Anna's Tailgate Recipe for Georgia

P-w-w-h-h. I just blew down the barrel of my trusty faux Gamecock pistol. That was after walking ten paces and depressing the lever and letting some blanks fly against that Georgia Dawg Gang. Or is that a pack of dawgs? Either way - bang, bang! It's high noon, and the puppie dawgs leaving on the train for Georgia Saturday night will have their tails between their legs as they go.

Oh yes, the match-up is going to be good this week. Georgia thought they did a dilly when they pummeled the Ragin' Cajuns last week, and they will be resting on their laurels coming into Williams Brice Stadium this Saturday. But we're going to be there to meet them with some surprises.

Last week, our boys did us so proud. We had Steven Garcia putting the ball in the air and making contact. Bam-yow!!! I think it might even be better this week. And when he got a little tired, there was the cockalorum freshman Connor Shaw getting his feet wet on the field. Oh boy, something to look forward to in the next few years. I would say we've got it covered on quarterback.

And how about the powerhouse on the field, Marcus Lattimore! If that young man's playing isn't enough to put the broadest Gamecock smile on your face, then look down and check your talons, because they are missing. Marcus, I've just got to find a special dish for you this game; you are as close to the Balm-in-Gilead for our team as a Gamecock can get. The day that Brad Lawing and Jay Graham found you in Duncan, SC, was a blessed day for Gamecock Nation, no doubt.

And Alshon, my man, it was so good to see you running down that field again. You're like a joy in a mama's heart watching you play. Everything good a mama tries to teach her child just comes bursting out with you. I can't wait to see you show your stuff against Georgia.

Okay, team — it's going to come down to this: Defensive line, you're going to get a workout in the cockpit for sure. They are going to try and tire you out. Just like any dog does, they're going to engage you and try to establish themselves as the Alpha's on the field. Ha! We have that title, and I don't believe Cliff Matthews and company are going to give it up easily. So stay on your "A" game, boys, and defend our honor.

What about the food, you say? How are we going to keep up our energy for this dog and cock fight Saturday? Honey, that's the easy part. It's the armchair coaching I do in these articles that's so hard, LOL. Cooking is easy. Yelling and screaming at the players, and occasionally some of the coaches and officials, that's taxing. As if my screaming and yelling even had an impact! It might, though. You never know.

So I thought we'd make us a "Dawg Food" brunch. The kind that smells so good, the other team will wish they had thought of it first. It may not look like much, and it may be the strangest tailgate food you've ever heard of, but how about a big plate of Corned Beef Hash to start off with. It has your meat, potatoes and flavor, and it's simple to fix. I know it may not be the most fashionable dish on the block, but there's something to say for simple and filling. We'll just jazz it up a bit. Remember, dawgs drool, and they'll drool when they walk by and see that plate piled high with hash.

Now, if that doesn't do it for you, I offer an alternative recipe. This is "Southern Dawg fixin's." How about a nice bowl of smothered Andouille Sausage over some stone-ground grits? It's kind of fitting to be serving up a Cajun dish to the team that will be beating the team that beat the Cajuns. It's like Karma, only better.

If there's grits or hash, or both, you've got to have a little side dish of grilled eggs, and all you've got to do is remember to bring your muffin tin to fix them. So easy to make, and with a little addition of some bacon bits, they're perfect.

Since both of those dishes are a little on the heavy side, how about a nice Hazelnut Citrus Salad to accompany them. It's crunchy, light and full of goodness. If that's not to your liking, let's go upscale with a fancy Tomato-Strawberry Salad with goat cheese. Or if you've got a big crowd, make both of them to lighten the meal. You can offer Romaine lettuce leaves with a light vinaigrette dressing to serve the salad on or to accompany it on the plate.

Now after a while of letting that brunch sit squarely in your tummy, you're going to be looking for something sweet. I thought we would look to the Georgia peanut fields for this, and I have a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake that will put you in the A-h-h-h-h-h-h zone.

I think a Bloody Mary with a little heat to it would be a fine drink for this meal. And for dessert, an Italian sparkling wine or some Port will do nicely to accompany the cake.

Just remember, tailgating is fun. Getting together with friends and family is fun. Drinking and driving is deadly. We want to cheer this year, so keep your head straight.

Thanks for reading and I'll be back for the next game with some more fun recipes. GO COCKS!!!


Corned Beef Hash Recipe

• 2-3 Tbsp unsalted butter
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
• 2-3 cups finely chopped, cooked corned beef
• 2-3 cups chopped cooked potatoes, preferably Yukon gold
• Salt and pepper
• Chopped fresh parsley

1 Heat butter in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) on medium heat. Add the onion and cook a few minutes, until translucent.

2 Mix in the chopped corned beef and potatoes. Spread out evenly over the pan. Increase the heat to high or medium high and press down on the mixture with a metal spatula.

3 Do not stir the potatoes and corned beef, but let them brown. If you hear them sizzling, this is good. Use a metal spatula to peak underneath and see if they are browning. If nicely browned, use the spatula to flip sections over in the pan so that they brown on the other side. Press down again with the spatula. If there is too much sticking, you can add a little more butter to the pan. Continue to cook in this manner until the potatoes and the corned beef are nicely browned.

