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The Smoking Musket Tailgate Menu: Shootout breakfast

It’s a nooner for the Mountaineers and Cowboys, which means we need to fill up right!

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

­Noon kicks are tough. We’ve had our fair share of them since joining the Big 12, especially at home. While this has usually translated to success for our team, noon kicks area true test of tailgating proclivity. This week, one of the best games in the nation will kick at noon, and we’re hosting it in Morgantown. To gear up for a showdown of this magnitude, you’ll need to feed your guests well to ensure they are fueled up for the game.

This week, the main recipe will have two distinct methods of cooking, but this is to fit your lifestyle best. After that, we’re focused on finger foods to give your tailgates guests or passersby something to snack on. Now, let’s dive into the week 9 tailgate menu:

Breakfast Chili

Chili is, in my opinion, one of the greatest cold-weather tailgate foods. It serves many purposes: feeds large amounts of people, is liked by most people, easy to make, and fills you up. But chili is not really a breakfast food, right? Well, I found a swift way to turn a classic into a hearty breakfast dish. As I said, there are two ways to make this: the quick way like this recipe explains or the normal way to make chili.

The quick way can be done at your tailgate in about 30 minutes. You’ll need a package of thawed breakfast sausage patties. Turn your grill on high, dice them up and throw them into a pot with some oil. Next, pour in the salsa, then the water and spices. Turn your grill down to medium-high, bring the chili to a simmer and then turn the grill down a little more. Cover the pot and cook for about 10 minutes. Once that’s done, you should be able to take the pot off the grill and keep the chili hot.

Another option is to make your chili the old-fashioned way, but with breakfast sausage instead of your normal ground beef. Personally, I would use equal parts diced sausage patties and ground sausage. Proceed to make your chili any way you normally would. You could play with using maple sausage for a more breakfast taste or adding bacon as well.

Obviously, you have to put out the right toppings. Give your guests pico de gallo, shredded cheese scrambled or diced hard-boiled eggs, avocado or whatever else you can imagine they would like to add to their breakfast chili.


Egg Muffins

No, these are not Egg McMuffins. These are eggs baked in a muffin tin. There are a few reasons why I chose these snacks for the morning tailgate. First and foremost, they’re easy to give away to people as they walk into your tailgate. Also, these muffins are a good complement to the breakfast chili and, of course, they’re simple to make.

I highly suggest making these before the tailgate. It’s quicker to pop them in the oven the night before or the morning before you head out. Then, throw them on the grill for five minutes to reheat. Beat your eggs with the milk fairly well, and then stir in all the remaining ingredients (bacon!) Pour the mix into the muffin cups and top with a bit more cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, until the edges brown just a bit. These will be ready to go after they cool.


Mountain Mama Shots

To make sure your tailgaters are properly filled up for this game, you need to incorporate this mix into your tailgate. Take a pitcher and fill it with 750 milliliters of Rumchata, 750 milliliters of Fireball and a can of ginger ale. The local WVU Alumni bar I watch the games at serves these and it is great!

As the tailgate host, it’s important to make sure your tailgate is fun and prepares all your guests for the game. This game means a little more, so make sure your tailgate game is on point. Happy tailgating and let’s go Mountaineers!