Alabama Tailgate Great Friends, Great Times and Great Food Wed, 19 Oct 2016 03:39:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2016 Alabama vs Texas A&M Tailgate Tue, 18 Oct 2016 18:09:16 +0000 This week finds us back in Tuscaloosa hosting the undefeated Texas A&M Aggies.  Since the last time we were in Tuscaloosa, I’ve watched a Bama game in NYC and saw Alabama beat Tennessee like a rented mule.

Speaking of NYC.  A huge shout out to the The Greater New York Alumni Association!  These guys throw a first class game watch party right in the heart of NYC at The Ainsworth.  We try to head to NYC every few years for a game.  We made it up for the Arkansas game and had a blast.  If you ever find yourself out of town for a game and are looking for a place to watch it with fellow Bama fans, head over to the National Alumni Page where they keep this information updated.

Now back to tailgating.  I’m stoked to have some Aggies joining us this at the tailgate.  Aggies are for sure some of the most hospitable tailgate hosts I’ve ever encountered and I’m happy to return the favor.  The weather is looking great so far with highs in the low 70’s.  I’ve talked with a few A&M friends and they all said you have to have brisket and Texas smoked sausage, so those will be on the menu.  I’m still kicking around a few other ideas as well.

We’ve got a 2:30 kickoff so that means it’s a mad rush to get everything cooked and out in time for everyone to get to the game.  I’m thinking about doing breakfast as well since we will be up early cooking.  If you are making it in early, let me know so that I can have enough breakfast for you.


  • Skirt steak breakfast burritos


  • Stuffed Jalapeños
  • Pickled Red Onions
  • Smoked Brisket with Franklin’s BBQ Sauce
  • Kreuz Market’s Smoked Sausage (shipped from Texas)
  • Kimchi Spiked Greens
  • Jalapeño Cheese Grits – featuring Alabama’s own McEwen and Sons Grits


I plan on having everything off around 12:15.  We will have something coming off for after the game for sure.  This week has some good SEC evening games.  So sit around a let traffic die down.

See you Saturday,

Roll Tide

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Fried Sauerkraut Balls Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:12:29 +0000 I cooked this recipe for the Kent State game.  It turned out great and was a much requested recipe.  The hot really cuts the sour of the kraut and blends the flavors rather well.

  • 1 lb hot breakfast sausage
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 32 – ounce can sauerkraut
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 8 – ounces package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon spicy mustard
  • 4 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Frying Oil

Brown sausage and onions in a large skillet.  Drain fat.

Drain sauerkraut, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Combine sauerkraut, sausage mixture, ¼ cup bread crumbs, cream cheese, mustard, spices and sriracha. Chill for 3 hours

Put flour in a shallow container. In another shallow container, beat eggs and water until combined. Put bread crumbs in a third shallow container.

Roll kraut mixture into golf ball size balls Roll balls in flour, then in egg mixture, then in bread crumbs.

Deep fry until brown

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2016 Alabama v Kentucky Tailgate and Homecoming Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:57:24 +0000 It’s a virtual cold front coming through this weekend.  If you were in Tuscaloosa last Saturday for Kent State, you know it was HOT and I mean HOT!  This week the forecast has it being around 80 at kickoff and around 70 at the end of the game.  Nice!

I’ve talked about the importance of giving back in some of my past posts.  It’s time to spend a little bit of time talking about that again.  As many of you know we endowed a scholarship to honor my late mother (Virginia Hill).  This year we are endowing a scholarship for Julie’s mother and will be honored to have Ruth Yongue at our tailgate this week.  Both of these scholarships are co-sponsored by the Shelby County Alumni Association.  If you would like to make a small contribution, or a large one then just click on these links.  Virginia Hill Endowed Scholarship or Ruth Yongue Endowed Scholarship (it’s listed as Shelby County #5 until after this weekend).  We do not see any names associated with the gift.

Now on to tailgating.  With homecoming this weekend and the scholarship ceremony I’m tied up in the morning.  So we will be doing a later afternoon tailgate.  You’re welcome to get there as early as you like.  The parade starts at 1pm.  If you’re coming in after the start be aware of traffic issues.  I am going to hang out at the Shelby County Alumni Tent to watch the parade, feel free to join me there (click on the link for info), and then head back to the house to finish up dinner.

I plan on getting back to the tailgate around 2:30pm and having food off around 4-4:30pm.  This time of the year always makes me think of Oktoberfest.  Since we have already done a Kentucky themed menu this year, I am going to do a mixture of some Kentucky dishes as well as some Oktoberfest dishes.

  • Bourbon Soaked Cherries
  • Smoked Baby Back Ribs with Bourbon BBQ Sauce
  • Corn Pudding (again in honor of Kentucky)
  • Sausages with Grilled-Onion Chowchow
  • Pan-Seared Sausages with Apples

As always, we hope to see you at the tailgate!

Roll Tide!


