The Kitchen Prep: Tailgate Thursday: Alabama Edition!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tailgate Thursday: Alabama Edition!

Oh, my. I am so, so, sooo excited that today marks the very first Tailgate Thursday of the series here on TKP!

It is no secret that my husband and I are big college football fans... especially when it comes to our team. I've shared before that we met while we were attending the University of Florida. And that we fully buy into the greatness of Tim Tebow. And that we try to attend at least one game in Gainesville every year to relive the nostalgia of our college years. Yup, we're Gators, alright.

I got to thinking about what makes football season so much fun, especially here in the south. {I use that term loosely here in South Florida, because despite our coordinates on the map, we aren't extremely "southern".} It all came down to three things: The camaraderie. The tradition. And {most importantly} the food and drinks!

And so, the idea for Tailgate Thursday was born! The theme: {drink.dress.devour}. The mission: To spread the football-watching, team-color-wearing, tailgate-snacking love this season, no matter what team you follow!

Each week I'll be featuring one SEC school and sharing a team-themed cocktail, outfit, and recipe that would make for a perfect tailgate party. Hopefully it'll inspire you to get creative with your own game day get togethers. :)

I have been a busy little bee gathering the best tailgate recipes & fashions for this football season. But I can't take full credit for all the great stuff I'm going to be sharing over the next 12 weeks of college football. So, let me introduce you to the fabulous ladies that I've been working with to help me bring it all together!

We've got Liz from Twelve Saturdays sharing her gameday fashion know-how...

And Carla from Haute Cocktail mixing up some tailgate-worthy cocktails...

I am so very glad that I found these two lovely, creative girls to make this project a reality.

Now that all the proper introductions have been made, let's talk tailgate!

I'm kicking off Tailgate Thursday by featuring the  Alabama Crimson Tide, last year's National Championship winners. The University of Alabama is located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a place oozing with Southern hospitality and plenty of down home cookin'.  One of the games the hubs & I attended a while back was against Alabama and I can tell you without a doubt that they take their football, food and tailgating fashion seriously.

When I planned out the Alabama tailgate menu, I stuck with the theme of Southern charm:

{Scroll down for recipes} 1. Crimson Cooler by Haute Cocktail, 2. Shrimp & Grits Bites, 3. Roll Tide Elephant Ears
Dress: Bama Belle from Twelve Saturdays
Admittedly, I had never tried shrimp and grits together before making these little bites, but I've got to say, I can understand why it's a popular combination! The Roll Tide Elephant ears {Alabama's mascot features an elephant... harhar} are an easy little treat sure to satisfy your game day sweet tooth. And that Crimson Cooler? It's a potent concoction that will make it easy to pass the time before kickoff. {Sip responsibly!}

Along with the Bama Belle dress from Twelve Saturdays, this is one game day that's brimming with school spirit. Who says a tailgate can't be fashionable?

I've got TONS of great things coming up for more teams over the course of college football season, so I hope you'll keep an eye out for your school and spread the word to other football-following friends!

Happy Game Day, Y'all! ;)

Crimson Cooler
created by Haute-Cocktail

1/2 oz. Southern Comfort
1/2 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Coconut Rum
1/2 oz. Raspberry Liqueur {such as Chambord}
1/2 oz. Lemon-Lime Soda
1/2 oz. Cranberry Juice

Mix all ingredients in a shaker, add ice, shake and serve in a martini glass {or mason jar!} If desired, you can double the portions and serve over ice in a beer mug. Enjoy!

Shrimp & Grits Bites

1/2 cup quick cooking grits {not instant}
1 cup water
1/2 cup half & half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sharp cheddar {or your favorite} cheese, shredded
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
a pinch of black pepper

1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup white onion, minced
1/2 pound peeled & deveined fresh shrimp, tails on
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay {or your favorite} seasoning

For Grits:

Line baking pan with foil hanging over edges for easy removal. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Bring water, half & half, and salt to a boil in a medium pot over high heat. Stir in grits, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until thick, whisking often.

Mix in cheese until well incorporated. Remove from heat.

Pour into prepared baking pan and spread into an even layer with a silicone spatula or oiled offset spatula. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until firm.

For Shrimp:

Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add shrimp, making sure each piece has contact with the skillet. Sprinkle with seasoning.

Cook for about 2-3 minutes on first side, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes until opaque and cooked through. {Do not overcook} Remove from heat. {Keep pan for next step.}


Remove grits from pan using foil flaps and cut into desired shapes. {I used a champagne flute to get small rounds, but you can also cut with a pizza cutter or knife to get squares, etc.}
In a small cup or bowl, combine 1/4 cup flour, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Drop each cut out piece of grits into flour and dredge, shaking lightly to remove excess.

Spray pan used to cook shrimp with non-stick cooking spray. Place each dredged piece in pan {I had to do this in 2 batches to avoid crowding.}, and cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned.

Remove from heat.

Take one piece of shrimp and skewer onto a toothpick so that tail is facing upward. Place skewered shrimp atop each grit cake, pushing slightly to skewer into place.

Arrange on a serving platter & serve warm.

Roll Tide Elephant Ears

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup cherry {or raspberry or strawberry} preserves
1 egg, beaten and mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

Roll out puff pastry into a 12x14 inch rectangle. Spread melted chocolate in an even layer over puff pastry, leaving a 1/2 inch border all the way around. Repeat with fruit preserves.

With one of the long sides facing you, roll up dough {jelly roll style} to center of rectangle. Repeat with the other side so that both rolls are meeting in the middle.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes. With a sharp knife, cut 1/2 inch slices from roll, and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Brush each piece with egg wash and bake for 12-15 minutes or until puffed and golden.


la petite fashionista said...

love this series SOO much.

plus that Liz's favorite drinks are pink panty droppers-- just discovered those recently and theye become a quick favorite!

Kristin Clark said...

This is adorable! & that's coming from a Seminole ;) If you get a chance I'd love to here your thoughts on my newest post all about gameday fashion!


Anonymous said...

I LOVE this idea and can't wait to read more from this series. I am also an ardent fan of Southern Living Magazine, and faithfully read it cover to cover. This post reminds me of some of the great things they do in their magazine. Happy football season.

The Kitchen Prep said...

@Kristin - Thanks so much! It has been a very fun project to put together, even though I'm technically promoting teams other than my own! ;) {Can I just tell you how hard it was to make my fingers type "Roll Tide"?? haha!} Your blog is ADORABLE. I love that you have a Lilly print in your logo! {Is it a Lilly print? It looks like one!} Loving your gameday gear, too, even if it is Garnet & Gold! ;) Have you checked out the gear at Twelve Saturdays? She is located in Tallahassee! Thanks for stopping by & I plan on popping in on your blog to check out your weekly threads!

@Anonymous - Thanks so much! It is so very flattering to be compared to anything related to Southern Living! I don't subscribe to the mag, but do browse their website an awful lot. Happy Football Season to you too! :)

The Kitchen Prep said...

@la petite fashionista - Thank you!! When Liz told me that was one of her favorite drinks {and sent me the recipe}, I told her it sounded pretty potent! The name cracks me up! :) If you have any other good gameday drinks, send them my way!

college football faniac said...

Great post! I'm so pumped for this football season, and the endless snacks that come with it.

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