When it comes to tailgating in Baton Rouge, LA for the LSU Tigers, the main focus is on mingling with friends and family while enjoying good food. When you visit the LSU campus on game day, you will notice tents everywhere there is a vacant piece of ground that extends all the way to the very edge of campus. Tailgating is a serious business here and we know how to have a good time.
While some love to campout the night before the game and bring along BQ pits, others just arrive early the mornings of the game to mid-afternoon. The key to having a good tailgating party is to be prepared and have enough food prepared beforehand so you too can enjoy the fun and not be stuck cooking while everyone else eats and enjoys your efforts.
Here are a few of my favorite dishes and tailgating recipes to prepare beforehand for tailgating:
Deviled Eggs are a great addition to a tailgate party when the weather cools off in southern Louisiana. I don’t recommend bringing deviled eggs along for days when the temperature is above 75 due to easy spoilage and the chances of contacting e-coli. But for the cooler weather, you can prepare deviled eggs the day before and put them on ice in a cooler for tailgating. Here is how I make my deviled eggs:
Sweet or dill pickle relish (your preference)
Boil eggs for 12-15 minutes for a good hard boil. Run under cold water to reduce the temperature until you can handle the eggs. You may also let them sit in a pot of cold water for a few minutes. However, eggs are easier to peel when still warm over totally cold. Peel egg shells off and let eggs cool to room temperature. Get out your cutting board, a knife and a mixing bowl.
Next you will slice each egg in half long ways. Remove the egg yolk and place the yolks in your mixing bowl and the egg halves back on your cutting board. When all eggs are sliced, you will be ready to mix your filling for the eggs.
Mash egg yolks with a fork, add mayonnaise (around two tablespoons), one teaspoon of mustard, two-three tablespoons of pickle relish and mix. Next add a dash of Worcestershire sauce by just quickly turning the bottle over and back. You just want a touch of the smoke flavoring to give your deviled eggs a big kick. Stir again and make sure your filling is fluffy. You may want to add a bit more mayonnaise. You can also adjust the amounts of mayonnaise, mustard and pickle relish to your taste.
You are now ready to spoon in the filling into the egg halves. Once this is done, sprinkle with paprika and you are ready to put your eggs in a dish to transport them to your tailgating party. Tupperware makes an excellent egg dish that can go to refrigerator to ice chest easily. This will keep the eggs in place and “pretty”.
BQ Miniature Sausages
Another favorite nibble for tailgating or any party is smoked sausages in BQ sauce. You can prepare this dish also at home in a crock pot and transport to your tailgating party in it too.
2- lbs of tiny smoked sausages
1-bottle of hickory smoked BQ sauce (or another favorite like onion, mesquite or garlic flavor)
1-Tablespoon of grape jelly (optional)
This is a simple dish to make and a great appetizer for parties too! Just drain water from sausages and add to your crock pot. Add bottle of BQ sauce and about ½ cup of water to dilute it a bit. Next add a tablespoon of grape jelly to give the sauce a tangy flavor. Cook for 1-2 hours on low to medium.
Sausages will stay warm in the crock pot while transporting to tailgating party.
BQ’ing is a favorite pastime at tailgating parties and some show up with elaborate equipment. However, most just have a small portable pit that is easy to throw into the trunk of a car or back of a pickup truck. To make the most of your tailgating time and socializing, prepare your meat the day before by marinating in Ziploc bags.
You can do this with any cut of meat such as steaks, chicken, and pork. For hamburgers, prepare your patties, stack with wax paper between them and put in a Ziploc and lay flat in the ice chest. This will make preparation time quick and easy once you get to your tailgating site.
Other easy fixes for the grill are hot dogs, a favorite of the kids and sausage for the adults. Just don’t forget the BQ sauce!
A great side dish to bring along for tailgating is potato salad. It can also be prepared at home and brought to the game ready to eat. Here is my favorite potato salad recipe and how I make mine:
Pickle relish (sweet or dill)
Green Onions (2-4)
Boiled Eggs (3-5 depending on amount you make)
Boil eggs and potatoes until done. Remove shells on boiled eggs and let cool. Drain potatoes when done and let them cool. I usually let potatoes cool for about 30 minutes and come back to mix it all up. If potatoes are too hot, they will break up and you will have mushy potato salad. This is also a good time to chop your green onions and boiled eggs. I usually use 2-4 green onions depending on how much I make and chop both the green tops and the bulbs finely.
Put potatoes in large mixing bowl, add chopped boiled eggs, mayo (to taste) a couple of tablespoons, one tablespoon of mustard, 3 tablespoons of pickle relish, a dash of salt and pepper (to taste), a tablespoon of celery seed and your chopped green onions.
Mix everything together and give it a taste test. You may need more mayonnaise, mustard or salt and pepper. Once you have it to the “perfect” flavor, cover and store in the refrigerator in a plastic dish. This will make for easy transportation to your tailgating site.
To me tailgating is all about having fun and I prefer to have as much food prepared ahead of time to make things simpler and have time to walk around campus and partake in pre-game activities, like the band playing, meeting friends and just having a good time. I don’t want to be stuck preparing food while everyone else eats and enjoys all the activities!
I hope these ideas and tailgating recipes will help someone plan a tailgating event for their family that makes the event easier on the cook! Have fun and Geaux Tigers!