Taste of Tuesday: Tailgating Recipes from P. Allen Smith

We can’t deny it anymore, folks. America has launched into full-blown tailgate mode, and it’s a beautiful thing. To welcome such a wonderful time of the year, we asked our friend and food expert P. Allen Smith for a few recipe ideas to shake up your everyday pigs-in-a-blanket routine.

Let’s just say he didn’t disappoint. Drool with us, friends.


Parmesan Parsnip Fingers

The Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds parsnips
  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

The Process:

Preheat the oven to 375°. Oil a baking pan and place it in the oven to get really hot. 

Meanwhile, peel the parsnips and cut them into 3-inch-long wedges. When the baking pan is hot, scatter the parsnips in it and roast them for 10 minutes. Remove the parsnips and let them cool slightly.

While the parsnips are cooling, mix the breadcrumbs with the cheese in a shallow dish. In a separate dish, mix the egg with the water. In a third dish, mix the flour with the salt.

Dip the parsnips, one at a time, into the seasoned flour, then the egg, and finally into the breadcrumbs, coating them completely.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the parsnips and cook until brown and crispy on the outside and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes.

Serve warm with Chile Jam for dipping.


Chile Jam Dipping Sauce

The Ingredients:

  • 1 pound very ripe tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 large dried red chiles (seeds left in if you want your jam hot)
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar

The Process:

Place half of the tomatoes in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, and add the garlic, chiles, and ginger. Process until pureed. Pour the mixture into a heavy-bottomed nonreactive saucepan. Add the sugar and vinegar, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring slowly. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cut the remaining tomatoes into a fine dice and add them to the pan. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring from time to time. The mixture will turn slightly darker and sticky.

Ladle the Chile Jam into warm, dry sterilized jars.

The longer you keep this jam, the hotter it gets. It keeps for about 3 months in the refrigerator.


Peppered Walnuts

The Ingredients:

  • 4 cups walnut halves
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

The Process:

Combine the walnuts and sugar in a nonstick skillet, and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sugar begins to dissolve. Keep stirring while adding the salt and pepper.

After the sugar has melted and the walnuts are well coated, pour them onto a sheet of wax paper. Separate the walnuts as much as possible with the wooden spoon, and allow them to cool completely.

Store the walnuts in an airtight container at room temperature until you are ready to serve them. These will keep for weeks at room temperature and for several months in the freezer.



The Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 6 ounces applejack or Calvados
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ice
  • 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • 2 apple slices, for garnish
  • 2 maraschino cherries, for garnish

The Process:

Pour the vodka, applejack, lemon juice and sugar into a cocktail shaker, and shake with ice. Strain the mixture into two chilled martini glasses. Garnish each one with an apple slice and maraschino cherry and serve.


All of these recipes are from Allen’s cookbook, Seasonal Recipes from the Garden. To get your own copy and join in on the fun, click here.


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