Tasty Tailgates – 2008

Bacon Cheeseburger Puff Rolls
1 pound ground beef
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 cup diced sweet onion (about 1 medium onion)
1/2 cup diced sweet red bell pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed between palms
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 green onions, thin-sliced with green tops included
1/2 cup ketchup
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 sheets (17.3 ounce box) puff pastry, thawed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or your favorite)
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper. Place ground beef, bacon, and sweet onion in a large, deep skillet and saute until bacon has rendered it’s fat and onions are translucent. Break up the ground beef as you saute.  Drain well.  Add red bell pepper and garlic to the ground beef. Saute an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in oregano, basil, green onions, and ketchup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool to room temperature. Place one sheet of puff pastry between two sheets of plastic wrap and gently roll out to rectangle about 12 inches by 10 inches. Remove the top of piece of plastic wrap. Spread half of the ground beef mixture on puff pastry, leaving 1 inch clear on each of the four sides. Sprinkle with half of the cheddar cheese. Use the bottom piece of plastic wrap to help you roll the puff pastry and filling lengthwise into a log. Use the egg white as glue to seal the roll. Gently press both ends closed. Using the plastic wrap, lift the roll onto the prepared jellyroll pan and place seam-side down. Repeat process with the remaining sheet of puff pastry. Brush the tops of the bacon cheeseburger puff rolls with egg white and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Let rest for 10 minutes, then slice each roll on the diagonal into 4 pieces to serve.

BBQ Chicken Pizza
1 (grocery store) roasted chicken
1 jar favorite bbq sauce
1/2 can of whole kernel corn
1/2 white onion, thin sliced
about 1 cup of shredded mozzarella
1 pre-made pizza crust, or refrigerated roll pizza crust

Pull desired amount of roasted chicken off the bone, and simmer in some bbq sauce (just use enough to coat the chicken). Spread some bbq sauce (as much or little as you like for sauce on the pizza) – just like you would the marinara sauce on the crust. Now – evenly spread all ingredients on the pizza – using your family’s desired amounts.  (I spread the cheese last – it goes on last.  If you plan to cook it on the grill at the tailgate, don’t pile it too high.) Heat in oven just before leaving, and then wrap in foil to keep it warm -OR- heat it on the grill at tailgate until cheese melts and the crust is to your desired crispness.  It is yummy – you will be hooked.

Tailgating Pigs in A Blanket
2-3 cans of biscuits and or crescent rolls
2 packages cocktail sausages

Flatten out the biscuits and/or crescent rolls. Wrap each sausage. Cook according to biscuit/rolls package directions. Be sure to bring a little sweet BBQ sauce for dipping!

Stuffed Filet Mignon Bites
4 (6 oz) filet mignon steaks
1 (16 oz) bottle Italian dressing
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1/4 cup minced jalapeno pepper
20 slices thinly sliced bacon

Slice the steaks into 1/2 inch wide strips.  Pound the strips to about half their original thickness. Place the steak in a bowl; pour the Italian dressing over the meat; allow to marinate at least 2 hours. Mix together the cream cheese and jalapeno pepper in a bowl; set aside. Remove the strips from the marinade and lay out on a flat surface. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture on each strip. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate. Remove the strips from the marinade and lay on a flat surface. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture on each strip. Fold the meat around the cream cheese mixture to form a ball. Wrap each ball with a slice of bacon. Secure bacon with water-soaked toothpicks or metal skewers. Cook on preheated grill until steak is no longer pink, about 4 minutes per side.

Best Football Dip Ever
1 pound ground beef
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 (8 ounce) jar prepared salsa
1 (1 pound) loaf processed cheese food, sliced
package of taco seasoning.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat and season with taco seasoning. Cook, stirring to crumble, until no longer pink. Drain off grease. Spread the cream cheese in an even layer in the bottom of a 9 inch square baking dish (you can mix some of the taco seasoning in with the cream cheese, too). Spread a layer of salsa over the cream cheese, then cover with a layer of ground beef. Top with slices of processed cheese and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until heated through. Serve hot. 

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