The I-5 Corridor's grilling guide to an 8 p.m. kickoff
Late kickoffs aren't ideal — unless you're a carnivore.
Longtime subscribers of The I-5 Corridor may remember Cole Wagoner’s name from The Oregon 50 we ran back in March.
Cole Wagoner’s an Oregon fan I came across a few years ago when I got a Sous Vide. He worked for Anova at the time and filled his Instagram and Twitter account with daily pictures of incredible food spreads. If you need any game day cooking ideas, or just want to drool a bit, go his way.
Well, last week when the Oregon/Stanford game time was announced — 8 p.m., gross — I was trying to think of any redeeming qualities to that late of a kickoff. And while there are none, it does give the tailgaters ample time to get properly tuned up. And for that, you need fuel — especially with Saturday’s 88-degree forecast.
To properly prepare everyone for a long, long day of college football, I asked Cole to whip up three meals to properly pass the time before the Ducks game begins.
Take it away, grill master.
Happy Weekend! I’m Cole Wagoner, I’ve spent the better part of a decade being obsessed with food and cooking, and have worked for multiple culinary brands over the last six years, from sous vide to barbecue and grilling, and anything in between!
I live in Alabama, but I’m also a big Duck fan. There’s nothing better than good eats and college football on a Saturday, so we are throwing down an epic all-day grilling “menu” for you to enjoy for this 8 p.m. local kick. Get outside while temps are still reasonable, fire up that grill, grab a beverage, and let’s have a Saturday!
These are all simple grilled meats, and can be done on charcoal, gas, pellet, etc! Heck, you can even cook these inside if you don’t have an outdoor cooking space.
We start out with breakfast, to set the base, and nothing gets me excited for a day of games like some amazing tacos. This recipe is inspired by my friend Matt Pittman at Meat Church (but he’s a ‘Bama fan…).
When cooking big meals like this, I am a big fan of store bought salsas, condiments, etc. There are high-quality options that save a ton of time. For these tacos, we are using crushed up Hot Cheetos (I know, I know…WEIRD!) to finish the dish. They provide the perfect spicy and crunchy finish to the tender thin-sliced steak, salsa and crema. Here’s what ya need!
Steak Tacos with Avocado Salsa, Crema, and Hot Cheetos
6 Flour tortillas
1 lb sirloin steak (or steak of your choice)
Salt and pepper to taste
Avocado Salsa Verde
Mexican Crema or Sour Cream
Hot Cheetos, crushed
Cilantro and lime to garnish
Season your steak with salt and pepper, and place on a hot grill, 450°-500°F. Cook to your desired doneness. 130°F for medium rare, 140°F for medium, and 145°F for medium-well.
When steak is done, rest for 5 minutes.
While steak is resting, warm tortillas on grill for 30 seconds.
Thinly slice steak, layer on warm tortilla, top with salsa and crema.
Finish with cilantro and a squeeze of lime!
Sheet Pan Adobo Grilled Chicken Nachos w/ Alabama White Sauce
After you get a couple tacos in ya, we can prep that big graze tray. And my favorite graze tray is loaded nachos. We’re gonna marinate some chicken thighs in adodo sauce, and then grill them up, top ‘em with two kinds of cheese, and then add a local favorite down here in Huntsville — is it even college football if I don’t interject the SEC? JK — Alabama White Sauce! This is a mayo based tangy sauce that goes great on chicken, and is the perfect capper for these ‘chos.
1 bag of tortilla chips
1 lb chicken thighs, boneless skinless
1 can chipotles in adobo
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 oz Shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz Cotija cheese
Alabama White Sauce (store bought or homemade if unavailable) https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/big-bob-gibsons-bar-b-q-white-sauce-363308)
The night before, or at least 1-2 hours before cooking, take the can of chipotles in adobo, remove all but 2-3 of the peppers depending on your spiciness tolerance (the more peppers you leave in the adobo, the hotter it will be). Add the remaining peppers and all of the sauce to a small bowl, and add olive oil. Blend or mash to a paste. Place chicken and this marinade in a bag or bowl.
Heat your grill to 450-500°F. Place chicken on grill, and cook 5-6 minutes per side, until internal temp is 175°F.
While chicken is cooking, spread chips out on a sheet pan. Add ¾ of your cheddar cheese on top of the chips.
When chicken is done, dice chicken, and spread on top. Add the remaining cheeses and salsa verde.
Place sheet pan of nachos back on grill for 2-3 minutes to melt cheeses and warm chips.
Drizzle with Alabama White Sauce to finish and serve!
Salt & Pepper pork steaks
Okkkkk, so that’s been a lot of food! But it’s a longggg day. We need dinner. And in today’s economy, the best value at the butcher is the pork steak. Cut from the pork shoulder, this is the cut that normally gets turned into pulled pork, but we are slicing 1-1.5” thick slices, and grilling them until they turn SO tender it rivals the juiciest ribeye you’ve ever had. We’re getting close to kickoff here, so we are going to keep it super simple. Salt, pepper, and just a splash of soy sauce as it cooks for an extra layer of flavor!
Pork steaks, 1-1.5” thick
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Season pork steak with salt and pepper.
Heat grill to 450°F-500°F. Cook pork steak over the hottest part of the grill until internal temp is 175°F. This is pretty well done for pork, but this cut will benefit as the fat renders and this will be super tender with a steaky meaty bite!
During the last few minutes of the cook, baste with the soy sauce!
Remove, rest a few minutes, and enjoy!
Hope you all enjoy the food, football, and trash talk among all the Stanford fans! You can find me on socials, mostly IG and Twitter at @colewagoner.
— Cole Wagoner
Now I know what I’m doing with my Sunday. Thanks to Cole for sharing his food ideas. Make sure you follow The I-5 Corridor on Instagram Saturday where Cole’s going to be taking over and sharing his game day grilling ideas.
See you all Saturday night, where I’ll be covering Oregon Stanford from Autzen.
— Tyson Alger
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Do you deliver?
To my boat at Pleasant Harbor Marina in Hood Canal of Washington state?
Tips include free beer, slobber kisses from my chocolate lab, Sable, and outstanding company of a die-hard Duck.
Honor, Duty, Pond,
Johnnie the K
Way to go Cole! The kind of crossover I like to see!