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2016 Alabama VS Kent State Tailgate Wed, 21 Sep 2016 15:55:42 +0000 Roll Tide!  This week welcomes the Kent State Golden Flashes.  This week brings us an early kickoff at 11AM and late September is proving to be scorching hot.  The afternoon welcomes several great SEC match ups.  Florida / TN at 2:30, LSU / AU at 5:00 and Arkansas / TA&M at 8.

We will be doing a breakfast for those that get to campus a little early and lunch for after the game.

In researching Ohio, it’s difficult to come up with a food.  I kept coming across chili and it’s about 50 degrees hotter than I would like for that this time of the year.  So in honor of the Golden Flashes, we will be flash frying a few items for the tailgate.  I did find reference to Sauerkraut Balls as a traditional food, so we will give those a go after the game.  Additionally, I’ve came across multiple references to kielbasa and cabbage.  To work the local ingredient back into the menu, I will be doing a cabbage and Conecuh sausage dish.


So, for the tailgate we are looking at:

  • Breakfast
  • Breakfast Burritos with golden flash fried chicken
  • Crimson Sunrise Mimosas



  • Sauerkraut Balls – Golden Flash fried
  • Cabbage and Conecuh
  • Grilled Conecuh Dogs
  • Chilled Potato Salad

We plan on having breakfast off around 9:45 and then getting the grills going right after the Bama game for lunch.

See you Saturday!  Roll Tide!


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2016 Alabama VS WKU Tue, 06 Sep 2016 16:52:43 +0000 Roll Tide!  What a great start to the season.  We traveled out to Dallas for the game this weekend.  Walking around the stadium pre-game reminded me of one thing, it’s still HOT in September.  I’ve said it before, but I always remember the last few games of the year and start getting exited around Aug and somehow forget it’s usually pretty brutal the first few games.

This means tailgate dishes need to be light and refreshing.  No stews or heavy dishes this time of the year.  I also like to use local ingredients when I can.

The week brings us the Hilltopers of Western Kentucky.  When I think Kentucky, the first thing that pops in my head is The Kentucky Derby and Bourbon.  So this week I will be working those items into my theme as well as some great local items.  I’ll be using peaches and local honey to tie the tailgate back into Alabama.

The game starts at 2:30 this week.  I know folks will be wanting to walk around campus and catch up with friends for this one.  I’m going to pair the menu down this week and plan on having everything off at around 12:30.

  • Honey Peach Mint Julep
  • Peach and Bourbon Glazed Pork Tenderloin Sliders
  • Peach Coleslaw
  • Bourbon Ice Cream

I’m going to be heading back to Birmingham right after the game.  My good friend Joe Pilleteri has a new brewery opening in Homewood, AL.  Saturday is the grand opening!  Check out their Facebook Page Red Hills Brewing Company.  If you are coming back through Birmingham, stop by and say Hi.  Julie, Chad, my father, Bill and myself designed and built the bar and all the furniture etc.  Hope to see everyone at the tailgate!


Roll Tide,


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2015 Alabama vs Charleston Southern Tailgate Wed, 18 Nov 2015 17:11:24 +0000 It’s that time of the year again. The last home game and thus last tailgate of 2015. Crazy how quickly the season has flown by. Oh, I have 4 tickets if you are looking.

For the final tailgate I will be at the Shelby County Alumni Tent. The tent is located in front of Little Hall on the corner of Elm and University – click here for a map. We will have the food fired up and the TV on checking out what’s going on around the SEC.

The year would not be complete without a huge thank you to the folks that help me cook. As many of you know we head down on Friday night and leave on Sunday. Much of that time is spent prepping and cleaning. I could not have done half of it without Chad’s help – thanks Chad! Jules, thanks for supporting this crazy way I have fun. From helping me buy everything, to cleaning dishes the week after the tailgate. For everyone else that throws in a helping hand – thank you.

Above all, thanks to the Jarmon’s for hosting us. The tent is up every week, the grass is always cut. Magically the bathroom always has toilet paper. When you see them this weekend, tell them thank you – no really.

Now, let’s talk the final tailgate. We welcome the Charleston Southern to Tuscaloosa. Charleston is home to some wonderful foods. With any port town you have in influx of traditions from around the world. Saturday is looking to be a little chilly, so I thought I would do some traditional comfort foods that give a nod to Charleston yet play on some local ingredients.

  • Creamy McEwen and Sons Grits with Spicy Shrimp and Conecuh Sausage Gravy
  • Traditional Brunswick Stew

If you have never tried McEwen and Sons grits, you are missing out. They are a local Alabama product and one of my go-to dishes. I’m pairing it this time with a thicker shrimp topping than normal and showcasing another Alabama product by using Conecuh Sausage.

Stop by and check out the Shelby County Alumni tent and say hello. I plan on having food off around 11:30 – 12.

