy to hold and help keep your favorite toppings contained.
  • Up-cycle an empty six-pack container into a convenient cookout caddy to hold napkins, condiments and utensils. Not only is it quick to grab and place on the table, but it helps keep napkins from blowing away in a breeze.
  • For kabobs, keep wooden skewers from charring by soaking them in water before threading on ingredients.
  • Prepare toppings the night before and arrange them in a disposable foil pan for a quick and easy DIY topping bar.

Million Dollar Moment

This season, Eckrich – the official smoked sausage and deli meat sponsor of the College Football Playoff – is once again hosting the Road to the National Championship sweepstakes. Fans around the country will have the chance to make a 20-yard throw for $1 million at some of the biggest college football games of the season, including the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship in Atlanta. Visit EckrichFootball.com for your chance to win.

Find more game-day recipes at Eckrich.com.

Grilled Sausage Skewer Sandwiches

Cook time: 15 minutes

Servings: 6

  • 1          regular size package Eckrich Smoked Sausage
  • 1          small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1          red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6          wooden skewers, 10 inches long
  • 1/2       cup Italian salad dressing, divided
  • 6          bolillo or sandwich rolls, split
  • 1          avocado, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1/4       cup cilantro leaves
  1. Heat grill to medium-high.
  2. Cut sausage into 1/2-inch thick slices. Thread sausage, onion and bell peppers alternately onto skewers. Brush 1/4 cup salad dressing on skewered sausage and vegetables.
  3. Grill until sausage is golden brown and vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes, turning once.
  4. Brush remaining salad dressing on rolls. Fill rolls with grilled sausage and vegetables. Divide avocado and cilantro onto each.

Tip: To broil sausage rather than grill, heat broiler to medium-high, follow the same skewer preparation instructions and broil about 10 minutes, or until sausage is golden brown and vegetables are crisp-tender.

Ham and Turkey Roll-ups

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 2

  • 4          ounces Eckrich Deli Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
  • 4          ounces Eckrich Deli Black Forest Ham
  • lettuce leaves
  • 2          tablespoons chunky guacamole
  • 1/4       cup chopped cucumbers
  • 1          tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2          slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  1. Layer turkey and ham slices. Layer lettuce, guacamole, cucumber, cheese and bacon crumbles. Roll meat and secure with toothpick.

Potato Salad with Smoked Sausage

Cook time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6

  • 3/4       regular size package Eckrich Smoked Sausage, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 3          small red potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds), cooked and quartered
  • 1          can (4 ounces) pitted ripe olives, drained and halved
  • 2          cups Italian dressing
  • 1          green onion, sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 2          teaspoons ground black pepper
  1. In large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in potatoes; cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  2. Add olives, dressing, onions, garlic and pepper; mix lightly. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Eckrich

10 Winning Hacks for a Stress-free Tailgate

Tailgate

If there’s one thing fans look forward to more than the game itself it’s tailgating. This pregame ritual is essential, but it can also involve a lot of planning and organization. This season, if you’re looking for less stress and more fun at your tailgate, it’s time to bring in a fresh playbook.

With the right plays and a few smart hacks, you can streamline your tailgating experience to earn rave reviews without breaking a sweat. To be tailgate MVP, consider revising your pregame plan with these winning plays:

1st play: Know the rules
Every tailgate location has its own rules. Know what’s allowed so you’re not caught off guard. Info on food, drink, music, even electronics and generators is widely available on stadium websites.

2nd play: Plan the menu
Forget manning the flames. Create a burger-building extravaganza with Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews’ new Gourmet Burger Bar. The hassle-free, traveling burger bar is complete with 10 (or more) individually wrapped and made-to-order beef, turkey, chicken breast and veggie burgers, with plenty of Yukon kettle chips, a bounty of fresh toppings and mouth-watering condiments to create customized burgers to everyone’s tastes. To order, call your local Red Robin restaurant or visit www.redrobin.com/catering.

3rd: Hydrate
Just like your team needs stamina to win, you’ll need it to last an entire day of tailgating. Feel your best by staying hydrated. In addition to your favorite drinks, freeze water bottles to use as ice. As they melt, you’re left with chilled water to quench your thirst.

