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The Smoking Musket Tailgate Menu: Riot Bowl in Ames

Tailgating isn’t just about the drinking, you need good food as well!

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

It’s the Riot Bowl game. A time-honored tradition where two fanbases known for throwing down meet in the parking lot for the competition that’s more important than the football game. As WVU fans and alumni, we pride ourselves on our partying prowess and tailgating is an area of particular expertise. However, tailgating is more than just drinking, you need to serve up good food to make sure you win over your guests.

Spicy Korean Grilled Chicken

As is tradition, we cook poultry when playing the Iowa State Cyclones because they use a cardinal as their mascot, which has absolutely nothing to do with a cyclone. That all said, chicken or turkey is great for tailgating and one of the best meats to infuse flavor into, in my opinion.

This recipe hinges on the gochujang—a spicy red pepper paste that comes in a tub. You may not be able to find it in a normal grocery store, so if you can’t, use a traditional red pepper paste, or buy sriracha sauce or the chili garlic paste of the same brand. The marinade takes the super spicy pepper and mellows it out with honey, soy sauce, oil and rice vinegar. Another appropriate substitute would be to use vegetable oil instead of sesame oil.

This is honestly one of the best tailgate recipes I’ve ever made. It’s really easy to prepare the night before and throw on the grill the day of the tailgate. My biggest suggestion is to make some extra marinade to brush onto the chicken while cooking. Seriously, the flavors in this chicken are the bomb.

Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Corn

I know we joke about Iowans and corn, but Iowa is far and away the top corn producer in the U.S. From feed to sweet corn, Iowa has it all. But this dish also adds another food Iowa produces more of than any other state: pork. Bacon-wrapped anything is delicious, but wrapping corn in sounds like the perfect combination of sweet and salty. To add to the flavorfulness, this recipe puts ranch dressing into the mix as well.

Shuck the ears of corn and make sure they’re very well cleaned. Next, brush ranch dressing all over each ear of corn. Lay out two or three pieces of bacon on parchment paper, they can overlap, touch, or be spaced out slightly. Put an ear at one end of the bacon and roll to wrap it up. You can do this all the night before and wrap them individually in foil or plastic wrap, or do it at the tailgate (although I highly suggest you shuck the corn at home).

On a medium-heat grill, place the corn in a row, don’t let them touch. Grill for about eight minutes on one side and turn over and cook for another eight minutes. If you want to cook the bacon all around, then take about three minutes off each side and cook it all around.

Grilled Donuts

For dessert on this menu, I decided to keep it simple. These grilled donuts are the perfect way to soak up that alcohol before heading into the game or for a halftime snack at home. You can pick up a dozen donuts on the way to tailgate or in the morning because you don’t want them hot. The grill reheats them so they’re toasty on the outside and still mushy on the inside.

Preheat your grill on medium high for about 10 minutes so it’s completely warm inside. Slice your donuts in half and throw them on the grill, sliced side up, for about 60 seconds, then flip and grill for another minute. Make sure you don’t overcook the glazed side. You can top these with ice cream, chocolate syrup or whatever tickles your tongue.

Remember, By-Godders, this is the Riot Bowl, and we better not lose the tailgate!