Well, it’s that time of the year again.  I’ve mentioned it before, it’s always crazy when the season starts back up.  The last memories of tailgates included hearty meals, coats and fires.  The lingering memories of near 100 degree days sitting in the blazing sun are about to come to the forefront.  Is it going to be hot, yes!  Will I curse the cooking fire, not too much.  Am I excited to see everyone, you bet!  Plus it makes those ice cold beverages from Cahaba Brewing event better.

We welcome the New Mexico State Aggies this week in from beautiful Las Cruces, New Mexico.  New Mexico State is also home to the Chile Pepper Institute.  It’s only logical that the tailgate include some form of Green Chile in the menu.  If you’ve been to a tailgate the last few years you’ve seen that Chad and I are cooking over an open pit, that’s added a new twist to many traditional recipes and helps impart a unique flavor to many of the dishes.  This year we will continue down that path.  I enjoy cooking dishes that have layers of flavor, often cooking items separately using different techniques for those layers to create a product that’s unique.

In getting ready for the menu, I hit up a good friend who spent most his adult life in New Mexico for some menu ideas.  He recommended Calabacitas.  It’s a unique side dish that I’ll deconstruct and add some fire roasted elements.  It includes squash, zucchini and corn – all of which respond well to a nice char over an open fire.  I’ll combine this with fire roasted Green Chile enchiladas.  I’ve been on a cabbage salad (at what point does it become slaw) kick as of late, so I’ll work that into the menu.  In addition to Cahaba Brewing Beer these dishes seem to ask to be paired with a margarita.   For the rita and slaw, I’m going to work some Alabama Peaches into the mix to tie things back into the home state.

We’ve talked about doing dinner since there’s a big game on after our game (LSU / Texas).  I also imagine we will have a number of folks heading back early from our game to catch the end of the  Texas A&M/Clemson Game.

Do me a HUGE favor and let me know if you’re coming and a rough number in your group.
Here’s the rough idea of a menu.

We will be setup in the normal location with food coming off around 12:30.  As many of you know Mr and Mrs Jarmon (and Pepper) had talked about slowing down on the tailgate front.  They will be in town this weekend to say hello and enjoy the food and most importantly to visit.  Don’t miss your chance to catch up with the Jarmon’s and say hello.  I know we will see them at some other games through the years, but they won’t be at them all.

I’m excited to see everyone and to get the tailgate season going.

Roll Tide,