You thought I forgot we have a tailgate coming up, didn't you? Never fear--it's the first time we're hosting a repeat visitor to the Citrus Bowl this season and the last time we'll see DC United. Unfortunately they will win the season series with us, having swept all six points available in the first two matches. But we'll get our revenge on the grill at the tailgate party and savor every last bite!
As a reminder, the first time DC United visited we went for pulled pork, operating under the observation that pork is the only thing that ever comes out of Washington these days, and has been since at least the days of the Johnson-ville administration. So this time around we're going to cast our net a little wider and see what inspiration we can draw from just beyond the nation's capital. Looking northeast to Maryland we find the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland crabs and that means one thing: crab cakes! Once again, we'll rely on our friends at Lighthouse Seafood in Lake Mary to come up with the best and freshest seafood we can find.
But as I have mentioned before, there's a member of our tailgate group who claims an allergy to seafood. Personally I think he has a phobia about drowning and has watched too many horror movies, so somehow he thinks that if he eats something that lived under water he'll drown in his sleep as a result. My friend--you need to go back and get your movie lore straight: it's when you cross the mob that you find yourself sleeping with the fishes.
Alternate Main Course
So as I've done in the past, I tasked this member of our group with finding an alternate that we can cook to go with the crab, and he really came through this time. He found a DC-area regional dish called a "half-smoke." A half-smoke is a spicy coarse-ground sausage of pork and beef that is served on a roll and smothered in spicy chili. That's got to be a dish invented in a tailgate parking lot for sure.
So my buddy is making the chili and I'm getting the sausages, rolls, and toppings. Now since it's already a spiced sausage I'm not doing a marinade this time, but I will be breaking out the condiments and toppings. We'll have some diced onions, shredded cheese, spicy mustard, and maybe some hot Mexican peppers. We'll use the large grilling sausages and the industrial-sized rolls to handle both the sausages and the chili and other toppings.
For dessert I am going to repeat myself from the first DC United match because the choice was such a hit. It's a simple and patriotic red, white, and blue dessert. Strawberries (halved), blueberries (whole) and whipped cream. Unfortunately whoever the genius was behind making the uniforms for the US Women's National Team in this year's Women's World Cup forgot the colors on the flag, but we didn't and we will gladly remind everyone. Besides, if you mix the juices from the blueberry and the strawberry just right you get Orlando City purple--so it's not only a patriotic dessert but it's a great dessert to support a great squad! Go City!