Tailgating calls for winning foods that can be transported easily and safely. Keep cold food cold and hot food hot.
Some people think that tailgating during football season is a party that calls for grilling. Others opt for sub sandwiches and insulated bottles filled with soups, hot chocolate, and hot coffee. You can even serve fast food via a bucket of fried chicken or a batch of burgers.
Cookbook author David Joachim in The Tailgater's Cookbook (Broadway, $14.95) takes on serious grilling on the tailgate circuit. "Setting up a tailgate is a lot like setting up camp," he writes. (What about the game?) His recipes include Grilled Calzones, Brats in Beer, and even Grilled Stuffed French Toast. He tackles NASCAR tailgating, NFL menus, and NCAA menus including a Michigan vs. Ohio State menu with Brats in Beer and Buckeye Candy. (Sounds like he did his homework.)
In The Tailgating Cookbook:Recipes for the big game by Bob Sloan (Chronicle, $15.95), regional recipes include Booyah chicken stew for the Green Bay tailgating, Cincinnati Bengal Chili, and Gator Steaks for tailgate parties before Florida games. The recipes include side dishes such as Ham and Cheese Biscuits, Grilled Asparagus, and Cowboy Beans.
Whatever you decide to fix, tailgating is only as complicated as you want to make it. With food safety as your guide, delicious recipes will only add to a great game or sporting event.