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Think outside the barbecue

Tailgaters can try new dishes, new devices for portable fare

Tailgaters can try new dishes, new devices for portable fare

September 06, 2006|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

Don't be a dull tailgater.

Ditch the burgers, hot dogs and brats. Why not go with something different, something you wouldn't want doused with ketchup or barbecue sauce?

Try holubky (stuffed cabbage) or pirogies.

Or try seafood. Many Marylanders take advantage of the region's access to high-quality seafood and lean toward boiled lobster with shrimp kebabs and crab cakes, said David Sanford, of the culinary arts program at Allegany College of Maryland in Cumberland, Md. Also, high-tech equipment allows tailgaters to put a new spin on ordinary parking-lot-party fare.

"People identify tailgating with hamburgers, dogs and bratwurst - those kinds of things and ribs, by all means - but I think the upscale tailgater is featuring seafood," Sanford said.

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Even traditionalists who like their chicken, steak and ribs can think outside the barbecue. New products enable cooks to try different things for the tailgate. "Like rotisserie," said Scott Salter, a tailgater who invented a portable gas grill equipped with a rotisserie.

Salter's California-based company sells the grills for $299 to $799 online at FreedomGrill.com.

For the frugal tailgater, there are beer kegs that come with four spouts, which according to the product's maker, puts an end to the bottleneck at the beer line. A 4-Port Octopus with Bronco Pump, a keg with four spouts, goes for about $69.99, at OctopusTap.com.

For the very frugal tailgater, try "tacos in a bag," as David Leazier, owner of Colonial Sports Bar and Grill, called them. Leazier discovered this recipe while tailgating at Ohio State University. "You just take a bag of Doritos, put anything you'd want to put on a taco in the bag," Leazier said. "You shake everything up and then eat it with a spoon."

Colonial Sports Bar and Grill houses a local Pittsburgh Steelers fan club, which hosts occasional tailgating parties outside the bar on Sundays during football season. Leazier, who is from Hagerstown, is a fan of stuffed cabbage rolls (holubky) and pirogies, two Pittsburgh-centric side items he said were popular among tailgating Steelers fans.

While the stuffed cabbage is most likely prepared at home, pirogies can be prepared at the tailgate, Leazier said. Leazier offers his recipes for each.

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