4 Remove from heat, stir in chopped parsley. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper, and add salt to taste.


Smothered Andouille Sausage and Shrimp Over Creamy Stone Ground Grits

• 3 tablespoons butter
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 cup chopped onions
• 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
• 1/2 cup chopped celery
• Salt
• Cayenne pepper
• 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
• 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 2 3/4 cups clam juice or chicken broth
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• 1/4 cup chopped green onions
• 1 recipe Creamy Stone Ground Grits, recipe follows
• Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

In a saute pan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 4 to 6 minutes for a medium brown roux, about the color of peanut butter. Add the onions, peppers, and celery. Season with salt and cayenne. Continue cooking until the vegetables are wilted, about 8 minutes. Add the sausage and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and cayenne. Add the shrimp. Stir in the clam juice and cream. Bring the liquid to a simmer and continue to cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the green onions. To serve, spoon the grits in the center of each serving bowl. Spoon the shrimp mixture over the grits. Garnish with parsley.


Creamy Stone Ground Grits:

5 cups water
5 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
4 tablespoons butte
1 1/2 cups stone ground white grits
1 pound grated white Cheddar

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, combine the water, milk, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Bring the liquid to a gentle boil. Stir in the grits. Cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. (The grits will stick to the bottom of the pan, so make sure not to scrape the bottom of the pan. If the grits absorbed all of the water, add some hot water to thin out.) Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cheese. The grits can either be served immediately or prepared in advance and reheated.

If preparing in advance, grease a pan with a teaspoon of butter. Pour the grits into the pan and reheat in a 400 degree F for 15 minutes.

Yield: 8 servings


Eggs on the Grill

INGREDIENTS:

12 eggs/crumbled bacon

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium high heat and lightly oil grate.

2. Coat all holes of a muffin pan with cooking spray and crack an egg into each hole. Top with crumbled bacon, salt, pepper.

3. Place on grill and grill over medium high heat for 2 minutes, or to desired doneness.


Hazelnut Citrus Salad

• 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
• 2 tsp. sugar
• 1/4 cup hazelnut or vegetable oil
• 3 cups torn salad greens
• 1-1/4 cups (5 oz.) Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese
• 1/2 cup (2 oz.) Shredded Parmesan Cheese
• 1-1/2 cups orange sections
• 1 cup grapefruit sections
• 1 cup seedless green grapes
• 1 can (8 oz.) sliced water chestnuts, well drained
• 1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted

1. Combine lemon juice and sugar in a small bowl. Slowly add oil, whisking until smooth and thickened; set aside.

2. Combine salad greens, Cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, orange and grapefruit sections, grapes and water chestnuts in large bowl.

3. Add dressing; toss gently. Sprinkle with hazelnuts; serve.


Strawberry Tomato salad recipe

• 2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced into very small cubes (about 1/4? per side)
• 2 cup small strawberries, trimmed and diced into very small strips (about 1/4? per side)
• 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 tsp aged balsamic vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
• 2 ounce goat cheese, crumbled

In small mixing bowl, toss together tomatoes, strawberries, oil, vinegar, and salt. Let marinate at room temperature 10 minutes.

To serve, place the mixture into a 3 inch diameter pastry ring on individual plates, pressed to pack lightly. Remove the rings delicately, top each salad with goat cheese, and serve.

Serves eight.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

For the cake:

• 2 cups sugar
• 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
• 1 vanilla bean, cut in half and seeds removed
• 2 eggs
• 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 cup brewed coffee
• 2 cups cake flour
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round pans (do not use springform pans for this recipe — they will leak!). Line the bottom of each pan with a cutout layer of parchment.

Mix the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until well combined. Add the eggs, salt and vanilla bean seeds and mix thoroughly. Dissolve the cocoa powder in the cup of coffee and add to the sugar mixture. Meanwhile, sift together the baking powder, baking soda and cake flour. Add half the dry ingredients to the batter, and then add 1/2 cup of the milk. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and then the other 1/2 cup of milk. Mix to combine, and pour the batter into the two cake pans, tapping them to eliminate air bubbles in the batter.

Bake the cakes for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with crumbs attached. Allow the cakes to cool completely, and then freeze them briefly for about an hour (this is a new cake trick I've learned and it makes them SO much easier to work with!).

For the frosting:

• 1/2 cup peanut butter (not the crunchy or all-natural kind)
• 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces, softened
• 1 egg yolk
• 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
• Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, mini size, roughly chopped

Bring a pot of water to a simmer on the stovetop. In a separate bowl over the simmering water, beat together the egg yolk and 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar, until the mixture is hot to the touch, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes (or transfer the mixture to a new bowl), and then beat in the peanut butter, and then the butter. Beat in 1 cup of confectioners' sugar and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream with 1 cup of confectioners' sugar until the whipped cream forms stiff peaks. Add the whipped cream to the rest of the frosting and beat until combined. Chill in the fridge until the cake is ready to be frosted.

To frost the cake, place one layer on a cake stand, and spread a generous half cup of the frosting on top of it, not allowing the frosting to come quite to the edges of the cake. Place the second layer on top and frost the entire cake with a thin crumb coat. Frost the cake with the remaining frosting, and press the chopped peanut butter cups into the sides to decorate. Serve!


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