The Kitchen Prep: Tailgate Thursday: Auburn Edition!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tailgate Thursday: Auburn Edition!

So... was your first gameday of the season everything you imagined it would be?!

Ours was! {Except for, you know, our team looking sloppy. Ugh.}

We are back to our Fall Saturday morning routine: Wake up. Watch ESPN GameDay {listen to see if you catch Lee Corso spewing expletives}. Try to be productive. Give up on productivity. Don our Orange & Blue. Head over to our game watching spot. Spend the next 4 hours shouting and cheering at the screen and completely undoing the week's good eating habits. Go to bed angry/elated depending on team's performance. Wake up tired. {Thank goodness for the 3 day weekend!}

Lather, rinse, repeat.

You can't mess with tradition. :)

And speaking of tradition, this week's featured team for Tailgate Thursday, the Auburn Tigers, is steeped in southern, football-watching tradition. Like last week's featured school, Auburn University is located in Alabama {don't worry, I'll eventually cross the state's borders!}, and as I mentioned before, these Southerners sure do know how to throw a party!

Auburn's team colors are orange and blue {well, navy if you want to get technical}, so I thought I'd have a little fun with the team colors and incorporate them into the tailgate menu! {I kinda have a thing for orange and blue... ;) }

1. 'Eye of the Tiger' Cocktail, 2. Blueberry-Glazed Crockpot Ribs, 3. Auburn Orange Blondies,
4. Navy Prepster Dress from Twelve Saturdays
Let's start with cocktails! The Eye of the Tiger Cocktail Carla mixed up is a sipper that packs a punch {um, hello, three different rums!}, but the tartness of the citrus juices rounds it out for a pleasant and refreshing beverage.

And the Blueberry-Glazed Ribs? I've had a hard time keeping myself from sharing the recipe early since I tested it out a few weeks ago. The husband and I LOVED them.

I'm not much of a meat eater, but between the fact that they cook themselves in the crockpot while you get your gameday preparations underway, their fall-off-the-bone tenderness, and the amazingly sweet and tangy blueberry sauce... I guarantee they will quickly become a tailgate must! {I'd make a double batch, in fact!}

Chewy and decadent Auburn Orange Blondies are the perfect dessert to share with friends {especially because they're so rich you'll want to make sure you can still fit into the Navy Prepster Dress from Twelve Saturdays!} The only thing sweeter? Victory!

Any Auburn girls out there have tailgate favorites you can't live without? I'd love to hear about them!

Can't wait to bring you more tailgate goodies next week. Hope these give you some ideas for this weekend's football feasting! :)

'Eye of the Tiger' Cocktail
created by Carla from Haute Cocktail

1 oz. Rum
1 oz. Coconut Rum
1 oz. Lemon Juice
1 oz. Sugar Syrup*
1 oz. Orange Juice
1/2 oz. Dark Rum

Shake all ingredients in a shaker (except dark rum) and strain into a highball glass with ice.
Add dark rum on top and garnish with an orange slice, if desired. Serve with straws.

*You can make sugar syrup by combining 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan, and bringing to a simmer over medium high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Boil for about 1 minute, then remove from heat and cool. Store in an air tight container and use to sweeten cocktails, iced tea, sorbets, etc.

Blueberry-Glazed Crockpot Ribs
adapted from Food & Wine, cooking method from My Life as a Mrs.

3 pounds baby back pork ribs
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, minced
2 large garlic cloves, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups blueberry syrup {I halved this recipe & still had plenty left over}
1 teaspoon hot sauce

Combine spices in a zip-top bag or small cup and toss together to mix well. Sprinkle spice mix onto ribs and rub, coating well. Place in a crockpot set to low for 4-5 hours, depending on weight and thickness of ribs, until fully cooked through and tender.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, stirring occasionally until translucent and softened. Stir in garlic and cook for about 1 minute, then add 1/2 teaspoon ground sage and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme. Cook for about a minute more.

Add red wine vinegar and bring to boil. Stir in blueberry syrup and hot sauce, and return to a simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes until thickened and reduced by about half. Remove from heat.

Pour half of sauce into a small bowl for dipping, and set aside remainder for brushing onto ribs.

Set oven to broil {500 degrees}. When ribs are cooked, remove from slow cooker carefully {they will be fall-apart tender!}, and place on a sheet pan lined with foil. Brush each side of ribs liberally with sauce.

Broil on each side for 3-4 minutes until sauce is slightly browned and caramelized. {Careful not to burn, it can happen fast!}

{Alternatively, I'm sure you could throw the ribs on the grill over indirect heat to finish them off.}

Serve with extra dipping sauce.

Auburn Orange Blondies
adapted from Food Network

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
4 eggs
1 teaspoon pure orange extract
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9x2 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer {or with a hand mixer}, beat butter, eggs, orange extract and zest until smooth. Add dry ingredients a bit at a time until well mixed and fully incorporated. 

Pour batter into greased pan and spread evenly. Bake for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely. Frost with Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting when cool. Cut and serve.

{Keep refrigerated once frosted.}

Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 package cream cheese {I used 1/3 less fat}
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, cream cheese, and orange zest and beat until smooth. Reduce mixer speed and add confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, mixing until fully incorporated and smooth. Add orange juice, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

*I had frosting left over. Use to frost cookies, cupcakes, fill whoopie pies... the possibilities are endless! :)


Rokon said...

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