Anna's Tailgate Recipe for Southern Miss

I'm ready. I'm so-o-o-o ready. I'm ready for some GAMECOCK FOOTBALL! And I'm ready for another year of sharing some great tailgating recipes on Gamecock Anthem. We've won the tossed salad, we've lined up our condiments and the whistle has blown. Let's kick it off right now!

The South Carolina team welcomes the Southern Miss Golden Eagles into Williams Brice Thursday night, September 2, 2010, for our opening game. I think we need to do something very special for these birds. Did you know they are related to the Turkey Vultures? They actually think they are going to come in and pick some Gamecock carcass apart. Hah! We'll have a little surprise for them.

I thought we could start our little culinary delight of a tailgating meal with a salad of grilled pears and greens. Everyone knows that we're going to need to pace ourselves when the Gamecocks start making touchdowns. Same thing with a meal, we'll start it off slow and tasty with a little warm and cold salad.

I'm thinking we should roast a few choice birds in honor of these golden birds of prey. How about we substitute a little quail on the grill, marinated Greek-style. It will help us get into the winning mindset when we hear the sizzle of the birds on the grill. That's what we're going to do…put a little fire under the Golden Eagles. Too bad they flew all the way here to get beaten, but a Gamecock's gotta do what a Gamecock's gotta do.

How about we get a little "wild" with the side dish. I'm thinking a really nice side dish of wild rice with some chorizo sausage will really add a nice spiciness to the quail. Hopefully, our plays are going to be full of spice, too. I'm hoping Coach Spurrier has seasoned his team as well as I can season a dish of rice. You know what they always told Charlie the Tuna, "We want tuna that tastes good, not tuna with good taste"! Same thing on the field, guys - play with some seasoning, spice and heat.

Now, you'll find a couple more recipes for a vegetable dish and a dessert included below. Wine pairings that will work for both the meal and dessert could be a Black Muscat or maybe a good quality Sauterne. All of these dishes can either be made ahead of time and heated up, or prepped a day before and packed, ready to heat on the grill. It's all about having the fun while you're there, not working yourselves to death.

Finally, I can't begin to tell you how much I have missed the football games since last season. The Gamecocks bring me great joy in the fall, and cooking brings me about the same amount of joy. So when you combine the game with a great meal — Yeehawwwww!!!

I'm going to have to give you "the talk" now — the don't-drink-and-drive talk. Be ladies and gentlemen; let's be respectful and honorable in our dealings with the opposite team talk.

Welcome to our lovely Palmetto State, Southern Miss. Hope you all have a good time here, and we apologize ahead of time for the defeat we're going to hand you. Fly away home.

GRILLED PEAR SALAD

• 1 cup walnut halves, toasted

• 8 ounces sliced bacon

• 3 Bosc pears, sliced

• Nonstick vegetable oil spray

• 2 cups ruby Port

• 1 shallot, sliced

• 1 cup olive oil

• 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

• 12 cups mixed baby greens

• 3/4 cup crumbled Roquefort cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread walnuts on baking sheet. Bake until toasted, about 5 minutes. Cook bacon in heavy medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Coarsely chop bacon.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat) or preheat broiler. Cut pears into 1/4-inch slices and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Grill or broil pear slices until brown in spots, about 2 minutes per side.

Bring Port and shallot to boil in heavy medium saucepan; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Strain into large bowl; cool. Whisk oil and vinegar into Port. Season with salt and pepper. Add greens, cheese, walnuts, bacon and pears to dressing in bowl and toss to coat. Divide among plates and serve.

GREEK STYLE GRILLED QUAIL

6 quail

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place the quail into gallon size freezer storage bag or a large food storage container. Combine the remaining ingredients, mixing well. Pour the marinade into the bag with the quail, making sure the birds are completely coated.

Marinate for at least 2, but no more than 4 hours. Prepare your grill at medium high heat. Cook the quail over direct heat five to six minutes on each side. Move the quail to a cool part of the grill to rest for 5 minutes before serving. The quail can be split along the breastbone before serving if desired.

WILD RICE WITH CASHEWS AND CHORIZO

1 1/2 cups uncooked wild rice, rinsed

4 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter or margarine

2 LINKS CHORIZO

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup celery, sliced

1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

seasoned salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup salted cashews

. Place rice, water and salt in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer; cook 45 minutes or until tender. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Simmer for 5 additional minutes. Drain any liquid. While rice is cooking, fry Chorizo and crumble. Drain on paper towels. In a skillet, melt butter and saute onion, celery and mushrooms until tender. Add rice, seasoned salt and pepper. Heat through. Just before serving, top with cashews and reserved sausage.

. For a make-ahead dish, place cooked rice mixture in a 2-qt. casserole; top with cashews and bacon. Refrigerate until ready to reheat. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes.

BAKED LIMA BEANS

• 2 - cups dried lima beans

• 1 - small onion, chopped

• 1 - green bell pepper, chopped

• 2 - Tablespoons butter

• 2 - cups cooked tomatoes, strained

• 1/2 - teaspoon salt

• 1/8 - teaspoon cayenne pepper

• 1 - teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

• 1 - cup grated Pepper Jack cheese

1. Soak dried lima beans in water overnight, cook 1 hour or until tender, and drain.

2. Sauté onion and pepper in butter until onion is tender. Add the tomatoes, and simmer 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.

1. Add the beans and seasonings, place with the cheese in alternate layers into a buttered casserole, and bake 20 to 30 minutes.

This dish can be served both hot and cold. If you make the dish a day or two ahead, just heat (on stove or in microwave) and place in thermal container.

If you like it cold, place in plastic container and seal. Place in ice chest.

FILLED CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Ganache Filling

• 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

• 1/4 cup heavy cream

• 1 Tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Chocolate Cupcakes

• 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

• 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa

• 3/4 cup hot, strong-brewed coffee

• 3/4 cup (4 1/8 ounces) bread flour

• 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon table salt

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• 6 Tablespoons vegetable oil

• 2 large eggs

• 2 teaspoons white vinegar

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Creamy Chocolate Frosting

• 1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) granulated sugar

• 2 large egg whites

• pinch table salt

• 12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into Tablespoon pieces

• 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to 85-100 degrees

• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the ganache filling, place chocolate, cream, and confectioners' sugar in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high power until mixture is warm to the touch, 20-30 seconds. Whisk until smooth, and transfer to the refrigerator. Let stand until just chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.

For the cupcakes, Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Place chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl, and pour hot coffee over the mixture. Whisk until smooth, and transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, 20-30 minutes.

Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk oil, eggs, vanilla, and vinegar into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until batter is smooth.

Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups, filling each 3/4 full. Place one slightly rounded teaspoon of the ganache filling on top of each cupcake.

Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, 17-19 minutes. Allow to cool in pans 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, combine the sugar, egg whites, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set over a small saucepan of simmering water, and whisking constantly, cook until the mixture is slightly thickened, foamy, and registers 150 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 2-4 minutes.

Fit bowl to stand mixer, and with the whisk attachment, beat at medium speed, until mixture is the consistency of shaving cream and slightly cooled, 1-3 minutes. Add butter 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy. The frosting may look curdled halfway through, but it will smooth out eventually.

Once all the butter as been added, pour in the cooled chocolate and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Increase speed to medium-high and until light and fluffy, another 30 seconds to a minute.

Frost cupcakes as desired.

Enjoy, y'all!

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