Just in time for the Ravens' opening day comes David Joachim's The Tailgater's Cookbook (Broadway Books, $14.95), full of recipes and tips for the fans who like to feast in the parking lot before the game.
Joachim, who became a celebrity with his previous book, A Man, A Can, A Plan, provides not only cooking instructions, but a game plan for how to execute each recipe from the back of the car. With each dish there are instructions for what to do before you go to the game and what to do once you get there.
Interspersed among the 90 recipes are football, basketball and NASCAR trivia. The Ravens are mentioned twice, once in a section on how teams got their names and again in a feature on the Ravens' fan club, the SWAT team, which uses a former snack-delivery truck for its tailgating parties.
The recipes are divided into unconventional chapters: "In the Cooler" (for dips, salads, sandwiches), "On the Grill" (grilled foods), "Out of the Pot" (stews, chili, side dishes made in pans and skillets), "From the Thermos" (cold and hot drinks) and "In the Bag" (dishes made at home and carried to the game).
The dishes range from mundane chocolate chip cookies to an ambitious deep-fried turkey. These are not highbrow recipes; Joachim is not above using ready-made pie crusts, pizza dough and coleslaw.
The directions at times need tweaking. What would have been a perfectly good recipe for grilled calzones fell apart, literally, because the calzones were too large to turn easily with a spatula on the grill.
The Tomato-Olive Goat-Cheese Tart recipe did not say to chop the olives, which would have been preferable to using them whole as directed.
But Joachim's Grilled Corn Salad With Honey-Lime Dressing was a delicious recipe, and would be as suitable on the family dinner table as it would be on the tailgate.
Joachim's Grilled Corn Salad With Honey-Lime Dressing
5 ears grilled corn on the cob
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 small cucumber, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon mint
Before you go (or when you get there if you'll be grilling): Grill corn in the husk on medium-high heat until charred all over, about 15 minutes, turning now and then. When cool enough to handle, pull back husks and stand ears up on cutting board with fat end down. Cut straight down, slicing kernels off cobs.
Put lime juice in medium bowl, then gradually whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream until fully incorporated. Whisk in honey, salt and pepper. Stir in corn, onion, cucumber, bell pepper and mint, breaking up strips of corn. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator or cooler up to 3 days.
Tip: You can use boiled corn if a grill is not available.
Per serving: 169 calories; 3 grams protein; 10 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 20 grams carbohydrate; 2 grams fiber; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 204 milligrams sodium