Growing up in Texas, I was thrown into a world of barbecues, tailgates and football. Lots of football. Straight out of college I was a marketing director for the Sun Bowl association. A non-profit organization the holds annual sporting events such as the Sun Bowl collegiate game, the Sun Classic Basketball Tournament and the College All-America Golf Classic. I had the best time of my life there. I had the opportunity to meet so many volunteers, business owners and fans during the three years I was there.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I knew nothing about sports but I loved the comradery of the season and the work I was involved in. It included event management, hosting and lots of marketing. One of those events was organizing a giant street party the night before the game. I dealt with hard hats, fireworks, scaffolding, tents, marching bands and lots of fans traveling in from out of town in their RV’s. Many would spend the night and grab a good parking spot for the game the next day tailgating for more than 24 hours. I had the chance to visit with them. Hear their traveling and sports adventures and enjoy their food. Yes! All the food.
Tailgate food was the best. The aroma of barbecue on the grill, chili stewing and corn roasting was just some of the food served by the fans. One dish in particular was ranchero beans with chorizo, green chilies, and roasted tomato. All I remember was a steaming styrofoam bowl being handed to me and it was heaven after a long week of no sleep and high adrenaline.
Since then, I’ve recreated the recipe of ranchero beans every year for tailgates and homegates, and yes, I know so much more about sports now. Serve it with home made tortilla chips and a generous sprinkle of cotija cheese. I guarantee that this will be part of your football party year after year.
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 2 large poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
- ¾ cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1 package Cacique longaniza, casing removed
- 2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 ½ cups Cacique Queso Cotija, crumbled
- In a medium pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add chopped poblano and onion. Cook for 3 minutes until slightly tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large sauté pan, cook chorizo over medium heat for 7 minutes, breaking up the meat to cook evenly. Drain any excess grease.
- Add beans to chorizo, mashing a few times with a potato masher. Add onion mixture and stir in tomatoes and cilantro.
- Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer uncovered for 12 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat, sprinkle with cheese and serve with tortilla chips.