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In the Kitchen: Football season is here time to tailgate

Football season is here!
So many of my friends are so excited about this time of year.
They faithfully attend their team’s football games, most of the time getting there early for tailgating parties.
Other friends gather together in front of giant televisions to watch the games.
Either way, food and adult beverages are usually the stars of the show until the game begins. Here are some recipes for your next football party. They are sure to put a smile on your face whether your team wins or loses.

Of course you can deep fry these, but we have found that baking or even grilling them yields delicious wings and at least a little less fat.

Paul’s famous super spicy wings

3 pounds chicken wings, a mixture of wings and drumettes
1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 cups favorite hot sauce (we like Texas Pete and Franks)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (more to taste)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 stick butter

Toss wings with olive oil and a liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper. Place wings on a rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet.
Broil the wings for 15 minutes, and then turn them and broil them another 15 to 20 minutes until crispy. In pot, heat the hot sauce, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder and butter. When wings are done, place in a large bowl and pour hot sauce on top, tossing to coat. Serve with celery, baby carrots and blue cheese dressing.

Blue cheese dressing
1 cup blue cheese crumbles
3/4 cup mayonnaise (or use combination of plain Greek yogurt and mayonnaise)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
Dash of granulated garlic powder
Pinch of salt and black pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Combine ingredients and allow flavors to develop for at least an hour in the refrigerator.
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It wouldn’t be a game day party without our favorite cheese dip. Of all the recipes I have featured over the years, this is probably the most requested. It is simple and delicious and you can add all sorts of things to make it your signature dip. Try it with chopped artichoke hearts (the kind in water, not oil), black olives, pickled or fresh jalapenos, cilantro, baby spinach leaves, canned tomatoes and green chilies, etc.

World’s best queso
1 1/2 pounds of white American cheese, grated or cut into chunks
1 can evaporated milk (begin with 3/4 of a can and add more as needed)
Several dashes of hot sauce
1 can chopped green chilies

In a pot on the stove top or in the microwave, combine all ingredients. Heat until cheese is melted and all is combined. Serve with tortilla chips.
• • •
Hurry up and enjoy this before the last of summer’s corn is gone.

Avocado and
corn relish

3 or 4 Avocados
5 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup red onion, finely minced
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
1/3 cup cilantro, finely minced
2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3 to 4 tablespoons sour cream or Mexican Crema
Salt and pepper to taste
Sturdy blue corn chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub corn with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the corn on a baking sheet, turning frequently, until corn is beginning to brown. Remove corn and allow to cool a bit. In a large bowl, scrape the kernels off the corn cobs. Add remaining ingredients except for corn chips. Taste for seasoning. Serve with corn chips.

Stuffed jalapenos

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese
1/4 cup green onions, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of cayenne powder
Pinch of salt and pepper
6 jalapenos, sliced in halves, seeded

In a bowl, mash together cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Stir in green onions, onion powder, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne powder and salt and pepper. Stuff mixture into jalapeno halves. Place jalapenos on a grill pan or on aluminum foil with holes poked through and grill until cheese is melted, five minutes or so.