Create: Time to Tailgate


Great tailgating recipes!

Photography by Janet Warlick


Football is about to take center stage — the Hogs kick off their 2016-17 season Sept. 3, and the NFL’s first game is the 8th, which means tailgating and watch parties are top-of-mind. To help grill masters and hosts alike, we searched for great recipes and hit pay dirt with the Southern Living’s The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook, which features recipes celebrating all 14 SEC schools.

To help execute these traditional recipes, several of which include bacon in tribute to our Hogs, we called upon Chef Jason Morell, chef at Philander Smith College.

Grilled Blue Cheese and Bacon Potato Salad

Grilled Blue Cheese-and-Bacon Potato Salad

  • 3 pounds baby red potatoes, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat grill to 350 to 400 degrees (medium-high) heat. Place potatoes in a single layer in center of a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring up foil sides over potatoes; double fold top and side edges to seal, making a large packet.

Grill potatoes, in packet covered with grill lid, 15 minutes on each side. Remove packet from grill. Carefully open packet, using tongs, and let potatoes cool 5 minutes. Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add potatoes and toss gently to coat. Stir in onion, blue cheese and bacon.

Yields 6 servings

Note: Morell said, “I eliminated the sugar this recipe calls for as the balsamic vinegar is sweet as well.”

Hello Dolly Bars

Hello Dolly Bars

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
  • ⅔ cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Press mixture onto bottom of a lightly greased 13-inch by 9-inch pan. Bake 8 minutes. Sprinkle pecans, chocolate morsels and coconut over hot crust. Pour condensed milk over top. Do not stir.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned and edges are bubbly. Let cool on a wire rack 1 hour. Cut into bars.
Yields 3 dozen

“These tasty bars are gooey. Refrigerate them, after they cool, for easier cutting,” Morell said.

Source: Southern Living The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook


Pimiento Cheese-Bacon Burgers

  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
  • ¼ cup mixed herbs — such as basil, mint and oregano
  • hamburger buns

Preheat grill to 350 to 400 degrees (medium-high) heat. Combine first 4 ingredients gently. Stir fresh herbs into meat mixture. Shape into six 5-inch patties. Grill, covered with grill lid, 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until beef is no longer pink in center. Serve on buns, topped with pimiento cheese, cooked bacon strips, lettuce and tomato slices.

Yields 6 servings

Note: Morell used rosemary instead of mint in his herb mixture.

Southern-Style Pimiento Cheese

  • 4 cups or 6 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 4-ounce jar diced pimientos, drained
  • 1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yields 3 ½ cups

Jason Morell has worked in the food service industry for three decades and currently serves as campus chef at Philander Smith College in Little Rock. The former restaurateur’s favorite cuisine is Southern French. In his spare time, Morell enjoys hunting, fishing, foraging and preparing wild game, chanterelles and other culinary finds. Serving pieces provided by All Thru the House in Little Rock.

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