4th play: Keep organized
When your team is flustered, it can cost them the game. Similarly, when you’re disorganized, it can cause your tailgate to fumble. Stay organized by packing essentials like bottle openers, sunscreen, duct tape, permanent markers and first-aid supplies in a toolbox or craft container.

5th play: Magnets are magical
Heavy-duty or industrial magnets are a lifesaver when surface area is scarce. Stock up so you can adhere banners and garbage bags safely to your car or nearby light posts.

6th play: Stand out
Your tailgate buddies will have a hard time finding you in a sea of vehicles. To stand out, go high. Fly a flag or inflate helium balloons with long strings to help direct friends to your location.

7th play: Stay connected
The modern tailgater needs to stay connected. Bring a car phone charger so you don’t drain your battery by continuously checking the out-of-town scoreboard. What’s more, bring multiple extension cords to keep your entire crew charged up.

8th play: Game on
As you get closer to kickoff, why not have some friendly competition of your own? Classic tailgate games like cornhole, ring toss and ladder ball will get everyone in the mood to cheer their favorite team to victory.

9th play: Keep clean
To make sure a win is the only thing you bring home from the stadium, create a portable hand-washing station. Fill an empty laundry detergent dispenser with water, place a bottle of liquid hand soap beside it and hang paper towels with a bungee cord. You’ll keep hands clean for cheering and keep cold and flu bugs at bay.

10th play: Pack the night before
If you’re packing in the morning, you’re wasting valuable time while someone else is taking the best tailgating spot. Pack as much as you can the evening prior, leaving only the last-minute essentials for game day. (BPT)

A Fresh Tailgate Menu

Quick and tasty ideas for game day

Take your tailgating game to new heights this season with fresh dishes that are easy to make and serve, whether your tailgating tradition takes place at the game or at home.

Fast prep times and short ingredient lists make these recipes a cinch to prepare in advance and have ready to go as soon as you reach the parking lot or before guests arrive. The star ingredients are naturally hardwood-smoked sausages and seasoned deli meats from Eckrich, which offers a variety of smoked sausage flavors in traditional ropes and bun-length links as well as gluten-free deli meats such as Black Forest ham and oven-roasted turkey, all with just the right blend of seasonings for a rich, savory taste.

You can switch up the flavors of these recipes by subbing in different varieties of smoked sausage, such as replacing the original rope-style smoked sausage with Eckrich Jalapeno & Cheddar Links. The roll-ups are also easy to customize for guests using any type of deli meat, and they’re easy to enjoy on the go if you need a quick bite on the way to the stadium.

Tailgate Like a Pro

Try New Toppings

Smoked sausage and deli meats are easy to add to a bun for an instant meal, and there’s plenty of ways to dress your tailgate menu up or down based upon the preferences of your guests. Be sure to keep some basics on hand for those who prefer traditional preparation, but for the more adventurous types, try out these ideas for toppings that create a new dimension of flavor.

  • Grilled onion
  • Grilled peppers
  • Grilled, roasted or sauteed mushrooms
  • Spicy mustard
  • Flavored ketchup (think spicy, fruity or sweet)
  • Ethnic flavors like curry or marinara sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Roasted corn relish
  • Crumbled or shredded cheese
  • Bacon crumbles

Handy Hacks

  • Repurpose coffee filters as holders for your sandwiches. They’re easy to hold and help keep your favorite toppings contained.
  • Up-cycle an empty six-pack container into a convenient cookout caddy to hold napkins, condiments and utensils. Not only is it quick to grab and place on the table, but it helps keep napkins from blowing away in a breeze.
  • For kabobs, keep wooden skewers from charring by soaking them in water before threading on ingredients.
  • Prepare toppings the night before and arrange them in a disposable foil pan for a quick and easy DIY topping bar.

Million Dollar Moment

This season, Eckrich – the official smoked sausage and deli meat sponsor of the College Football Playoff – is once again hosting the Road to the National Championship sweepstakes. Fans around the country will have the chance to make a 20-yard throw for $1 million at some of the biggest college football games of the season, including the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship in Atlanta. Visit EckrichFootball.com for your chance to win.

