Fans tailgate before the Green Bay Packers take on the New Orleans Saints during the NFL opening season game at Lambeau Field on September 8, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
With the Denver Broncos traveling to visit the Green Bay Packers in the land of Cheeseheads, the immediate thought would be something to do with dairy products or Beer Brats since both are prevalent at Tailgating spots in that region. Well I have found a few options to keep with that theme, but really there isn't anything to pulverize. There's an appetizer that can be served at a home party or made ahead of time for a Tailgate gala. I also have the Brats and a bench warming Soup for those frozen tundra gamedays. You don't have to be cheesy to know it's all about the Cheddar.
Here's a starter to get the ball rolling. These will keep your guests busy while you're letting the Brats simmer.
Spicy Cheese Twists
Total Time: 30 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 20 min
For the egg wash:
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup whole milk
Store-bought puff pastry, rolled into 1 (12 by 20-inch) rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick
- 1/3 cup grated Cheddar cheese
- Ground cayenne pepper
- Garlic powder
- Tabasco™ sauce
Prepare the egg wash: Combine the yolks, whole egg, and milk in a small mixing bowl and whip with a hand whisk until well combined. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Flour the dough and table as needed to keep the dough from sticking to the table or the rolling pin. Place the dough on your work surface with a long side facing you. Use a pastry brush to coat the surface of the rectangle with some egg wash. Liberally sprinkle the Cheddar cheese over the rectangle, followed by the salt, cayenne pepper, Garlic powder and a few shakes of Tabasco. Use a sharp paring knife to cut the rectangle into 1-inch-wide strips from top to bottom. Flip each strip so that the cheese is on the bottom. Twist each strip by rolling each end in opposite directions. Always remember to twist so that the topping faces out --that way you can see how they are flavored. Place the strips on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet and bake until well risen and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving. These are best eaten the day they are made.
This one will keep the frost from your extremities and the hunger pangs from your belly. plus, if you're already having a few beers anyway, you won't lose any drinking time.
Benchwarmer's Beer Cheese Soup
- 1/2 pound smoky bacon, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
- 1 1/2 cups diced onion
- 1 1/2 cups diced celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 can of beer (Use a cheap beer like Old Milwaukee. You don't want your food to taste skunky by using St. Pauli Girl)
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 4 cups milk or half and half
- 6 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1. Chop the bacon into 1/2-inch lengths and render in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic.
Add the hot pepper sauce, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir.
Pour in chicken broth and beer; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Meanwhile, heat butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Stir in flour with a wire whisk; cook, stirring until the flour is light brown, about 3 or 4 minutes.
Gradually stir in the milk, whisking to prevent scorching, until thickened.
Remove from heat, and gradually stir in the cheese. Keep warm.
3. Stir the beer mixture into the cheese mixture. Stir in the Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard. Adjust for hot pepper sauce.
Bring to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes, then Serve.
Prep Time: 30 Min
Cook Time: 45 Min
Now for the main dish. This should hold you for the entire game, so you can focus on cheering for the Broncos to pulverize the Pack.
Wisconsin Beef and Cheddar Brats with Beer-Braised Onions
Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee
Total Time: 25 min
Prep: 5 min
Cook: 20 min
Yield: 8 servings
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
- 8 beef and Cheddar brats (recommended: Hillshire Farms)
- 8 dark rye sesame rolls
- Stone-ground mustard
Set up grill for direct cooking over high heat. Oil grill grate when ready to start cooking. Place a large skillet on a grill or side burner and add butter. When the butter has melted, add onions. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the beer to the skillet. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Turn the heat on the grill down to medium. Place brats on oiled grill grates and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove the cover from skillet. Add the brats and let simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Serve brats hot on toasted rolls smothered with onions and topped with mustard and enjoy the game.
So there really isn't any reason why you have to enjoy tomorrow's contest on an empty stomach. Or a cold one. Good Eats and...