Tuesday’s Tenuously-Titled Tailgate Tasting: Arkansas State

Oh man, here we go. Other than Boxing Day, this is the best time of year. College football is afoot, gentlemen.

Admittedly, in the past few years, the Ags have gotten into the nasty habit of failing to live up to the modest expectations of Joe Aggie. However, an encouraging development has occurred over the past ten years. Aggie fans have cultivated a healthy tailgating environment. In the past, you’d see a couple guys hastily grilling some hot dogs before heading up to Kyle Field. These days, you have tailgating buses, invertor (hurrah) and generator (booo) setups with multiple HDTVs, smokers, fryers, 15” woofers kicking the latest Grainger Smith tearjerker and so on.

Now that tailgating is serious business in Aggieland, we need to make sure we move beyond pedestrian burgers and hot dogs. It really doesn’t take all that much effort to come up with something unique every week. Well, we’ll see about that, I suppose.

HSJ is going to bring you a suggested tailgating menu for every 2008 home game. I’m going to ATTEMPT to cleverly match the opponent with the theme for the menu. Some weeks, I may elicit a “OK, I kinda get it” from a handful of readers. Other weeks (such as this one), I will wholly and indisputably fail. Apologies in advance.

Also, big disclaimer here: I haven’t cooked any of this crap. I’m pulling this stuff out of my ass as I go along. It may suck, it may be edible, it may be a perfect storm for an E coli outbreak!!!! Life is full of surprises!!! At least I’ll have fun trying to pull these off.

Here goes week 1.

ARKANSAS STATE: PORK CHOP SANDWICH TRIO

What do pork chop sandwiches have to do with the Arkansas State Red Wolves? I’m glad you asked that question. Uhm…..nothing at all. I was stumped this week.

As you probably know, Arkansas State used to be known as “The Indians.” I can work with that. I could go with something like “Firewater Frito Pie” with “Trail of Tears Tater Salad.” You get the point, but Akie State was bullied into dropping the obviously offensive “Indians” moniker. They are now known as the “Red Wolves.” Seriously? What in the hell am I supposed to do with that? The name is obviously horrible, but what’s worse is that it reminds me of a euphemism for a particularly heavy bout of menstruation.

“Donna, would you like go play some sand volleyball?”

“Probably not a good idea for me, with the Red Wolf going on, and all. I thought you guys would be able to smell it.”

[retching]

So, here’s what I decided: This weekend is the kickoff of A&M’s football season. Time for a little pigskin action, boys!!! Pigskin….pork…..pork chop sandwiches. Epic fail, but that’s what I am going with. Shut the hell up.

We’re going to do three (3) pork chop sandwiches. Normally, when I’m cooking pork chops, I go with the bone in inch to inch-and-a-half chops. For these, we’ll use the boneless, butterflied chops. Ideally, these will be an inch or less in thickness.

1) Beer Brined Pork Chop Sandwich

Pork Chops

Kaiser rolls (some folks call it a Sling Roll, eehhhmmmm)

4 cups of Beer

½ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar

¼ cup of Kosher Salt

¼ cup of Brown Sugar

3 Tbsp of Honey

Mix the beer, vinegar, salt, brown sugar and honey together until dissolved. Place with chops in a sealable bag and let it sit, refrigerated, for up to 6 hours.

Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Grill the pork chops on direct heat 3 minutes per side. Remove from direct heat and let them continue cooking 5 minutes more on indirect heat.

Serve on grill-toasted Kaiser rolls.

2) Creole Mustard and Rosemary Crusted Pork Chop Sandwich

Pork Chops

Kaiser rolls

3 Tbsp Creole Mustard (or any other whole grain mustard)

1 Tbsp fresh Rosemary, coarsely chopped

Make a paste with the rosemary and mustard. Set aside.

Lightly brush the pork chops with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the pork chops on a medium high grill on direct heat for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Carefully remove and lightly cover the chops with the mustard/rosemary paste. Continue cooking 4 minutes more or until a nice crust forms.

Serve on grill-toasted Kaiser rolls.

3) Maple Glazed Pork Chop Sandwich

Pork Chops

Kaiser rolls

1 part Maple Syrup

1 part Dijon mustard

1 part Heinz 57

Mix the maple syrup, mustard and steak sauce together in a bowl. Lightly coat the pork chops in the mixture. Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Grill the pork chops on direct heat 3 minutes per side. Remove from direct heat and let them continue cooking 5 minutes more on indirect heat. Continue to lightly baste the pork chops with the sauce as needed.

Serve on grill-toasted Kaiser rolls.

Good luck. Let me know if they don’t taste like shit.

King Puppy

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2 comments on “Tuesday’s Tenuously-Titled Tailgate Tasting: Arkansas State

  1. That looks pretty horrible.

    Yeah, a couple of folks suggested some sort of “Wolf Brand” concoction, but I’m trying to avoid turning into the Sandra Lee of tailgating. Plus, I got to work in a menses joke.

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