Find more game-day recipes at Eckrich.com.

Grilled Sausage Skewer Sandwiches

Cook time: 15 minutes

Servings: 6

  • 1          regular size package Eckrich Smoked Sausage
  • 1          small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1          red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6          wooden skewers, 10 inches long
  • 1/2       cup Italian salad dressing, divided
  • 6          bolillo or sandwich rolls, split
  • 1          avocado, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1/4       cup cilantro leaves
  1. Heat grill to medium-high.
  2. Cut sausage into 1/2-inch thick slices. Thread sausage, onion and bell peppers alternately onto skewers. Brush 1/4 cup salad dressing on skewered sausage and vegetables.
  3. Grill until sausage is golden brown and vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes, turning once.
  4. Brush remaining salad dressing on rolls. Fill rolls with grilled sausage and vegetables. Divide avocado and cilantro onto each.

Tip: To broil sausage rather than grill, heat broiler to medium-high, follow the same skewer preparation instructions and broil about 10 minutes, or until sausage is golden brown and vegetables are crisp-tender.

Ham and Turkey Roll-ups

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 2

  • 4          ounces Eckrich Deli Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
  • 4          ounces Eckrich Deli Black Forest Ham
  • lettuce leaves
  • 2          tablespoons chunky guacamole
  • 1/4       cup chopped cucumbers
  • 1          tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2          slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  1. Layer turkey and ham slices. Layer lettuce, guacamole, cucumber, cheese and bacon crumbles. Roll meat and secure with toothpick.

Potato Salad with Smoked Sausage

Cook time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6

  • 3/4       regular size package Eckrich Smoked Sausage, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 3          small red potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds), cooked and quartered
  • 1          can (4 ounces) pitted ripe olives, drained and halved
  • 2          cups Italian dressing
  • 1          green onion, sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 2          teaspoons ground black pepper
  1. In large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in potatoes; cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  2. Add olives, dressing, onions, garlic and pepper; mix lightly.

(Family Features)

SOURCE:
Eckrich

Tackling a Touchdown Tailgate

Cost-effective tips from DIY experts

As fall settles in, the air gets crisper and the kids head back to school, many Americans eagerly anticipate one thing: football season.

Whether you’re a die-hard gridiron fan or prefer to enjoy the food and festivities from the sidelines, everyone can agree that a successful tailgate is key to any memorable game day get-together. According to a recent Bank of America survey, 34 percent of Americans plan to attend a professional or college football game or tailgate this fall, and 20 percent plan to host a tailgate or viewing party themselves.

Ben and Erin Napier prepare for a tailgate.

Ben and Erin Napier prepare for a tailgate.

While many love planning out meals, decorations and activities for friends and family, the costs can easily add up and make hosting feel like an underdog game. So how can fans plan a tailgate that stays on budget and impresses any crowd – home or away?

Home design and DIY experts Ben and Erin Napier teamed with Bank of America to provide these cost-savvy tips for pulling off a memorable tailgate that fits the bill for every fan on game day.

Get in the Competitive Spirit

Whether you’re grilling outside the stadium or spending halftime hanging out in your backyard, Ben recommends laying out a variety of games for guests to enjoy.

“We take college football season very seriously,” Ben said. “For some friendly, competitive fun before kickoff and during halftime, create a larger-than-life wood-block game.”

Follow these simple steps:

1. Sand down wooden four-by-fours.

2. Cut into 48 pieces, each eighteen 18 inches long.

3. Stack pieces into a tower.

4. Take turns pulling pieces to see who knocks the tower over first.

For added flair and personalization, Erin suggests painting the wooden blocks your team colors.

Bring the Stadium to Your Living Room

If you missed out on tickets or your home team is on the road, you can still make your home feel like a day at the stadium.

“During tailgates at home, we try to make our friends feel like they’re actually at the game and having as much fun as possible,” Ben said.

Decorating your home with the team’s colors – such as creating DIY wall art with framed jerseys – is a simple, cost-efficient way to capture the tailgate essence.

