The old carol will tell you that Christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year.”
But here in the South, it’s pretty unanimous—football season brings everyone together, for better or for worse, in cooperation or in rivalry.
And no matter which team you pull for, there’s one place where we can all gather together as one: the dinner table. Specifically, the glorious spread of gridiron grub that serves as the centerpiece of every well-done tailgate.
Just ask Bob Baumhower, former lineman for the University of Alabama and the Miami Dolphins, now the owner of Baumhower’s Restaurant and The Compleat Angler.
“When you combine the love of football and the entertaining nature of Southerners as a whole, and throw in Southern Hospitality, you get a melting pot of experiences that makes tailgating as big as life itself,” says Baumhower. “In many cases, the football game takes a back seat to the tailgating experience.”
Chicken and pork are game-day standards in most circles. But if you’ve got a reliable portable grill and you’re willing to get a bit more adventurous with your eats, Alabama Gulf Seafood makes for a fresh, one-of-a-kind tailgate treasure.
“Folks should consider using Alabama Gulf Seafood for their tailgate party because it is literally in our DNA,” says Baumhower. “Whether you are making a seafood dip, steamed shrimp or grilling a great piece of fish at the game, Alabama Gulf Seafood lends itself to being used in a host of ways that are convenient, and more important, delicious!”
If you’re eager to try some Alabama Gulf Seafood at your next tailgate, here are a few of our suggestions for incorporating your seafood favorites.
For a sure-fire crowd pleaser, start with shrimp. Once you’ve peeled and deveined the shrimp (unless you’re following a recipe that tells you not to), it’s just a matter of marinating the shrimp in your favorite concoction, grilling them up just right and pairing them with a side or two.
If you’re looking for a grilled shrimp recipe, try the Junior League of Mobile’s Citrus Grilled Shrimp or Chef Chris Hastings’s BBQ Grilled Alabama Head On Shrimp with Hot and Hot Spice Rub, Lemon Zest and Butter.
For anyone tailgating near the Gulf Coast (or anyone with a trustworthy oyster supplier in town), Chargrilled Oysters can really bring the heat. Just make sure you’ve got a reliable grill, someone who knows the proper technique for shucking an oyster, and of course, a plethora of oysters.
For those who’d rather make something ahead of time, you can’t go wrong with anything crab-based. Try the Junior League of Mobile’s Crabmeat Dip or Unbelievable Crabmeat Spread—just make sure you keep it cool, and bring plenty of crackers to help finish it off.
And if you’re looking to indulge a bit while staying healthy, try Baumhower’s Compleat West Indies Salad with fresh lump crabmeat. Just make sure you make it in advance.
Keep it Cool and Enjoy
If you’re serving Alabama Gulf Seafood at your next tailgate, keep in mind that fresh seafood can spoil quickly. If you bring a cold dish, make sure it stays on ice, and don’t let any of your seafood dishes sit out in the sun for too long.
And make sure you bring more than enough for everybody. “Goodness knows,” says Baumhower, “tailgating leftovers are even better the next day!”
So when the next game rolls around, don’t settle for the standard tailgate fare—try Alabama Gulf Seafood. Your friends and family will thank you (and come back for seconds).