I’m a foodie. I grew up in the restaurant business, it’s how I pay the bills, and truly what I love. Obviously I also love Boise State football, and one of my favorite parts of game-day is tailgating. So, I figured – why not combine my loves and post it on my blog! Great idea, right? So each week this season the Blue Turf Nation team will come up with some ideas for you to use at your tailgate or watch party, based on the region where that week’s opponent comes from. We will provide you with a main dish, beer, wine, and cocktail that we feel represents the opposing team’s region.
A couple of notes – as a cook I feel you should take any recipe and experiment a little to make it your own – so take what I give you and play around. Also, I won’t give measurements. Cooking isn’t a science, it is an art, and like I said – play around! (If we do give you some baking recipes measurements will be provided as baking IS a science). If at any time you want or need more guidance you can always hit me up on twitter. My goal is to give you recipes that can be easily executed for both parking lot and living room service. So let’s dive into our week one region Seattle!
SMOKED SALMON TACOS WITH CREAMY CHIPOTLE SAUCE
I feel like Seattle deserves a fish entrée, but we need something easy to execute in a parking lot. We are going to go with smoked salmon tacos with pico de gallo and a creamy chipotle drizzle. This will require a little prep work at home before heading to the stadium.
First up let’s make Pico de Gallo. Get yourself some tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeño and garlic. Dice it all up and put it in a mixing bowl. Squeeze some fresh lime juice in it, throw in some kosher salt, and you are good to go.
Next up we will make the chipotle drizzle. You will want to get some chipotles in adobo (canned in the Mexican food aisle) and throw them in a blender. Blend for about 30 seconds and put in a mixing bowl. Add in a little mayo, a good amount of ranch dressing, and some fresh squeezed lime juice. Whisk until smooth and load it into a squeeze bottle to make it easy for your guest to apply at the party.
Next you will want to get the rest of your taco fixin’s. You can find smoked salmon in pretty much any grocery store, usually near the deli or meat counter. Smoked salmon is great because you don’t have to heat up to enjoy it. If you do prefer it warm, simply wrap it in foil and either heat it up on your grill in the parking lot or in the oven at home. Get some white corn tortillas, some sort of cheese (I think Mexican queso fresco would be great) and some shredded lettuce or cabbage. Some lime wedges to squeeze on your tacos might be good too. Arrange all of your fixings on your tailgate table or kitchen counter and let your guests have at it!
BEER OF THE WEEK: Manny’s Pale Ale
Seafood goes great with pale ales or IPA’s because of their citrusy hop characters. Manny’s comes from Georgetown Brewing in Seattle. Here is their description of Manny’s:
“A careful selection of Northwest hops, premium barley, and our unique yeast give this ale a rich and complex malty middle with a snappy hop finish. Crisp, clean and smooth with hints of citrus and fruit.”
If you want to serve Manny’s at your tailgate this week you will need to get it in a growler, as they don’t currently bottle. I found it at the growler station at Fred Meyer on Federal Way, and I would guess you will find it at a lot of growler fill stations around town as it is quite popular right now. If you are looking for something bottled, Long Hammer IPA from Red Hook Brewing is a good choice. Looking for cheap and in a can? Rainier it is!
WINE OF THE WEEK: Chateau St. Michelle Gewürztraminer
I like wine for the right occasion. I don’t think tailgating is that occasion, but to each their own! For the wine imbibing tailgaters out there this is a great wine for early fall days where it still might be hot out, and pairs well with spicy food. And its cheap! Here is the description:
“A fan favorite, this Gewürztraminer is such an enjoyable wine with exuberant fruit and clove spice. This is a lush style of Gewürztraminer with a lot of floral character, yet it still maintains the grape’s natural crisp character. A touch of Muscat offers citrus notes and a deeper spice character. Try this wine with Thai food or any cuisine with a little “bite” to it.”
Cocktail/Shot of the week: Patron Silver Margarita/Shot
When it comes to cocktails, there really is not much that is regional. For this part I will refer to this article from business insiders, which tells me Washingtonians love their Patron. So how about a margarita?
Get yourself a shaker tin, throw in a scoop of ice, and count to six as you pour your patron in (that’s about 1 1/2 ounces). Throw in some of triple sec (or if you want to get fancy some gran gala), a little agave syrup (it’s usually by the honey in the store), and squeeze some fresh lime juice. Shake it and strain into a glass (or solo cup) full of ice with a salted rim. If you want to cut out the middle man, pour in a salted shot glass, squeeze a lime wedge in and shoot it. If you want to cut out that middle man, pour the tequila directly from the bottle into your mouth!
Like I said earlier, if you aren’t sure about cooking or mixing without measurements, feel free to hit me up on twitter at @keleka24.