The DawgNation is nothing if not generous. Make your tailgating a potluck event by asking everyone to “volunteer” to bring something to this week’s game against the Tennessee Volunteers.
To avoid everyone showing up with 12 bags of chips and dip, here’s a few ideas to help you organize…
Assign people a course — Depending on the number of people you expect, organize your categories and divide up the work. Ask 2-3 people to bring a main dish protein and any fixings… if bringing burgers, then bring the buns and condiments. Ask 2-3 people to bring a dessert, 2-3 people to bring a salad or veggies, and 3-4 people to bring finger-foods or appetizers. Everyone can bring their own favorite beverage.
You can offer to bring the grill, coolers, corkscrew, bottle openers, and all paper and plastic products.
Sign-up everyone — Don’t know who is good at what? Set up a Google Doc sign-up sheet and let everyone choose what to bring.
Create a theme — So many options here… you can go with stand-by themes like Italian, All-American, Southern, or make it a fun challenge… bring foods that are Georgia’s red, black, white or silver. Honor the opposing team this week with everything orange. (See Big Orange Cheese Dip below.) You get the idea.
Plan for the extras — It’s always a good idea to let everyone know how many guests you expect so they bring enough to share. But odds are, you’ll probably end up with leftovers. Plan ahead for extra cooler space and have empty plastic containers and zip-lock bags on hand to send your guests away with a sampler plate.
If all else fails — Part of the fun of a “volunteer” potluck tailgating event is being surprised by what your guests will bring. We’ve never seen anyone go away hungry. Enjoy the variety and Go Dawgs!
Kick-off this week’s game with these easy ideas for your own “volunteer” tailgate:
“Big Orange” Cheese Dip
Prepare this dip ahead, then reheat at the game.
1 can Rotel original tomatoes, undrained
1 lb. Velveeta Mexican cheese, cut into large chunks
1 small 2 oz. jar diced pimentos
1 small onion, chopped
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of cumin
flour to thicken (optional)
Tortilla Chips to serve with hot dip
In medium sized sauce pan, saute’ onions in olive oil. Add chili powder, garlic powder and cumin. Add tomatoes and pimentos. Then add cheese. Heat slowly, stirring often. Add flour to thicken if needed.
Serve with tortilla chips.
“Big Orange” Pimento Cheese Sandwiches
You can make pimento cheese from scratch, but why bother? We like Kroger brand Pimento Spread with Jalapenos or Palmetto Cheese from Pawley’s Island (also available in Kroger stores). Spread on your bread of choice, then trim the crusts for a true Southern finger-food look.
Rocky Top Popcorn
You don’t have to be a Vols fan to enjoy this twist on seasoned popcorn.
4 bacon slices
1 (1.3-oz.) bag popped microwave popcorn
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons buttermilk Ranch dressing mix
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels. Coarsely chop bacon. Pour popped popcorn into a large bowl. Toss with bacon, Parmesan cheese, melted butter, and buttermilk Ranch dressing mix. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.
We used Kroger Microwave Original Butter Popcorn.
Rocky Top Popcorn Recipe thanks to: www.myrecipes.com/recipe/rocky-top-popcorn