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The Smoking Musket Tailgate Menu: Horns Down Breakfast

Fueling up for a massive game against Texas.

There are so many culinary possibilities when talking about the University of Texas. From the city of Austin’s tacos, whiskey and quirky eats to the central Texas barbecue culture, food is part of the culture there. For this breakfast, we’re leaning on the Tex-Mex flavors we love and some of Texas’ finest produce.

Texas Two-Step Breakfast Casserole

This casserole has a lot of Texas things in it and, honestly, it makes for a fantastic breakfast. From green chilies in every layer to tortillas acting as Tex-Mex lasagna noodles, this easy-to-bake dish will please your guests.

Basically, this is a breakfast taco in casserole form, so think of each layer as building a taco. Tortilla strips, sausage, onions, cheese and chilis build levels of flavors while topping the whole thing with cheese seals in the goodness.

Pumpkin French Toast Roll-Ups

We’ve all had pumpkins on our porches for the past two weeks, so let’s do something with them! Also, Texas yields upwards of $2.4 million each year in pumpkin production, the fourth-largest producer in the country.

You can easily make your own pumpkin puree with one of your Jack-o-Lanterns or with an uncarved pumpkin. If you do that, you can pump up the flavor of all the french toast roll-ups by adding pumpkin pie spices.

If you know how to make french toast, you can make these roll-ups. Cut the crust off the bread (save for breadcrumbs) and flatten the slices. Then, spread the puree on each slice and roll tightly. Dunk the rolls into the milk and egg mix then fry them in a buttered skillet. Turn them so all sides are browned. You can serve these in hot dog trays, sprinkling cinnamon sugar on top. Give each guest a mini paper cup full of syrup for dipping.

Texas Pecan Butter Cookies

As a proud product of Georgia, I take pride in our nut production. But Texas comes close to Georgia in pecan production. Pecans are perfect for cookies, in my humble opinion, because they add a subtle sweetness and a good bite to a chewy cookie.

These are not at all trying to be healthy or low-carb or any of that. They’re bite-sized artery blockers and I think that’s what we all need right now. A blast of sweetness in the morning is the perfect complement to the heavy taco casserole.

Note: it’s pronounced “PEE-can.”

This game means a lot to our football team and, to many fans is the most anticipated. Let’s kill it with our gameday eats and hope the Mountaineers pull it out on the field.