Tailgating Fun – with Chef Tom Mullally of Strand Catering

By Leslie Moore

“I enjoy tailgating,” Chef Tom Mullally said as we began our conversation. “Good food, good wine, good friends – it’s a unique way to celebrate and root for your favorite team.” I asked Chef Tom for some fun new recipes that we could all try for our next tailgating party – or just a day at home with friends watching the game.

Chef Tom has come up with a few recipes that are not only delicious, but easy to prepare. “Everyone loves salted caramel, it’s so popular.” He continued, saying, “It doesn’t have to be complicated or upscale, it just has to be tasty; a few extra granules of sea salt and black pepper can bring it up from the okay factor to the wow factor.”

This hugely popular chef is originally from Boston, but has lived in the Myrtle Beach area for 25 years. He is a chef/instructor at the International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach, a part of Horry Georgetown Technical College, has a private catering business as well as providing private cooking classes!”

“I don’t want to intimidate people,” Chef Tom said about his recipes. “These are practical ideas that you’ll want to try. And remember, There is No Defeat, there is Only Defeat in No Longer Trying.”

“Cook and Eat Well my Friends!”

Bon Appetite! Enjoy this unique tailgating idea.

It’s time to plan your holiday parties – call Strand Catering at 843-446-2256 or email Chef Tom at cheftom@strand-catering.com. You may also book Chef Tom for private cooking lessons in your home.

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Squares – Makes About 24 Squares

For the Crust:

Cooking Spray, for Spraying the Foil

2 Sleeves (10 ounces) Graham Crackers

½ Cup Pecans

8 Tablespoons (1 stick) Salted Butter, Melted

1 ½ Tsp Vanilla Extract

3 – 8 ounce Packages of Cream Cheese, Softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 rectangular baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place the graham crackers and pecans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes crumbs. Add the butter and vanilla and pulse again until combined. Pour into the prepared pan and press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan.

For the Filling:

1 ½ Cups Granulated Sugar

1 ½ Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

4 Large Eggs

½ Cup Sour Cream

Beat the cream cheese, granulated sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, adding the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the sour cream and mix again. Pour the mixture into the crust, smooth the top and bake for 50 minutes. Turn off the oven and open the door, leaving the cheesecake to sit in the oven with the door open for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool for an hour.

For the Caramel Topping:

½ Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar

6 Tablespoons Salted Butter

One 14oz Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 Tablespoons Dark Corn Syrup

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Flaky Sea Salt, for Garnish

Add the brown sugar and butter to a pan, cook over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Add the condensed milk, corn syrup and vanilla and bring to a boil, stirring continuously.

Place a candy thermometer in the caramel mixture and continue to boil until the caramel reaches 225 degrees. Turn off the heat and let the caramel cool for about 5 minutes before pouring over the cheesecake. Allow to set for 2 hours, then cut into squares with a sharp knife. Arrange on a plate and garnish each square with a pinch of sea salt.

Smoked Potato Salad (4-5 Portions)

1lb – Medium Diced Yukon Gold Potatoes – Skin on

4-5 Pieces of Cooked, Diced Crispy Bacon

2 Shallots, Diced Small, Sautéed until Soft

2 Hard Boiled Eggs, Peeled without Shell

½ Cup Mayonnaise

1-2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

1-2 Tbsp Horseradish

Toss Diced Potatoes with a Splash of Salad Oil, Salt & Pepper. Roast at 425 degrees for 15-20 Minutes. Place Par-cooked Potatoes in a Smoker for 15-20 Minutes. Take Peeled Hard Boiled Eggs and Cut in Half, Lengthwise. Place in a Smoker for 10-15 Minutes. Cool & Small Dice. Once All the Ingredients Are Cooked, Place in A Bowl and Toss Together with Mayo, Dijon, and Horseradish. Season to Taste with Salt & Pepper

Italian Tacos (4 Portions)

Take 4, 3 ounce portions of cleaned chicken breast. Pound chicken thin with a meat tenderizer

Lightly season both sides of raw chicken.

Dredge in flour, then egg wash (2 whole eggs and 1 oz of half & half cream) and finally in Italian bread crumbs.

Sear breaded chicken in oil over medium high heat until both sides are golden brown and the chicken is cooked all the way thorough.

Take baked ziti or penne pasta, tossed with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. Place the warmed baked pasta, about 2 spoonfuls on the cooked breaded chicken breast. Heat on a grill if necessary. Fold the breaded chicken like a taco with the pasta mix in the middle — the breaded chicken breast acts as an “Italian Taco.”

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore

    Leslie Moore

    Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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