Blue and BBQ

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The Season’s Best Tailgating Starts Here!

Story by Cheri Woodsmall

Can you feel it? The energetic buzz in the air? Can you see it? This beautiful city of ours turning stunning shades of blue. Oh, how we have missed that sea of glorious color! Certainly, we’ve never been this excited for April before! Yes – it’s baseball season again and we are more than ready to watch our Boys in Blue in action. Let the tailgating begin!

Chef Shannon Kimball, owner of FireBug BBQ and, sat down with us to talk tailgating and give us some great tips and recipes.

“I love tailgating! I love the immediacy of it, the friendliness of it, and most of all I love the wide range of great food you can prepare. However, I also enjoy spending time with the folks at the tailgate, so simplicity is important to me.” He emphasizes that having as much advance prepping done (marinating, rubbing, or par-cooking), so you can finish things quickly without sacrificing flavor is key. “My goal is to have great food and a great time! And having things ready in advance helps that.”

Here are a few of Shannon’s basic tailgating tips:

  • Prepare your menu in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute to decide what you’ll make.
  • Don’t be overly ambitious. Tailgating food should be fast, fun, and delicious – but not overly complicated.
  • Source locally. There are so many great local products now. This is a great way to support local companies and introduce your guests to new, local products they may not have tried.
  • Don’t be afraid to serve things other than meat – grilled veggies, potatoes, and fruit can be delicious accompaniments to your tailgating fare.
  • Be organized. Know how long things take to cook, and have everything parceled out in individual packets.
  • Have fun! Interacting is a big part of your and your guests’ enjoyment.


Pork ribs on plate, top view



Fish Tacos En Papillotte with Lemon Butter and Sarachi Salsa™ 

Create your papillotte by first lightly drizzling olive oil on squares of aluminum foil or parchment paper. Arrange a bed of chopped vegetables (onion, zucchini, leek, carrot) in the center of each square.

Next place tilapia (or any other fresh fish) filets over the vegetables and cover with fresh lemon slices and a tablespoon of butter. Lightly season each with salt and pepper and then fold each side of the papillotte into the middle and seal completely, leaving some space in the top for hot air to circulate while grilling.

Place each papillotte on the grill at medium heat and cook until fish is cooked through (15–20 minutes). Serve with flour tortillas, fresh lettuce and cabbage and top with a healthy dose of Sarachi Salsa™.

Dark & Stormy Ribs

In a small bowl, mix salt with black pepper, crushed red pepper and granulated sugar. On a large rimmed baking sheet, rub the seasoned salt all over the ribs and let stand for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 300°. In a large roasting pan, mix ginger beer with rum, brown sugar and soy sauce. Add the ribs and cover the pan tightly with foil. Braise the ribs in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until tender; turn the ribs halfway through cooking.

Light a grill or preheat the broiler. Transfer the ribs to a cutting board; reserve the cooking liquid. Cut the racks into individual ribs. Grill the ribs over moderately high heat or broil them, turning, until lightly charred on all sides, about 3 minutes. Dip the ribs in the reserved cooking liquid, transfer to a platter and serve.

Bacon Wrapped Grilled Fruit

Chop bite size chunks of fresh pineapple and wrap each with 1/2 slice of bacon. Roll in brown sugar and assemble onto skewers with sweet cherry tomatoes. Grill each skewer over medium flame, turning often until bacon is crispy.



“CurRoyal” the Boozy Botanicals™ take on aKir Royale Cocktail

Mix ½ oz. Blue Curacao & ¼ oz. Boozy Botanicals-Peppers of the Plains Simple Syrup into a fluted glass. Top with favorite champagne, Cheers!

So mix it up and have some fun this season! And of course, GO ROYALS!

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