The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

August 21, 2013

Fresh Tips for Game Day Dips


TARBORO — When family and friends gather together to watch the game, loading up the table with a variety of easy-to-grab, flavorful appetizers is a winning plan. After all, casual food and good times are what game day is all about.

In the world of appetizers, dip is king. From savory to sweet, this simple tailgating party addition can take on flavors that span the globe, or that are as American and as beloved as the gridiron game itself.

* Keep it light - A tailgating scene can seem overwhelming for those who don't want to splurge all their day's calories, so be sure to have lots of fresh, crunchy vegetables on hand. Start with your standard dippers - like sliced carrots, broccoli and cucumbers - or score big with unique vegetable dipper options - like snap peas, asparagus spears and radishes. This recipe for Cucumber Cups creates simple and crunchy bite-sized noshes with a delicious dip of Sabra Hummus in the center. For more great game day recipes, visit

* Serve Delightful Dippers - Potato and tortilla chips go hand-in-hand with tailgating festivities, but beyond these standards is a whole world of other dipping options. For a Mediterranean touch, go with flatbread, pita bread or pita chips. Instead of plain old butter rounds, opt for more texture with multi-grain crackers that include raw flax, chia or sesame seeds. Or, serve up a warm batch of buffalo wings with this smoky and spicy recipe for Hummus Buffalo Wing Dip.

* Offer Variety - A large spread of dippers calls for a wide assortment of scrumptious dips. As an alternative to sour cream or cheese-based dips - which are loaded with fat, preservatives and sodium - serve up an assortment of delicious Sabra Hummus. Hummus offers up the protein, iron and fiber that other dips lack.

Incorporate a few of these dip tips into your game day strategy and watch as fans huddle up to fill their plates.

Hummus Buffalo Wing Dip

1     teaspoon red wine vinegar

1     teaspoon olive oil

1     tablespoon tomato paste

1     teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4    teaspoon garlic powder

1/4     teaspoon onion powder

1     teaspoon smoked paprika

1     cup Sabra hummus

Whisk first seven ingredients together (vinegar through paprika). Add Sabra hummus and combine thoroughly.

Cucumber Cups

Yield: 16 servings

2     English cucumbers

1     container Sabra hummus

1     teaspoon paprika

1     bunch parsley, finely chopped

Peel cucumbers and slice lengthwise into 1 1/4-inch pieces.

Using melon baller, carve out seeds to create a vessel, making sure to leave bottom intact.

Using piping bag or small spoon, fill each with hummus, about 1 teaspoon each.

Sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped parsley.

Score Big With Pork, Your Game Day MVP

Football season is around the corner, and that can only mean one thing - it's time to tailgate. With competition on the field heating up, you've probably already chosen your favorite team. When it comes to deciding what to eat at your tailgate before kick-off, there are plenty of meats to choose from - and this year, the clear MVP is pork.

No matter what team you're rooting for, the secret to tackling your next tailgate is serving a meal that's tasty, filling and easy to cook. With pork as the game day all-star, you won't have to spend time stressing at the meat case or over the grill about what to serve or how to cook it:

Grilling pork on game day is easier than you think. For a recipe like Cuban Pork Adobo Chops, you can marinate the chops in advance for two to four hours. Once you're ready to fire up the grill, they just require about 10 minutes of cooking time. This bold, flavorful and satisfying main dish will ensure you won't be distracted by your hunger when the cheering to win is on.

Cuban Pork Adobo Chops

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

6     New York (top loin) pork chops, 3/4-inch thick

1     cup lime juice

4     cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2     teaspoon ground cumin

3/4    teaspoon salt

1/4     teaspoon black pepper

    Olive oil, for grill grate

In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper; transfer to self-sealing plastic bag. Add chops; seal bag and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Prepare medium-hot fire with charcoal or preheat gas to medium high. Lightly oil grill grate.

Remove chops from marinade (do not pat dry), discarding marinade from bag. Grill chops directly over heat, turning once, until internal temperature of pork on thermometer reads between 145?F. (medium rare) and 160?F. (medium), followed by a 3-minute rest, about 8 to 11 minutes.