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Tailgate Recipe: More Than One Salmon Recipe to Elevate Your Tailgate

Break away from the traditional hot dogs and hamburgers and elevate your tailgate to a true dining experience by including salmon on the menu.

Each salmon recipe included in our list is a mouthwatering example of how versatile — and delicious — this fish can be when cooked to perfection.

Your guest will appreciate your out-of-the-box thinking when you serve up one of these flavorful and interesting salmon-based recipes. In fact, it might just take their minds off the game for a moment.

Salmon Recipes from Appetizers to Entrees

Salmon isn’t just for the main dish. There are many incredible appetizers that use fresh and smoked salmon to add flavor — and interest — to your game day spread.

These recipes can be assembled quickly — or even made ahead — to help cut down on your stress level the day of your tailgate.

Smoked Salmon Dip

The quintessential salmon dip gets a lively boost from horseradish and capers for a tangy twist on the traditional.

Make this dip the night before and refrigerate. Then, just remove from the fridge and serve on game day.

Ingredients:

8 oz. smoked salmon – finely chopped

½ cup crème Fraiche

½ cup red onion, finely chopped

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp capers

1 tsp horseradish

Chopped chives, for garnish

crackers, crudité, for serving

Directions:

  • Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • Scrape into a serving bowl and garnish with chives.
  • Serve with crackers and chopped vegetables for dipping.

Seriously, what could be simpler? This pulls together in no time, yet the melding of salmon, horseradish, onions, and capers with crème Fraiche makes it seem like you slaved for hours.

This recipe makes about two cups, but this will go fast, so doubling is recommended.

Teriyaki Salmon Bites

Another scrumptious appetizer, these little bite-sized finger foods pack a lot of flavor into a small package.

To regulate spice levels, add or subtract the amount of red chili you use in the recipe. You can even make two marinades — one spicy, one not — to accommodate all of your guests.

Just be sure to label which bites are hot and which are mild to prevent game-day mishaps.

For more time savings, you can make and marinate the salmon the night before for quicker assembly on game day.

Ingredients:

for 8 servings

2 fillets salmon

2 oz honey

1 handful sesame seed

Marinade/Sauce:

½ cup soy sauce

½ lemon, juiced

1 oz. ginger, chopped

1 red chili, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 pinch sea salt

Garnish:

sesame seed, to taste

spring onion, to taste

red chili, to taste

Directions:

  • Cut the salmon into bite-size cubes. Set aside.
  • Prepare the marinade by mixing the soy sauce, lemon juice, ginger, chili, garlic, and sea salt together.
  • Mix the salmon into the marinade, cover, and marinate for 15-30 minutes.
  • In a large pan with a little oil, pour in the marinade and add the honey and sesame seeds.
  • Mix together until it starts to bubble and gets thicker/saucier.
  • Add the salmon and fry for a couple of minutes on each side.
  • Take off the heat and garnish with more sesame seeds, spring onion, red chili, and cocktail sticks.

Not only do these morsels taste marvelous, but they look beautifully presented on a serving platter. They’re a great way to add a special touch to any game day celebration.

Salmon Tailgating Sandwiches

And who says salmon doesn’t work for sandwiches?

These are savory, flavorful, and filling — just what you need to satisfy your game day crowd. Since salmon is a fattier fish, it doesn’t take a large amount to provide a filling meal.

Choose your favorite substantial bread in which to tuck your salmon fillets. The crunchier, the better, as it will contrast nicely with the soft, delicious salmon.

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh or frozen skinless salmon, tuna or halibut fillet, cut 1 inch thick
1 cup dry white wine or vegetable broth
1 small Vidalia or other sweet onion, cut into thin wedges (3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 sprigs fresh oregano
1 eight-to-twelve-ounce loaf ciabatta bread, four individual ciabatta rolls, or four individual French rolls
Olive oil
Lemon wedges

Directions:

  • Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish. In a large skillet or fish poacher, combine wine or broth, onion, salt, pepper, and oregano.
  • Bring to boiling; add salmon. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
  • Use a slotted spatula to transfer salmon and onion from cooking liquid to a shallow dish. Discard cooking liquid.
  • Cover and refrigerate salmon and onion for 1 hour or until chilled.
  • Cut bread loaf into quarters, if using. Slice each quarter horizontally in half (if the bread is very thick, hollow top half slightly).
  • Drizzle cut sides lightly with olive oil. Remove salmon from the refrigerator. Cut salmon fillet into 4 equal pieces.
  • Place a piece of salmon on bottom of bread. Add top piece of bread.
  • Wrap securely in plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to four hours. (If you like, the salmon, relish and bread can be packed separately and assembled just before eating.) Serve with lemon wedges.

Since you can refrigerate these up to four hours, they’re easy to make at home and transport to a stadium or other venue, if you’re partying away from home.

If you’re cooking at your house, you can make and serve these to order. Don’t forget to set out extra condiments so guests can customize their sandwiches to taste.

Maple Mustard Grilled Salmon Recipe

Here it is — the mother lode of salmon entrees for your next tailgate.

One of the fastest and easiest ways to serve up salmon for your hungry crowd, this grilled salmon recipe will be the highlight of your next party.

This recipe features a tangy-sweet sauce that you make right on the grill, meaning it’s easy to take — and serve — away from home.

With few ingredients and a simple cooking process, this is one of the most tailgate-friendly salmon recipes out there.

For the Glaze:

1/3 cup maple syrup

3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Fish:

4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets

Vegetable oil, for oiling the grill and the fish

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  • Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium-high (about 375°F to 425°F).
  • Meanwhile, place all of the glaze ingredients in a medium oven-safe frying pan and whisk until combined.
  • When the grill is ready, place the frying pan on the grill, cover the grill, and cook until the glaze just comes to a boil, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Using a hot pad or dry towel, remove the pan from the grill; set aside.
  • Pat the salmon dry with paper towels. Brush both sides of the fillets with vegetable oil and season both sides generously with salt and pepper.
  • Rub the grill grates with a towel dipped in oil. Place the salmon on the grill skin-side down, cover the grill, and cook undisturbed until grill marks appear, and the skin is starting to crisp about two to three minutes.
  • Using a flat spatula, carefully flip the fillets over and brush the skin with some of the glazes. Cover the grill and continue to cook until the salmon is just opaque in the center, about 2 to 4 minutes more.
  • Transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately, passing the remaining glaze on the side.

To make this even easier, you can make the glaze a day in advance and just bring it with you to the tailgate site. If you’re cooking at home, just pop it on the grill while cooking.

If you like, add a touch of elegance to your presentation with a nice parsley garnish around the edges of the platter.

What’s Your Favorite Salmon Recipe?

We’ve given you quite a selection of recipes featuring the savory goodness of salmon. Choose your favorite or make several — salmon is a filling and delicious addition to any tailgate party.

Our un-fussy recipes prove that it can be as easy as any other kind of meat to prepare and serve for a crowd. Some can even be made ahead — freeing you up to socialize with your guests.

Best of all, adding salmon to your tailgating menu adds an element of fun — and an elegant surprise — to your game day festivities.

 

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