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Tips for Tailgating

Maureen Malloy | Thursday, November 18, 2004

Football may be the main attraction on Saturdays in South Bend, but no gridiron spectator is complete without a drink in one hand and a brat in the other. Tailgating is the perfect way to stretch a four-hour game into an all-day event. How else are Irish fans supposed to bear the frigid Indiana mornings without some warm food and good drinks to numb the cold? Although this girl is going to Dublin and won’t be near Notre Dame’s parking lot in the fall, I will be tailgating in spirit and still have some good tips and recipes to share.

Serve mostly finger foods that can be prepared ahead of time (except for the grilling) and eaten while standing up. If you want something a little classier than the usual burgers and hot dogs but don’t want anything too fussy, try a menu with hand-held delectable such as bacon-wrapped scallops, shish kabobs or tomato, mozzarella and basil skewers. Try to find a parking spot by the grass or at the end of the parking row so you have more room.Hang a bright flag from your car so family and friends can find you.Be ready to serve the food at least an hour and a half before kick off.

BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

4 chicken thighs, boned (about 1 pound), skin removed 3 cups Mesa BBQ sauce or store bought, divided Salt and freshly ground pepper 24 (6-inch) flour tortillas 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese 2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese 1 large red onion, thinly sliced 1/4 cup olive oil 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder

Place in a medium baking dish. Pour 2 cups of the barbecue sauce over chicken and let marinate for 2 hours in the refrigerator. Remove from marinade, season with salt and pepper to taste and grill for 7 to 8 minutes on both sides or until tender and cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. When chicken is cool enough to handle, slice. Toss with the reserved 1 cup of barbecue sauce. Place eight tortillas on a flat surface and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of each of the cheeses and onion slices. Top with some chicken. Stack another tortilla on top and repeat. Top with the remaining eight tortillas. Brush the top of the tortillas with oil and sprinkle with the chili powder. Place tortillas on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown and cheese has melted. (wrap in foil and serve either at room temperature or warm up on the grill for a couple of minutes)Copyright 1999 Bobby Flay. All rights reserved.

Toffee Chip Bars

2 1/4 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 sticks butter, softened 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 cups crushed chocolate coated toffee bars (heath bars) 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat until the butter and sugar are fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add in flour one half at a time. Stir in crushed toffee bars by hand and spread in baking pan. Sprinkle top with chocolate chips. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

Recipe Courtesy of Cathy Lowe. © 2004 Scripps Networks, Inc. All rights reserved.