What To Serve At Your Game Day Party

By Fabiana Santana

Gameday cooking is becoming a craze across the country whether you’re a football fan who loves to  tailgate or one who prefers to host house parties where the food is just as important as the score.

Dr. BBQ, formerly the chef at Justin Timberlake’s NYC comfort food restaurant Southern Hospitality, created a cookbook dedicated to football food. His advice is to prepare food that is high in flavor but not workload. Think about foods that can keep well in a warmer or are just as good served at room temperature – like spreads and dips.

Make a day out of it by serving up snacky type foods in the afternoon and meal like plates for the evening game all using the same main dish. Preparing something like a brisket yields enough servings to create sliders for your guests earlier in the day while still having enough to serve up for dinner. Pasta and meatballs is also a great idea – meatball subs for meal one and pasta with chunky meat sauce (you can just break up the meatballs right into the sauce) and tomatoes for dinner.

Setting out snack trays is an easy way to ensure that guests can be comfortable while eating, drinking and cheering for your team. That way they can saddle up to them or move them closer to their seat  – no standing and juggling of fork, plate and cup.

Dr. BBQ’s Bloody Mary Chicken Wings Recipe

Dr. BBQ's Bloody Mary Chicken Wings RecipeRecipe courtesy of The NFL Gameday Cookbook by Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe.


  • 12-15 chicken wings

Bloody Mary Rub:

  • 2 tablespoons celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Bloody Mary Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups V-8 juice
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Tabasco Garlic Sauce
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Prepared horseradish (optional)
  • Russian vodka
  • Celery sticks

Cooking Instructions

  1. With a sharp knife, cut the tips off the chicken wings and save the tips for stock. Slash the inside of the wing joint to help them cook more evenly, but don’t cut them all the way through.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the rub ingredients. Sprinkle over the chicken wings, coating them evenly.
  3. Prepare the grill for cooking over direct medium heat. Grill the wings, turning often, for 30 minutes, or until the wings are crispy and golden.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  5. Put the vodka in the freezer. Transfer the wings to an aluminum-foil pan.
  6. Pour the sauce over the wings, tossing to coat. Put the pan on the grill. Cover the grill and cook for another 30 minutes, tossing the wings after 15 minutes to coat. If the pan goes dry, add a small amount of beer to keep it from burning.
  7. Remove the wings to a plate, and drizzle with the sauce if there is any left. Serve with celery sticks and shots of ice-cold vodka.

Italian Garlic Bread Burgers Recipe

Makes 4 servings
NY Jets Italian Garlic Bread Burgers

  • 1½ lbs. ground beef
  • 1 package (11.75 ounces) frozen mozzarella and garlic bread
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tomato slices
  • 12 large fresh basil leaves

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat bread according to package directions for grilling. Watch that the bread does not burn on bottom.
  2. Meanwhile, lightly shape ground beef into four ¾-inch-thick patties. Place patties on grill and fry over medium ash-covered coals.
  3. Grill uncovered, 13 to 15 minutes, to 160°F doneness, turning occasionally.
  4. Cut bread crosswise into four “buns.” Season burgers with salt and pepper as desired. Place burgers on buns, top with tomato and basil.
  5. If mozzarella and garlic bread is not available, substitute regular garlic bread. Two minutes before burgers are done, top each with a slice of mozzarella cheese.

Slow Cooked Brisket Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Tailgater Magazine
Slow Cooked Brisket
Yield 8 servings


  • 1 (5-7 pound) beef brisket, trimmed with a layer of fat  (center flat portion)
  • 1/2 cup prepared barbecue seasoning rub
  • 2 tbsp ground chili power
  • 1 cup Frank’s Redhot Chile n’ Lime Hot Sauce or Frank’s Redhot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups beer or non alcoholic malt beverage
  • 1 cup Barbecue Sauce


  1. Ask your butcher to prepare the brisket by removing some of the fat cap, not all.
  2. Mix chile powder, hot sauce and beer to make a marinade. Place the meat in a shallow, non-reactive pan and add the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 4-8 hrs.
  3. Rinse and pat dry. Season with a dry rub of your choice that compliments the flavors of the marinade. A spicy BBQ rub is ideal.
  4. Prepare grill for indirect cooking over medium-low heat, or set your oven to 250 degrees to begin the low & slow cooking process.
  5. Place meat in center of grill and with a pan beneath and close the grill cover. If you are cooking indoors, put the brisket in a heavy duty pot in the center of your oven.
  6. Cook meat over low heat (225-250 degrees) for 6-7 hours until meat is very tender. Baste with the sauce that collects every hour or so.
  7. Make a Smoke House BBQ Butter Glaze by combining barbecue sauce, butter and remaining 1/2 cup of beer. Simmer 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Keep warm until use.
  8. Once done, slice meat against the grain and serve with Smoke House BBQ Butter Glaze either on buns for sliders or with sides for dinner.

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