Homegate Zone 

Recipes for an at-home tailgate party

Watching a Green Bay Packer game at Lambeau Field is an experience every Fox Citian should have at least once, but sometimes home is the only place you want to be. Skip the lines, stay warm and save some money by hosting your own tailgate party right at home. It goes without saying – a proper “homegate” party is all about the eats. Whip up these game day favorites from local restaurants and earn instant MVP (Most Valuable Partier) status.

Ruben Loaded “Tot-chos” 

097-DINE-Tater-TotsServes 2

At a homegate party, not any old nachos will do. Show off your ‘Sconnie side with these sauerkraut-topped “tot-chos” created by New York Deli in Appleton.

Tot-cho ingredients 

1 lb frozen tater tots

4 oz Boars Head Top Round Pastrami, chopped

4 oz sauerkraut

2 oz 1000 island dressing

Cheese sauce ingredients: 

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup half-and-half

1 cup grated Swiss cheese

¼ teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

dash of Tabasco sauce

salt and pepper

In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook while whisking for one minute. Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly add in the half and half, stirring until thickened. Add in the Swiss cheese, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce to taste; mix with a wooden spoon until the cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm while preparing remaining items.

Prepare tater tots by manufacturer’s directions. Place on platter. Warm sauerkraut, sprinkle over potatoes. Top with cheese sauce, chopped pastrami and drizzle with 1000 island dressing.

Smoked Brisket Chili

097-DINE-Smoked-Brisket-ChiliYields 2 Gallons

This smoked brisket chili recipe, created by Parker John’s BBQ & Pizza in Menasha, makes enough to feed a hungry crowd. Split the recipe in half if your homegate party is more intimate or enjoy leftovers during the week.


7 strips of bacon

1 1/2 whole yellow onions, diced

1 1/2 whole red peppers, diced

1/4 cup minced garlic

1 1/2 cans Surly Coffee Bender Brown Ale (drink the other half the can)

4 cups tomatoes, diced

4 cups tomato sauce

4 cups black beans, drained and rinsed

4 cups kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups frozen corn

16 oz tomato juice

1 bottle of your favorite Bloody Mary mix

3 lbs chopped smoked brisket (acquire the brisket from Parker Johns or substitute your own meat)

1/2 cup chili powder

3 tablespoon cumin

3 oz chipotle peppers, pureed in a blender

1 tablespoon paprika

Cook the bacon strips, reserving the bacon grease. Dice the cooked bacon after it’s cooled. Sauté the onions, red peppers and garlic in the reserved bacon grease. Once translucent in color, add the chopped bacon and the remaining ingredients. Bring all ingredients to temperature, keeping heat to medium-low. Allow chili to slow simmer for about 30 minutes until it reaches 165 degrees.

Grass-Fed Beef Burgers

097-DINE-BBQ-Sauce-BaconYields 4 burgers

Hector Hernandez and Brian Shaw, sous chefs at Stone Arch Brewpub in Appleton, conceived this crowd-pleasing burger recipe as the perfect game day meal. They recommend pairing the burger with a Stone Arch Scottish Ale or Stone Arch root beer.


2 pounds ground grass-fed beef

one pack of bacon

1/2 pound Carr Valley cheddar cheese

4 ciabatta buns, sliced in half

one bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

2 tomatoes

1 red onion

1 head romaine

Prep your toppings: Cook the bacon in a 350 degree oven for 12-16 minutes to desired crispiness. Shred the Carr Valley cheddar cheese and divide into 2 ounce portions. Cut tomato into 1/4 inch thick slices. Thinly slice red onion. Cut romaine tops to fit ciabatta bun.

Cook burgers: Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Patty beef into 8 ounce portions. Press each portion between two plates lined with wax paper to form your patty. Remove wax paper before grilling. Grill burgers to desired temperature (Hernandez and Shaw suggest medium-rare). Melt cheese then add bacon and BBQ on top of the patty.

Assemble the burger: Put lettuce, tomato and onion on the bottom bun. Place burger on top of the veggies and finish with the second ciabatta half.

Bookmark this post.
Food & Dining

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.