Open the Food Gates

With football season heating up, we’ve got 7 go-to recipes for your next (and every) tailgate.

Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Roll Ups

2 cups shredded cooked chicken
6 ounces light cream cheese, softened
½ cup buffalo wings sauce
¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons sour cream
4 large 6-inch flour tortillas
2-3 green onions, thinly sliced

In a mixing bowl, combine the blue cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and the cheddar cheese. Toss in chicken with buffalo wings sauce.

Lay a tortilla out on a plate and spread an even layer of the chicken and cheese mixture all the way to the edges (about 2 to 3 tablespoons). Roll the tortilla tightly and place on a plate. Repeat until all the ingredients have been used.

Chill for 2 hours. Garnish with green onion.

Editors’ note: Make sure your tortillas are room temperature before rolling.

Makes 35-40

Ham and Cheese Sliders

1 12-count package Hawaiian sweet rolls
¾ pound cooked deli ham
¾ pound Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line pan with aluminum foil or spray with cooking spray, and set aside.

Using a large serrated knife, slice the rolls in half. Evenly layer ham and cheese over the rolls. Set aside.

Melt butter and add the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. 

Evenly and slowly pour the butter mixture over the rolls. Use a spatula to spread the mixture over the top halves. Some of the mixture will pool at the base of the rolls.

Cover with aluminum foil and let rolls to stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes.

Bake covered for about 20 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Uncover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until desired. Slice into individual sliders and serve immediately.

Makes 12

Pasta Salad Con Carne

1 pound rotini pasta
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
¼ pound genoa salami, diced
¼ pound pepperoni sausage, diced
6 ounce can sliced black olives, drained
½ pound asiago cheese, shredded

For dressing:
0.7 ounce package Italian salad dressing
¾ cup olive oil
½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (parsley and/or oregano)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Optional, for serving:
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients except dressing items.

Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour into the large mixing bowl with the pasta salad. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves 12

Mac-and-Cheese Bites

12 ounces elbow macaroni 
5 ounces garlic and herb cheese
2 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 large eggs
¾ cups milk
¼ cup sour cream
pinch salt and pepper 

For the crust:
2 cups crushed crackers
6 tablespoons butter (melted)
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray 2 mini muffin tins with cooking spray.

Melt butter and mix in crackers and cheddar. Press about 1 teaspoon of crumb mixture into the bottom of the mini muffin tin. Press down until firmly packed. Crust should come up a little on the sides.

Prepare macaroni noodles. Cook in boiling water until a few minutes shy of al dente. When done, strain and put into a large bowl. Add the herbed cheese, cheddar, sour cream, milk, eggs, cold butter, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly until cheese is starting to melt and no large clumps remain. Spoon about 1-2 teaspoons of mixture into each well over the prepared crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit at least 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run a knife around the edges, then gently remove each one. Serve warm.

Makes 48 

Mini Corn Dogs

15 ounces all-beef hot dogs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup milk
¼ cup sour cream
2 eggs
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare mini muffin pan with vegetable pan spray.

Cut each hot dog into 6 pieces. In large bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. In medium bowl, whisk melted butter, milk, sour cream and eggs. Stir butter mixture into flour mixture until combined. Divide batter evenly among pan cavities, filling each about half full. Place one hot dog piece in the center of each cavity. 

Bake 14-16 minutes or until muffins are golden brown around edges. Cool in pan on cooling grid 5 minutes. Remove from pan. 

In small bowl, stir together sour cream, mustard and honey. Serve alongside warm mini corn dogs.

Makes 4 dozen

Pulled Pork Sliders with Garlic Aioli

1 3-5 pound pork shoulder
garlic powder
your choice of barbecue sauce
slider buns

For the aioli:
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 pinches black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped chives

Season pork shoulder with salt, pepper and garlic powder and rub with your favorite barbecue sauce. Place in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 4-5 hours). Once cooked, remove pork shoulder and slightly shred, discarding any fatty parts. Add ½ – 1 cup of barbecue sauce and gently mix.

To make the aioli, add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix.

Toast buns at 375 degrees until crispy. Assemble sliders by adding the pork on the bun and topping with aioli.

Serves 12-14

7-Layer Bean Dip

1 16 ounce can Rosarita traditional refried beans
1 10-ounce can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilis (drained)
2 teaspoons chili powder
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder (divided)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 avocados (peeled and cored)
1 ½ tablespoons fresh limejuice
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
12 ounces sour cream
½ (6-ounce can) black olives (sliced)
2 small Roma tomatoes (diced)
1 ¾ cups finely shredded cheddar and monterey jack cheese blend
cup sliced green onions

In a medium mixing bowl stir together refried beans, canned tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and season with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to taste. Spread mixture into an even layer in 7 by 11-inch baking dish.

Mash avocado with limejuice. Mix in cilantro and season with remaining 1/4 tsp. garlic powder and salt to taste. Spread into an even layer over the bean layer in baking dish, then spread sour cream over avocado layer. Sprinkle cheese and black olives over sour cream layer then top with tomatoes and green onions. Serve with tortillas chips. Can be made a day in advance, just cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum