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Tailgating on the coast

Tailgating is all about foods that are both reasonably hand-portable and delicious. You don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, but you do want to impress your friends. Here are three recipes that will keep you in the kitchen for a minimal amount of time. In fact, some of the ingredients can be bought at the grocery store deli, so your investment in time will be next to nothing.

All three recipes call for mayonnaise. You can use store-bought or make your own. If you want to add a surprising touch, flavor store-bought mayo with avocado, roasted red peppers, fresh (but juiced) tomatoes, or even curry. Just add your choice of flavoring and the mayo, perhaps with a bit of lemon (not with the curry) to a blender and blend smooth.

Spicy Pulled Pork Tacos

1 pound pulled pork

Soft flour or whole wheat tortillas

Valentino Hot Sauce

Best quality mayo

BBQ sauce

Sliced jalapeño and tomatoes

If you want to make your own pulled pork, stud a pork roast with slivers of garlic, season aggressively with Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, and bake at 300 Fahrenheit for 4 to 6 hours or until falling apart. If you don’t have the time, buy already cooked pulled pork at the deli. Combine mayo and hot sauce to your taste, more hot sauce if you want a nice bite to it. If you want it to be even spicer, add siracha to your favorite BBQ sauce. Place ingredients on individual plates or bowls and allow your guests to make their own.

Roast beef Po-boy

1 po-boy bun per person

1-2 pounds shredded roast beef

2 cups beef broth

2-3 tablespoons flour

2-3 tablespoon butter

Drippings from the roast beef

Sliced tomatoes

Store-bought coleslaw

If you want to make your own roast beef, rub the roast (chuck, brisket, or round) with olive oil, then season heavily with pepper. Roast at 500 Fahrenheit for 20 minutes before reducing the heat to 300 Fahrenheit, and cook 15 minutes per pound at that heat. If you are in a hurry, buy it at the deli. The chances are the deli will not have gravy, but the roast beef you buy should have some drippings in the bottom of the container. Make a roux by combining the butter and flour, and brown slowly in a heavy bottom pan. When it is a dark brown, add the drippings and stock, whisk to combine (make sure there are no lumps). Season with salt and pepper, taste, and re-season as necessary. Simmer until thick. Placing everything on individual platters and allow your guests to make their own. Don’t forget the paper towels!

Shrimp and Rice Salad

This is about as easy as it gets!

1 pound peeled shrimp

2 cups cooked rice

Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning

½ cup Best quality olive oil

1 small, diced bell pepper

1-2 finely diced garlic cloves

Diced tomato for garnish

Italian Seasoning


Heavily season a pot full of water with Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning, and when it comes to a boil, add the shrimp. Simmer for 2 minutes, remove, and drain. Sauté the bell pepper in olive oil until tender, add the garlic and cook 3-4 minutes longer. Combine the shrimp, rice, peppers, and garlic. Season to your taste. Garnish with the tomato. Serve room temperature.

Want 5 more recipes for your tailgate this football season? Click here


Written by Julian Brunt

Julian Brunt is a food and travel writer that has been writing about the food culture of the Deep South for over a decade. He is the eleventh generation of his family to live in the South, grew up in Europe, traveled extensively for the first fifteen years after graduating from the University of Maryland, University College, Heidelberg, Germany. Today, he's a contributor for multiple publications, including Our Mississippi Home. He's also appeared on Gordon Ramsay's television show, "To Hell and Back in 24 Hours."


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