Ben suggests setting up a big screen TV on the deck or outdoor living area with speakers to mimic the feeling of watching a game outside in the stands. For inexpensive, comfy seating that will help welcome guests and add another pop of team spirit, try purchasing throw pillows in your team’s colors from a wholesale club or superstore, but make sure to weatherproof them first using fabric protection spray.

“We also like to play recordings of our college band before kickoff if we can’t be at the pep rally in person,” Erin said.

Create a Tailgating Space that Stands Out

One of the best parts of tailgating at the stadium is being surrounded by fellow fans. Try sprucing up your car or tent to create an inviting space that showcases your team pride.

Ben recommends investing in a large, custom-designed vinyl or fabric banner for your tent. Not only can they be affordable to produce and last for many seasons, but they stand out in a crowd.

“Because the banner’s durable, you can use it every year,” Ben said. “Its unique design makes it easy to find after we walk around the tailgate to meet fellow fans.”

Even when your tailgate screams “Go Team,” it’s important to make everybody – even the opposing team’s fans – feel welcome.

“Experiencing a big game may be a once in a lifetime experience for them,” Erin said. “Football fans should be all about hospitality, even toward the rival team’s visitors.”

Defeat Your Budget

“Planning for a busy football season doesn’t need to be a ‘loss’ for your budget,” Ben said. “Turning to a credit card that rewards you for everyday purchases is one of the easiest ways to ‘win’ this season.”

Because tailgating throughout the entire football season requires many trips to the grocery store – often buying in bulk – using a card like the BankAmericard Cash Rewards credit card lets you earn 2 percent cash back at wholesale clubs and grocery stores. And 3 percent cash back when gassing up for away games – on up to $2,500 in grocery/wholesale club/gas quarterly spend. You also earn 1 percent back on all other purchases.

For more information, visit bankofamerica.com/creditcard.

Develop a Game Plan Before Cooking

When preparing meals for a large group, planning ahead and using simple recipes are key.

“We like to plan our meals ahead so that by the time our friends arrive and the game starts, we’re pretty much done in the kitchen,” Ben Napier said.

A simple, versatile marinade helps keep flavors fresh throughout the football season while avoiding additional costs.

“For our tailgates, we prefer to stick to the classics,” Ben said. “When we aren’t grilling hot dogs or burgers, we make a big pot of chili in our slow cooker – letting it simmer for a few hours before serving when the game starts. If we’re tailgating at the stadium, we’ll even throw the chili together in a cast iron pot straight on the grill.”

Do-It-All Marinade

3          parts olive oil

2          parts soy sauce

1          part Worcestershire sauce

1          part balsamic vinegar

lemon juice

Dijon mustard

pepper

garlic powder

In small bowl, combine all ingredients then place in re-sealable plastic bag.

Drizzle marinade over chicken and let stand in refrigerator about 4 hours prior to grilling.

Get Ready for Tailgating with Hotel Ella

Photograph courtesy of Jake Holt.

Photograph courtesy of Jake Holt.

The Hotel Ella Tailgate Series returns this fall to cheer on the Longhorns with four custom-crafted tailgate events that coincide with UT’s home football games.

 

Those who purchase tickets to the tailgate series can enjoy a buffet by Goodall’s Kitchen, Deep Eddy Vodka cocktails, beer and wine, shuttles to & from the stadium, and pre-game & game broadcasts on flat-screens under the tent on the Hotel Ella front lawn. 

Sponsors: Horizon Bank, Deep Eddy Vodka

Dates: 9/12, 9/19, 10/24, 11/7

Time: Three hours prior to kickoff

  • 9/12 vs. Rice, Tailgate: 4-7 pm, Kickoff: 7pm

  • 9/19 vs. California, Tailgate 3:30-6:30pm, Kickoff: 6:30pm

  • 10/24 vs. Kansas State, TBD

  • 11/7 vs. Kansas, TBD

Tickets:
  • $50 PER PERSON

  • $175 GAME PACKAGE FOR 1 (all 4 events at a discounted rate)

  • $325 GAME PACKAGE FOR 2 (all 4 events at a discounted rate for 2)

Tickets can be purchased at hotelellatailgate.splashthat.com.