Know what’s great about having your friends over to watch a game at your own domicile? No one is going to yell, “Down in front!” Plus, no paying 20 bucks for subpar hot dogs and beer. If you’re not a natural host, however, you may need some pointers. Having recently opened up my sixth restaurant, Happy’s Bar and Kitchen, near Fenway Park, I’ve got your game-day grub tips and dishes right here.
There are two things that will make your home tailgate great. The first is having food that’s going to make it past the first inning and be as delicious during extra innings as it is during the opening pitch. Think things that taste good reheated and won’t get sloppy. The other thing you need for a ballgame? Copious amounts of ice-cold beer, obviously. Hopefully you can count on your friends to bring that.
Got those two basic guidelines? These three recipes will make baseball’s upcoming All-Star festivities memorable—whether your team comes out of it with World Series home-field advantage or not.
1 bag of fine tortilla chips
6 oz of homemade cheese sauce (recipe to follow)
1 cup of your favorite salsa
½ cup of pickled sliced jalapenos
½ cup of sour cream
½ cup of chopped black olives
1 cup of guacamole
¼ cup of sliced scallions
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
6 oz of milk
4 slices of American cheese, chopped into smaller pieces for easy melting
3 oz of grated cheddar cheese
In a sauce pot over med heat, place butter and allow to melt, then add flour and stir.
Slowly add milk and bring to a simmer but not a boil.
Lower heat and slowly add both cheeses, stirring with a wooden spoon until it thickens.
Warm the chips and place on a platter.
Put all other ingredients into small bowls and place the cheese sauce in a small pitcher.
Bring everything out and let guests create their own nacho plates.
1 head of iceberg lettuce
¼ lb of mortadella, sliced thin, cut into small strips
¼ lb of salami, sliced thin, cut into small strips
¼ lb of provolone, sliced thin, cut into small strips
¼ lb of ham, sliced thin, cut into small strips
3 stalks of celery, cut into small ½-inch pieces
8 black olives, pitted and chopped
8 large green olives, pitted and chopped
1 large hot cherry pepper, chopped
Salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, adjust seasoning, serve. (Serves four.)
Mushroom Cheesesteak Burrito Bombs
2 oz of extra virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, sliced thin
12 button mushrooms, sliced
1 lb of sirloin or rib-eye steak, sliced very thin
Pinch of fresh chopped rosemary
8 slices of American Cheese, broken up into small pieces for easy melting
Salt and pepper to taste
4 oz of chipotle sauce (recipe to follow)
4 large flour tortillas
6 oz of mayo
½ tea of chipotle puree (canned)
1 tablespoon of honey
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro
Mix all ingredients together, reserve.
Place the oil in a large sauté pan and place over high heat.
Heat for 1 minute, add onion and sauté for about 3 minutes.
Add mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes.
Add steak and continue to stir until steak is just browned and barely cooked through.
Add rosemary, salt, pepper.
Add cheese and allow to melt, stirring occasionally.
Remove from stovetop.
Take 1 tortilla, place on the burner (still on high heat) and cook on each side for 10 seconds.
Take ¼ of cheesesteak mixture and place in the center of tortilla, place 1 oz of chipotle sauce on top, and roll like a burrito, tucking in the ends.
Repeat with remaining tortillas until cheesesteak mixture is gone, serve.
Note: burritos can be made an hour in advance, wrapped in tin foil and reheated in the oven.