The beloved weekend ritual of tailgating brings fans together for food and drink before the kickoff at the big game. Here are six easy to make and take recipes that will have fans cheering your delicious dishes. Tammy Ljungblad The Kansas City Star
The beloved weekend ritual of tailgating brings fans together for food and drink before the kickoff at the big game. Here are six easy to make and take recipes that will have fans cheering your delicious dishes. Tammy Ljungblad The Kansas City Star

Chow Town

The daily dish on Kansas City's food and drink scene

Chow Town

Kick up your tailgate party with these delicious dishes

By Karen Elizabeth Watts

Special to The Star

September 05, 2017 07:00 AM

UPDATED October 03, 2017 08:13 AM

Tailgating is more than just an excuse to eat, drink and cheer for your favorite sports team.

From the humble beginnings in the bed of a pickup to today’s elaborate tented productions — including chandeliers, 60-inch televisions, margarita machines and more — the weekend ritual is growing bigger than the defensive linemen on the field.

Today’s tailgate entertaining is producing such lavish parking lot parties that some die-hard sports fans wind up taking a pass on their seat in the stadium.

We’ve put together a game day recipe plan to make your party the envy of all your rivals! (And, really, isn’t a win what it is all about?)

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Transport tip: A super simple, fashionable and environmentally friendly way to transport food is the Mason jar. While the jar can be used to transport, it can also do double duty as a bowl.

Chilling tip: Keep your food and drinks colder longer by following the icing instructions available online at yeti.com/maximizing-ice-retention. Check out Yeti’s coolers and drinkware with customizable collegiate logos.

Touchdown Street Tacos

These street tacos are layered with pulled pork, cabbage, red onion, strips of red, yellow and orange bell pepper, crumbled cheese, cilantro and jalapeno peppers. Change up the ingredients and use corn or flour tortillas to make these your own.

Wildcat Cake a la Mason

Make your favorite cake recipe in a 9-by-13-inch pan. Cut rounds with a biscuit cutter to fit Mason jars of choice. Use your team colors and pipe icing on cakes. (Makes 15 baby cakes.)

Swingpass Corn Salsa

Makes about 4 cups

1 red onion, diced fine

4 jalapeno chilies, chopped fine (seed the chilies if you want to make the salsa milder)

4 Roma tomatoes, diced

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

Juice of two limes

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, toss all ingredients and chill for 1 hour.

To serve at the game: Serve with tortilla chips.

Champion Beer Brisket Chili

Makes 8 servings

2 pounds smoked brisket, sliced and roughly chopped

1 large red onion, sliced

1 12-ounce bottle Shiner Bock Beer (or your favorite beer)

1 10-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies

2 jalapeno peppers, cut into slices

2 ancho dried chilies, chopped

1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon salt

An 8-by-8 pan of your favorite cornbread, cut into rounds to fit the size of the desired mason jar.

Pre-game prep: Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Place all ingredients in a large, Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. Gently stir to mix and place covered chili in preheated oven for 4 hours.

Allow to cool slightly and pack in Mason jars.

To serve at the game: Top with rounds of cornbread, if desired.

Shotgun Cilantro Shrimp

Makes 8 servings

2 pounds of 16-20, cooked, deveined shrimp, tail-on

1 cup margarita mix, with tequila

1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

Red, yellow, and orange diced peppers for garnish

Sliced citrus fruit to garnish

Pre-game prep: Place all ingredients in a large ziplock bag and refrigerate for 2 hours. Drain liquid and pack in Mason jars for transport.

To serve at the game: Hand your guests a fork and they are ready to party.

Coin Toss Chicken With Mango Pico de Gallo

Makes 8 servings

2 cups fresh diced mango

2 small red onions, diced

1 tomato, diced

1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons agave nectar

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

8 grilled chicken breasts

Pre-game prep: Place diced mango, onion and tomato in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl add cilantro, chili powder, agave nectar, lime juice and whisk to combine. Add liquid to mango mixture and gently fold to combine. Pack mango pico de gallo in a Mason jar

To serve at the game: Top grilled chicken breasts prepared during the tailgate with mango pico de gallo.