April 16, 2013

Tailgate Treats

Tailgate Season in Full Swing

This weekend marked another epic tailgate with Club Echa Panza. A pre-pre-tailgate kicked off a full day of festivities. At the pre-tailgate we ate Hebrew National franks on potato rolls with dijon mustard, compliments of our friend Steve. It hit the spot. The party carried on to the official tailgate, where the spread was amazing including huevos de toro (um yes, you are reading that right. no, I was not brave enough to try them). As round after round of meats & other treats were pulled off the grill I began to wonder how it could all be consumed. But as our namesake indicates, that proved an unfounded concern.  

Below, I feature two fantastic tailgate recipes, both were incredibly easy to pull together & I imagine they would be a welcome contribution to any get together during the up-coming grilling season.

Sausage & Cheese Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers

A rather large bag of baby bell peppers caught my attention on a recent trip to the grocery store. And as luck would have it, there was an enticing recipe on the back of the package. As a friend pointed out, no matter the source, a good recipe is a good recipe. So here goes, compliments of Bailey Farms of NC. 

6 oz Italian sausage (without casing)
one dozen baby bell peppers
8 oz whipped cream cheese
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz spicy Monterey jack cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp cracked red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup panko, plus more for topping
salt & pepper, to taste

1.  pre-heat oven to 350F. lightly grease a deep baking dish with a bit of olive oil.

2. brown sausage on the skillet top over medium heat. I used an Italian sausage, but next time around I will definitely use a variety with a bit more of a spicy kick.

3. slice baby bell peppers in half, length wise.

4. in a mixing bowl, combine cheeses, egg, seasonings & panko with the crumbled sausage.

5. Fill each pepper half with a generous spoonful of the mix. 

6. line the greased baking pan with the filled peppers. sprinkle with panko.

7. bake for about 20 minutes. serve straight away or pack in foil for a tailgate or grilling party & re-heat on the grill. 

Yogurt Marinated Lamb Kabobs 
with Sweet Peppers & Red Onion

While I was on a roll, we happened to have some lamb chops in the fridge that were begging for attention. Again, these baby bell peppers proved all the inspiration I needed to pull together these kabobs. They were delicious. 

8-9 wooden (or metal) skewers 
2 lamb chops
4-6 oz plain Green yogurt
2 roasted garlic cloves
5-7 dashes of worchestire sauce
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cracked red pepper flakes
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 large red onion, cut into 1 inch wedges

9 baby bell peppers, halved

1. if using wooden skewers, soak them in water for about 10-15 minutes. this prevents them from burning on the grill.

2. meanwhile, cut the lamb into 1 inch cube pieces. 

3. combine lamb with yogurt, roasted garlic, worchestire sauce & spices. let sit for about 20 minutes to tenderize.

4. remove the wooden skewers from the water & thread the lamb & veggies onto them. 

5. grill the skewers over indirect fire until the meat is fully cooked through.

6. serve with cold beer or red wine & enjoy!


  1. What, no grilled bulls balls?

  2. Was just about to ask the same thing--no bull balls?!

  3. they were excellent.the balls were tooo red

  4. The grilled bull's ball was tame. But not tastie, reminded me of an unsavory, non meat hot dog...