Anna's Gamecock Tailgate Recipes

Anna Rumsey is legendary for her love of the Gamecocks, but frankly, even more famous for her mouthwatering recipes. She shares some of her favorite tailgating recipes with Gamecock fans here, so you can dazzle your friends with the best food at your tailgate spot.

The Kentucky Wildcats are coming to town and I think we ought to send out a little welcome party and catch a few of them kitty-cats. If you're careful not to mess them up too much, we-uns can make us a little batch of Wildcat Stew. Um-Um-Good for the Gamecock population.

Believe it or not, Wildcat stew has become a delicacy in Australia and it is still eaten frequently in southern Italy. Of course, cats other than on the football gridiron are a little bit scarce now so frequently wild hare, boar and poultry were substituted. (I shudder at the thought of using Gamecocks for this pot of goodness.) I've come up with an even better idea; I'm going to catch these feral cats on the end of a pole. Hence, the origin of the Kentucky POLECAT.

How about a little stuffed peppers with smoked sausage to keep the Southern flavors going in this tailgating adventure. I figure we're going to need some energy to do a little yelling and cheering. That doesn't even cover the energy it will take to do the "WAVE". We do the WAVE right in our living room—just me and John, my husband. I say "GAME" and he answers back "COCKS." It's our way of dealing with advancing age. We just pretend we're still children as we live vicariously through the caught passes, wonderfully-executed field goals and great defensive play. I can honestly tell you when they "sack the back", I wanna go and just do my own version of the high butt dance myself. Of course, if I ever attempted that in the living room in front of the TV, it would make the last earthquake they had in Indonesia look like a mere quiver. So, if we stay on target and keep playing well and there is that all-important, end of the season invitation to a bowl game, I promise to find a quarry somewhere to do my jig. You will be able to hear the whooping and hollering all the way from Blythewood to the stadium at the very least. I make NO apologies.

To complement the stew and peppers, we're going to serve up some real goodness with our Kentucky Cornbread Salad. The "corn" is for my tongue-in-cheek ribbing of our opponents. It is truly done only with the most love that I can muster, or should that be mustard? This is a real autumn menu today and I just couldn't do less than my very best to surround those stewed Wildcats with the best and most delectable of dishes. A real "Cat's Meow" of sorts, except the chickens are going to be the ones serving up the heat on Saturday — at just the right temperature, too.

Last but not least, let's have a little sweet to end the meal. I couldn't possibly forget the great contribution from our friends from the Bluegrass State, that great whiskey, Kentucky Bourbon. I've got a dessert that mirrors what the winner of this game is possibly going to depend on — Turnovers — mine are going to be Apple and Peach with a hint of bourbon. Then I've got a little mixed libation using same to end the meal.

Enjoy the game, folks! We're cheering on our Gamecock football team and anticipating a fantastic game. For any Kentuckians that might be cruising through this site, welcome to the Palmetto State. I hope you find much hospitality and good sportsmanship while you're here. Enjoy your stay. I hope you know that this is all in jest, and you will be safe traveling here and returning home.

Here's the recipes:

Wildcat Stew

2 tbspns olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic - peeled and crushed
1 tspn dried basil or oregano
pinch cayenne pepper
1 can tinned tomatoes
6 fl oz (150ml) white wine
1 pint (600ml) fish stock or water
1 lb (450g) cat fish - cut into chunks
1 lb (450g) mussels - scrubbed and bearded
8 oz (225g) peeled cooked prawns
fresh basil or parsley - chopped

Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole and quickly seal the cat fish chunks - remove with a slotted spoon and keep to one side.

Fry the onion and garlic until soft.

Add the basil, cayenne, tomatoes, stock and wine and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add the cat fish and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the mussels and prawns and simmer for a couple of minutes, until the mussels have opened - discard any that have not opened after 2 minutes.

Add the parsley or basil.

Smoked Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 green bell peppers, tops, seeds and ribs removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (13 ounce) package smoked sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 1/2 cups cooked white rice
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt.
chopped fresh green onion

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, season liberally with salt (about 2 tablespoons). Place the cleaned peppers into the water and allow to cook for 3 minutes or until bright green and softened slightly. Remove from water, set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in sausage. Cook 4 minutes or until sausage is warmed through and onions are softened. Stir in rice. Once rice is incorporated, using a spoon create a hole in the middle of the rice and sausage mixture. Pour the beaten eggs into the hole. Cook 30 seconds or until the egg starts to set. After the egg starts to set, stir with rice mixture to combine. The egg will coat the rice. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes. Season with cayenne (if using) and salt and pepper to taste.

Place prepared bell peppers in a glass baking dish. Spoon rice mixture into the peppers. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until peppers have softened but are still firm. Remove from oven, sprinkle with chopped green onion. Transfer to a serving platter. Serve.

Kentucky Cornbread Salad

5 cups cubed cornbread or 6 cornbread muffins crumbled
3 cups diced fresh tomatoes
1 cup diced sweet onion
1 cup diced green pepper
1 pound bacon cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1 cup mayonnaise or miracle whip
1/4 cup sweet pickle juice
shredded Parmesan cheese

Place cornbread cubes or crumbles in a large salad bowl. Combine tomatoes, onion, green pepper, bacon and relish; add to cornbread. Combine mayonnaise and pickle juice; mix well. Pour over vegetables and cornbread. Toss gently. Sprinkle with cheese. Chill until ready to serve. Serves: 10 to 12.

Bourbon Apple Turnovers

3/4 to 1 cup sugar or to taste
2T flour
1 t cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg
1/4 t salt
6 to 7 cups peeled, cored pippens or green apples, sliced 1/4" thick
2T bourbon
1/2 cup toasted pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup raisins, plumped in bourbon*
Dough for a 9-inch, 2-crust pie
2 t apricot glaze
1 T butter
1 egg
2T cream, plus sugar to glaze the crust

Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

Mix apples and bourbon.

Add sugar mixture, pecans or walnuts, and raisins to apples and mix all together. Roll out pie dough and cut into 5 inch squares. Paint the bottom with apricot glaze. Heap the apple mixture in the pastry**. Dot with butter. Fold over to form a triangle ,crimp the edges, and cut vents in top of the pastry to allow steam to escape. Brush the crust with a mixture of 1 egg plus 2 T cream and dust with sugar. Bake on a lightly greased baking pan, preferably one with a shallow edge, until golden brown. To serve, dust with powdered sugar.

Cran-Bourbon Cocktail

2 oz. Cranberry Juice
1 oz. Kentucky Bourbon
1 dash(es) Simple Syrup
1/3 oz. Chambord Raspberry Liqueur
1/3 oz. Lemon Juice
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass filled with ice. Garnish with a raspberry and a mint leaf.

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