touchdown sweet chicken and bacon skewers

tailgate
Food, Fun, Friends and Football! They all go hand in hand. The tailgate food featured this week at Cashmere Apron includes our “Bump and Run Baby Bells” and our “Touchdown Sweet Chicken and Bacon Skewers.” Most of your tailgate food can be made in advance and finished up at your tailgate (check out the amazing array of inexpensive portable grills by Coleman). Our last tailgate menu featured the above two appetizers plus beef sliders with caramelized onions and melted cheese, roasted corn and feta guacamole with tortilla chips, beer, margaritas and mini cupcakes. Talk about a food coma! Happy Football Season!

Ingredients
1-1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 lb. package sliced bacon
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tb chili powder

Chargers 1

Directions
Preheat grill to medium high heat.

Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes.

Cut each bacon slice so that it is big enough to wrap around each piece of chicken.

Wrap bacon around the chicken cubes and secure with a wooden tooth pick.

Stir together the brown sugar and chili powder. Dredge the wrapped chicken in this mixture. Put these into a sealable container and keep cool until ready to grill.

Coat grill rack with oil and place chicken on the grill rack. Grill for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and the bacon is crisp. Makes approximately 20 appetizers.

Chargers 2Chargers 3

“bump and run” baby bells

IMG_3692Tis the season of Gridiron Glory! I’m living in a football playbook with talk of play-action-pass, shotgun formations and red zone percentages (and that is just the tip of the football iceberg). Don’t get me wrong, I love it. Sundays in the fall are the BEST.

For many die-hard football fans, tailgating is a ritual that is pushed to new limits with every coming season. There are specially designed grills, portable power contraptions, recipes, drinks, contests, rankings, and magazines all dedicated to the Art of the Tailgate. There are grilled meats with fancy rubs, homemade breads, flower arrangements, table settings, pop-up tents, candles, music with surround sound, cloth napkins and actual cutlery all in the name of the tailgate. I applaud that type of enthusiasm and dedication.

We tailgated last year at two different San Diego Chargers games. Our approach was straightforward, paying close attention to the menu. It is hard to beat good friends, football and pitchers of margaritas and food right off the grill on a crisp fall day.

Our “Bump and Run Baby Bells” can be made in advance at home and then heated on a portable grill during your pre-game festivities.

Follow Cashmere Apron this week for some tried-and-true Tailgate Gridiron Grub!

Ingredients
16 baby bell peppers (depends on the size of peppers)
3 tsp olive oil
1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 package (4oz) of crumbled feta cheese
1 tsp  Tapatio
Ground black pepper
Non-stick aluminum foil
Tongs

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Tailgate Directions
Preheat a grill to medium high heat at home. Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and carefully scoop out the insides. Lightly oil the bell peppers by tossing them in a bowl with some olive oil. Place the peppers on a hot grill and cook until they have grill marks and are soft. Transfer peppers to a baking sheet to cool.

Place the cream cheese, feta cheese, Tapatio and black pepper in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer until creamy. Test the cream cheese for flavor. If you like, add  salt and/or more Tapatio.

Put the cream cheese mixture into a large ziplock bag and using scissors, cut a small corner of the bag off. Carefully pipe the cream cheese mixture into each of the hollowed out baby bell shells. We recommend adding a drop of Tapatio into the peppers before stuffing them with the cream cheese mixture.

Carefully place stuffed baby bells into a Tupperware for transport, making sure they are touching. Once you arrive at your tailgate destination, preheat your grill to medium high heat. Line the grill with a few pieces of non-stick aluminum foil. Place baby bells on foil for about 8-10 minutes or until warmed. Be sure to rotate the baby bells at least once (be gentle when you rotate so the cream cheese mixture doesn’t ooze out).

Tailgate Collage 1

Directions if making to eat at home
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Follow the same directions as above through the step of stuffing the baby bells with the cream cheese mixture.

Place the stuffed baby bells on a foil lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 8 minutes or until heated through.  

This recipe makes 16 stuffed baby bell peppers.