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Making the Party as Big as the Game

By The Gourmet Gents

We’ve said goodbye to NCAA and Fantasy Football, but there’s still one huge game left to captivate your football friends before the end of the season! If you are one of the lucky ones, you could be traveling to Minnesota for an epic tailgate.

The rest of us will have to settle for going into the offseason with an epic, end-of-season “Homegate!”

Your basic homegate isn’t so different from a tailgate – and we throw the best tailgate in the south. Some of the same principles are going to make or break both events and we’re willing to share the key ingredients in winning your own personal homegate. So let’s get down to business:

Know your TV accessibility! You don’t want to be standing in a small room with 40  fans blocking your view and drowning out the play by play with Kardashian gossip. Keep your guests comfortable by knowing what your home spaces can allow.

Multiple TVs in different rooms, or outside the house, can alleviate a lot of spatial shortcomings. Combine that with a carefully manicured guest list and you’ll be sure to meet the optimum TV to guest ratio of your party.

We rock our tailgates because we plan, plan and then plan some more. You can do the same thing at home just as soon as you know the people and space you are planning for.

American Wagyu tri-tip grilling at the Snake River Farms Wagyu Wine Event

Beverage variety is a virtue. Having a wide choice in beverages will ensure all of your guests, and their designated drivers, can quench their thirst. If you are planning to offer mixed drinks, be sure to have a surplus of fresh ice for mixing. For other drinks it’s important to have a single location that is easily accessible and stocked with openers for wine and beer bottles.

Fail to heed this advice and you’ve effectively volunteered yourself as bartender during the game.

Just like a busy tailgate, the best way to assist homegate guests is to help them help themselves.

Nothing, and we mean nothing, is as important as the food.  If you’re like the rest of humanity, you will want to find a no-fail crowd pleasing recipe that won’t take all weekend to make. It’s not a tall order if you remember our key to cooking for a crowd: Great ingredients make great food!

Below we have provided some of our favorite game day staples and the time you should set aside for each.

  • Tailgate Meatballs: These creamy, savory, delicious bites are pure joy and the pinnacle of finger foods. Make them for any gathering – or keep them to yourself, no one will blame you. This recipe makes six to eight meatballs, but can easily be doubled or tripled.
  • Bacon-Wrapped Dogs with Beer Cheese: Bacon-wrapped hot dogs are always going to result in a happy crowd, but add a good sauce, like gooey, drippy beer cheese, and you’ll be nominated party MVP.
  • Kurobuta Pork Tenderloin Sliders: Always make extra when it comes to this upgrade to your classic slider. The tender Kurobuta pork and extra smoky flavor means it’ll be the first thing guests grab at any event. Luckily, it’s one of the easier sliders you’ll ever make.
  • Tri-Tip Baguette with Bleu Cheese Butter: You might be tempted to wolf down the tender strips of decadent tri-tip right as they come off the grill. But if you can be patient enough to apply the rich bleu cheese butter and insert it into a toasted baguette, you’ll find sandwich bliss.

In seven years of gourmet tailgating, we have planned many great parties and tried hundreds of recipes to make our parties the best. We’re certain the above tips and pointers can help make your big game party the best on the block.