7 Must-Try Steeplechase Tailgating Recipes

6ABC’s Adam Joseph and six other expert tailgaters offer their recipes for everything from cocktails to finger sandwiches to cakes.



Left: stock. Right: photograph by Jim Graham.

Jennifer Hayward's Jalapeño Poppers

Ingredients

  • 9 jalapeño peppers
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 9 slices bacon cut in half

Instructions

  • Cut jalapeños in half and remove all seeds.
  • Combine cream cheese, salsa and shredded cheddar in a small bowl.
  • Once combined, add the mixture to a pastry bag or sturdy 1-quart Ziploc bag and cut off a corner to squeeze the mixture into the peppers. Fill the peppers with the mixture.
  • Cook bacon in the microwave or a saute pan for a few minutes until it’s starting to brown a bit but is still soft and pliable.
  • Cool and then wrap each jalapeño half in one piece of bacon. Secure with a toothpick. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet (with sides) and bake 15 minutes in an oven preheated to 375 degrees.
  • Set the oven to broil and cook for 2-3 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don’t burn. This gives the peppers a nice roasted flavor and ensures that the bacon will be crisp.
  • Remove the poppers from the oven and cool slightly before eating.

 

Jennifer Bordelon's Venison Stew

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ lbs. venison cubes (shoulder meat)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup cognac or brandy
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1¼ cup beef broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tbsp. herbes de Provence
  • 1/8 tsp. peppercorns
  • 1 pinch salt (optional)

Instructions

  • Coat the meat cubes with flour.
  • Heat oil in a heavy-bottom casserole dish over medium high heat. Add meat cubes in batches, turning them until they’re dark brown on all sides (5-7 minutes). Remove cubes with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a plate. Add salt and set aside.
  • Add the onion, carrot and celery to casserole dish. Sauté 5 minutes, stirring until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute while stirring. Add tomato paste and cognac. Let liquid boil until it’s almost evaporated. Pour in the red wine, then bring to a boil until the liquid is reduced to about half its initial volume.
  • Put meat cubes back into the casserole dish, then add just enough broth to cover. Add bay leaves, cloves, herbs and peppercorns.
  • Lower heat, cover and simmer for 90 minutes, or until meat is tender. Add more broth if necessary for a thinner sauce.
  • Remove bay leaves, adjust the seasoning, and serve in warmed dishes.

 

Will Rockafellow's Gluten-Free Lemon Cake

Ingredients

Lemon Cake

  • 3 cups gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest from one large lemon
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 cup milk (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed from one medium lemon
  • 2 tbsp. elderflower cordial

Lemon Curd:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed from one large lemon
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest from one large lemon
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter cubed

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 heaping teaspoon lemon zest
  • 5 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

Lemon Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake rounds and line with parchment.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and lemon zest until smooth. Add sugar and beat on medium high until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  • Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each.
  • Alternate adding flour mixture with milk and lemon juice, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour, 2 of milk and lemon juice). Fully incorporate after each addition.
  • Spread batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth the tops. 
  • Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
  • Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely

Lemon Curd:

  • Place eggs and sugar into a small pot, whisk to combine. Add lemon juice, zest and butter. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  • Transfer to a glass bowl and lay plastic wrap directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for 3 hours to set. Makes 2 cups.

Frosting:

  • Juice and zest a large lemon.
  • Beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice and lemon zest in a mixer until blended.
  • Mix in Powdered Sugar a cup at a time and continue to mix until sugar is incorporated.

Assembly:

  • Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Poke holes into the cake using a bamboo skewer. Brush with elderflower cordial.
  • Spread a thin layer of buttercream on top of the layer and pipe a border around the outside to hold the lemon curd in. Fill with approx 3/4 cup of lemon curd. Repeat with next layer.
  • Place final layer on top and do a thin crumb coat on the cake. Chill for 20mins.
  • Frost the top and sides of the cake with remaining frosting in a rustic manner. I started by spreading a generous amount of buttercream on the top and letting it overhang on the sides. Then I used a flat spatula to add buttercream to the sides of the cake and to smooth the which created a top lip with the overlapping buttercream.
  • Top with fresh peonies if desired, but be sure to wrap the stems in floral tape. 

 

6 ABC Action News Meteorologist Adam Joseph's Cucumber Mini Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber (any variety)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 8 oz. pack of cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • dash hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • thinly sliced bread (any variety)
  • mayonnaise
  • parsley

Instructions

  • Peel cucumber and slice in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Place cucumber in a food processor and pulse until minced, then place in a small bowl. Do the same with the onion.
  • Add onion to cucumber, mix in cream cheese, and stir well. Add salt, hot sauce and fresh lemon juice.
  • With a round biscuit cutter (the smaller the better), cut rounds out of bread slices. Spread a small amount of mayonnaise on one round, and spread cheese mixture on another round. Put them together and garnish with a sprig of parsley.

 

Paula McDermott's White Bean Hummus

Ingredients

  • 4 cups canned cannellini beans
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic
  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 3 tbsp. white truffle oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. chopped basil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Instructions

  • In blender or food processor, add beans, garlic, tahini, cumin, lemon juice and paprika. Pulse a few times until mixture is roughly combined.
  • Slowly add truffle oil and blend until smooth.
  • Transfer mixture to a bowl and gently fold in roasted tomatoes and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Carrie Smith Wedo's Horse's Ass Punch

In a large drink dispenser, combine the following:

  • orange slices (add lemons and limes, if you like)
  • pineapple juice
  • orange juice (less of it than the pineapple juice)
  • dark and light rum (half-and-half)
  • grenadine

Serve over ice.

 

Jennifer Bordelon's Buggies Punch

In a large drink dispenser, combine the following:

  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup ginger ale
  • 2 bottles Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple-Cranberry Juice
  • 2 bottles champagne
  • fresh berries for garnish

Serve over ice.

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