Monday, November 28, 2011

The Last Tailgate of the Season

This past Saturday was
the annual IU vs. Purdue (hiss) game,
otherwise known as the Oaken Bucket game.

The winner of the game gains possession of 
the Oaken Bucket for the next year.

Each year, a link with the winning team's initial
on the chain is added to the bucket.

Then, the winning team's initial is proudly displayed
outside the oaken bucket until it is claimed by the
next winning team.

Enough of the football:
on to the food.

Our theme this week was "Thanksgiving Leftovers".

So I adapted my recipes to match that theme.

First up:  Brie en Croute.

1 puff pastry sheet
1 8-ounce round of brie
3 to 4 tablespoons F.R.O.G (Fig, Raspberry, Orange, Ginger) Preserves

Allow the puff pastry sheet to thaw and roll out to a square.

Place the brie in the center.

Spread enough preserves on top to mostly cover the top of the brie.

Then, gather the corners of the pastry together and tuck in "artistically".

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Normally, one would let this sit for 20 to 40 minutes before serving with sliced apples and/or crackers, but this is a tailgate.  At this point, the baked brie en croute went into the refrigerator.  I will heat it back up over low flame on the mini grill at the tailgate.

Next up are the Krab Bites.

I sliced each fake crab leg into four sections.  Then the "pre-cooked" bacon is cut in half crosswise.  Each crab section is wrapped with a half piece of bacon and secured with a tooth pick.

The final dish of the day was Ina Garten's French Apple Tart.

1 puff pastry sheet
3 Honeycrisp apples
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup F.R.O.G. (Fig, Raspberry, Orange, Ginger) preserves
2 tablespoons rum

After thawing the puff pastry, roll out on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Peel, core, and slice the apples and arrange in diagonal rows on the pastry.

Sprinkle with sugar and dot with the cubed pieces of butter.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning halfway.  If the pastry begins to puff up, stab with a knife (gently, not like Norman Bates would stab Marion).

Let cool for a few minutes before gently (there's that word again) prying off the parchment with a spatula. Wait any longer and you run the risk of the tart becoming one (and not in a good way) with the parchment.

Heat the preserves and the rum together until melted.  Pour over the top of the cooked pastry.

After the tart has cooled, cut with a pizza cutter.

We really need to work on figuring out a way to prevent the spillage of the sugars over the edges, resulting in burnt caramelized edges.  Ina doesn't address this problem.  Well, this isn't the first time I've had problems with an Ina recipe.  Too bad I don't work for her, because I could save her much embarrassment.

Can you believe it?  The last Saturday in November and the temperatures were in the low 60s.

The feast is spread.  Besides our contributions, our tailgate buddies brought regular chili and chicken chili, sliced BBQ pork loin, turkey, stuffing, iced pumpkin bars (cake, really), apples with caramel, and cheese spread and crackers.  Later, more food arrived with more tailgate buddies.

Already, half the French apple tart has disappeared.

The crock pots are working their magic.

This is a mighty feast.

Meanwhile, our tailgate neighbors had made their famous spam and bologna egg sandwiches for breakfast and later had venison/beef burgers and brats.  Sadly, I missed out on the venison/beef burgers. 

Once again I opted to stay outside instead of going into the game.  This allows the others to know that I am there to guard things while they are watching the Hoosiers lose once again, I was able to sit outside without fear of getting another migraine (after just finally getting rid of a month-long one) I had the chance to get some writing done. 

After writing for a bit, I grew restless and wandered next door.  Our very nice neighbors invited me over to watch the game on their TV and to eat some food.

And back to some food.  I love stuffing.  This stuffing was super moist and very well seasoned.

On the left is the brie en croute.  It may not look pretty, but it is oh, so delicious.  Especially on a thin slice of apple.

The tailgates were going strong.

Everywhere you looked.

Except for the student section.  Seems that many of the kids were still at home with their families. 

Despite a few sprinkles and a bit of wind, this was a wonderful day for a tailgate.

And yes, IU managed to lose yet once again.  But hey, we almost managed to have a perfect season!  A perfect losing season, that is.  We won one game against a minor team from South Carolina.  Whoot?

On the bright side, downtown is brightly lit.

I'm already looking forward to next year.  Maybe we'll even have some wins to go with the good food and great company?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That’s the thing I love about tailgating, you always leave with new friends! I too am one of those people that usually don’t even make it to the stadium. I always invite people to watch the game in HD on my Tailgater I got from DISH Network, my employer. It works great for tailgating, camping and even RVing. Instead of wasting time your TV trying to find the signal, it automatically does it for you. If you’re ever in my town definitely stop by one of my parties, I’ll love to have you.