Make Hobo Day right with a tailgating treat

Subash Vadav Columnist

Homecoming can mean different things to different people whether it is getting together with the past graduates and alumni, going to the homecoming dance and the games, tailgating, or simply just another excuse to party. Whatever your reason is, I know it’s a blast. Although I have used all the above excuses to celebrate homecoming (some of which are a little embarrassing to share), tailgating has been my personal favorite. I am a sucker for good barbecue and smoked meats, the drinks and great time with friends. You can never go wrong with a celebration if you have good music, good friends and good food. As we all know, celebration and any festivities comes along with good food and lots of it. 

Although I have been in the food industry for sometime, this is my first column as a food writer. Besides, I have been a foodie for as long as I can remember. My main goal is being able to give you tips and recipes that are low budget, easy fix, tasty and healthy. Once in a while I will challenge you to try something different, something bold and new that will open your taste buds to new flavors. For now, I want to get you ready for Hobo Day. 

Tips for grilling: For all you gas grillers, I want you to take a chance and use charcoal grill. Also, use hard wood charcoal and use a starter chimney instead of trying to bathe it with lighter fluid. Nobody wants to eat lighter fluid flavored steaks, trust me! Now, getting your meats ready. It’s not so much about what kind of seasoning you use but it is more important how you use it. Here is what you need;

Seasoning: Chicken seasoning/ steak seasoning/ creole seasoning/ whatever seasoning

Meats: steak/ chicken/ pork, etc.

Oil: spray or regular

Ziploc bags or plastic food wrap

Paper towel

Use paper towel to dry out any juices from the meats and set it on a plate or tray. Sprinkle the seasoning all over the meat and place it in a Ziploc or wrap in food wrap until next day when you are ready to grill. Before you put those bad boys on the grill, make sure to spray it with vegetable oil or rub it with canola or any vegetable oil. It helps to seal the moisture inside making the meat more juicy and tender. Also, make sure your grill is HOT! To check if it’s hot enough, place your hand about 6-7 inches above the grill and count for five seconds. If you can stand the heat for full five seconds, it’s not hot enough. The initial sear or browning is important to develop the flavor in the grilled food. 

I haven’t forgotten about my vegetarian friends, of course. The best part is, you can use the same seasonings, and have more varieties. Cut thick slices (quarter to half inches) of egg plants, zucchini, red onions, pineapple, asparagus, bell peppers and grill them the same way. Make sure to spray your vegetable with some oil or toss them with oil to retain the moisture inside. Before you take them off the grill, drizzle soy sauce if you have some handy and squeeze a lemon on the grilled vegetables. 

Remember, good food, good company and good music. Have a great homecoming week.