My college friend was in town and as we always do when we are together – we eat, talk and visit local books stores. While perusing the aisles she pointed out Eddie Jackson’s Game Day Eats book and reminded me that lovethiscookbook has not given full credit to the many men that have also published great cookbooks. Eddie is a former NFL player whose culinary skills earned him a BIG win on the “Food Network Star”. I like Eddie’s book for so many reasons, mostly because I LOVED EVERYTHING I tried. This book has the field covered by including everything you need – rubs, marinades, condiments, appetizers, main meals, salads and Sweet Victory, his heading for the desert section of the book. Every recipe made – 20 plus (or 1/4 of the entire book) brought home a win for large portion sizes, flavor and variety. We may not be able to tailgate at our favorite stadium – but with Eddie’s recipe playbook we can invite friends over for some serious “homegating”.
The Caribbean Jerk Sliders pack some bold flavors in each bite. Absolutely one of the most spice filled, appetizing burgers I have ever eaten. Caution: I would pare back on the spices if you don’t like spicy food – because this beef patty brings loads of flavor. A unique meal that your friends and family won’t soon forget.
Another great play of Eddie’s is the inclusion of a variety of rubs that can be used on meat, dips or dressings. He has got everything from the Sweet Assassin Rub to the Love Blanket– his all-purpose rub. My favorite was the 24/7 Rub which was delicious on both pork and steak (my favorite was the ribs) . The recipe calls for enough ingredients to create a blend big enough to use for several meals. Rubs can be used any time of year, not just on the grill, in fact they can even be given as a holiday or hostess gift for friends and family. Who wants cookies for the holidays when you can have a great spice blend instead??
With no time outs, we will move onto the Hearty Chicken Gumbo- a thick spicy sauce filled with chicken, sausage and shrimp all made in the slow cooker. This lineup could not be easier. Start with chicken and veggies, throw in sausage half-way through and finish off with shrimp the last 10 minutes. Because it is less hands off than the traditional Gumbo – this flavor packed comfort food would be a great recipe when having friends over for dinner. Like all of Eddie’s offerings this also has generous portions- with that being said the leftovers disappeared quickly.
Since Eddie Jackson is a Certified Personal Trainer, his cookbook goes well beyond wings and burgers with many healthy offerings of lighter sides. I decided to throw in a meatless healthy salad packed with protein as my last recipe share. The Roasted Cauliflower Salad is a great blend of ingredients. This recipe was the first time I used roasted cauliflower, red chard and lentils in a recipe. The added orzo, fresh herbs and lemon give a melding of flavors that go way beyond a typical salad.
Game Day Eats is a book to OWN and USE often. The chart below lists all the recipes tried and my ratings – trust me I have not been disappointed. There are so many great meals and tailgates waiting for you – this book is a GAME CHANGER in the kitchen.
|Caribbean Jerk Sliders||Fan Favorites||10||91||medium||Great unique taste – spicy|
|Chorizo con Queso Dip||Scoop & Score||9||42||easy||Great flavor, texture & no velveta!!!|
|Garlic Herb Marinade||Pre Game||10||30||easy||Great – I made it it twice in one week|
|24/7 Rub||Pre Game||10||27||easy||Makes a lot. Used on NY strips, skirt steak, and ribs|
|Holy Molasses Barbecue Sauce||Pre Game||7||32||easy||Sweet|
|Roasted Red Pepper, Spinach & Artichoke Dip||Scoop & Score||9||47||easy||Looks Impressive – tastes great|
|IPA Caramelized Onions||Pre Game||9||39||easy||Takes time but worth it. Drain a bit of liquid before putting out for guests.|
|IPA Brats||One Handers||9||63||med. for brat||A lot of extra work than just grilling but worth it. Great with the IPA onions and grainy mustard. Didn’t adjust liquid with making 15.|
|Three Pepper Chicken Sandwich||Fan Favorites||9||117||easy||Will make again for next party. Makes a lot.|
|Lemon Pepper Nuts||Halftime||5||151||very easy||OK – least favorite of all recipes from Game Day Eats|
|Texas Caviar||What The Salad||9||170||easy||I added 1/2 red pepper, used 1 can pinto and 1 can black beans. Two guest wanted recipe.|
|Spicy Pesto Pasta||What The Salad||7||177||medium||Several steps and extra effort.|
|Chocolate Pecan Bars||Sweet Victory||8||209||easy||Recipe calls for a 15×10 pan I did not have used 13X9|
|Toasted Coconut Brownies||Sweet Victory||10||211||medium||Used unsweetened coconut which worked because they brownies are very sweet already.|
|Jammin’ Rum Marinade||Pre game||5||29||easy||Used on pork tenderloin. Directions a little tricky – didn’t notice that the marinade is best made well in advanced. A lot of ingredients. Didn’t use allspice berries (couldn’t find).|
|Beer Float / Citrus Float||Cheers||9||191||super easy||Great way to bring beer to next level. Citrus sorbet was hard to find.|
|Roasted Cauliflower Salad||What The Salad||9||174||medium (for salad)||Several steps not included in directions which will add to time (cooking orzo & lentils). Still came together 1 hour. Unusual ingredients / combination.|
|Summer Corn & Basil Pasta Salad||What The Salad||7||173||easy||Unique flavor – maybe needs more veggies|
|Hearty Chicken Gumbo||9||Great combination of flavors|
|Buffalo Mac||Fan Favorites||8||115||medium||unique dish – labor intensive|
Made A LOT
|Sun-Dried Tomato Garlic Bread||Half Time||10||143||super easy||Easy yet impressive. There was no garlic in recipe. Added 1/4 teas garlic powder.|
|Love Blanket Rub||Pre Game||8||23||super easy||Used on chicken|
|Cheesy Mac Casserole||Fan Favorites||6||112||easy||Suggest adding a can of tomato sauce|