I'm planning a Big Game tailgate for the upcoming Cal vs. Stanford football game and last week I asked you what should be on the menu. The majority of votes were for a football themed menu with easy, classic game day dishes. With a little help from the grocery store, a cheese plate and veggie platter come together quickly. Spinach and artichoke dip can be easily heated on the grill. A Tex-Mex seven-layer dip tastes great chilled and can be prepared the night before. Teriyaki chicken wings and steak sandwiches round out the menu. Make these dishes for your next tailgate! Get the recipes when you

Spinach Artichoke Dip
Modified from Houston's restaurant

2 (10-ounce) bags fresh spinach, stemmed, rinsed and chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons. minced fresh garlic
1 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup flour
2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream)
1 Tbls. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 tsp. salt
1-1/4 cup fresh grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 (15-ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and julienned

  1. Steam spinach - strain and squeeze dry. Must be very dry. Chop finely and set
  2. In heavy saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add garlic and onions and saute about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add flour to make a roux. Stir and cook about 1 minute. Slowly add heavy cream, stirring with a whisk to prevent lumping. Mixture will thicken at the boiling point.
  4. When it thickens, add lemon jiuce, Tabasco, salt and Parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in sour cream. Fold in dry, chopped spinach, coarse diced artichoke hearts and half of the Jack cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.
  6. Turn the mixture into a baking pan. Top with remaining jack cheese.
  7. Bake the dip for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately, with tortilla chips for dipping.

Serves 12-16.

7 Layer Dip
From Kraft Foods

1 can (28 oz) refried beans
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. taco seasoning mix
1 cup guacamole
1 cup chunky style salsa
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 Tbsp. sliced pitted ripe olives
1/2 cup chopped and seeded tomatoes, optional

  1. Spread refried beans onto bottom of 9-inch pie plate or quiche dish. Mix cream cheese and seasoning mix until well blended. Spread on top of refried beans.
  2. Layer remaining ingredients over cream cheese mixture; cover. Refrigerate several hours or until chilled.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips.

Serves 12-16.

Teriyaki Chicken Wings
From Tyler Florence

2 dozen chicken wings, about 3 1/4 pounds, rinsed and patted dry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted in a skillet over medium heat until lightly browned
Leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Teriyaki Sauce:
1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup grapefruit juice
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 fresh, hot red chile, halved
5 garlic cloves, halved
2-inch piece fresh ginger, smashed with the side of a large knife

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Season the chicken wings with salt and pepper and drizzle a little olive oil on them to prevent sticking. Lay the wings in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until the skin gets crispy and the wings are cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the teriyaki sauce ingredients in a large saucepan. Simmer over low heat and reduce until slightly thickened. Pour the sauce into a large bowl.
  4. Dump the wings into the bowl and toss to coat them with the sauce. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and cilantro. Serve hot.

Serves 12.

Steak Sandwiches
From Cooking Light magazine

1/2 cup dark rum
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 garlic cloves, crushed, or 2 1/2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1 (1 1/2-pound) flank steak
Flavored mayonnaise:
1/2 cup fat-free or light mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
Remaining ingredients:
8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices red onion (about 2 onions)
16 (1-ounce) slices sourdough bread
2 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
16 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato (about 3 tomatoes)

  1. To prepare marinade, combine first 5 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Trim fat from steak, and add steak to bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours, turning bag occasionally. Remove the steak from bag, reserving marinade. Pour the marinade into a microwave-safe dish. Microwave marinade at HIGH 1 minute or until mixture boils.
  2. To prepare flavored mayonnaise, combine mayonnaise and horseradish, and set aside.
  3. Prepare grill. Place steak and red onion slices on a grill rack, and grill onions 4 minutes on each side, basting with the reserved marinade. Remove onions from grill.
  4. Turn the steak, and grill an additional 8 minutes or until steak is desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from grill. Place bread slices on grill rack, and grill 2 minutes on each side or until toasted.
  5. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Spread 1 tablespoon flavored mayonnaise on one side of each of 8 toasted bread slices. Divide steak, onion slices, lettuce, and tomato slices evenly among 8 bread slices. Top with remaining bread slices.

Serves 8.

Substitute: pineapple juice for rum, if desired.