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The Smoking Musket Tailgate Menu: 2017 Finale

One final tailgate awaits as the Mountaineer play a bowl game in Dallas.

NCAA Football: Iowa State at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

I hope every had a wonderful Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate this winter. No matter what the celebration, it’s a joyful time to be surrounded by family and friends. If Santa Claus came to visit your house on Christmas Eve, I’m sure you were up early on Christmas Day to find what Saint Nicholas brought you and your little ones. I know I was up late on Christmas Eve and up early on Christmas Morning to experience all the magic of Santa.

For this reason, I’ve prepared a brunch menu for our 1:30 p.m. kickoff on Tuesday, December 26, in the Heart of Dallas Bowl against Utah. This should be a fairly straightforward menu that requires little cooking as you recover from the holiday and prepare for WVU football. Here is the bowl game tailgate menu.

Breakfast Chilaquiles

I don’t like to immediately go to Tacos when planning a Texas-themed tailgate. Next on the list of Tex-Mex foods seem to be nachos. Chilaquiles are kind of like nachos, except you cook all the ingredients together in a skillet. The result is a savory pie/casserole/nacho combination.

Now, I told you these don’t require much cooking, and they don’t. Simply brown onions and chorizo, then add the salsa verde and bring it all almost to a boil. Simmer the skillet for about five minutes and then add the tortilla chips and toss them. Next, remove the skillet from the heat drop a few cracked eggs on top of the chips and salsa.

Throw the skillet into a 400-degree oven and cook for almost 10 minutes. Bring it out and season it all with some salt and pepper. You can serve this right from the skillet.


Mexican Tater Tot Casserole

“If you don’t like tater tots, we can’t be friends.” That’s a quote from a famous person, I’m sure. Add to tater tots taco ingredients and you’ve really reached a point of pure taste bud satisfaction. To feed a crowd, which I’m sure you have gathered at your house, a casserole has to be one of the simplest meals. So here is a tasty Tex-Mex casserole for your family.

Start by throwing ground beef and diced onion into a skillet and browning the beef. Then, add a packet of taco seasoning and a can each of green chilies, black beans, corn, and enchilada sauce. Once those ingredients have been added, cook it all for about eight minutes. Then, add the mixture to a baking pan, add shredded cheese and stir it all. On top of that, add a bag of frozen tater tots and put into the same oven you’ll cook the chilaquiles. After it’s cooked, cover it with cheese again and then throw back into the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Serve this with sour cream alongside it to really give it some different textures.

Pro tip: The recipe below calls for a 375-degree oven, but if you put it in at 400, you cut the cooking time down to about 30 minutes. This also allows you to cook both dishes at the same time so they’re ready to serve together. Lucky, the casserole will take longer to cook, so once you’ve put this in the oven, start making the chilaquiles and then put them in to cook normally.


Christmas Sangria

I’m sure you have lots of leftovers, but we’re going to use two specific leftovers to make a drink for mom and dad. Use whatever leftover red wine you have and leftover fruits from your hors-d'oeuvres and add a few on-hand spices to make this sangria.

Chop a cup of any apples you have and add some cranberries, oranges or whatever other fruit you think would be good to a pitcher. On top of that, add a bottle of wine, some apple, cranberry or pomegranate juice, honey, and brandy or vodka. Stir it all together and chill it for at least an hour. Now, if you want to make this before anything else, I highly recommend that. Sangria is better the longer it sits (to a point).

I sincerely enjoyed writing these articles for you all this season. Tailgating is a true passion, but you can take this party to any gameday setting. Have fun watching out last game of the season and make sure to inject some holiday cheer. Happy tailgating!