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updated: 10/10/2012 6:27 AM

Tailgate challenge: Ashland Sausage Co. Polish sausage, Geneva Spice House's Vulcan's Fire Salt and canned mandarin oranges

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Terri Edmunds: As I thought about this week's tailgate party theme, I decided my recipes had to be fairly easy in preparation and cooking without sacrificing balanced flavors and bold tastes ... and a meal where no utensils are required.

When my parents entertained, my mom would always make her famous meatballs with a wonderful sauce consisting of nothing more than beer and ketchup. So I adapted her recipe and added some additional ingredients to build bolder, more complex flavors for the kielbasa. But bold flavors can sometimes overwhelm the palette so I wanted to find a way to balance the spice from the Vulcan's Fire Salt. What better way to do this than with an aioli. My Kielbasa Blitz sandwich is unlike any sandwich you've tried before, offering layers of flavors that build upon one another.

But I didn't stop here. As I thought more about how to use the secret ingredients, I determined the best way to really highlight each was to find a food that would be the perfect canvas for spicy, and sweet. ... So I decided to use the fire salt to make a spicy popcorn, but I wanted to be a bit more creative and incorporate the mandarin oranges.

Finally, all this spice needs a cool finish to cleanse the palette so I created the Field Goal Watermelon Bites with a balsamic reduction and garnished with a mandarin orange segment and mint leaf for a refreshing finish.

Ron Nunes: I have cooked at numerous remote locations with only a grill under extreme conditions and realize the challenges and unpredictability of weather. The secret to tailgating is to accomplish as much prep work as you can at home so that when you are in a remote environment, all you have to do is fire up the grill and have fun. With my tailgate recipes the only ingredients besides utensils you will need on-site is salt, pepper and olive oil. This whole menu can be packed in a cooler and transported very easily.

The kebabs use colorful, seasonal peppers and fresh, firm pineapple chunks and they combine beautifully with the Polish sausage and grilled shrimp. The key is to make sure that the shrimp is cooked and that the vegetables are not burned so they have some crunch.

The orange glaze gives a very unexpected and necessary sweetness, adding just the right amount of spice with the Vulcan's Fire Salt. I was very surprised by the full flavor profile of the hot salt. Use it sparingly or it will overtake the whole dish; yet it has a back-end kick that will make you smile.

The mandarin orange slaw contains no mayonnaise; the sweet and saltiness of the mandarin oranges, nuts and vinegars make this a much-remembered tailgate sensation. The grilled flat bread is the perfect accompaniment, bridging traditional Asian flavors with Midwestern-style tailgating.

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