Moms

Our five tailgating recipe winners

The party for TCU Horned Frogs fans will start way before the team takes the field against the Oregon State Beavers at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday night. For most fans, the afternoon festivities will move straight from the tailgate to the end zone.

It's officially football season, and for pigskin fans, of course, that means it's time to pull out the grill, pack the cooler and put down the tailgate.

We recently asked readers to send us their favorite tailgating recipes -- and like the action that Texas high school, college and NFL teams supply on the field, these recipes did not disappoint.

Here were five of our favorite recipes, with a bit about the readers who sent them.

Tailgating tortilla roll-ups

Sent in by: Michele Polanski, 29, Benbrook

A fan of: TCU Horned Frogs

About the recipe: "This simple recipe was passed down to me from my mother, Angela, who lives in Arizona," she says. "I made it for the first time when I was a recent graduate from TCU and had just claimed my very own tailgating spot in Lot 3 at Amon Carter Stadium. It quickly became a tailgating staple for my husband, Stephen, and me mainly due to how simple it was and the numerous compliments I received every time someone new tried one.

"The TCU football program has come a long way since we started tailgating seven years ago and so has my tailgating cuisine, but one thing remains the same, I always make tailgating tortilla roll-ups for my family and friends to devour. Go Frogs!"

Tailgating tortilla roll-ups

Makes 20 4-piece servings

1 block cream cheese (regular or reduced fat), room temperature

1/3 cup sour cream (regular or light)

1 bunch green onions, chopped

Tabasco, to taste

1 12-count package burrito-size flour tortillas

Salsa for dipping (optional)

1. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, green onions and several dashes of Tabasco in a glass mixing bowl; mix well.

2. Using a butter knife, spread cream cheese mixture generously on one side of tortilla. Roll tortilla up and place in an airtight plastic storage container. Repeat with tortillas until you run out of cream cheese.

3. These can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance, and should be chilled in the refrigerator, unsliced, until ready to pack When it’s time to load up your cooler to head to the game, slice each tortilla into 6-7 serving pieces and secure each with a toothpick.

Note: If you don’t already have salsa packed for chip dipping, you might want to bring some along as it makes a great addition to the roll-ups.

Nutritional analysis per 4-piece serving using regular cream cheese, sour cream: 144 calories, 7 grams fat, 17 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 14 milligrams cholesterol, 176 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 43 percent of calories from fat.

-- Michele Polanski

Party sandwiches

Sent in by: Holley Hendrickson, 58, Bedford

A fan of: Trinity High School Trojans, Euless

About her tailgate party: "Our tailgating group of about 25 has been following the Euless Trinity Trojans since our children were in junior high," Hendrickson says. "This was before the team had won a state championship, but we had season tickets and were die-hard fans even then. Although most of our children are now young adults, our enthusiasm for Trinity football has grown every year. It is still a huge part of our lives, and many of the 'kids' come back to join us at our tailgate parties. Not coincidentally, one of our group recently got remarried, with a tailgate theme. We all wore Trinity jerseys and homecoming mums, and the minister was dressed as a referee! Tailgate menu at the reception, of course."

About the recipe: "Our tailgate parties have evolved, and have ranged from very simple to very elaborate: cooking fajitas on-site with a grill," she says. "However, one of the most popular recipes is one I got from my mother-in-law in Rockwall. It is easy to prepare ahead of time, hearty, inexpensive, and easy to serve and eat as 'finger food.' I adapted the original ham recipe to a turkey-sandwich recipe, offering a little variety and fewer calories if substituting butter. Can't wait for Friday night! Go Trinity Trojans!"

Ham and cheese party sandwiches

30 Hawaiian-style rolls or other 2-inch bakery-style rolls

2 pounds shaved deli ham

1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

2 tablespoons mustard

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1. Slice rolls in half, arrange the ham and cheese on rolls to make sandwiches. Arrange in a 9-by-13 baking dish.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Pour evenly over the sandwiches. Cover and chill overnight.

3. Bake, covered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cheese melts.

Nutritional analysis per sandwich: 224 calories, 15 grams fat, 15 grams carbohydrates, 12 grams protein, 47 milligrams cholesterol, 718 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 52 percent of calories from fat.

Turkey and cheese party sandwiches (adapted version)

30 Hawaiian-style rolls or other 2-inch bakery-style rolls

2 pounds shaved deli turkey

1 pound Swiss cheese, shredded

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (or spread)

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 teaspoons white Worcestershire sauce

Follow same prep instructions as at left, melting the mayonnaise with the butter and Worcestershire.

Nutritional analysis per sandwich: 203 calories, 13 grams fat, 15 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 31 milligrams cholesterol, 258 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 58 percent of calories from fat.

-- Holley Hendrickson

Stiffler's favorite green 'stuff'

Sent in by: Joe Swearingen, 57, Fort Worth

A fan of: TCU Horned Frogs

About the recipe: "I'm literally at the Kroger because I knew you were going to call," Swearingen said when we phoned to notify him. "I knew you'd love it." He calls the creamy garlicky-cilantro-y mixture the ultimate chip dip; it's always a hit at tailgate parties.

