Score a touchdown with these Super Bowl tailgating recipes!

Super Bowl LIII will be played Sunday, February 3, in Atlanta between the New England Patriots and the L.A. Rams.  With the strong military presence in the Tennessee Valley pulling in residents from all over the country we probably have a few die-hard Patriots or Rams fans living here, but not many.  Most people around here seem to root for either the Tennessee Titans or the Atlanta Falcons.  Since neither of those teams have ever won a Lombardi trophy, Super Bowl Sunday just brings back bad memories.  For the Titans, it’s Kevin Dyson reaching that ball out for the goal line but being tackled by Mike Jones just one yard shy of the endzone.  And for Falcons fans, all you need to do is mention the score of 28-3 for them to relive their nightmare.  Despite past disappointments, Super Bowl Sunday can be a fun day to get together with friends and family to enjoy watching the final football game of the season.  Maybe you’re hosting the party at your place.  Or perhaps you’ve been invited to someone else’s party and you need a dish to take.  We’ve got you covered with some recipes that will surely earn you a Super Bowl MVP award at your bowl bash.

 

Mesquite Smoked Pork Chops

They call the football the “pigskin”.  This is misleading since footballs used today are made with cowhide leather.  Early footballs were made from the bladders of pigs but never actually made of the pig’s skin.  Still, the nickname stuck.  What better way to celebrate the “pigskin’s” biggest day than to fire up the grill and cook some delicious pork.

4 loin pork chops (each 1 inch thick and 10 to 12 ounces)   

Mesquite wood chips

McCormick Grill Mates Mesquite Seasoning

Bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

Soak 6 – 12 wood chips in a pan or bucket of water for 12 – 24 hours before grilling.  Set up grill for indirect grilling with the charcoal briquettes raked to opposite sides of the grill leaving a cooler grilling zone in the middle.  Heat grill to between 300 and 325 degrees.  Place the soaked wood chips on top of the coals.  The water the wood chips have absorbed will create more smoke during the grilling process.  Oil the grill grate and place the pork chops in the center of the grill making sure that they are not directly over any charcoal or wood chips.  Cover and grill the chops for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meat hits 160 degrees.  Flip the chops and rotate them 90 degrees every 10 minutes. During the final five minutes of grilling, place the chops directly over the fire to sear in the grill marks.  At that time also sprinkle on the mesquite seasoning and brush on the BBQ sauce.  Transfer pork to a plate and let rest for three minutes.  When you cut into the meat the outer layer should look a little pink.  That is the smoke ring.

 

Honey Garlic Little Smokies

This is an easy slow cooker recipe.  These work great for watching football because you can eat your first helping at kick-off and the smokies will still be sitting warmly in the slow cooker when you circle back through for seconds in the 3rd or 4th quarter.  This will be your team’s big second half comeback.  

2 14-ounce packages of little smokies 

1 tablespoon of honey

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

¼ cup of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 ½ cups of ketchup

1 tablespoon of sriracha

Mix the honey, garlic powder, brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, and sriracha together in a bowl.  Dump the little smokies into your slow cooker.  Pour the sauce mixture over the smokies.  Stir and spread evenly.  Cover and cook on low heat for four hours.

 

“Our offense is on fire!” Salsa

I’ve never heard anyone complain about somebody bringing a bottle of store-bought salsa to a party.  Then again, I’ve never heard anybody compliment it either.  You will impress your fellow football fans with this simple homemade salsa that will burn them like a wide receiver with 4.3 speed.

28 ounce can of whole tomatoes  

1 tablespoon of cilantro

1 tablespoon of crushed red peppers

1 tablespoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of salt

1 tablespoon of minced garlic

2 tablespoons of jalapeno peppers and juice

Add all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until well mixed.  Serve with tortilla chips.

 

“Our offense is stuck in the mud!” Cheese Dip

On Super Sunday at least one coach will yell, “We’ve got to play for the full 60 minutes!” So, does your party. This is another recipe that can sit in the slow cooker and get you through the entire game.

½ pound of hamburger meat 

½ pound of sausage

1 can of Rotel Mild Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles

1 pound of Velveeta Cheese

8 ounces of cream cheese

1 10.5 ounce can of cream of mushroom soup

Brown the hamburger and sausage in a skillet.  Cube the Velveeta cheese.  Dump all the ingredients into your slow cooker and stir until even.  Cover and cook on low for four hours or until cheese is completely melted.  Stir occasionally to get that “mud” look.  Tortilla chips are the preferred dipping mechanism for this dip but try some veggies.  Bell pepper slices and carrots go surprisingly well with this dip.

 

“Endzone Dance” Caramel and Walnut Snack Mix

All our recipes so far have been more on the salty side, so here is something sweet your guests will want to snack on all the way until the NFL shoots off the confetti when the game clock hits 0:00.

1 cup of walnut pieces 

5 cups of popped popcorn

3 cups of Corn Chex

2 cups of pretzel squares

1 cup of Peanut M&Ms

¾ cup of brown sugar

6 tablespoons of softened salted butter

3 tablespoons of light corn syrup

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

½ teaspoon of baking soda

Combine the walnuts, popcorn, Corn Chex, and pretzel squares in a large bowl.  Mix the sugar, butter, and syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil.  Turn the heat down and keep mixing for another couple of minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Remove the sauce pan from the burner and mix in the vanilla extract and baking soda.  Pour this mixture over your popcorn mixture and stir until evenly coated.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Pour and spread mixture evenly onto baking sheet.  Bake at 300 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until popcorn is golden and caramelized.  Stir once halfway through the baking process.  Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.  Transfer to your serving bowl and mix in the Peanut M&Ms.