Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
I don’t know about all of you out there, but the other day when I heard that college football season is less than a hundred days away, it made me hungry. There’s just nothing better than watching football with some friends and enjoying all of the wonderful food.
Now, if all the people in Ohio tried to have a tailgate party at Ohio Stadium, things would get a bit crowded. So for the sake of logistics, I will allow this culinary discussion to include the foods we eat/bring to football watching parties as well.
Now, I will freely admit that cooking in the tailgating environment takes a bit more creativity. Rarely do you have access to electricity in the parking lot of a stadium, so most of your cooking will occur on the barbecue grill or will require some inventive means of transportation to keep the food hot. Either way, the foods at each location seem to be pretty similar.
I think that some of the all-time greatest football foods come from the grill, be it hotdogs, bratwursts, kielbasas, burgers, steak sandwiches, etc. etc. etc. There is something about cooking with fire that is just flat out manly and that manliness seems to carry over into the flavor of the foods. My personal favorite football food from the grill is easily bratwursts.
My preferred way of cooking brats is to first boil them in some sort of beer, preferably dark beer, and then grill them until they are perfectly cooked. Throw them on some quality rolls (not hotdog buns…quality bratwurst rolls or hoagie rolls) and add some spicy mustard and kraut…then you’ve got a perfect experience coming your way. The other day, I boiled some brats up in Redd’s Apple Ale. Let me tell you…that was pure heaven. It gave the bratwursts a nice sweet kick on the end of each bite…mmmmmmmmm. Trust me, it’s worth a try.
Pizza is another food that seems to go right along with football season. Pizza can be handy when the football party gets moved to your house at the last minute. Everybody throws in ten bucks, the phone call is made, and thirty minutes later there is a stack of pizza boxes on you kitchen table just waiting for your guests to devour their contents. Pizza is also great when it’s made at home.
I am by no means a gourmet chef, but I can cook a mean pizza. I start with three packs of that bagged crust mix and make one giant ball of crust (I know, using the mix is a sin when making pizza…sue me!), then I spread it out in a giant cast iron skillet. Then I cut a bag of string cheese into one inch chunks, line the outside of the crust, and role the crust over it (that’s right…stuffed crust) . From there, you add about a half a can of sauce, add about a bag of cheese, add your toppings, add more cheese and throw it in the oven for about a half an hour. The result is an artery clogging bit of heaven that has ruined homemade pizza night for at least two of my friends. I challenge you to eat more than three pieces…trust me…you’ll beg for mercy.
Wings are another great food that just seems to go along with football season. Traditional, boneless, grilled, fried, baked…I’m pretty happy whenever they grace the table of the party I’m attending. I prefer my wings slightly on the side of insanely spicy, but if you’ve ever seen me in person, I’m clearly not picky.
Once you fill up on these foods, it’s time to move over to the snack table. If the party in question is a proper affair, expect to see various homemade appetizers as well as secret recipe dips and salsas. There are too many possibilities to list here, but my favorite has got to be Becky Shaffer’s pizza dip. Any of you that know her understand what I’m talking about!
We here at ‘Our Sports Report’ want to hear from you. What are some of your favorite football season eats? If you wish, feel free to post a recipe. We may just compile an ‘Our Sports Report’ cookbook! So let us have it!