Fittest loser
Article updated: 10/9/2013 4:28 PM

Beets from Harper College, havarti cheese from Green Co. tourism board, turkey legs and orange marmalade

Jeff Zilch   MUG

Jeff Zilch MUG

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Jeff Zilch

Tailgating. It is God's way of making games even more fun. When I think of tailgating I think of Bears, bacon, beer and beets. Well maybe I didn't originally think of beets, but I do now. Until this competition I had never even had a beet. But these things are delicious. When we go tailgate we want to have fun and eat well. That can mean doing some prep work beforehand or making things simple and with great flavors. I wanted to come up with some recipes that people could use and that we can see on grills on Sunday mornings. The ingredients we been given had some amazing flavors. Sweet, earthy, smooth, distinct and they all had to be grilled and easy to prepare. I hope people like the recipes and give beets a chance.

Lori Wiktorek

This challenge was about "firsts" for me. I have never cooked turkey legs, much less on the grill, never cooked with fresh beets, never tasted orange marmalade, never been limited to using a grill only, and have never been tailgating.

The Grilled Spam Sliders idea came from my boss, who insisted that grilling Spam was wonderful ... my first thought was "no way, Spam isn't getting into my recipes." After inquiring what other people thought, I found that my husband had fond childhood memories of his mother making crispy fried Spam, and several other friends of ours agreed that Spam was very "retro." I had made the warm beet and apple orange marmalade slaw already and loved it, and wanted to keep the recipe, but I needed to find something to put with it, so I decided to come up with a Spam Slider. We just happened to have a can of Spam at home in the pantry (belongs to my husband, not me!) After taste-testing the Grilled Spam Sliders with the Havarti cheese, I knew on the first bite that this was going to make it as one of my recipes. It's crispy, salty, and goes well with the creamy cheese.

The Grilled Game Day Pizza is one of my favorite recipes to make all the time at home in the oven. ... but I've never cooked pizza on a grill either -- so this was my first for that as well. It came out so crispy, I think I'm going to make pizza on the grill more often.

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