Are you ready for some football?
By Liz Smith
No matter your team, all people in South Louisiana love one thingTAILGATING! The history of tailgating is said to go back to the early 1900s when people would grill sausages on the “tail end” of their horses. If you have walked around Cajun field or the LSU parade grounds on game day, you know that tailgates are a little more than a sausage poboy these days.
Even the location of tailgating has evolved. Many arrive to their spots insanely early to pop up the tent and get the pit rolling. Others, have taken a liking to restaurant “tailgating” and some even prefer to do it all in the confines of their homes with close friends and family. If you are part of the latter group or have ever wondered how you would go about hosting a tailgate at home, I have got you covered!
1. Make the Guest List This comes in handy when trying to decide how much food to prepare. I recommend making a themed invitation online that you are able to send out via text. I’ve made invites this way with apps such as EVITE and Canva. It is easy and a great way to be festive!
2. Make a Menu Once you have an idea of how many people are attending, you can decide on what and how much to serve. If someone offers to bring something, let them! I always like to provide the main course and will offer for my guest to bring either an appetizer, side dish, or dessert.
3. The Drink Situation You will want your guests to know what you will and won’t have on hand. I always provide water and soft drinks. It is really hard and expensive to buy alcohol for a crowd. You can offer a signature drink, though. For example, if guests are arriving earlier in the day you can set up a fun Mimosa or Bloody Mary Bar. If it is a nighttime kickoff and guests will be arriving in the heat of the afternoon, make a big batch of margaritas or pick up a couple of gallons from a nearby bar!
4. Party Set Up and Decor You want your guests to feel the vibe of the tailgate and the best way to do this is to set the mood with team colors. Head to your grocery store and pick up a bouquet or two of dyed daisies. Set these up throughout the house, even in the bathroom. Pick up team themed Styrofoam party cups. There are local boutiques and gift shops that offer these during football season. If you are really on top of your game, make a photo booth and buy accessories ahead of time such as foam fingers and team-colored pompoms on Amazon.
5. Loose Ends You will want to make sure that TVs are synched. If you have two TVs playing the same game in hearing distance of each other and one is a second or two faster than the other, you will have a slight problem. Trust me!
If you want easy clean up, use disposable or recyclable products. There is nothing worse than having 20 people over all day and having a kitchen full of dishes at the end of the night.
Do as much prep work the night before!
If kids are coming make sure you have food for them. Also, print out some color pages of the team mascot for the kids to color. This is a great game day activity! If things do not go according to plan, just go with it & ENJOY YOURSELF!
Ingredients 1 Rotisserie Chicken, deboned and skin removed 1 bag of Blue Corn Tortilla Chips 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese 1 cup Mexican Style Shredded Taco Cheese ¼ cup plus more, BBQ Sauce 1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed ½ Purple Onion, chopped 2-3 Roma Tomatoes, deseeded and chopped 2 Jalapeno, deseeded and sliced 1 Avocado, diced ¼ cup Cilantro, roughly chopped
Directions Preheat oven to 375F
Roughly chop your chicken and add it to a medium-size bowl. Add ¼ cup BBQ sauce to the bowl and combine. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and begin to assemble your nachos by first adding the chips then topped with beans, chicken, onions, ½ of the tomato and jalapeno, and all of the cheese. Place nachos in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is nice a melted. Remove the Nachos and top with the avocado, cilantro, and the remaining jalapeno & tomato. Drizzle with a little more BBQ Sauce & Enjoy!
Liz Smith is a board-certified Physician Assistant with a passion for food & travel. She loves putting her own healthy-ish spin on new and old recipes. She also enjoys exploring the world with her husband, Petey. You can find them in and out of their kitchen on Instagram @thevintagefork or on her blog www.thevintageforkblog.com