This is primarily a Tulane football blog, although I do occasionally comment on all matters Tulane that may or may not be any of my business. I love following Tulane Greenwave football, zing-zang Bloody Marys, hostessing cute tailgating parties, and life in New Orleans. It's fabulous. oh and I adore Mr. Hullabaloo. PS This blog is not affiliated in any way "officially" with Tulane University or Tulane Athletics. It is purely the crazy antics and obsessions of Mr. and Mrs. Hullabaloo who love them some greenwave (I say tee-ay (!) y'all).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hi my name is Mrs. Hullabaloo and I am a recipe junkie. Welcome to my tailgating blog.

One of my favorite “go to” brands for pre-made dressings and relishes is Stonewall Kitchen, which I try to use as inspiration for new tailgating cuisine. My heroine, Ina Garten, even has a line for Stonewall Kitchen. It is THAT good. So when our local Whole Foods brain farted and eliminated the SK Cilantro Lime dressing from their inventory of offerings, I staged a one woman protest. To no avail, sigh, so I actually have to mail-order this dressing. Quelle domage....

But seriously y'all...I need an intervention. I caught myself post-iting my latest Stonewall Kitchens catalogue because they have an eggplant relish that I just need to try to see if I can replicate it. You see, Chef Adolfo Garcia (Riomar, Boca, Amano) opened up a little eatery attached to the new Theatres at Canal Place. The new cinema is so totally my speed.

One of the tasty creations on the menu at Gusto is an Eggplant Caponata. My only complaint about it is that the portion size fit in the palm of my hand. and I was expected to share this heavenliness with Coach Hullabaloo? I don't think so. Okay, so my second complaint is that movie tickets are $13 a piece, the morsel of caponata is $9, with a refreshment and parking, seeing a 2 hour movie becomes a $50 situation. That’s like a new pair of cute sandals for gameday, or a down payment towards these fabulous $200 marc jacobs.
Don't you just love?

I this Eggplant Caponata is dreamy and I can’t wait to test out versions and bring the results to you. Only tailgate-worthy is shared with you.

If you can picture this: said post-iting occured immediately after I had finished polishing off my newest tailgate cuisine creation. Which I’ll call Mrs. Hullabaloo’s Simply Delicious Chicken Salad. Yesterday I finally posted Peggy’s amazing recipe for Sonoma Chicken Salad (also simple and delicious) which set off an immediate craving. Just so you know, Sonoma Chicken Salad made it’s debut a thousand years ago in October 2008 when Tulane played at Gormley. We could tailgate under the oaks. It was just fabulous. So very Tulane.

I just had to make a batch of chicken salad for lunch. But I had no celery or red grapes. I did, however, have apples, green onions, a some fresh dill from my latest venture to emulate Priscilla. I made Chef Ty’s bread and butter pickles and canned them myself y'all (such a proud moment)!

So of course, I also have 2 jars of said pickles that Coach Hullabaloo and I are slowly working through.

Side note: ladies, always keep fresh herbs on hand. The amazingness of a potato salad with fresh parsley just cannot be adequately captured in words. Whether you buy some planted herbs to toss in your garden (I promise I kill everything. With partial shade, herbs grow like weeds and require little if no attention) or if you buy fresh bundles from your nearest Vietnamese Grocery to keep in your fridge for cheap. I do a hybrid of both. I heart me some Vietnamese grocery stores y'all. All their fresh veggies and cheap! Ditto the Mexican groceries for awesome butcher selections at amazing prices. That is your secrets to haute tailgating right there.

The Crown Ingredient to my chicken salad is a new mustard introduced to me by my dear sorority sister Buffalo Heidi. Girls, one of the best decisions of my life was to pledge a sorority. Mrs. Hullabaloo as a young alumna with sorority sisters...

To any naysayers: if Mrs. Hullabaloo is accused of paying for friends, Honey, let me tell you I still owe somebody some money. Because I definitely struck oil on that bargain. I cannot imagine my college experience or adulthood without my sorority. I have an amazing coterie of sisters throughout our great nation, not just from Newcomb. I met Coach Hullabaloo while living in an entirely different state, through a sister who had pledged at University of Delaware. and most importantly here, I was introduced to Weber’s Horseradish Mustard of Buffalo. The pride of New York. It says so on their website!

Weber's Horseradish Mustard should be an immediate staple in any Tailgatress’ kitchen cupboard.

this is enough for 2 large portions or 4 mini portions for cocktail rolls, so double or whatnot depending on your crowd. Since my “crowd” was me and the hullabaloo kitties begging for scraps I eyed it for a small portion. I’m trying to approximate my measurements, but you can adjust this or that.
1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken breast (I totally cheated and cut from a roasted chick I'm not ashamed to admit I picked up @ Sam’s)
1/4 granny smith apple, peeled and chopped
1 stalk green onions, chopped
2 teaspoons of FRESH dill chopped (I promise, there is a difference using fresh)
couple slices of Sir Tyler’s bread+butter pickles (recipe to follow)
generous tablespoon mayo
teaspoon Webber’s Horseradish Mustard – just a touch is enough, I promise.

a real life LARGE mason jar – run it through your dishwasher
5 pickling cucumbers (about 4 inches long)
4 slices fresh horseradish, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 sprigs fresh dill weed
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
3 cups water
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons pickling spice (this is impossible to find so I winged my own of crumbled cinnamon stick, cloves, allspice, whole coriander, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, black peppercorns, crumbled bay leaves. try to use whole dried herbs in lieu of ground powder)
2 teaspoons ground turmeric – WARNING, this stains like crazy so don’t wear your favorite outfit. It will come off kitchen counters using liquid dishwashing detergent.
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash cucumbers, slice into 1/4-inch thick rounds, and place in your heated, sterilized mason jar with horseradish and fresh dill weed. Where do you pick up mason jars? I found some at one of my favorite shops for kitchen cooking stuff: World Market. So this recipe says one LARGE jar, but there is nothing wrong with using several smaller ones and sharing with other tailgating friends.

In a large pot add vinegar, sugar, water, garlic and pickling spices. Bring to a boil and then, very carefully, pour over the veggies in your mason jar and top with the flat lid piece, and then twist the jar closed with the 2nd round lid piece. Let it cool down before putting it in your fridge. Gotta let the flavors combine some. You can actually hear the sucking sound as the jar “seals” closed. It’s the neatest thing. As tempting as it might be, leave the jar of pickles alone for at least 8 hours.

So now that you have pickles done (check!), you can toss together a proper chicken salad, which I can’t wait to do for Coach H this weekend.

I'll be honest. Mrs. Hullabaloo was so intimidated at first about the whole picking situation as I am an uber impatient cook, which has lead to many disasters in my immediate past. Pickling seemed very daunting. However, if you chop the pickling duties in half: slicing and putting the veggies in the jar, then mini cocktail or magazine break before resuming again to tackle the boiling of the marinade, it really is very easy.

Fait Accomplis!

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