Tailgater's Cookbook

Tailgater's Cookbook

by David Joachim

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Tailgating, long enjoyed as burgers and beer before games, is becoming decidedly more elaborate, taking place everywhere from NASCAR races to ski slope parking lots. Devotees spend thousands on pickup trucks with built-in grills and coolers, elaborate portable smokers, gas-powered blenders, fancy canopies, and folding chairs with footrests and cup-holders. Many


Tailgating, long enjoyed as burgers and beer before games, is becoming decidedly more elaborate, taking place everywhere from NASCAR races to ski slope parking lots. Devotees spend thousands on pickup trucks with built-in grills and coolers, elaborate portable smokers, gas-powered blenders, fancy canopies, and folding chairs with footrests and cup-holders. Many sporting goods stores now have entire tailgating sections. Clearly, this is an audience crying out for reliable, easy-but-exciting recipes and tips. Who better to answer their call than David Joachim, a culinary man’s man and dedicated tailgater?

In The Tailgater’s Cookbook, David Joachim brings his no-nonsense know-how to the stadium with ninety creative, mouthwatering recipes to prepare ahead or at the stadium. Recipes include simple appetizers to impressive grilled food like Memphis-style Babyback ribs to sophisticated desserts like Tiaramisu. From Brats in Beer, favored at Soldier Field, to Salmon Steaks with Pineapple Relish, enjoyed in Seattle, to David's version of the quintessential New York favorite, Grilled Pizza, the recipes in The Tailgater's Cookbook can be enjoyed at the Daytona 500 or at home on Super Bowl Sunday. Imagine new game-time favorites: Rum and Cardamom Pork Chops, Beef and Black Bean Chili, and even Easy Sangria instead of beer, because sometimes even the most sacred traditions must be broken!

Studded with checklists, trivia, parking lot etiquette, menus, and sources, The Tailgater’s Cookbook is the go-to guide for any informal outdoor (or even indoor) gathering.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Joachim's A Man, a Can, a Plan taught culinarily challenged men how to cook basic meals. He steps it up a notch with this slim yet comprehensive guide to cooking on asphalt. Much of Joachim's "why didn't I think of that?" type of advice will be of great use to its target audience (men whose focus lies equally on the game and dinner). The book includes a checklist of supplies and equipment; a list of "no-cook" items that may be bought in advance; suggestions for marinating meats in resealable plastic bags; and advice on guarding against wind. The provisions at a tailgate tend to involve beer and barbecue, and Joachim provides a range of recipes for the grill that include both: Brats in Beer, Beer-Mopped Brisket with Texas Barbecue Sauce, and Beer and Coffee Steaks, to name a few. He also includes recipes for foods that are ready to eat right from the cooler, like Grilled Corn Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing, and Buckeye Candy, a peanut butter and chocolate confection that's a favorite of Ohio State University Buckeye fans. Although the recipes are certainly inviting, it's the tailgate-specific advice that makes this book a champ. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Author of the best-selling "A Man, a Can" series, among other books, Joachim now presents everything you would ever need to know about hosting a tailgate party (he's the "cooking expert" for the American Tailgating Association). "The Tailgater's Toolkit" covers all aspects of planning the event, with lots of lists and a time line; then he moves on to what to do "When You Get There." The recipes, simple crowd pleasers, are divided into chapters like "In the Cooler," "On the Grill" (the overall emphasis is on grilled foods), and "From the Thermos." There are also menus for specific football games (or NASCAR races) and a detailed source listing. Sure to be popular, this is recommended for most collections. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Read an Excerpt



Don’t let the name throw you. Tapenade (ta-pen-AHD) is a kind of Mediterranean relish made from olives and capers. It has a bitingly fresh and rich f lavor that perks up just about anything. I like to spread it on crackers or slather it over grilled tuna steaks, pork tenderloin, or lamb chops. Try it on Bruschetta (page 60). It goes almost anywhere–snack, dip, topping for main dish. Tapenade is a good basic spread to have at a tailgate. The proportions here make over 3 cups but it keeps in the fridge for a month or two. Halve the recipe if you want less. Don’t use canned olives–they have a metallic taste.


