High-class tailgate

Costco comes to the rescue and helps one lovely lady put together a high-class tailgate with little expense and even less effort. Seriously, your mind will be blown by what she was able to put together. Come see…

Have you ever committed to hosting a get-together and then as the day approaches… kind of wish that you hadn’t? You know, the days get busier than you think they’ll be and there just isn’t enough time to properly prep for your event? This happened to me this week.

My husband’s birthday was quickly nearing, so this wasn’t just any old event I could cancel at the last minute (not that I would do that, but still). I had planned an outing with about a dozen of our friends and promised to provide all of the food.

The plan? We were tailgating before a concert. (I’d tell you who we went to see, but then you all may judge our taste in performers. The said performer is a talented fellow but incredibly tactless. His poor mouth just has no filter. Anyway, enough of that.)

In no time at all, it was the morning of the event. I had no food. I had no plan. And, I had a busy day and was not sure how I was going to pull it off, short of a McDonald’s run.

In desperation, I called a friend with a Costco membership and hightailed my way to Hull Street.

I was able to buy EVERYTHING I needed for a high-class tailgate party for 12 people. And

  • It took me 45 minutes to get through the store.
  • I spent 150 bucks (this included booze).
  • At-home prep time lasted about an hour.
  • There was NO cooking involved.

The menu, you ask?

As far as the beer and wine, I bought a variety pack of Samuel Adams (25 bottles) and two 1 1/2 liter bottles of wine, one red and one white. When we got to the concert, we broke out the drinks so that I could set up the food… which always keeps people happy, right?

I wanted some kind of sandwich, but I didn’t want the ready-made Cubans Costco sells. I opted for two 2 pound bags of marinated and precooked Beef Steak strips (these were from Premier Selections). Costco bakes all of their own breads fresh every morning, so I picked up a big bag of small dinner rolls, too.

When I got home, I whipped up a horseradish sauce (mayo, horseradish, lemon juice), slathered it on the rolls, and finished it with a few pieces of the steak and some banana peppers. Guys and girls alike devoured these little steak sandwiches and that is one of the best food compliments of all, as far as I’m concerned.

Costco has the mother-load of dips and spreads. I chose three: a bruschetta, a Greek-style tzatziki yogurt dip, and Sabra hummus. I decided to make these in to a self service bar of sorts. For the bottoms, I supplied a bag of Nonni’s Panetini (oven baked Italian toast, and they were already flavored with garlic and Parmesan), some multi-grain tortilla chips, and a bag of pretzels. For a non-carb option to dip, I picked up a huge bag of red, yellow, and orange peppers, and sliced them up at home. These were so pretty spread out on a tray.

Strawberries are great right now, so I grabbed a bunch of them, washed them, and just set them out. No need for a fancy and laborious fruit salad. These were perfect.

I did this with a huge bag of pistachios, too — just popped them in to a bowl and let people pick at them.

Frozen shrimp was next on the meal plan. I picked up a bag of frozen and peeled shrimp, let them thaw through the afternoon, and served them up simply with a side of cocktail sauce. These were gone in no time, and I literally defrosted and dumped them in to a bowl — a pretty rewarding way to feed people!

If that’s not enough seafood for you, check this out. For six bucks a pop, you can get a sixteen piece tray of fresh sushi, complete with ginger, wasabi, and soy. I picked up three of these. Admittedly, it’s not the finest sushi we can find, but it was pretty and tasted fresh and was the right price.

The only difficult thing about this party for me was the fact that it was an on-the-road gig. If I had simply been at home, the logistics would have been a non issue. AND, to complete the picture for you – I was extremely modest in my amounts and money spent but still came home with LOTS of leftovers (one bag of steak was left, one sushi tray was left, half of every bag of chips, and half of each dip-container).

So, invite some friends over to eat soon, and do it with ease. Take it on a tailgate or serve it in the comfort of your own home. And thank you, Costco, I never knew you were so dependable.

  • error

    Report an error

Kelly Blanchard

Kelly Blanchard loves thinking about, preparing, consuming, and serving good food. Believing that life is to short to eat the same stuff over and over, she loves to test new eats on her friends and family. Kelly loves her coffee-addicted hubbie, her two little blonde-haired babes, all things sweet, black tshirts, and the color pink.

There are 2 reader comments. Read them.