8/28/2013

Êtes-vous prêt? Penn State vs. eastern michigan!!!

The football season is upon us and our first tailgate is (just about) a week away!

In the immortal lyrics of the timeless poet, Taylor Swift, let us Begin Again...

PSU's first home opponent, the Eastern Michigan Eagles, wear green - a color that should be pretty easy to avoid (leave your State Patty's t-shirts at home, s'il vous plait).

Kick-off is at 12pm, so the lots will open at 7am and we'll be there when they open the gates. The game will be televised on BTN - but you're going to want to be at this game (and by game, I mean tailgate).

This season we will again be parking in the Green (West/Pressbox side of the stadium) Lot next to the soccer field - and for this game we'll be flying a PSU chipmunk flag along with the flag of Quebec (blue field with white cross and fleur de lis). Contact us for specific directions, as needed.

As we've posted, our *directional* theme is Southern France - and we'll be serving an assortment of goodies du Provence et Nice... such as, and including, olive & thyme french bread...


The current weather report is calling for "an afternoon t-storm or two," with a high temperature of 80F. So wear layers and bring a poncho - hopefully the *storms* don't bring too much wind or any "please proceed to the nearest exit" moments during the game.

As always, all are welcome - contributions of food and/or beverage are appreciated but not necessary; if you have any questions, feel free to contact us via email - or any other method (Twitter, Facebook, Singing Telegram).

Stop by (and stay a while, or) to say *Happy Football Season* if you can!

To the Lion!

8/21/2013

La Mer - Southern France/Rivera Tailgate; Penn State v eastern michigan tailgate

The 2013 Football Season is upon us - in just a few short days we'll be traveling to our favorite fall arena - Beaver Stadium.

PSU hosts the eagles of eastern michigan to open their home schedule - and thinking that a directional opponent deserves a directional tailgate...

So we'll be serving dishes inspired by the south of France and the Rivera.

Including, but not (ever) limited to:

Pissaladiere - a french flatbread/tart/pizza with caramelized onions and black olives.

*Benedict Flatbread* - a spin on the popular brunch dish - scrambled eggs, canadian bacon and hollandaise sauce on a grilled flatbread crust.

Creamed Spinach Flatbread - creamy spinach and gruyere white sauce on a grilled flatbread, with marinated grape tomatoes.

This is now in the freezer - just waiting to share its deliciousness.

Niçoise chicken wraps - herby roasted chicken wrapped up with Salad Niçoise fixings and a light vinaigrette.

Charcuterie et Fromage - an assortment of meats, cheeses, and veggies (and, of course, accoutrements).


Gougeres and french bread.

Lemon cream cheese pound cake with fresh and compoted fruit and Chocolate Madeleines (shells, paw-prints AND fleur-de-lis).


8/01/2013

Hello? Is this on? Pre-season Prep - Popovers.

Yes. I know. It's been a while.

I'd love it say that I've been super busy - or over compensating on other social mediums - but, sadly, that's not the case. It's just been I while since I've felt the motivation requisite for posting.

But I've got it now - so here goes!!!

We've been stocking the freezer with our "made-ahead" dishes in preparation for the quickly approaching season - with old favorites and many new(ish) delicacies - and some adaptations, such as...

Mini Herbed Popovers.

Yorkshires Puddings have become a favorite item over the years. I love making them and they are oh so yummy - but this season we are not planning a beef centered tailgate - so I decided to make a batch of Yorkie's kissing cousin - the popover - to serve at our Irish themed tailgate.

And here's the recipe - it's an adapted popover/yorkshire pudding recipe...

You'll need:

1 1/2 cups milk (room temperature)
4 large eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs (I used a greek inspired mix)
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter (melted)
more butter for pans
mini muffin pan



In a warm bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, salt and herbs. If you are super strong, this can be done by hand; if you are a purist, use a rotary egg beater; if you are me, use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.

Beat the milk/egg/seasoning mixture until well combined.

Add flour - all at once; combine (on low speed) and add the melted butter (I pass the butter through a sieve).

Mix thoroughly.

So, what does thoroughly mean? The Joy of Cooking (from where we get the best Yorkshire Pudding recipe EVER) says to beat your batter until large bubbles appear (ie, a long time); King Arthur Flour says to mix until just combined (even if there are some small lumps). The difference between the 2 is that JoC has to let the batter rest while KAF goes straight into a hot oven.




I go with the "let it rest" method - mixing/beating the batter until thick bubbles appear - and even mixing/whisking it a bit by hand and then letting the batter chill for at least a 1/2 hour (in a covered bowl).

Remove the batter from the refrigerator and let it return to room temperature (really?!?!!? yes, really.).

Set oven rack to lower rung and pre-heat oven to 450F.

Dot mini-muffin pan (24) with 1-2 Tablespoons of butter (broken into small pieces). Basically, the entire bottom of each (muffin indent?) should be thickly coated.



Once the oven comes up to temperature, Place (butter filled) pan into hot oven - 5 minutes (make sure butter doesn't burn). Similar to (other) bread baking, you want to make sure that your oven is *really* at temperature.

Transfer batter into spouted bowl/measuring cup. Remove hot pan from oven and immediately pour batter into pan - filling each 1/2 to 2/3 full.



Place tin on lower oven rack - and let bake for 10 minutes (the *popping* stage). It is critical that you use the oven light feature if you are tempted to take a peak and *don't open the oven!*

Reduce temperature to 350F and let bake for an additional 10 - 15 minutes (the cooking/browning stage) or until deep golden brown.

Remove from oven and place pan on wire cooling rack. Pierce each popover discretely to help release steam.



Return oven temperature to 450F.

While waiting for oven to come up to temp, tip popovers out of pan and (devour, or) let cool on rack. If popovers are a little pesky (ie sticking to pan), gingerly persuade with sharp knife.

Re-butter pan; heat 5 minutes; fill with remaining batter; cook 2nd batch same as first.

If not eating immediately :( - let cool completely and transfer to airtight container/bag. Can be frozen.

Makes 48 mini-popovers. Depending on the *mininess* of your pan(s) may make more or less.

To revive - (thaw, if frozen, and then) put in oven (400F or whatever temperature you're cooking your other food will do) or on grill (indirect heat with cover closed) until crisp.

Can be made with a variety of herbs/spices, cheese (sharp/flavorful cheese), sugar or just plain.

It's the End of Preseason As We Know it.

And, it appears, the end of our posting drought!

Yay!

This season we are planning a series of fantastic tailgates. We're knee-deep in pre-season prep (see above) - and we're super excited for football season to begin!

This season's (scheduled) tailgates are as follows:


Riviera (Southern French/Mediterranean) - September 7th - Eastern Michigan.

Irish - September 14th - Central Florida.

Oktoberfest (10 years!!!!) - September 21st - Kent State.

Life of Pie - October 12th - (Homecoming) Michigan.

Coffee Shop - November 2nd - Illinois.

Eastern European - November 16th - Purdue.

Corn, Soup, Bacon - November 23rd - Nebraska.