2 cups pitted black olives, preferably oil-cured, niçoise, or kalamata
1/4 cup drained capers
1 can (2 ounces) anchovies, rinsed and patted dry
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
3 cups loosely packed fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

BEFORE YOU GO: Put everything in a food processor and blend until finely minced but not completely pureed, about 20 seconds. Spoon into a serving bowl or zipper-lock bag, cover or seal, and chill in refrigerator or cooler.

WHEN YOU GET THERE: Remove from cooler 20 minutes before serving or using.

NEIGHBORLY TIP If you don’t like anchovies, replace them with 11⁄2 cups pine nuts.

Basil Pesto

Here’s another all-purpose spread, topping, and sauce. Spoon it over grilled salmon. Make it the sauce for pizza, or use it as a sandwich spread. Sure, you could buy the jarred stuff, but homemade is so much better. Pesto takes less than 5 minutes to make and it keeps frozen for months. I make it in August or September when fresh basil is easy to find. Then I just freeze it in a tub and scoop out whatever I need.


2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
10 cups loosely packed fresh basil
2 cups grated imported Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3/4 cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

BEFORE YOU GO: Put everything but oil in a food processor. Blend until finely chopped, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of processor bowl, then add 3/4 cup of the oil and blend to a loose paste, about 20 seconds, scraping bowl as necessary. For a more runny pesto, blend in remaining oil a tablespoon at a time until thinned how you like it. Scrape into two small airtight containers and chill up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 year. Two containers allow you to carry just 1 cup of pesto at a time, since you’ll rarely need 2 cups.

WHEN YOU GET THERE: If the pesto is frozen, use a melon baller or spoon to scrape out the amount you need; small pieces will melt quickly when they meet hot foods. Or thaw and remove from cooler 20 minutes before using as a spread or dip.

NEIGHBORLY TIP If you’ll only use a small amount of pesto at a time, drop the prepared pesto in 1-tablespoon blobs onto wax-paper-lined cookie sheets. Freeze until solid, then pop off the blobs and seal in a zipper-lock bag. That way you have 1-tablespoon amounts ready to go.

Spinach Artichoke Bread Bowl
Versions of this warm dip have become standard bar food around the country. And, to me, tailgating is like being at an outdoor bar. Here’s some bar food for the party– served in a bread bowl. All the prep is done at home, then you just reheat the dip onsite.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 container (8 ounces) sour cream, about 1 cup
1 jar (6 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 small round or oblong loaves pumpernickel or sourdough bread (about 1 pound each)

BEFORE YOU GO: Warm oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add onion and garlic. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in remaining ingredients, except bread. Cook until heated through. Cover and chill in refrigerator or cooler up to 2 days.

The morning of the tailgate, cut one loaf of bread into 1-inch cubes and put in zipper-lock bag. Make a bread bowl with other loaf: Cut out top of loaf as if making a jack-o’-lantern out of a pumpkin. Remove bread from inside, leaving 1-inch shell of crust. Cut removed bread into 1-inch cubes, add to zipper-lock bag, and seal. Seal bread bowl in another zipper-lock bag.

WHEN YOU GET THERE: Reheat dip over medium-low heat, stirring now and then, until hot, 5 to 8 minutes. Scrape dip into bread bowl and serve with bread cubes.

NEIGHBORLY TIPS Keep the dip warm a little longer by heating the bread bowl. Wrap bread bowl in heavy-duty foil and put on a medium-low covered grill until warm and just crisp on the crust, about 5 minutes per side. Unwrap and fill with the warm dip.

If you’re watching calories, use low-fat mayo and sour cream. But, remember, fat is a tailgater’s friend. It helps to keep you warm on those chilly December days.

Meet the Author

David Joachim has written, edited, or collaborated on more than twenty-five cookbooks, including the A Man, a Can… series. He is the “cooking expert” for the American Tailgating Association, and lives in Pennsylvania.

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