Day 4: Florida-Georgia Game Day Grub
When I think of Florida cooking, fresh seafood with a fusion of Cuban come to my mind. Throw in a little bit of Southern lovin’ and it makes for the perfect game day meal for the Florida-Georgia game.
I also am a little bit lazy when it comes to cooking, so many of the recipes are part store-bought, make- ahead or include a slow cooker. I also try to pair a heavier taste with a lighter taste for balance.
Here’s Florida-Georgia Game Day Grub Meal Plan:
- Appetizers: Blue Cheese-Artichoke Dip and Marinated Shrimp
- Entree: Cuban “Inspired” Sandwich Bar with Broccoli Slaw
- Dessert: Cracker Jack and Pretzel Treats
Appetizers & Snacks
Blue Cheese-Artichoke Dip
Blue cheese amps up the flavor for a little twist on the traditional artichoke appetizer. The dip holds up well for about two hours after the cook time. So, you can cook before leaving for your tailgate or throw into a mini dipper slow cooker at your tailgate party. Serve with pita chips or toasted baguette slices.
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 4 ounces blue cheese crumbled (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (14-ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
- 1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
- 1 (8-ounce) carton reduced-fat sour cream
Steps to make
Step 1 – Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Step 2 – Place onion mixture in a 2 1/2-quart electric slow cooker. Add blue cheese and remaining ingredients; stir until blended. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 hours or until cheese melts and mixture is thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.
Ingredient Tip: If you really love blue cheese, then pull out all the stops and choose Gorgonzola for this dip. Among blues, Gorgonzola is moist, creamy, savory, earthy, and slightly spicier than its relatives. However, any blue will do.
Recipe courtesy of MyRecipes.com.
I love a great ceviche! Adding Worcestershire adds a little Southern lovin’ to this South American dish. Also, the cooking is done for you overnight. So, when you are ready to head to your tailgate party, just pull out this classic appetizer with a sleeve of Saltines.
- 3 pounds cooked, tail-on medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 large Vidalia onion (about 1 lb.), thinly sliced (4½ cups)
- 1 (3.5-oz.) jar capers, undrained
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest plus 3 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 2 lemons)
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pt. heirloom cherry tomatoes
Steps to Make
- Step 1 – Combine shrimp and onion in a large bowl. Add capers and caper brine.
- Step 2 – Place olive oil, vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Pour over shrimp. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Step 3 – Cut tomatoes in half; add to shrimp and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate 12 hours.
- Step 4 – Serve chilled along with some Saltines.
I recently discovered and cooked my first Boston (Pork) Butt and the family loved it. That really inspired me to find a Cuban-sandwich styled recipe for this game day. I want it to be easy, so the slow cooker and DIY sandwich bar is the way to go.
Cuban “Inspired” Sandwich Bar
I adapted (or simplified) the recipe for Pork Panini Sandwiches I originally found on Epicurious. Instead of making my own seasoning, I grabbed a bottle of Badia Mojo Marinade for the pork. This stuff is wonderful can be used on almost every meat. We love it.
- 3 lb (1.6 kg) boneless pork butt roast, trimmed
- 1-2 cups of Badia Mojo Marinade
- 1 (2-foot [61-cm] long) Cuban bread loaf, submarine sandwich roll, Italian bread loaf or French bread loaf
- Prepared yellow mustard, as needed
- 2 (8-oz [227-g]) packages sliced Swiss cheese, divided
- 2 cups (286 g) sliced dill pickles
- 1 (8-oz [227-g]) package thinly sliced ham
Steps to Make
- Step 1 – Pierce the pork roast all over with a small knife. Place the pork in the bottom of a large slow cooker. Pour just enough of the Mojo mixture over the pork and rub it into the meat, turning to evenly coat it. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or on high for 4 to 6 hours, until the pork is extremely tender.
- Step 2 – Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Remove and discard the fat and use 2 forks to pull the pork into chunks. Use a large spoon to skim the fat from the surface of the liquids in the slow cooker. Return the pulled pork to the slow cooker and stir well. Taste the meat and adjust the seasoning, adding salt and pepper, if desired. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 15 to 30 minutes, so that the pork can further absorb the flavors of the cooking liquids.
- Note – You can do this the day before. Keep the liquids. Then place the liquids and meat into the slow cooker before you are ready to serve at your tailgating party.
- Step 3 – Prep and assemble the sandwich bar. Do this by slicing the loaves bread into smaller pieces as well as arranging the slices of cheese, ham, mustard, and pickles.
- Step 4 – To assemble the sandwiches, spread a thin layer of mustard on the bottom half of the bread. Then layer Swiss cheese slices, pickles, ham slices, and a generous amount of the pulled pork. Top the pork with another slice of Swiss cheese. Then top with the remaining piece of bread and enjoy.
- Note – I am not a huge mustard fan, so I mix the mustard with some mayo. This helps cut the strong flavor of the mustard.
Shortcut – The major shortcut to this recipe is to just order a tray of Cuban sandwiches from Publix! Let’s face it, sometimes the week just escapes us and just need to call an audible on the game day grub.
Broccoli Slaw Salad
This is one of my go-to salads to bring to tailgating and parties. I originally discovered years ago and adapted to our family’s tastes. It is better to make this at least a day in advance to allow time for the broccoli slaw to sook up all the flavors!
- 1 package of broccoli slaw
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- ½ bunch of Cilantro, minced
- 2-3 seeded jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (optional)
- 4 Tsp. lime juice
- 2 Tps. Sugar
Steps to Make
- Step 1 – Combine all ingredients and chill until ready to serve.
Don’t forget about dessert on game day! Some of us prefer to have a cocktail, but for those who don’t and for the kids you want to have something sweet to nibble on.
Cracker Jack and Pretzel Treats
Held together with gooey marshmallows, these caramel Cracker Jack and pretzel bites provide the perfect balance of sweet and salty.
- 3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
- 1 (16-oz.) bag marshmallows
- 7 c. Cracker Jacks
- 4 c. coarsely chopped salted mini pretzels
- 1 c. cocktail peanuts
- 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
Steps to Make
Step 1 – Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
Step 2 – Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned and fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes.
Step 3- Remove from heat and stir in marshmallows until melted. Fold in Cracker Jacks, pretzels, peanuts, and salt until coated. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and press into an even layer; cool completely. Cut into 15 squares.
Notes – My son is allergic to peanuts, so we will leave these out as well as try to find a different caramel popcorn without peanuts. I might also throw in some M&Ms too. Get creative with some sweets you already have around the house.
Recipe courtesy of Country Living.
What will you be serving for your Florida-Georgia Tailgating Party?
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