SEC-themed recipes as season gets underway

Sunday, September 2, 2012

MIZ-ZOU! MIZZOU-Rah! Woo-Pig-Sooie! Whatever your favorite SEC team cheer is, if you are familiar with the cheers, then you are an official fan. Yes, SEC football is underway and the excitement across the conference is building. I don't even particularly like football, but I do love the food, tailgating and the marching bands of football season.

Recently our son went off to college at Mizzou, and while we were there getting him settled in, my husband bought me Southern Living's "The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook." It is so wonderfully written introducing each team in the conference, about the hometown and its hot spots, the traditions, and much more.

I thought it would be fun to showcase just a few of the schools in the SEC and a few friends of ours who are either attending now, or are now alumni. For each of these schools, I pulled from the book; each team's featured team spritzer, deviled egg toppers and cupcake. And may the best recipes win.

Team spritzers

Mizzou Brew

In honor of our son Ross, my nephew Nathaniel and my sister-in-law Ann, we feature Mizzou first.

Gently muddle 2 lemon slices, 2 tablespoons simple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon root beer extract in a 10-ounce glass. Fill glass with crushed ice, and top with seltzer water or club soda. Gently stir. Garnish with a fresh lemon slice.

Arkansas Razorback Red

Elliott Berry is currently at Arkansas and you should hear his mom Cindy call in the hogs.

Muddle 1/2 cup fresh red raspberries, 1/4 cup fruit punch, and 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar in a 10 ounce glass. Fill glass with crushed ice, and top with seltzer water or club soda. Gently stir. Garnish with a fresh orange slice.

Ole Miss "Ole" Fashioned

Our friends Ellen Garrett and Gunnar Knudtson are currently students at Ole Miss and I'm sure they will be spending a lot of time in The Grove and taking pictures under the Walk of Champions archway.

Muddle 2 orange slices, 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice, and 3 dashes bitters in a 10-ounce glass. Fill glass with crushed ice, and top with seltzer water or club soda. Gently stir. Garnish with an orange rind strip and a maraschino cherry.

Vanderbilt Commodore

I know Vanderbilt will be a better school for inviting Vance Toole to come and be one of the Commodore family. We really got to know Vance and his parents when our boys played basketball and in earlier years baseball. My goodness, how many miles we have ridden together on game days.

Gently muddle 1 orange rind strip and 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar in a 10 ounce glass. Stir in 1/4 cup apple cider, 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice, and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Fill glass with crushed ice, and top with seltzer water or club soda. Gently stir. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and an orange rind strip.

Alabama Yella Hamma

Our friends Lawrence and Alison Kasten are alumni and love their Alabama Crimson Tide Roll Tide! Matt Zlokovich is currently a student, and I am sure he is loving it that his team is now going to be playing the Mizzou Tigers.

Muddle 1/4 cup diced fresh pineapple, 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, and 2 tablespoon turbinado sugar in a 10 ounce glass. Fill glass with crushed ice, and top with seltzer water or club soda. Gently stir. Garnish with maraschino cherry and pineapple chunks.

Georgia Peach

Our friends Jim and Lisa Burns are alumni and huge Georgia fans. I understand they have a great team this year, but we'll see. Just remember Jim, Ross will be wearing black and gold on game day.

Muddle 1/2 fresh peach, peeled; 3 mint leaves, 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, and 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice in a 10 ounce glass. Fill glass with crushed ice, and top with seltzer water or club soda. Gently stir. Garnish with peach wedges and fresh mint.

The LSU Purple Prowler

Joe Kiefner is a student at LSU and I'm sure his mom, Kathy, will need this team spritzer after getting him settled in Louisiana.

Muddle 1/4 cup fresh blackberries, 2 tablespoon turbinado sugar, and 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice in a 10 ounce glass. Fill glass with crushed ice, and top with seltzer water or club soda. Gently stir. Garnish with fresh blackberries and a lime strip.

SEC team deviled eggs

In the cookbook there are many different sections on team themed foods. Try your favorite team featured topping on deviled eggs.

Tailgate Deviled Eggs

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs, peeled

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard

Slice eggs in half lengthwise, and carefully remove yolks. Reserve egg whites. Mash yolks with mayonnaise and mustard until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon or pipe yolk mixture into reserved egg whites. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 1 day.

Top with your favorite team ingredients:

The Arkansas Hog Heaven: 1 1/2 inch strips of cooked bacon and chopped chives.

The Missouri Black and Gold Pride: Onto the yellow filling, sprinkle a generous portion of freshly ground black pepper.

The LSU Ragin' Cajun: Top with a peeled and cooked shrimp, very thinly sliced celery, dash of Cajun seasoning and a dash of hot sauce.

The Ole Miss High Society: Jumbo lump crabmeat, chopped fresh tarragon, freshly ground pepper, lemon zest, and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

The Alabama Barbecue Bama Slammer: Coarsely chopped smoked pulled pork drizzled with red and white 'cue sauce.

The Vanderbilt Commodore Chaser: Sliced black olives and chopped fresh parsley.

The Georgia Peach: Fresh peach slices, chopped Vidalia onion, and chopped toasted pecans.

While you are planning your menu, go ahead and serve cupcakes and choose sides of who's are the best. Start with a good quality vanilla cupcake and cream cheese frosting, then top with your favorite team inspired toppings.

The Missouri Tiger Stripes: Stir 1/2 cup melted dark chocolate morsels into half of the frosting. Pipe rows of cream cheese frosting, then chocolate frosting, alternately onto each cupcake, to resemble tiger stripes.

The Alabama Lane Cake (from the iconic southern cake): Stir 3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans, 3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, 1/2 cup chopped golden raisins, and 1 teaspoon orange zest into frosting. Garnish with a stemmed maraschino cherry on top.

The Georgia Peanut Gallery: Stir 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter into the frosting. Garnish with crushed peanut brittle.

LSU's French Quarter Mean Mocha Latte: Beat 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder into frosting with butter. Garnish with chocolate-covered coffee beans and cocoa.

Vanderbilt's Music City Jam Session: Melt 15 caramels with 1 tablespoon milk; stir into frosting. Spread blackberry jam onto cupcakes, pipe with frosting. Garnish with fresh blackberries and fresh mint leaf.

The Arkansas Amazing Maple Bacon: The pork perfection of the mascot himself: Stir 1/2 teaspoon maple extract into frosting. Garnish with cooked strips of bacon, about 1 to 2 inches long.

Ole Miss: The Italian Cream Dream, because "Italian Coconut Cream cake is as lush and indulgent as a tailgate on The Grove": Stir 1 cup chopped toasted pecans and 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut into frosting. Garnish with sweetened flaked coconut and pecan halves.

Wooo Pig Sooie Ham-Stuffed Biscuits with Mustard Butter

In honor of Cindy Berry's love for her Razorbacks, this recipe is for her. I heard Tigers like Hogs.

1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)

2 cups buttermilk

5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup shortening

2 pounds thinly sliced cooked ham

Combine yeast and 1/2 cup warm water in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup, and let mixture stand 5 minutes. Stir in buttermilk. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; cut in shortening with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles small peas and mixture is crumbly. Add buttermilk mixture, stirring with a fork just until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead 4 or 5 times. Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place on lightly greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place, about 85 degrees, free from drafts, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Split each biscuit, and spread with mustard butter. Stuff biscuits with ham.

Mustard Butter:

1 cup butter, softened

2 tablespoons minced sweet onion

2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard

Stir together all ingredients until blended.

Good luck to all of the teams this year and may your favorite team fall just below the Tigers!

Have a great week, and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at news@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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