Tailgate tips to make spreads winners

PITTSBURGH — Football fans love to throw both large and small tailgates before the match. Whether it’s a modest spread of chips, a dip and chicken wings from the trunk of a car, or a feast of catered Smörgåsboards, the goal is the same. It’s about having a good time while supporting the home team.

This is the energy of the tailgate, and Dave Brandon, the last single party in Georgetown, Beaver County, for his cousin Daniel McCull in a pre-season match against the Steelers’ Detroit Lions in August. Often it is the background for other important celebrations, such as throwing. 21. It was held at the last minute and featured a simple menu of Costco’s grilled brat worst, chicken and shrimp, and plenty of Miller Lite beer to wash it off.

“It’s a fun time. I love to entertain and cook,” says Brandon, principal of the Western Beaver Junior / Senior High School in Industry.

Lamont Copeland from the North Side, a few places below the parking lot, was also relatively easy to access with pre-season hot dog, burger and chicken on stick menus. His menu was in stark contrast to grilled shrimp, steak and crab legs, with Marissa Coradini from Somerset eating the feast.

“it’s the first time [tailgating]That’s why I really wanted to experience it, “she says.

Then there are people like Johnny Dash approaching his pre-match party with enough force that you might call him a tailgate fanatic.

A volunteer diving coach living in Greenfield at the University of Pittsburgh, a prominent diver in 1984-87, has been throwing tailgates since the late 1980s when the Steelers were still playing at the Three Rivers Stadium. After the University of Pittsburgh tailgator came across a party behind Winnebago, it wasn’t until 2009 that he figured out how to do it right.

“He taught me how to do that in class,” he says.

Later, Dash bought a retired ambulance in the 1980s and turned it into a Pittsburgh-themed mobile tailgate unit. The upgrade included a 20-inch flat-screen TV and an in-flight toilet in the cabin. The vehicle, which did the custom painting work in honor of the Steel City sports team, became the equipment for the Steelers and Pit Panthers tailgates at Red Lot # 6 near PNC Park.

It has such a great element that it is featured in the NFL Network and KDK ATV fan N’ATion. The cast of “Rock of Ages” also came when the show was held in town a few years ago. In 2011, the Mobile Tailgate Unit gained the status of Steeler’s representative in the Tailgate Hall of Fame, the premier tailgate organization nationwide.

Anyone can create a fairly fine tailgate spread with some good recipes. We have prepared items that are easy to cook, taste good, and can be easily transported from the kitchen to the parking lot.

Taco salad

PG tested

Who doesn’t have to crunch tacos and worry about falling apart by hand? This simple salad has all the flavors of hard shell beef tacos, but can be eaten with a fork.

“We love it because it’s easy to throw it on a plate with Doritos or eat it alone,” says all the Steelers since her husband Phil took over his father’s ticket five years ago. Says Yandrokovich, who made it at the tailgate of. “We put it in a clock pot, so it’s easy to carry.”

If you like tacos a little spicy, just add salsa or hot sauce. Other optional toppings include diced avocado, chopped coriander, sour cream or corn. I made taco seasoning from scratch, but it’s not embarrassing to use a pre-packaged mix.

For taco seasoning

2 teaspoons of chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For salad

1 lb of minced lean beef

3/4 cup of water

One iceberg or romaine lettuce, chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup sliced ​​black olives

1/4 cup chopped green onion

1 15 oz can focus or black beans, rinse, drain

1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup of catalina or french dressing, bottled or homemade

2 cups of tortilla chips or Doritos, crushed

Make a taco seasoning mix: Measure all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well. Taste and adjust salt and spices as needed.

In a large frying pan, cook the beef on medium heat for 6-8 minutes, or until the pink color disappears and crumbles. Drain with taco seasoning and water and stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 4-6 minutes without a lid, or with occasional stirring until thickened. Let it cool a little.

Toss lettuce with tomatoes, olives, green onions, beans and cheese in a large bowl. Place the beef mixture and crushed chips. Combine dressing and toss to make it rain lightly.

For 6 to 8 people.

— Philip Yandrokovich, Brighton Heights

Buffalo Chicken Empandas

PG tested

If there is something given at the tailgate party, it means that someone will bring a buffalo chicken dip. Some people make it from canned chicken (hmm!), But I didn’t dream of it. My go-to is finely chopped rotisserie chicken.

To twist this old favorite by hand, I packed dips in a refrigerated pie crust to make an empanada-like treat. I also added chopped coriander and a little jalapeno pickles and put on blue cheese dressing. (If you’re not a blue cheese fan, use a ranch instead.) I used two rounds of dough for each empanada, but you can also cut the circle a little bigger and fold it to make it easier.

