Gameday Gourmet

Whether you are rooting for the Tide, Tigers or your hometown Jags, these amazingly delicious recipes are the perfect addition to your football-watching party. Enjoy!

1. Beer & Conecuh Grilled Cheese

olive oil
1/2 onion
1/4 cup beer
Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
Conecuh sausage
sourdough bread
cheddar, shredded
Gouda slices

1. In a skillet, heat olive oil, and sauté onion, beer, Worcestershire sauce and oregano.
2. Cook Conecuh sausage in a separate skillet.
3. Butter both sides of the bread and then cook.
4. Top one slice of bread with cheddar and Gouda. Add in the onions, oregano and sausage.
5. Top with other slice of bread and cook until cheese is well melted and both sides of the sandwich are golden brown. Makes 2.

2. Green Chili Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup

Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

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5 pieces bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 bay leaves
1 pound black beans, soaked overnight
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 – 4 teaspoons salt
3 (4-ounce) cans diced green chilis
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced small
sour cream and corn chips, for garnish 

1. Heat a large soup pot and add the diced bacon.
2. Once the bacon has browned a bit, add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 5 – 7 minutes then add the chili powder, cumin and bay leaves. Sauté for another 2 minutes, then add the black beans and remaining ingredients except for the sweet potatoes and sour cream.
3. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours over medium-low heat. Stir frequently.
4. Test a bean after an hour and if it is soft, add the sweet potatoes. Simmer another 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft.
5. Remove 3 cups of the soup out of the pot and mash with a potato masher then add back to the soup and stir. Portion into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream and chips. Serves approximately 8 – 10.

Photo by Jennie Tewell

3. Chicken Bacon Ranch Fries

1 bag of frozen pre-cut French fries, such as Alexia’s
1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/4 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped chives

1. Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven according to directions on French fries’ package.
2. Bake on a baking sheet according to package directions, removing from oven about 3 minutes before fully cooked.
3. Sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, dill, salt and cayenne.
4. Toss chicken in ranch dressing to coat. Return to baking pan.
5. Top fries with the chicken, cheddar, mozzarella and bacon.
6. Return to the oven until the cheese melts, 3 – 5 minutes. Top with chives. Serve immediately. Serves 4.


Photos by Nicole Quinn, Elizabeth Gelineau

4. Beer Cheese Dip

2 (8-ounce) blocks of cream cheese, softened
1 ounce smoked Gouda cheese, grated
3/4 cup IPA beer of choice
1 tablespoon fresh chopped baby spinach
1/2 medium-sized red bell pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
bread bowl, crostini, toast points, tortilla chips or sliced veggies

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Combine first 8 ingredients thoroughly in a bread bowl or casserole dish.
3. Bake 35 – 40 minutes, stirring halfway through. Serve warm with crostini, toast points, tortilla chips or sliced veggies. Serves 8 – 10.

5. Crunchy Taco Cups

1 pound lean ground beef
1 (10-ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes
2 – 2 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
24 wonton wrappers (found in the produce refrigerator section)
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
diced green onions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a skillet, brown ground beef until cooked through. Add in Rotel tomatoes, taco seasoning and black beans.
3. Stack 2 wonton wrappers in a “star.” Press into muffin tin.
4. Once meat mixture is done, scoop 1 – 2 spoonfuls into each wonton cup. Top with cheese.
5. Bake 12 – 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and wonton edges are crispy. Garnish with green onion. Makes 12 individual cups.

6. Spicy Cheeseburger Sliders

Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon mustard powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 cups diced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 (10-ounce) can Rotel Diced Tomatoes, drained
12 dinner rolls or Hawaiian mini rolls, halved
6 slices pepper jack cheese
6 slices cheddar cheese
1 stick butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In a large skillet over high heat, add the beef and season with cumin, mustard powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook meat until browned. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden. Stir in tomatoes until combined.
3. Layer bottom halves of buns in baking dish. Spread ground beef mixture over top. Layer cheese slices next. Lightly spread mayonnaise on the top halves of the buns. Then layer over the cheese.
4. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining ingredients to make a glaze. Stir until mixture is smooth. Pour over assembled sliders.
5. Bake 25 minutes, until cheese is melted. Makes 12 sliders.

Photo by Nicole Quinn

7. Cheddar Cornbread Jalapeño Poppers

12 medium to large fresh jalapeño peppers
1 (15-ounce) box of cornbread mix
1 cup fresh corn kernels (May substitute canned, drained.)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar, divided (1 cup for the batter and 1/2 cup for sprinkling)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Slice each jalapeño down the center and carefully remove all the seeds and pith. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, prepare the cornbread batter according to the box instructions. Add in the corn and 1 cup of the cheese.
4. Fill each jalapeño halfway with some batter. (Be careful not to overfill.)
5. Place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with the remaining cheese.
6. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until the poppers are puffed and the cornbread is firm and cooked through. Let cool slightly before serving.
Serves 6 – 12.

8. Buffalo Chicken Crostini 

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese,  softened
1 (8-ounce) bottle Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
1/2 cup Texas Wing Sauce
1 rotisserie chicken,  meat pulled
1 (14-ounce) roll Mamie’s Cheese Wafers (available at Old Shell Market), sliced and baked
sour cream
chopped green onions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and ranch. Stir in wing sauce, then fold in pulled chicken.
3. Pour mixture into a 9-by-9-inch glass baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until bubbly.
4. Meanwhile, prepare Mamie’s Cheese Wafers according to package instructions.
5. Layer a spoonful of buffalo chicken mixture on top of each cooked cheese wafer. Top with a small dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped green onions for garnish. Serve immediately. Serves 6 – 8.

Photo by Todd Douglas

9. Touchdown Cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 (8-ounce) package Reese’s Minis Peanut Butter Cups, about 36 candies
white ready-to-spread frosting, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla.
3. Stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Then, gradually add to butter mixture. (Dough will be stiff; if necessary, mix with hands.)
4. For each cookie, roll about 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball; flatten slightly and press around 1 Reese’s Mini, covering cup completely. Mold into football shape.
5. Using a toothpick or edge of a knife, press lines into dough to resemble lacing on football.
6. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 14 minutes.
7. Remove from cookie sheet onto wire rack to cool completely. If desired, use white frosting to add laces to football. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

10. Peanut Butter Cup Cracker Toffee

Photo by Todd Douglas

40 square saltine crackers
1 (8-ounce) package Reese’s Minis Peanut Butter Cups
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips
1 cup Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup salted peanut halves

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with heavy-duty foil. Generously spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Arrange crackers in bottom of pan with edges touching; set aside.
3. Cut each peanut butter cup in half and set aside.
4. Heat butter and brown sugar over medium heat in a heavy medium saucepan, stirring frequently until butter melts. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until surface is covered with bubbles, 1 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn.
5. Pour butter mixture over crackers. Spread to cover evenly.
6. Bake for 5 minutes; remove from oven. Let cool 3 minutes.
7. Sprinkle peanut butter chips over crackers then sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over surface. Wait a couple of minutes for chips to soften, then spread melted chips over crackers.
8. Sprinkle with peanut butter cup halves and peanuts, pressing them in lightly. Allow to sit until chocolate is set and firm.
9. Break or cut into pieces. Store covered in an airtight container. Makes 40 crackers. staff

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