About the name: "The name has been only slightly altered for a family newspaper," he joked. "While watching the movie American Pie during a guy weekend of golf, beer and general mischief, a buddy of mine said, 'Bring some more of that green stuff because it's the best stuff he's ever tasted. My buddy lacked a nickname but he acts and talks just like the Stiffler character from American Pie. He has had the nickname of Stiffler ever since, and my dip will be forever called Stiffler's favorite green 'stuff.'

"This photo is from Arizona, our last football tailgate," he says. "We had no green stuff at that tailgate, and I take responsibility for the loss. This year when we go back to play for the National Championship, there will be Stiffler's favorite green 'stuff'! Go Frogs!"

Stiffler's favorite green 'stuff'

1/2 cup Mrs. Renfro's Hot Green Salsa

1/2 cup milk

4 ounces low-fat feta

Brick of cream cheese

4 or 5 large garlic cloves, minced

1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into dip bowl and garnish with cilantro. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Note: "The original called for less garlic, less cream cheese and was made with some other salsa. I now use Fort Worth's own Mrs. Renfro's exclusively whenever I make this 'stuff.'"

Nutritional analysis per 2-tablespoon serving: 71 calories, 6 grams fat, 2 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 21 milligrams cholesterol, 128 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber, 78 percent of calories from fat.

-- Joe Swearingen

BEVOrzo salad

Sent in by: Diana Herrin, 50, Midlothian

A fan of: University of Texas Longhorns

About the recipe: "Tailgating in Texas means family, friends, the best football on the planet, cold beverages and hot weather," she says. "One of the dishes I serve at our tailgates, especially during the heat of September and October, is BEVOrzo Salad. It's the most requested side dish, and I'm happy to bring it. I can make it ahead, it actually sneaks in a few vegetables, and because the dressing is a lemon vinaigrette, I don't have to worry if it stays out of the ice chest while the crowd finishes it off. The first home game for the University of Texas is on Sept. 11, we will be there tailgating with family, friends and BEVOrzo salad."

BEVOrzo salad

1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced

1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced

1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced

1 red onion, 1-inch diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided use

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided use

2/3 cup olive oil, divided use

Zest from one lemon

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

8 ounces orzo (rice-shaped pasta)

1 small bunch green onions, thinly sliced white and part of green

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

4 ounces crumbled feta

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper with 1/3 cup olive oil; coat evenly. Place mixture on a large sheet pan and roast for 40 minutes, turning once with a spatula.

2. Make the dressing by combining remaining olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

3. Cook the orzo according to package directions. Drain and add hot orzo to the dressing. After roasting, add the vegetables to the pasta. Let cool to room temperature.

4. Add green onions, pine nuts, feta and tomatoes. Check the seasonings. Keeps well in the refrigerator, then transfers easily to the ice chest. Serve cool or at room temperature.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 260 calories, 17 grams fat, 22 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams protein, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 555 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 59 percent of calories from fat.

-- Diana Herrin

Spicy chicken corn 'n' blue dip

Sent in by: Solomon Wang, 20, Arlington/Austin

A fan of: University of Texas Longhorns

About the recipe: "This dip is the combination of all things barbecue, American and outdoors," says the UT student and fraternity member. "It uses butter, blue cheese and sour cream, which are all things that are great at busting a diet at a good ol' fashioned grill-out with your friends. Isn't that the point of a tailgate party?

"The Tabasco, chicken and blue cheese remind me of eating wings with my buddies. Also, adding creamy corn reminds me of summer, no matter what time of year. As for the potato chips? Well, the dip is already plenty flavorful, so why not serve the gut-busting dip with something more substantial than those often bland tortilla chips? I would definitely go with thick-cut kettle-cooked potato chips here.

"I serve this anytime my friends and I get together to have a tailgate while cheering on our fellow Longhorns. Hook 'em!"

Spicy chicken corn 'n' blue dip

2 cups water

1 cup Tabasco

2 small chicken breasts

4 ears of fresh corn, shucked and with silk removed (You may use 2 10-ounce packages of frozen corn; boil and drain before using)

2 tablespoons butter

1 large red onion, chopped fine

4 long green onions, chopped fine

1 cup sour cream

8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Salt and pepper, to taste

Salty potato chips

1. Bring water and Tabasco to a boil on stove, then reduce heat to medium, add chicken breasts and let cook through, about 8 minutes.

2. Drain chicken breasts and allow to cool; then chop into fine pieces. Set aside.

3. Grate corn ears into a large bowl, making sure all of the milky corn liquid is extracted. Set aside.

4. In a skillet, heat butter over medium high heat and saute red onion until slightly brown, about 5 minutes.

5. Reduce heat to low, and add green onions and grated corn into the skillet; cook for another 5 minutes.

6. In a large dipping bowl, add vegetables from skillet, mix in chopped chicken, and fold in sour cream and blue cheese. Add extra Tabasco and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with (very salty) potato chips, I repeat, potato chips -- NOT tortilla chips.

Nutritional analysis per serving 265 calories, 18 grams fat, 14 grams carbohydrates, 14 grams protein, 54 milligrams cholesterol, 595 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 59 percent of calories from fat.

-- Solomon Wang

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