I made this dip many times with Frank’s red hot sauce, but this spring I discovered the Hank sauce “Cilanktro” in Sea Isle, NJ, and became a fan. Contains coriander, chili and garlic.


3 cups of finely chopped rotisserie chicken

6 oz (3/4 package) cream cheese, soft

6 oz shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup blue cheese crumble, optional

1/3 cup blue cheese or ranch dressing

Taste with more than 1/3 cup of hot sauce

2 package refrigerated pie pastry

Chopped coriander and jalapeno pickles

1 egg with a small amount of water to wash

For blue cheese or ranch dressing, dips


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix finely chopped chicken, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, blue cheese, blue cheese dressing and hot sauce. If you’re not cheeky (or spicy), add a little more hot sauce.

Spread the pastry sheet on a lightly dusted surface. Cut the dough into circles using a powdered 3-inch round cookie cutter placed in half of the edge of the pastry. Or if you want a really creative 4×3 inch football shape. Repeat with the remaining dough, cool the scrap if necessary, and rewind.

Transfer half of the notch to an oiled top plate. Place a spoonful (about 2 teaspoons) of chicken mixture in the center of each and flatten with your fingers. Be careful to leave space on the edges.

Place a little chopped coriander and jalapeno pickles. Polish the edges of the pastry with eggs. Place the remaining notch on top and press the end with a fork to seal. If you use the soccer shape, make a slit at the top like in a soccer race. Wash the eggs and polish the top.

Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the pan and warm or cool to room temperature. Dip with lunch or blue cheese dressing.

Make about 3 dozen empanadas.

— Gretchen McKay, Post Gazette

Black and gold brownies

PG tested

Every party needs some kind of dessert, and brownies meet the tailgate bill. These are black and gold treated with the addition of a yellow M & M. Sorting them out of the bag is a hassle, but they add a touch of colorful home teams. I added chopped pecan nuts, but you can also add walnuts and almonds.

1/2 cup of unsalted butter (1 stick), and for pots

1 cup of medium-strength flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Plenty of salt knob

1 ounce of semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 cup of brown sugar

Granulated sugar 1/4 cup

2 big eggs

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup pecan nuts or walnuts, coarsely chopped or better

1/4 to 1/3 cup gold or yellow M & M

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter 8 x 8 inch baking bread. Place parchment or paraffin paper on the bottom, leaving overhangs on both sides. Butter paper; set the pot aside. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a whisk.

Place the butter and semi-sweet chocolate in a safe microwave oven, heat in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until smooth, and stir occasionally. Add cocoa powder and oil and stir. Add a mixture of sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour. Stir well. If you are using M & M and pecan nuts, stir and then use a spatula to transfer the batter to the pan.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the toothpicks come out with only a few crumbs (or faster until soft). Allow to cool completely before slicing into squares.

Place in a closed container and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. These also freeze well.

Make 16 brownies.

— Reproduced from

Pineapple jalapeno margarita

PG tested

The opening round is looking for a really great cocktail. This pineapple jalapeno margarita offers the perfect balance of sweetness and heat, and above all, serves the crowd.

For pineapple jalapeno syrup

1/2 cup of pineapple juice

1/2 cup sugar

1 jalapeno, slice

For cocktails

9 oz Cointreau (or your favorite orange liqueur)

12 ounces of lime juice

8 ounces of water

750ml bottle of tequila (I like Blanco tequila pepper notes)

Prepare pineapple jalapeno syrup.

Put the juice and sugar in a pan and heat slowly until the sugar melts. Do not bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add sliced ​​jalapeno. Soak for 10 minutes, then longer to add more heat. Cool to room temperature.

Place 3 ounces of pineapple jalapeno syrup with Cointreau, lime juice, water and tequila in a container (enough to hold 57 ounces) and stir to mix. If time permits, cool the material. Since the cocktail is not shaken, there is no dilution, so it is important to add water to balance the cocktail.

Get a red solo cup — after all for the tailgate! — Add ice, decorate the lime wedge and enjoy!

Make about 15 4 ounce cocktails.

— Raylin Giggler

Dave Brandon of Beaver County shrimp at the tailgate, part of the last single party of the pre-season Pittsburgh Steelers match against the Detroit Lions on Saturday, August 21, 2021 in the North Shore district of Pittsburgh. Grill

Taco salad is easy to prepare, easy to carry and avoids the confusion of your tacos.

The Buffalo Chicken Empanada has all the flavors of a popular dip, but is a handheld for easy snorting.

Rich, rich, M & M and pecan nut-studded, these black and gold brownies are a sweet way to end the Pittsburgh Steelers tailgate.

Tailgate tips to make spreads winners

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