Friday, March 25, 2011

The Tricky Thing About Away Game Tailgates...(plus a recipe for pineapple salsa) that you really have to plan ahead. This is especially difficult if you, like me, are inexcusably forgetful. I make lists. I leave myself post-its. I pack a day in advance. I double check my lists. Yet I inevitably manage to leave some essential item at home. 

There was the time I spent an hour preparing Strawberry, Pistachio, and Goat Cheese Pizza, only to discover upon opening the trunk of our car that I'd left the crust on my kitchen counter. Or the time I made lovely veggie kabobs but forgot to check the propane tank. It was, of course, empty. 

For this weekend's tailgate, I have the luxury of access to my father's kitchen day of game. If you've been to an away game, you understand that this is truly a luxury. At the USA v Czech Republic World Cup Sendoff Series match in Hartford last May, I prepared tailgate sandwiches on the bedside table of a Marriott hotel room using a spiral notebook as a cutting board. Four days later, at the USA v Turkey match, my cooler served as stand-in refrigerator for an entire weekend. Thank goodness for free hotel ice.

On the menu for USA v Argentina:

Grilled asparagus with garlic paprika aioli 

 Grilled pizza margherita with pesto sauce

Pineapple Salsa
(adapted from Cooking Light, April 2002) - recipe below 

and just to snack on...
 Crackers with Fromager d'Affinois
(a Stephanie Donohue favorite)

I find that having veggies chopped and ingredients pre-measured goes a long way to save time (and stress) on game day. Since travel is bound to be chaotic, I gave myself a head start by doing all grocery shopping and the majority of prep work last night. I made the pesto, aioli, and chopped up ingredients for the salsa. I find small screw top jars indispensable! I've checked my packing list three times now. Who's taking bets on what item I'll forget??

Pineapple Salsa
Adapted from Cooking Light, April 2002

   1 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
   1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
   1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
   1/4 cup pineapple preserves
   1-2 tablespoons finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper (I prefer it on the spicier side)
   1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
   1/4 teaspoon black pepper
   1/4 teaspoon sugar

  Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips (I dig Red Hot Blues)


1 comment:

  1. Oh groan, this all sounds delicious. I am so disappointed I chose jet lag over affinois...


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