As fall encompasses us, our tailgating skills should be at top level. However, noon kickoffs make this hard. That’s OK, we are still going to put out a full spread. To do this, we’re taking a spin on a gameday favorite pulling from an Oklahoma-based restaurant and a favorite food.
It’s also Mountaineer Nation Day, so make sure to post your gameday party on social media.
Breakfast Tot-Chos Bar
Anyone who has tailgated with me knows how much I love tot-chos. They’re really a humble concept: take crispy tater tots and put nacho toppings on them. I love the idea of breakfast tot-chos because they hold up well to breakfast toppings.
The reason I chose a tater tot dish is because the legendary fast-food restaurant Sonic Drive-In is based in Oklahoma City and claims its roots are in Oklahoma. Obviously, anyone knows that tater tots are the go-to side when ordering from Sonic.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Tater tots
- Sausage gravy
- Bacon, crumbled
- Tomatoes, green peppers and red onion, diced
- Jalapeños, sliced
- Eggs, scrambled
- Shredded cheeses
Bake your tots the night before and then heat them up a little extra at the tailgate to make them crispy. You can also prepare every fixin except the eggs the night before. Set them all out on a table and let your guests top their tot-chos how they want.
Oklahoma apparently grows and eats a lot of okra. Now, there are only two ways to eat okra, in my opinion, in a gumbo or fried. Since we aren’t making gumbo, we’re going to fry it, so get out that Dutch oven.
A good okra batter has cornmeal in it. Actually, corn meal makes really good addition to any frying batter, but I digress. Like great fried chicken, we use buttermilk to wet the okra, then dredge in in a flour-cornmeal-spice breading. Fry the okra in batches in vegetable oil until golden brown.
Pro tip: The reason you cook okra this way is because it’s actually pretty slimy and gross. Quick frying the okra will reduce the slimy fiber and make them tasty.
OK, so breakfast desserts are delicious and these are really, really good. The problem with some is that they’re too sweet. These brown sugar pecan scones area subtly sweet and use the most-produced nut in Oklahoma.
These scones aren’t super sweet because the natural sweetness of the pecan plays through and are easy to make ahead of time. Scones are good snacks to have out before and after cooking to please your guests.
Pro tip: Have a jar of honey or a tub of whipped cream for these to make them a little less dry.
Apple & Pear White Sangria
Sangria is a great drink for parties. It’s going to get you buzzed, it tastes good, and it really convenient to transport. This one captures the flavors of fall without making you too warm.
Grab a bottle (or two) of white Moscato, a granny smith apple, a pear and a lemon. Slice the apple and pear, zest and juice the lemons, throw them into a pitcher with the alcohol and let sit overnight.
Pro tip: Replace the lemon liqueur with honey whiskey.
The secret to any early tailgate is day-before prep. All of these foods can be made or prepared before setting up early on Saturday. If you’re going to the game, make sure to be hospitable to the Cowboy fans and bring some pepperoni rolls to share.