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Score big with great game-day food

Posted: February 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Sports-hungry fans need some serious eats to fuel their game-day fun. When friends and family get together at your place to take in the big game, make sure you have great food ready to keep them satisfied all the way until the clock runs out.

These Italian sausage sliders, sausage dippers and sauces, chipotle Monterey jack cheese quesadillas and an all-star MVP chili from Johnsonville are packed with flavor that will score big with fans of all ages. To get more game-day recipes to feed your hungry crowd, visit

MVP chili
Makes: 12 cups, 6 to 8 servings
(See photo above)
2     packages (19 ounces) Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausage Links, casings removed (use mild links for a less spicy chili)
1     large onion, diced
3     cloves garlic, minced
2     tablespoons chili powder (use mild chili powder for less spicy chili)
1/4     teaspoon cumin
1     bottle (12 ounces) dark beer (can substitute with light beer or 1 cup beef stock)
1     can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
2     tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and pepper
1     can (15.5 ounces) black beans
1     can (15.5 ounces) red kidney beans
1 1/2     cups corn (frozen or fresh off the cob)

Decase sausage and sauté in a large pot; use a wooden spoon to crumble sausage as it cooks. Once sausage is nicely browned, stir in onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin and continue cooking until onion softens, about 5 minutes.
Add beer and allow it to simmer for an additional 5 minutes, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste and allow it to simmer, uncovered for an additional 10 to 15 minutes on medium-low, stirring occasionally.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Finally, stir in beans and corn. Let this come to a simmer, and it’s ready to serve. Can be made a day ahead.

Italian sausage sliders
Makes: 16 sliders, 6 to 8 servings
(See photo far left)
2     pounds Johnsonville All Natural Ground Sausage or links, decased
1     pound ground beef
16     slider buns or mini sandwich rolls

In large bowl, combine sausage and beef. Using your hands, blend meats together and form into one large ball. Use a spoon or a small measuring cup to gather up about a 3-ounce ball and press into patties.
In large skillet over medium-high heat, pan fry 4 or 5 sliders at a time. Cook for about 3 minutes, then flip and continue cooking for another 3 minutes.
Test for doneness. Internal tem­perature should be 160 degrees. Slice buns and top sliders with your favorite condiments.

Chipotle Monterey jack cheese chicken sausage quesadillas
Makes: 6 servings
(See photo left)
12    flour tortillas (8 inches)
1    package (12 ounces) Johnsonville Chipotle Monterey Jack Fully Cooked Chicken Sausage, chopped
1     red bell pepper, finely chopped
3     green onions, chopped
3     cups (12 ounces) shredded Colby Jack cheese
    Salsa (optional)

Place 3 tortillas on a large greased baking sheet. Sprinkle each with sausage, red pepper, green onion and cheese. Top each with a tortilla.
Place baking sheet on the center oven rack. Broil for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Cut into wedges. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve with salsa.

Sausage dippers
Makes: 18 servings
    3     packages (13.5–14 ounces
            each) Johnsonville
            Smoked Sausage (such as
            Beddar with Cheddar,
            Jalapeño & Cheddar,
            Turkey with Cheddar or
            Chipotle Monterey Jack
            Cheese Chicken Sausage)

Cut sausage links into 1-inch pieces.
In large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat until lightly browned and heated through.
Serve with toothpicks and dipping sauces.

Spicy hot buffalo sauce
Makes: 2 cups buffalo sauce
plus 2 cups blue cheese dressing
    1/2     cup butter, cubed
    1     bottle (12 ounces) hot sauce
    1    bottle (16 ounces) blue cheese salad dressing

In microwave-safe bowl, combine butter and hot sauce. Cover and microwave on high for about 2 minutes or until butter is melted.
Stir until smooth.
Serve buffalo sauce in one bowl and blue cheese dressing in another bowl.

Orange bourbon barbecue dip
Makes: 1 1/4 cups servings
    1     cup original or bourbon
            barbecue sauce
    1/4     cup orange marmalade

In microwave-safe bowl, combine barbecue sauce and orange marmalade.
Cover and microwave on high
for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.

Chinese dipping sauce
Makes: 1 1/2 cups
    1     jar (7 ounces) hoisin sauce
    1     jar (7 ounces) plum sauce

In microwave-safe bowl, combine hoisin sauce and plum sauce.
Cover and microwave on high
for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.

Creamy mustard dip
Makes: 1 1/3 cups
    1     cup spicy brown mustard
    1/4     cup sour cream
    2     tablespoons horseradish

In bowl, combine mustard, sour cream and horseradish.

Cajun mustard dip
Makes: 1 cup
    1     cup spicy brown mustard
    1     teaspoon Cajun seasoning
        Hot pepper sauce, to taste

In bowl, combine mustard, seasoning and hot pepper sauce.


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