Savory recipes to bring your tailgate to the next level

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Football is back and that means it’s time to talk about the tailgate.   On this Recipe Wednesday, we’re cooking up dishes that will be a big hit with all football fans.

Shannon Smith shows us what you’ll want to take to the next game.   She stopped by GTCC in Jamestown to learn from their culinary instructors.


Makes 6 servings or about 1 1/2 cups


1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups (250 grams) cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
1/4 cup (60 ml) well-stirred tahini (sesame seed paste)
2-3 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) water
Dash ground paprika or sumac, for serving


In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for 1 minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for 30 seconds more. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making the hummus smooth and creamy.
Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process another 30 seconds or until well blended. Open, drain, and rinse the chickpeas. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and quite smooth; 1 to 2 minutes.
Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until you reach the perfect consistency.
Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Serve hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and dash of paprika. Store homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week.
Serve with grilled pita bread and your favorite grilled vegetables
I like to garnish it with Roasted Red peppers or jalapenos peppers also!

Chef Romano’s Baked Ziti

This was a tradition for me back in the 80s before we went or watched the Giant games. This dish travels well to the game or to just stay at house.


1 # Ziti pasta
2 quarts – Sunday Gravy (or other tomato sauce)
½ # ground sausage
½ # Ground beef
1 # Mozzarella, shredded
8 oz Parm Cheese
1 pint ricotta cheese
Fresh Basil


In large sauté pan, cook ground beef and sausage to nicely browned (set aside)
Bring large pot of water with salt to boil
Add Ziti – cook till al dente
Drain pasta and put in large bowl
Add Sunday Gravy (sauce)
Next add ground meat, cheeses and basil
Mix well
Place in greased casserole dish
Cover with Aluminum foil
Bake for 1 hour @ 350 degrees

Open Face Italian Grilled Flank Steak Sandwich


1 each flank steak, apx 2.5 lbs
¼ cup Italian vinaigrette dressing
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 red bell pepper julienne
1 green bell pepper julienne
1 medium onion julienne
10 mushrooms sliced
2 cloves garlic chopped
¼ cup sundried tomatoes
½ tsp basil
½ tsp oregano
¼ cup olive oil
Burger buns, or bread as needed
S & P to taste


Marinate flank steak in vinaigrette over night
Sautee onions, peppers, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and 1 clove of garlic in 2 tbs olive oil, add basil and oregano and season with salt and pepper, keep warm.
Heat remaining olive oil with the other clove of garlic and brush bread on both sides.
Grill flank steak to medium rare and let rest.
Grill bread on both sides and keep warm
Slice flank as thin as possible, place on top of bread, top with pepper and onion mixture, top with mozzarella cheese and allow to melt.
Serve immediately.

Grilled Peach Melba


4 fresh Peaches
Dusting of brown sugar
Ice cream of your choice
Raspberry sauce (can purchase) or cook 1 cup raspberries with ¼ cup sugar, puree and strain.
Whipped cream optional


Cut peaches in half and sprinkle cut side with brown sugar
Grill peaches on cut side
Place peaches in serving container, top with ice cream of choice and raspberry sauce
Top with whipped cream if you choose
Serve immediately

Recipes by: Keith Gardiner CEC CCE CCA AAC, Chef Instructor at GTCC

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