Winning Recipes for Game Day

These crowd-pleasing bites and timesaving tips will result in a hassle-free football fête.


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Football season is synonymous with (excessive) sipping and snacking. And we’re not talking about noshing on uninventive chips and dip, nor are we suggesting you spend hours in the kitchen tackling elaborate dishes for your tailgating extravaganza. That’s why we’ve collected these crowd-pleasing bites from Justin Warner, chef/owner of Do or Dine in Brooklyn, New York, and winner of The Next Food Network Star. His game-day creations require little advance prep and can be easily served in a parking lot or your packed living room.


Broccoli & “Cheese-y” Cheese Wontons

Courtesy Justin Warner, chef/owner of Do or Dine, Brooklyn, NY

“Make use of aluminum takeout containers by chucking them right on the grill as perfect vessels for heating up your wontons,” says Warner. “Heat them long enough for the wontons’ cheesy filling to melt.”

6 ounces fresh broccoli florets, chopped small
4 ounces goat cheese, softened
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
2 teaspoons parsley, minced
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
25–30 square wonton wrappers
1 egg white
3 tablespoons Robert Mondavi Private Selection Sauvignon Blanc
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 cups Canola oil, or more as needed

Moisten paper towels and wrap the broccoli florets with them. Microwave for 2 minutes, then add the florets to a mixing bowl with the cheeses, shallot, parsley and kosher salt. Using a wooden spoon, mix until thoroughly combined.

Next, place heaping teaspoons of the mixture in the center of each wonton wrapper. Fold the wonton into a triangle, and then fold the bottom corners up to make a crown shape. Repeat with the additional wonton wrappers. Brush some of the egg white on the edges of each wrapper and then place them in the refrigerator.

In a saucepan over medium heat, add soy sauce and Sauvignon Blanc and bring to a boil. Remove it from the heat and stir in the sugar. Refrigerate the sauce until you are ready to use it.

Add 2-inches’s worth of oil to a deep saucepan over 350°F heat. Working in small batches of 3 or 4, add the wontons. Fry until they’re golden brown, maintaining a temperature of 350°F. Remove the fried wontons and allow them to cool on a plate lined with paper towels. Dress wontons with sauce and serve. Makes 25–30 wontons.

Pour: The tangy acidity in Nobilo’s 2012 Regional Selection Sauvignon Blanc will cut through the richness of the melted cheese and fried wontons.


Sriracha Butter Wings

Courtesy Justin Warner, chef/owner of Do or Dine, Brooklyn, NY

“Don’t be afraid to use a grill like it’s a giant gas burner in your kitchen,” says Warner. “You can use pots and pans right on the grill to heat up sauces and sides.” Since the chicken in this recipe is partially cooked ahead of time, these wings come together quickly and easily on game-day.

24 chicken wings, cut into segments and tips removed
½ pound salted butter
½ cup Sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice

To partially cook the wings in advance, set a steamer basket over boiling water and steam the wings for fifteen minutes. Allow them to cool, and then wrap them and refrigerate.

In a small saucepan, combine the butter, Sriracha and lemon juice. Cook the mixture over a low heat until melted and uniform in consistency. Allow the sauce to cool, and then wrap and refrigerate it in the saucepot.

Preheat a gas grill to 350°F; if using charcoal, be sure briquettes are smoldering gently with no visible flames. Spread out the wings evenly on the grill, and cook them for 5–7 minutes per side. In the final 5 minutes of cooking, put the sauce in the pot directly on the grill to rewarm. When the wings have finished cooking, place them in a bowl or aluminum serving dish, and toss with the warmed Sriracha butter sauce. Makes 48 wings.

Pour: The light body and refreshing lemon notes of Ruffino's 2012 Lumina Pinot Grigio will temper the sriracha’s heat.


Grilled Double Cut Pork Chops with Coastal Crush BBQ Vinegar

Courtesy Justin Warner, Chef/Owner of Do or Dine, Brooklyn, NY

“Chances are you knew you were going to be tailgating a day or two before that big game, so use that time to amp up flavor by brining your meats,” says Warner.

6 double-cut pork chops, about 1 pound each
1 gallon plus 4 cups water
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup, plus ¼ cup, brown sugar, divided
1 tablespoon cloves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
2 cups Robert Mondavi Private Selection Coastal Crush Red wine
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons chipotle powder
Vegetable oil, for the grill grates

Place the pork chops in a plastic container or a foam cooler, along with a gallon of water. Add the salt, 1 cup of brown sugar, cloves, peppercorns and bay leaves to a saucepan filled with 4 cups of water, and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow it to cool, and then add it to the cooler of pork and water. Promptly refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

To prepare the vinegar sauce, combine the remaining ¼ cup of brown sugar, along with the wine, apple cider vinegar, mustard powder and chipotle powder, in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until it’s reduced by a quarter of the volume. Allow the vinegar sauce to cool, and transfer to a squirt bottle or similar vessel.

Preheat a gas grill to 350 degrees; if using charcoal, be sure briquettes are smoldering gently with no visible flames. Rub some vegetable oil on the grates. Remove the pork chops from the brine, and grill for 7 minutes on each side for medium rare, rotating them 90 degrees every 3½ minutes. (Adjust cooking time if you would like them cooked longer.) When cooked, allow the pork chops to rest for 5–6 minutes. Slice the pork off the bones, and then against the grain of the meat. Douse with vinegar, and serve. Serves 6.

Pour: Robert Mondavi’s Coastal Crush Red blend has flavors of juicy ripe strawberry, raspberry and a hint of chocolate that will stand up to the pork chop.

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