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« Valley Food Home

A fresh tailgate menu



Published: Wed, October 4, 2017 @ 12:00 a.m.

Family Features

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.

Grilled Sausage Skewer Sandwiches

Cook time: 15 minutes

Servings: 6

1regular size package Eckrich Smoked Sausage

1small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

1red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces

6wooden skewers, 10 inches long

1/2cup Italian salad dressing, divided

6bolillo or sandwich rolls, split

1avocado, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

1/4cup cilantro leaves

Heat grill to medium-high.

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.

Grill until sausage is golden brown and vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes, turning once.

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

4ounces Eckrich Deli Oven Roasted Turkey Breast

4ounces 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

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

3/4regular size package Eckrich Smoked Sausage, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

3small red potatoes (about 21/2 pounds), cooked and quartered

1can (4 ounces) pitted ripe olives, drained and halved

2cups Italian dressing

1green onion, sliced (about 1/4 cup)

1clove garlic, minced

2teaspoons ground black pepper

In large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in potatoes; cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Add olives, dressing, onions, garlic and pepper; mix lightly.

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 kebabs, 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.


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