It’s officially football season in Mississippi. In addition to how the teams are going to fare, lots of thoughts turn to food and tailgating. Fans and alumni of the schools of the SEC have raised tailgating to an art form. The editors of Southern Living magazine have produced a beautiful book that not only has some history and photos of these universities but is overflowing with outstanding recipes. All 14 member schools of this conference are featured.
Caution: perusing this book will make you really hungry. After the foreword and welcome, there are recipes in the categories of Countdown to Kickoff, Early Morning Warm-ups, Cheers, Crunch Times, Best Bowls, Hot Prospects, Sideline Favorites and The Sugar Bowl. And because it’s still hot weather, there’s the Complete Tailgating Food Safety Playbook. Interspersed with these mouth-watering recipes are stories and photos from each SEC school.
Some of the fan favorite game day dishes include Southern sweet tea, mama’s fried chicken, root beer baked beans, slow-cooker barbecue pork, BLT potato salad, Mississippi hush puppies and so-good brownies.
Of course in the early morning category there are several grits recipes along with unusual scrambled egg muffin sliders. In the cheers section, I especially like the vanilla-rosemary lemonade and sparkling autumn sipper. As part of the Ole Miss menu, there’s a recipe for molasses-balsamic steak kabobs that sounds yummy. The Mississippi State Bulldogs put the spotlight on vegetarian black bean chili and Mississippi mud cookies.
For the most part these are not run-of-the-mill recipes. You’ll find pimento cheese-bacon burgers, sweet heat hot dogs, mango chicken wraps, sweet potato cornbread, cranberry-almond coleslaw, grilled okra and tomatoes and layered cornbread salad.
The art of tailgating with elegance and festive school colors is explored too and of course no one does it better than fans of Ole Miss and MSU.
If you never go to an SEC game or tailgate anywhere, you can still enjoy reading this cookbook and trying some of the recipes.
>> The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook
Text by Lars Anderson, Sports Illustrated writer
Published by Oxmoor House
$19.95 soft cover