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Tailgate Cuisine

Spice up your game day menu with these nontraditional dishes to add seasonal flavors to your tailgate tent this fall.

Recipes by Sarah McCullen | Photographed by Joe Worthem

Pulled Pork-Red Cabbage Slaw Sweet Potato Skins


3 tablespoons sea salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons onion powder

1 tablespoon ancho chile powder

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 pounds boneless center-cut pork loin roast

2 tablespoons salted butter

1/2 cup barbecue sauce, plus more for drizzling

1/3 cup tomato paste

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup water


1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup shredded red cabbage

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt


8 small sweet potatoes

Prepare the Pulled Pork: In a medium bowl, stir together salt, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, ancho chile powder, paprika and cinnamon, and rub over roast. In a large skillet, melt butter. Brown roast in skillet, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Place in a slow cooker, fatty side up.

In the same skillet, combine barbecue sauce, tomato paste, vinegar and water. Using a spatula, scrape cooked bits from bottom of skillet, and stir until sauce mixture is well combined, about 2 minutes. Pour sauce mixture over roast in slow cooker. Cover and cook until tender, about 6 hours on high or 12 hours on low. Shred.

Prepare the Slaw: In a medium bowl, toss carrots, cabbage and scallions. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon, sugar and salt until blended. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture, and toss until coated. Cover and refrigerate.

Prepare the Sweet Potato Skins: Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash sweet potatoes, and pat dry. Bake potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet in preheated oven until soft and sugar is released, about 1 hour. Gently cut potatoes in half, and press cut side of potato with the back of a spoon to create a hollow middle. Fill potato skins with pulled pork, drizzle with extra barbecue sauce, and top with the slaw.

Roasted Vegetable and Farro Salad With Orange Dressing


1 medium-size red beet

1 1/2 cups uncooked farro

Salt to taste

1 medium-size red onion, peeled

1 medium-size red bell pepper

1 medium-size sweet potato

2 scallions

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup fresh spinach, chopped


Zest and juice of 1 large orange

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

Pinch of salt

Prepare the Salad: In a small saucepan, cover beet with water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until beet is tender, about 1 hour. Drain beet; remove and discard skin. Dice beet.

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small saucepan, add farro, and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and add a pinch of salt. Turn off heat. Let stand, covered, until farro is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain excess water.

While farro is standing, dice red onion, red bell pepper and sweet potato. Place diced beet, onion, pepper and potato on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle with olive oil. Place scallions on top. Roast in preheated oven until potato is soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and mince scallions. Then, in a large bowl, toss farro with roasted vegetables and chopped spinach.

Prepare the Orange Dressing: Whisk together all dressing ingredients until well blended. Toss Orange Dressing with salad and garnish salad with fresh herbs, if desired.

Triple-Decker Croque-monsieur

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1 1/4 cups whole milk, divided

1/4 cup diced yellow onion

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 small dried bay leaf

2 points of star anise

2 whole cloves

4 tablespoons salted butter, plus more for

buttering bread

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Kosher salt

12 slices soft-crusted sourdough or other

white bread

1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

16 slices Black Forest ham (from deli)

8 Muenster cheese slices

In a medium saucepan, bring heavy cream and 3/4 cup of the milk to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add onion, dry mustard, nutmeg, bay leaf, star anise and cloves. Turn off heat, and let stand 10 minutes. Pour milk mixture through a fine mesh strainer, discarding solids.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute; remove from heat. Slowly drizzle in milk mixture, whisking constantly. Add Dijon mustard, kosher salt to taste, and as much of the remaining 1/2 cup milk as needed to thin the sauce. The sauce should be a thick, fondue-like consistency.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread the sauce on 1 side of 4 bread slices. Sprinkle bread slices with about 1 tablespoon Gruyere cheese, and top with a slice of ham, a slice of Muenster cheese, and another slice of bread. Repeat layers once. Butter each side of sandwiches, and cook, 1 at a time, in a skillet over low heat, until sandwich is golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, pressing to flatten sandwich.

Cut each sandwich in half diagonally, and then cut each half into three small triangles. Use a wooden pick to secure the sandwich. Garnish serving tray with fresh greens or herbs, if desired.

Honey Peach Bellini

2 ripe peaches, peeled and diced, plus more

peach slices for garnish

2 tablespoons honey

1 ounce peach schnapps

1 (750-milliliter) bottle Prosecco, chilled

In a food processor, combine peaches, honey and schnapps, and process until mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of the pureed peach mixture into 4 to 6 champagne flutes, then fill the flutes the rest of the way with Prosecco. Garnish each glass with a peach slice.

Spiked Palmer

2 ounces vodka

2 ounces lemonade

2 ounces strongly brewed iced tea

Fresh mint leaves

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice; cover and shake until chilled, about 30 seconds. Pour into coupe glasses, and garnish

with a mint leaf.

Orange-Zucchini Bread

1 orange

2 cups granulated sugar, divided

3 large eggs

2 to 3 cups grated zucchini

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Cut unpeeled orange into chunks. Process orange chunks and 1 cup of the sugar in a food processor until pureed and smooth, about 1 minute.

In a large bowl, combine orange mixture, eggs, zucchini, oil and vanilla. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Gradually whisk flour mixture into egg mixture until blended. Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool in the pan 5 minutes, then remove and cool 15 minutes before slicing.

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