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Weekly Tailgate Menu: October 3, 2007

stephenlinn's picture

The ultimate tailgate chefEvery Wednesday I publish my Weekly Tailgate Menu which has a complete menu (usually four dishes) to throw a great tailgate party - or backyard party - that weekend. Of course you can mix-and-match recipes but each week I try to explore a differnt type of food or regional foods.

This is the first week since I've joined iFOOD.TV that I've blogged my weekly menu, but you can look for it each week. If you'd like to have it e-mailed to you every Wednesday just let me know at If you'd like to see all the weekly menus and recipes you can do that at And if you're a tailgater you can get caught up on all sorts of tailgating stuff at and

Okay, enough referrals... on to the food. 

This Week's Menu:

- Artichoke Frittata

- Beet and Potato Salad

- Fish Tacos

- Double Chocolate Layer Cake

One of the best things about tailgating across America is the regional influences you see in tailgate menus. What comes off the grill at LSU is a whole other world than what you’ll eat at Penn State or Nebraska or USC.

The Pac-10 is arguably the best example of that. You have California cuisine influences, fresh seafood, and an active locally-grown movement mixing it up for some interesting parking lot meals. That’s not to say you don’t see staples like burgers and brats, but the dishes seem to be more varied out west.

This week’s menu highlights some of those influences. The recipes come from The Ultimate Tailgater’s Pac-10 Handbook which has several more dishes highlighting this regional cuisine.


Artichoke Frittata
2 (6-ounce) jars marinated artichokes

¼ cup chopped onions

4 eggs, beaten

½ lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated

6 saltine crackers

¼ cup chopped parsley
Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease 8-inch square baking dish. Drain artichokes and reserve liquid. Set aside artichokes in large bowl; combine reserved liquid and onions in a medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and cook until onions are limp. Set aside. Chop artichokes and add eggs, cheese, crackers, parsley, onions, Tabasco, and Worcestershire. Mix well. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely and cut into approximately 1-inch squares.

Yields 64 bite-sized servings

Recipe from What’s Cooking at Stanford cookbook, courtesy of the Parent’s Club of Stanford University


Beet and Potato Salad
6 potatoes (about 2 pounds)

1 cup mayonnaise

1 (15-ounce) can sliced beets, drained and chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste 

Combine the potatoes with enough water to cover in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 to 35 minutes or until tender. Drain and let stand until cool. Peel and coarsely chop the potatoes. Combine the potatoes and mayonnaise in a bowl and mix gently. Stir in the beets. Add the olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and chill, covered, until serving time. 

Yields 6 to 8 servings

Recipe from Pomegranates & Prickly Pears cookbook, courtesy of The Junior League of Phoenix

Fish Tacos


2 pounds cod fillets

3 tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)

1 tomato, chopped

½ onion, chopped

3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

Slaw Ingredients:
2 cups red cabbage, shredded

½ cup green onions, chopped

¾ cup nonfat sour cream

¾ cup salsa

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 350°F, or set gas grill to medium heat. Rinse fish and place on rack in baking dish, or grill pan to drain fat off fish. Mix lime juice, tomato, onion, cilantro, olive oil, peppers, and salt and spoon on top of fillets. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep fish moist. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes. Mix cabbage and onion; mix sour cream and salsa and add to cabbage mixture. Divide fish among tortillas. Add a quarter cup of slaw to each. Fold over and enjoy! Refrigerate leftovers within 2 to 3 hours. 

Yields 8 tacos, 1 per serving

Recipe courtesy of the Oregon State University Extension Department

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

Cake Ingredients:
3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut

1 ½ cups hot brewed coffee

3 cups sugar

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)

2 teaspoons baking soda

¾ teaspoon baking powder

1 ¼ teaspoons salt

3 large eggs

¾ cup vegetable oil

1 ½ cups well-shaken buttermilk

¾ teaspoon vanilla


Ganache Frosting Ingredients:
1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

½ stick (¼ cup) unsalted butter


Directions for Cake:
Preheat oven to 300°F and grease 2 (10x2-inch) round cake pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper. Finely chop chocolate and combine in a bowl with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.


Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl beat eggs with an electric mixer until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.


Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour, to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.


Frosting Directions:

Finely chop chocolate. In a 1 ½- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth. Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable. Depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to a spreadable consistency.


Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, for 3 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.

Yields 12 to 14 servings

Ed Kasky, Program Director, University of Southern California’s University Club

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Weekly Tailgate Menu: October 3, 2007