Sunday, October 25, 2015

Coconut Mango Wings!


As we all know, wings are pretty much the official food of Gameday. There wouldn't be restaurants devoted to them if they weren't so popular. We all enjoy a good wing when the opportunity arises. While the hotwing is the King of Wings - and my favorite go-to wing, I like to come up with something new for a change of pace. It also keeps the Gameday Gang on their toes because I try not to be predictable when it comes to the grub.  So this week I present to you: Coconut Mango Wings!

The Coconut Mango Wings are roasted (my favorite way to cook wings) and then finished off with a sweet and spicy glaze. You can make the glaze while the wings are roasting. The glaze is ridiculously simple and comprised of mango spread, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, habanero sauce (optional) and coconut rum  -  because how can you go wrong with rum? It's prepared in a saucepan and then basted over the wings in the final 5 minutes of roasting. If you want to be extra fancy, you can sprinkle some shredded coconut over the wings before you serve them.

Coconut Mango Wings                                            
(serves 6)

3 lbs wings
10 oz mango spread
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce
1/3 cup coconut rum
1 tsp habanero sauce (optional)
shredded coconut for sprinkling (optional)


1. Heat oven to 400-degrees. Place wings in a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour. Flip the wings over after 30 minutes.

2.  Spoon the mango spread into a saucepan on medium heat and heat through until the spread melts down. Keep stirring until it becomes smooth.

3.  Stir in the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, coconut rum and (optional) habanero sauce. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until the glaze is thickened slightly.

4.  Once the wings are done, turn the oven off, brush the glaze over them and let them stay in the oven for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove from the oven, place wings on a platter and sprinkle the shredded coconut over them.

And there you have it. Another tasty wing recipe to add to your homegating repertoire. You can never go wrong with wings. They're a fan favorite.

Hope you try this recipe. Let me know how you like it if you do. In the meantime, enjoy your games and keep on Homegating!  See you next week!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Messy Jo's!!


One of the biggest rules in cooking is that you never test out a recipe on guests. But to that I say, if you don't serve it to them, who are you going to serve it to?? During my recent freezer expedition, I came up with a package each of ground beef and ground pork and decided to wing a recipe for the Gameday Gang. I made my version of a classic and named them, "Messy Jo's."

The Messy Jo is somewhat similar to the Sloppy Joe. I switched up a few ingredients and added some high test (aka: beer). How can you go wrong?

I was in the culinary red zone with only an hour to go before the gang would start showing up. If this didn't turn out right, my reputation would have been deflated - without any help from The Patriots (pa-dum-pah!). I had a package of sandwich-sized English muffins in the freezer as well, so they made a nice vehicle for the meat. The whole thing took me approximately 45 minutes to whip up and it wound up being a hit with the crew. Some folks went back for seconds, so that was a sure sign that I did good. I usually don't fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to serving my guests, but this one turned out to work in my favor.

Messy Jo's
(serves 6-8)

1 lb ground beef                                        
1 lb ground pork
1/2 med onion, minced
1/2 med green bell pepper, minced
1/2 small carrot, grated
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 tbs chili powder
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbs Worchestershire sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/2 can (or more) lager
salt & pepper to taste
Package of English muffins or
hamburger buns


1.  Sautee the onion, bell pepper and carrot until the onion is translucent and the vegetables have softened.

2.  Add the ground pork and ground beef and saute until the meat is browned.

3.  Add the garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste.

4.  Add the 1/2 can of beer and cook until the beer almost evaporates (almost!).

5.  Add the Worchestershire sauce and tomato paste and heat until bubbly. If the sauce is too thick, add more beer until the mixture is slightly thin. Continue to cook for 10 more minutes.

6.  Toast the English muffins (if using) or hamburger buns and place  a nice dollop of the mixture on the muffin/bun.

7.  Place on a platter, stand back and watch them disappear.

So there it is. It's fast, it's fun, it's messy, but it's tasty. Hope you try it on Gameday.

Until next week, enjoy the games! Keep on Homegating!!

Friday, October 9, 2015



Last Sunday I intended on making 2 dips for the gang:  guacamole and hummus. The guac was already made and I started on the hummus when I realized that the tahini I had in the fridge was expired. In and of itself, there wasn't enough guac to feed the hungry masses, so I decided that a fusion was in order and came up with: Guacmmus!

Guacamole and hummus share a couple of the same ingredients (garlic and citrus), so all I did was puree the chickpeas and then add the guac to the food processor. With the processor running, I drizzled some olive oil in to make the dip creamier. It worked like a charm. The gang really enjoyed it. And the best part about it? It didn't get dark like guac usually does after being out for a while. It can be served with tortilla chips, but folks were dipping pretzels, potato and pita chips in it as well. It's pretty hearty. You can almost say it's like guac on steroids!

Here's another idea for this guacmmus - try it as a sandwich spread. Trust me on this one...

(serves 6)

2 ripe avocados
2 whole garlic clove, mashed
1/2 small red onion, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
2 tbs cilantro
1 can chick peas, drained
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & pepper to taste


Place all the ingredients in a food processor except for the olive oil. Process until smooth. With the processor running, drizzle the oil in until it reaches a creamy consistency. Serve with various chips.

Hope you try this. It's a quick recipe that is tasty and unique. Your company will really enjoy it.

Enjoy the games this weekend. Hope your teams do well - unless they're playing my teams!

So until next weekend - keep on Homegating!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Chicken Meatloaf Sliders with Roasted Pepper Aioli!!


While we're only going into Week 4 in the NFL, Homegating Headquarters is already in mid-season form. Moving to the burbs hasn't quieted things down in the least. The gang is here every week. They come hungry and I need to be prepared. Last week I decided to do a riff on meatloaf and turned it into: Chicken Meatloaf Sliders with Roasted Pepper Aioli!

Preparing the sliders is a 2-part process: making the meatloaf and then making the actual sliders. I made it easy on myself and prepared the meatloaf on Saturday, then finished the sliders on gameday. It saved me a lot of culinary stress and I didn't miss any action on the gridiron.

Instead of using ground turkey, I went with ground chicken because I feel it's a little moister but you can absolutely use it if you can't find the ground chicken. I prepped the meatloaf as I normally would and then let it cool and fridged it. I also prepped the aioli that goes on top. At halftime on gameday, I sliced the meatloaf, popped them in the oven, added the cheese until it melted, assembled the sliders and had to keep people away from them until I got a few shots of it for Homegating101....

Chicken Meatloaf Sliders with Roasted Pepper Aioli
(serves 6-8)

3 lbs ground chicken (or turkey)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
2 eggs

1 cup mayo
1 whole roasted pepper (jarred is fine)
1 tbs sriracha
1/4 tsp granulated garlic

Meunster cheese
slider rolls


1.  Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Mix all the meatloaf ingredients and place in a 9 x 5 loaf pan (for one loaf, but you can make smaller ones if your pan is smaller). Bake in the oven until an instant-read thermometer reaches165-degrees (approximately 1-hour - but start checking after 45 minutes if your oven runs hot).

2.  For the aioli: place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

3:  Assembly:  slice the meatloaf and re-heat in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Cut the meunster cheese into quarters and place 2 slices on each slider. Heat until melted. Place each slider on a roll and add the aioli. Serve.

And there you have it! You know you have a winner when there are no leftovers - and there were no leftovers with this. Hope you try it!

Enjoy your games and I will see you all back here next week!
Keep on Homegating!!