There are certain activities that anyone in any particular town, city, state or region is expected to have participated in. Wouldn’t you be surprised by someone living in Hawaii who had never been to the beach? Or shocked by a resident of Paris who had never even seen the Eiffel Tower?
Well, I have one of those surprising confessions. I have never been to an SEC football game. You would not believe the looks of shock and horror that cross the faces of people who hear this tragic tale. I have only in fact been to one college football game, and that was freshman year at my small school in Connecticut, and to be honest, that’s not really the same thing. It’s not that I have an issue or a problem with big-time college football, the opportunity has just never presented itself (and yes, I will be expecting some invitations after this). As a point of fact, I have never been to a professional football game either.
In the past few weeks, a number of people have told me that I should write a post about tailgating. Not just one person. Several. I smiled and said what a good idea that would be, knowing that it was highly unlikely. I have never tailgated. I don’t really know exactly what’s involved.
The last person to suggest that I write about tailgating was my aunt, and she had some constructive advice. She recently dug up one of my old standby recipes for a great fall appetizer and took it to an outdoor, all day party. She told me it would make a perfect tailgating recipe. And I trust my aunt. Of course, this is a great appetizer for any fall occasion, even if you are watching the game in front of the TV.
So here it goes, a hearty, fall appetizer that is often described as one men love. I don’t know why particularly. Or why that’s relevant. Many of the rabid football followers I know are women. But this dish holds well, just keep it covered tightly and transport the dish in a thermal carrier or wrapped in a towel for insulation. Its good at room temperature as well.
Use a good quality kielbasa and your favorite mustard. You can also replace the bourbon with Calvados or brandy.
1 pound kielbasa
1 cup white wine or vermouth
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard or coarse grain mustard
2 Tablespoons bourbon
Cut the kielbasa into ½ inch slices, then each slice into halves. Arrange the kielbasa in one layer in a large skillet. Pour over the wine and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook until the wine is almost all evaporated, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the wine is all but gone, stir in the brown sugar, mustard and bourbon. Cook for about three minutes longer, stirring constantly. The kielbasa pieces should be coated with a syrupy glaze.
Transfer the kielbasa to a serving platter and serve with cocktail picks.
Serves 8 – 10