Tailgating Take 1

We’ve been bitten by the soccer bug around here. It started innocently enough last summer but has manifested into a full blown obsession this year. And as far as an obsession goes it’s not too bad. We leave the house, we socialize, even make NEW friends, support a local team and have an excuse to try all those grilling recipes we’ve been hoarding over the winter!

And more importantly it’s an excuse to tailgate. I’m not sure I’d ever been to a tailgate before we started going to Sporting KC games but I’m hooked now. It’s like you get to put on a little dinner party for you and your friends every game but you don’t have to worry if you have enough chairs because a cooler doubles nicely has a bench!

This past week we went fairly traditional with burgers and hotdogs. There was even an attempt make my own hamburger buns after sampling what the grocery store had to offer. I used the Smitten Kitchen recipe for Light Brioche Buns and they tasted marvelous and the texture was pretty spot on. The only problem was that I let them rise a smidge too long and they became one homogenous roll. Next time, and there will be a next time, I will place the formed rolls on TWO parchment lined sheets and heavily coat the plastic wrap with cooking spray. I lightly sprayed mine and seriously deflated the rolls while trying to remove it.

Homemade Hamburger Buns

Our burger ‘recipe’ is pretty simple, but with a splash of ketchup and a crisp pickle it hits the spot. I’m not sure where the grated onion idea came from, I think Rachael Ray deserves the credit here, but it allows you to use a lower fat content beef while still retaining moisture!

1lb ground sirloin (we used 90%)
1/2 an onion grated on the small side of a box grater, it will end up being very pulpy
1 t pepper
1 t salt
1 t garlic powder
1 t worcestershire sauce

Mix it all together with your hands, but try not to over work it or the beef gets tough. Form into 4oz patties about 3/4 inch thick. To keep the centers from puffing up while cooking use a spoon to make a little divot in the middle.

Matt didn’t want all the charcoal to go to waste so we went looking for grill able sides. We found a recipe for garlic and rosemary infused new potatoes. With a little guidance from Cooks Illustrated we halved, skewered, marinated and par cooked red potatoes in the microwave. Then we just tossed them on the grill to finish cooking.

And since it was Saint Patrick’s Day I thought was should have a little green on our menu and opted for a mint layered brownie after seeing Marta’s post! I used my go-to one bowl brownie, layered with my standard buttercream doctored up with mint extract and green food coloring. The final layer was a rich semisweet ganache!

Minty Brownies

Paired with some beverages and lovely company the first tailgate of the season was a success!

Please excuse the quality of the photos, I quickly snapped them with my phone as we were hustling out the door!

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