Hey football fans, get excited: this week I'm putting together a tailgate! Cal's my alma mater, and while Stanford is their biggest rival, on Saturday they face USC. It's the homecoming game, and a bunch of friends and I will be in attendance, so a pregame fiesta is in order. To kick things off, I'll throw an artichoke shrimp dip on the grill. Since this takes 20 minutes to heat up, I'll keep the crowd satisfied with store bought chips and guacamole. Then I'll make a round of grilled quesadillas with jack and spicy sauteed peppers. Finally, for the main course, I'll offer everyone a grilled sausage sandwich with caramelized red onions. To serve these tantalizing recipes at your next tailgate,
4 tablespoons butter
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
One 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 cup grated pecorino-romano cheese
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Two 8.5-ounce cans artichoke hearts, finely chopped and squeezed dry
10 ounces precooked shrimp, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Pita chips or bagel chips, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 7 minutes; remove from the heat.
- Stir in the cream cheese, 1/2 cup pecorino-romano, the paprika and mustard. Stir in the artichoke hearts and shrimp; season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and top with the remaining 1/2 cup pecorino-romano. Bake until warmed through, about 18 minutes.
- Preheat the broiler. Broil the dip until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot with the pita chips.
- Dips, Appetizers
1 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
3 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 medium jalapenos, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced crosswise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 medium poblano peppers, quartered lengthwise, seeded, and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
3 cups shredded jack cheese
- Heat oven to 500 degrees F and arrange 1 rack in top and a second rack in middle.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add onions, garlic, and jalapenos, season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add poblanos and stir to coat. Add broth and cook until the liquid reduces enough to just coat the vegetables, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- When pepper mixture is cool enough to handle, top 1 tortilla with 1/2 cup cheese and 1/6 of the pepper mixture, close with a second tortilla. Repeat to make 6 quesadillas.
- Arrange quesadillas on 2 baking sheets and place 1 sheet on top rack and another on middle rack. Bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Switch baking sheets and continue to cook until tortillas are golden-brown and crisp, about 5 more minutes.
Makes 6 quesadillas.
- Other, Appetizers
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium red onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
Four 6-ounce merguez or fresh chorizo sausages, pricked all over with a fork
Four 6-inch pieces of baguette, split and toasted
12 large cilantro sprigs
4 lemon wedges, for serving
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, season with salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the honey and balsamic vinegar and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until richly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Light a grill. Grill the sausages over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until nicely charred and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- Set a sausage in each piece of baguette. Top with the caramelized onions and a few cilantro sprigs and close the sandwiches. Transfer to plates and serve. Garnish with the lemon wedges.
- Main Dishes, Sandwiches