Football season is in full effect. Whether you love it, hate it, or feel totally indifferent towards it, you must admit that there is some really great food surrounding it.
I was weaned on football and learned at a very young age that food and football go hand-in-hand, with the food often coming out on top! As I got older, I discovered that there was a huge difference between the foods you could buy in the football stadiums and the food experience you got by bringing your own food and cooking it in the stadium parking lots, or tailgating. Tailgating allows you to cook whatever your heart desires, from traditional stadium foods to more adventurous fare. Imagine enjoying spicy grilled jerk chicken wings, vegetable kabobs with herb butter, or smoky bacon-wrapped jalapenos stuffed with cheese, all while watching the game.
A trip to your local farmers market makes picking up your ingredients easy and affordable. Plus, you’ll be eating seasonally (which is always best) and supporting Georgia family farmers. So, grab your shopping list, head to your farmers market and pick out some local ingredients that will make your tailgating menu a winner!
Looking for something new to try at the next game? Here is one of my favorite tailgating treats.
Smoky Bacon-Wrapped Jalapenos
Makes 6 servings
Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
12 jalapeno peppers
12 slices bacon, thin sliced bacon works better
24 wooden toothpicks
1. Preheat grill to hot – 400 degrees.
2. Mix cream cheese and cheddar cheese together in a bowl until evenly blended.
3. Cut a small opening, about the size of a penny, in each jalapeno. Save the pieces of jalapeno you remove, and leave the stems intact. (For a less spicy jalapeno, use a small spoon to scrape out the seeds and membrane.)
4. Fill each jalapeno with the cheese mixture.
5. Put the penny-sized piece of jalapeno skin back in place, and wrap each stuffed pepper with a slice of bacon. Secure the bacon with a toothpick.
6. Arrange bacon-wrapped peppers on the prepared grill.
7. Grill until bacon is crispy, about 10 minutes, turning throughout the grilling process.
Jennifer is Georgia’s official Culinary Explorer and the author of “Your Resident Gourmet,” full of innovative recipes, cooking trends and fun kitchen gadgets. Click here for more content from Jennifer.