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Readers share recipes for your tailgating pleasure

Football reigns as king of sports this season, and tailgating whether at the stadium or in the home is in full swing.

Grilled burgers and hot dogs are the natural go-to foods for game day, but why not throw in a new play with some easy-does-it offerings?

Instead of grilling burgers, why not put flank or skirt steak on the grill? Left to sit in a good marinade before grilling, these cuts are tender and flavorful and, yes, less expensive.

Also lightening the fare with grilled chicken paired with slices of avocado on a Kaiser roll is another interesting twist, and who doesn’t want tailgating or hanging out in front of the television to be fun?

Steve Raichlen in his “Barbecue Bible” and “Project Smoke” books and Up in Smoke newsletters often suggests using lesser-known cuts of beef, such as a flat-iron steak, which is a top blade steak. He says the top sirloin butt strip steak works well for sandwiches. Just be sure to thinly slice against the grain.

A good rule of thumb is to check with a supermarket’s butcher or meat cutter or the butcher at an old-time meat market. The meat cutters or butchers know what cuts will work well.

Flank steak or skirt steak is a favorite of mine. It can be tough if not treated properly. A good marinade and knowing how to slice are musts. Several years ago when this steak was not so popular, it was fairly inexpensive. Now it can be a bit pricey. Scout supermarket papers for any beef sales.

In keeping with the gridiron season, I will share three sandwich ideas and a quick-fix pasta salad that will score big with the football crowd. The baked Monte Cristo slider is a lighter version of the normally fried sandwich, and these can feed a crowd.

Wanted: Hungarian goulash

Georgia Nagorka of north Biloxi wants a recipe for a good Hungarian goulash.

“Several of the buffets used to have really good goulash, but I haven’t been able to find it lately,” she said. “I certainly would like a recipe to make at home.”

Readers, how about it? Do you have a Hungarian goulash recipe? If so, please send it to me to share with Nagorka.

Looking for cookbooks

“Do you know where I can buy a copy of the cookbook, ‘Feeding the Faithful the Cursillo Movement in South MS’,” asked Vivian Dailey of Gautier.

Readers, do you know how to get this book? If so, please let me know.

Still looking

Brenda Roberts wants banana and pound cake recipes made with Splenda. Readers, can you help her?

STEAK QUESADILLAS WITH HOT PEACH SALSA

4 peaches, peeled and finely chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 jalapeno chile, seeded and finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 (2-pound) flank steak

Salt and pepper

8 flour tortillas

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Sour cream, for serving

In a large bowl, combine the peaches, 1/2 cup red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, 1/2 cup lime juice and 1/4 cup olive oil. Cover and refrigerate.

Preheat grill to medium high. Pat the steak dry, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, covered for 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Let rest for 10 minutes; slice.

Preheat a large cast-iron skillet on the grill. Cover half of each tortilla with steak slices. Season the salsa with salt and pepper. Dollop 1/4 cup each salsa and cheese on the tortillas; fold in half.

Drizzle olive oil in the skillet. Working in batches, add the quesadillas and cool until golden 2 minutes on each side. Cut into wedges. Serve with remaining salsa and sour cream.

– From ‘Every Day with Rachael Ray’

BAKED MONTE CRISTO SLIDERS

12 square yeast rolls or sliders (the number of yeast rolls can double or triple depending on number served)

Smoked ham, cut in small squares to fit sliders

Smoked turkey, cut in small squares

Swiss cheese slices, cut in small squares

Strawberry preserves

3 egg whites

2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Slice rolls spread thinly strawberry preserves on each side of roll. Top with cheese on each side of bun, then turkey, a cheese slice and then ham.

Beat egg whites until frothy with milk.

Dip sliders in egg white mixture on both sides and place on baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake 6 minutes on one side and turn sliders and cook 5 minutes on other side. Can sprinkle with a little powdered sugar, if desired.

Note: A box of 35-count square yeast rolls sells for $4.98 at Sam’s Club; Sara Lee version has 12 to a pack for $2.05 at Walmart.

GRILLED CHICKEN SANDWICH WITH CHIPOTLE MAYO AND ACOCADO

Chipotle mayo:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

2 chipotle chilies in Adobo sauce

Sandwich:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/3 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat

4 Kaiser rolls

1 avocado, sliced

1 tomatoes, seeded and sliced

Lettuce, any you prefer

In a shallow bowl, mix together lime juice, olive oil and chile powder. Set aside. Place chicken between pieces of wax paper and lightly pound with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin. Place chicken in the bowl and coat with marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.

While chicken is marinating, chop your chilies finely. Add to a small bowl and combine with mayo, sour cream and seasoning. Whisk well until fully mixed. Cover and refrigerate.

Remove chicken breasts from marinade to a grill sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Grill on both sides until juices no longer run pink.

Heat Kaiser rolls on grill. Slice and spread with chipotle mayo. Top mayo with chicken breast, avocado and tomato slices.

– From ‘Half Hour Meals’

HOT BACON AND PASTA SALAD

1 box (7.75-ounce) Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad classic salad mix

4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup sliced onion

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

4 cups baby spinach

1 pear, cut into bite-size pieces

4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (1 cup)

Fill 3-quart saucepan 2/3 full of water; heat to boiling. Add pasta. Gently boil, uncovered, 12 minutes, stirring occasionally; drain. Rinse with cold water to cool; drain well.

Meanwhile, in 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook bacon and onion, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp. Transfer bacon and onion to large bowl with slotted spoon, reserving bacon dripping. Stir seasoning mix from pasta packet, vinegar, brown sugar, oil and mustard into drippings.

In large bowl, toss bacon and onion mixture, spinach, pear and dressing until mixed; stir in cooked pasta. Sprinkle cheese over top of salad. Serve warm. Makes 4 servings. – From Betty Crocker

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