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favorite tailgate foods

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It kind of ghey, but I like to theme the food based on the opponent, because it at least ensures that you change things up a little.

Usually do mussels and clams for the NE game. I make them a bunch of different ways, but the basic move is to saute shallots and pancetta in butter (or olive oil) in a lasagna pan on the grill and then add the clams/mussels and either white wine or beer, cover with another lasagna pan (upside down) and let them steam. A loaf (or two) of Italian/French bread is a must with them... the key is having all of the prep done in advance - dicing the pancetta and shallots and cleaning the shells.

I also do a lot of stuff on the smoker at home that I'll reheat/finish at the game (pulled pork, brisket, ribs, fatties, etc.). Using a Food Saver to vacuum seal the meats and keep in the freezer until needed for a game makes things easy... you just drop the bag into boiling water and it comes out great - especially pulled pork. Homemade BBQ sauce is also a must for whichever meat is being served.

Tri-tip is another one I do, usually against West Coast teams. Anyhow, the tri-tip (bottom sirloin) sometimes difficult to find left intact in the Northeast (used for ground sirloin), but most butchers should be able to accomodate the request. The cut has very little fat, so it's best to rub liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic (and anything else you want) and cook to a nice medium-rare. Though true for any meat, it's especially important to let the meat rest (~10 min) after taking off the grill to let the juices redistribute.

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