Gamecock Tailgating In Style - Great Recipes!

A tantalizing list of great tailgating recipes for your Game Day pleasure ...

"Are you ready? Hell Yes! Damn Right!
Hotty Toddy, Gosh Almighty
Who in the hell are we-Hey
Flim Flam, Bim Bam
Ole Miss by Damn!

Not terribly impressed by their cheer, but darn if Ole Miss won't give us some competition when it comes to a party. When commenting about Ole Miss tailgating, Laura Houston,, says "We may have lost a game, but we've never lost a party." This has to be the Rebel mission statement and I couldn't have said it better myself. Gamecocks, Ole Miss may not be a worthy opponent on the football field, but we need to finalize our strategy and ensure we are ready for the battle of the SEC tailgate party on Saturday. This will take real planning and I expect you will put forth your best tableware, centerpieces and yes, bill of fare. Remember, the Rebels, while sounding empathetic with a southern drawl, they are not. This group of Mississippi radicals is as laissez-faire as it gets. They may drink mint juleps and have long standing beliefs in tradition, but they are not our equals. Let's show them how to party! Here's my Berea Street menu for Saturday's bash.

Game Day Menu:
Nannie's Shrimp and Grits
Allison's Favorite-Mandarin Salad
Mississippi "Rebel" Caviar with baked tortilla chips

Game Day Beverage Station: Travis' Killer Bloody Mary
Gamecock Mimosa
Chocolate Martini

Now to the table…You've been waiting since the last home game and it's finally completed:

THE ROOSTER on a stick. Cut from a hand-drawn pattern submitted by a USC Alum from Charlotte, this decorative wooden rooster will not only provide a woodlands autumn theme for the tailgate table, it is versatile and can be displayed in a French country kitchen. I am all about multi-purpose! Bank the rooster with fall foliage or autumn beauties such as sun flowers, pansies or mums. Exquisite is the only word in my Merriam -Webster that describes this centerpiece. Thanks to the biggest Gamecock fan I know for crafting this bird on short notice.

Are you using fabric? I hope so. If not, please invest in a simple tablecloth; either black or garnet or wouldn't gingham just be lovely. It is amazing what this inexpensive addition can do for your social gathering. While I am fond of cloth napkins, 100% cotton of course, I will let you slide with paper ones as long as they sport the school colors and are displayed in a cutesy napkin holder. Believe it or not, I am actually going to back off my own edict of no PDP (public display of plastic). I realize I am asking too much of you to cart silverware to the tailgating festivities. So hear me now, because I will not repeat myself, it is okay to use plastic cutlery if and only if it is displayed in an attractive container. I found a precious black hand-painted bucket with a gamecock motif at a Lexington open-air market across the street from Lexington High School. The bucket has been the rave! It seems as though no one notices the forks, spoons and knives are plastic, because everyone spends so much time complimenting the container. Go figure!

Have a great time Saturday and remember, we may not have "the Grove" like Ole Miss, but we have the Farmer's Markets, Berea Street and the Fairgrounds. We don't need atmosphere to create the party, we are the party. Ole Miss, bring it on!

Just a word of warning…the State Fair will be operational Saturday. Consider starting your tailgating by 8am to ensure your party is not delayed or cut short!

Nannie's Shrimp and Grits
2 cups of quick grits, uncooked
2 cans chicken broth
2 cups water
Salt to taste
½ stick margarine
½ cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 lb. shrimp-medium, pealed and de-veined
1 package Polish kielbasa sausage
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
Paprika for garnish

Nancy Shealy of Lake Murray submitted this mouthwatering low country recipe. I have tried this in the test kitchen, and Nancy, you have outdone the best Charlestonian chefs. Here's her recipe and it typifies southern like nothing else:

Cook grits per directions, substituting chicken broth/water mixture for 8 cups of water. Once grits have achieved desired consistency, salt to taste and add ¼ teaspoon of margarine. Set aside. Sauté shrimp in remaining ¼ teaspoon of margarine and garlic powder. Set aside. Slice sausage at angle. Brown sausage then set aside. Add 1 teaspoon of all-purpose flour to drippings and add water over heat until the desired gravy consistency is reached. After thoroughly draining the drippings, place shrimp and sausage in separate zip lock storage bags. Put both the shrimp and sausage in a casserole warmer. Place grits in crock pot for transporting to the tailgating bash; plan for a soupier consistency. Remember, overtime, grits will thicken. Those of you fortunate to have access to a motor home and/or generator, plug that crock pot up until ready to serve.

When serving, I would suggest attractive china bowls, but since we are "roughing it" disposable bowls will have to do. Place grits in bowl creating a "well" in the center. Ladle gravy into well. Arrange shrimp around bowl then sausage around shrimp. Sprinkle with paprika. Tasty!

Allison's Favorite-Mandarin Salad

I was very fortunate to have Nancy share her Mandarin Salad recipe with me as well. A reliable source says she refers to it as "Allison's Favorite". Nancy indicates this salad is best served in a tray with a lipped edge.

1 bag of greener selection lettuce
1 bag of Baby Spinach
1 purple onion, chopped
2 cups white cheese, mozzarella or Swiss
2 cans Mandarin oranges, whole segments drained
½ slivered almonds
Prepared poppy seed dressing
Grape tomatoes, optional
Sliced and peeled cucumbers, optional

Combine ingredients above except for dressing. When ready to serve, drizzle poppy seed dressing over salad. This is excellent!

Thanks to everyone for your drink recipes over the past two weeks. I have received so many. Although I can't publish them all, I will publish my top three from the GamecockNation contributors.

Travis' Killer Bloody Mary

Fill tall glass with ice
2 oz vodka
Dash Texas Pete
Salt & pepper to taste
Lea & Perrin's to taste
Fill glass with Clamato or tomato juice

Pour from one glass to another until mixed. Garnish with celery stalk. I like to add a lime wedge for a little pizzazz. Thanks to Travis of Lexington for sharing this established favorite!

Gamecock Mimosa

¼ cup premium vodka
¼ cup champagne
½ cup cranberry juice
Splash of orange juice
Orange slice

Combine vodka, champagne and cranberry juice in goblet styled glass or champagne flute. Add crushed ice and stir until mixture is well chilled. Add splash of orange juice and top with an orange slice. Easy A.M. COCKtail and my personal favorite!

Chocolate Martini

Teresa Noble, USC alum, sent me her own special chocolate martini for the tailgating gathering. Teresa says the raspberries and dark liqueur reminds her of school colors:

1 oz. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
1 oz. Crème de Cacao
1 oz. Vodka
Splash of Chambord
Garnish with fresh raspberries

During my drink test, I strained into chilled martini glass. Doesn't this sound absolutely divine?

Again, thanks to all that shared their scrumptious recipes. Please email me, , if you would like for me to visit your tailgate party. I would love to snap a picture of your spread and share it with the entire GamecockNation. We will be visiting Dr. Henry Jolley's Cock-A-Boose during the Tennessee game. We would love to come by and visit with you as well.

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