The Art of the Pizza Roll, Tailgate Chefs- Game On!

Game Day, Game Day, Game Day!!  College Football is Kicking Off!!  I believe in the Football/Tailgate Cuisine Movement, support it 100%!  I love the playfulness of the food, the comradery it inspires between guys and their grills, the artisanal care that nonchefs are putting towards the pop up tailgate table.  The craft direction is strong within this mouthwatering cuisine.  It is downright hard to find someone that does not have fond memories of tailgate food.

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Thank you Emily for the deliciousness, for the loving tenderness you put towards this football food recipe.

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Perfect Pizza Crust (if you’re in a jam, buy the premade dough in your grocery store)

  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup hot tap water

In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment place the flour, yeast, and salt. Quickly mix together the dry ingredients.  Pour in the oil and hot tap water and stir for about 10 seconds. The dough should be wet enough to leave a little residue on the side of the bowl at this point but not so wet that it’s gooey. Adjust if needed with a little flour or tiny bit warm water. Knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Dough should be tacky to the touch. Do not add any flour or water after the dough is done mixing.

In a deep oiled mixing bowl, place the dough ball and place plastic wrap or damp towel directly over the dough.  Allow to rise until doubled in size, I set mine outside in the warm air, but near a window, or even a warm oven will do. Once risen, punch dough to deflate it.

  • 1 cup Pizza Sauce
  • 1 ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  • 4 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 3/4 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning

Make pizza crust according to directions and let raise once. After it has risen, turn it onto a counter sprayed with cooking spray and roll it out thin, in the shape of a rectangle. Spread sauce; you may only need 1/2-3/4 cup but you can use the rest for dipping after the rolls are cooked. Add cheese and start rolling the dough tightly in a neat line. When there’s about an inch of dough left, stop rolling and pull the edge up and over, pinching it closed.

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With a serrated knife, gently slice about 1-inch thick. Lay the rolls in a 13×9-inch baking pan, sprayed with cooking spray. You should get about 12 rolls out of the dough. Cover lightly and let the dough rise again until about doubled.

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine melted butter and garlic bread seasoning and brush over the tops of the rolls. Bake for about 17-20 minutes.

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Serve warm either plain or with extra pizza sauce for dipping.  Reheat any leftovers in the same fashion you would with leftover pizzas. Or if you are taking to the tailgate party, wrap them in a sheet of foil and warm them on a low heat grill.

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We are heading out to the Alabama and Virginia Tech game today and can’t wait to see what we find at the lot full of tailgate parties!! Roll Tide!

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Barbeque Chicken Cornbread Ebelskivers

Ever had an Ebelskiver?  They are basically a stuffed pancake ball, think of a flapjack with your favorite topping turned into a popper.  The Danish are credited for this traditional sweet breakfast treat, originally stuffing them with sweet cinnamon apples.  While the original apple flavor is hard to beat the versatility is seemingly endless. 

In honor of professional football starting this weekend (Go Steelers), I thought I would try a tailgate friendly Ebelskiver.  BBQ chicken and cornbread are two common dishes found at these football celebrations, and both would be perfect for an Ebelskiver.  

BBQ Chicken Cornbread Ebelskiver

Toss the chicken, barbeque sauce and scallions together in small mixing bowl.  Place your Ebelskiver pan on medium low heat.  When it is warm, add a tablespoon of batter into a well.   Add a tablespoon of the chicken mix into the center of the batter filled well.  Allow to cook for a few minutes and carefully rotate with 2 wood skewers.  Allow to cook another 2-3 minutes.   Repeat with remaining batter and filling.  This recipe makes about 16 Ebelskivers.

Does anyone else have to throw out the first pancake they make?  The first Ebelskiver you make, might not be the prettiest, but by the end you fill find your “juju”.    You can make the Ebelskivers the day before and reheat them in the oven the next day, great for a busy Sunday. 

These little guys can be made sweet or savory, how about chocolate peanut butter or maple walnut?  Turn them into savory with ham and gruyere or even turkey and brie.  Use pancake batter for sweet and lesson the sugar for savory. 

These are a great answer to the tired slider.  The poor slider is getting a bad rap for overuse, but we just can’t let it go-

You can buy a pan here– I recommend this one as opposed to others – the nonstick is durable and I have had a lot of luck with mine over the last 3 years-

They are simple enough to get the kiddoes involved as well.   The one thing I would warn everyone is….never put them on menu for 100’s of people.  It is just not a good scene- Ebelskiver for 800 people anyone?  Never again!!! 

Here’s to an injury free and exciting football season!  And Go Steelers!!