The beginning of fall is always bittersweet for me, because I love summer with all my heart. The silver lining to this new season, though, is that fall equals the return of football, which equals daydrinking, snacking, and of course, tailgating!
I love tailgating. Lounging outside in the sun, downing beer, and chowing down on indulgent snacks? Hell yeah. Now that I’m a Texas transplant, I have fully committed to the southern tailgate lifestyle, and I am here to tell you it is way more intense than anything I experienced in Washington. Here in Austin, a city with no pro sports teams, college football reigns supreme. It doesn’t matter if you attended UT or not, on game days you proudly sport all the burnt orange you can muster and hook ’em horns with the best of ’em. My boyfriend, Rob, is a born-and-raised Austinite and a huuuuge Longhorns supporter with a reserved tailgate spot and season tickets to all the games, so I knew it was important to make a strong “I’m committed to this, y’all!” statement among the other fans at my first UT tailgate.
Mulling over all the traditional choices got a bit tedious. Chips, queso, pulled pork, chili, salsa… I couldn’t make up my mind and didn’t want to just settle for one of those cliché (albeit delicious, don’t get me wrong!) choices. Suddenly it dawned one me: why not combine all my favorite fatty football foods in one epic dish?! If people can do that with Mexican food, why couldn’t I do that with Southern food?! And thus, the Southern Seven-Layer Dip was born.
Southern Seven-Layer Dip
I realize I’m not really doing anything to help fight the stereotype that people in Texas plow through huge portions of unhealthy, meat-laden foods, but whatever. This is a mouth-watering combination of everything that makes tailgating food great. I painstakingly planned the order of my layers out to preserve freshness, flavor and texture. You can use your favorite brand and/or recipe for each of the components, and feel free to select your dipping vehicle of choice, although I highly recommend serving this with freshly-baked biscuits (so you can have a Southern sandwich!) and sturdy tortilla chips.
Get out a bigass bowl, preferably clear so you can see all the beautiful, artery-destroying layers, annnnnd….
From the bottom to the top:
7. 1 can baked beans
6. 2c pulled pork
5. 1c spicy barbecue sauce
4. 2c macaroni & cheese
3. 1c queso
2. 2c coleslaw
1. 1c crunched-up jalapeño chips
Bring this to your tailgate, Sunday Funday, whatever, and watch yourself become the most popular person at the party. This dip isn’t the most classy or the most attractive to eat, and it’s definitely not the most photogenic. But you know what? Mission accomplished, because it tastes like all the football season guilty-please eats we know and love.