See you on Saturday – Roll Tide


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Tailgate Mac-n-Cheese Wed, 04 Nov 2015 16:25:43 +0000 Here’s my quick take on a traditional mac-n-cheese. For this one I don’t add nutmeg and other little touches I do at home. This recipe scales up or down. Don’t use pre-shredded cheese, just don’t. Read the back of the package and then pick up a block of cheese and do the same.

  • 3 lbs elbow macaroni
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 2lb block of sharp white cheddar, shredded


Start by boiling your pasta in salt water. You want the water to taste about like ocean water.

While the pasta cooks, melt the butter over medium heat. Once it is fully melted whisk in the flour and stir to make a light roux. Slowly, very slowly whisk in the milk. Once you have the roux well blended in the milk add the rest of the milk. Careful here not to scorch the sauce. Kick the heat up to med-high and keep stirring. You want the mixture to just break a boil. As soon as it does this it will start to thicken. Drop the heat to low and slowly whisk in the cheese, mustard and pepper. Start tasting and adjust the seasoning.   You can add hot sauce, salt.   Remember it is going to be used on salty pasta.

Drain pasta. Stir pasta into the cheese sauce.


Roll Tide,


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2015 Alabama vs LSU Tailgate Tue, 03 Nov 2015 03:50:02 +0000 In 2011 we had the “game of the century” – even a wiki page. 2015 may not have the 2011 hype, but it’s going to be a great game. I expect the crowed and tailgates to follow in tow.

Most of you know that this is my favorite tailgate when it comes around every other year. I love Cajun and Creole food, I love cooking said food. Down deep – brace for it I even love Cajuns… and that means LSU fans. Never had a bad time at a tailgate with them in Tuscaloosa. Do that have some bad fans, yep. Do we, yep. But neither will be at our tailgate Saturday.

Speaking of Cajuns… If you are looking for a great butcher shop that also has fabulous sausage then you have to give Nick at Cajun Cleaver a try. They don’t just stop at great meats. The have gourmet meals to go and a great beer and wine selection. Give Nick a HUGE Roll Tide and he will know you came from

CBS picked us up for prime time this go. That means there will be plenty of time to tailgate and hang out. So I plan on doing some brunch food as well as my usual LSU menu.


  • Bloody Mary’s
  • Crimson Sunrises
  • Beignets with Bananas Foster Dipping Sauce
  • Biscuits with Shrimp and Green Onion Sausage Gravy
  • Corndogs – yep

As most of you know, I try not to repeat menus accept for one game each year – LSU. But we have some other folks (thanks Morgan – and of course Chad) kicking in some items this year.

Main Course

  • Grilled Boudin
  • Turducken
  • Chicken, Duck, Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo
  • Chicken Jambalaya
  • Shrimp and Crawfish Etouffee
  • I will be serving brunch as soon as folks start arriving. I figure around 10AM or so. For dinner I am shooting for around 4:30 or so.

As always we will have some Cahaba Blonde’s on hand.  So be sure to give one a try at the tailgate!

Roll Tide,


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2015 Alabama v Tennessee Tailgate Wed, 21 Oct 2015 04:17:35 +0000 It’s that time of the year folks, that’s right it’s the 3rd Saturday in October. Though it’s really the fourth. Alabama is coming off another great road victory. So why don’t you come join us for a tailgate?

I’ve done a few different things through the years. Sometimes it was Jack Daniels based dishes, sometimes it was all things Orange (orange curry chicken anyone?) and sometimes it was just Oktoberfest themed.

This time around I’m going to combine a little bit of each of these. In honor of Ole Smokey we’re going to fire the smoker up and go from there. Each of these dishes pair well with’s beer of choice, Cahaba Brewing’s Cahaba Blonde. If you can’t make a tailgate, they are distributed throughout Birmingham.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Jack Daniels Slushies
  • Smoked Chicken Quarters with Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce
  • Smoked Beef Brisket
  • Smoked Apples and Pear Slaw
  • Grilled Potato Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette
  • Green Beans with Smoky Bacon

With a 2:30 kickoff, I plan on having everything off the grill around 12:30.

Roll Tide,



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2015 Alabama v Arkansas Tailgate Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:31:55 +0000 What a great game last Saturday!! Come join us this week as the Tide continues to Roll. This week welcomes another SEC matchup as well as Homecoming 2015. There’s plenty of things going on around the quad so come down early and enjoy the parade.

With Bama hosting the Hog’s it’s only natural that we cook, well a hog. So for this game we will be doing a whole hog along with some other hog based dishes.  What goes great with Whole Hog?  Naturally, Cahaba Blonde!  Check those guys out!

For the folks that get there early we are going to be cooking up some sausage for snacking. For the main meal here’s what we are thinking:

  • Whole Smoked Hog
  • Southern Greens with Ham Hocks
  • BBQ Razorback Beans
  • Southern Mac-n-Cheese

We plan on getting food off around 3:30PM or so.

Hope to see you Saturday!



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