Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steelers Homegating

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steelers Homegating

Article excerpt

Tailgating in Kansas City is out. But "homegating" in Pittsburgh will work for Sunday's Steelers game.

Tradition means your halftime buffet might include kolbasi, hot sausage hoagies, chili, pierogis, wings, and chips and dips.

No, never change that winning game plan. But you can add to it.

How about a crowd-pleasing Tater Tot Quiche? If a French quiche Lorraine and an American loaded baked potato had a baby, it would be a tater tot quiche. It's an easy-to-assemble savory pie chock-full of fried potatoes, crisp bacon, creamy eggs and molten cheese. If you want to be really bad, serve slices topped with sour cream.

Here are some tips for success:

* Cook the bacon on a rack in a 400-degree oven for crispy, no-fuss, spatter-free, hands-free cooking.

* The crust is easy. Just moosh up tater tots with cheese and seasonings.

* Grate the cheese from a bar of, say, Kraft brand sharp cheddar; avoid pre-grated cheese.

* Strain the egg filling into the crust using a fine-mesh strainer to catch egg strands that toughen when cooked.

* Use scallions in the winter, chives in the summer; they are not optional.

* Swaps: For an Italian version, swap crumbled sausage for the bacon, grated Parm or mozza for the cheddar cheese; for TexMex, crumbled chorizo, chiles and Jack cheese; for veggie, caramelized onions and Gruyere cheese.

There are few occasions when such a calorie-loaded dish is perfect, and a football tailgate or "homegate" party is one of them. For a successful bash, haul out your Steelers gear and show your colors. Need more? The Strip District stores have tons of hats, jackets and tchotchkes to wear. But for a grand choice of all NFL party and kitchen and wine baubles, go to www.nflshop.com/Homegating.

I recently scored a platform-spike-high-heel-Steeler-logo-shoe wine bottle holder ($36). (If only it was a wearable!) And a fleece "throw" that does double duty as a tablecloth ($20) or a cozy wrap for watching the game on the couch.

Our job is done here. We're ready. Go Steelers.

RECIPE TATER TOT QUICHE

PG tested

pound bacon, preferably thick-sliced

3 cups frozen tater tots, preferably Ore-Ida brand, thawed

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

teaspoon salt, divided

cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

4 large eggs

1 cups crme frache or light cream

cup chopped fresh chives or thinly sliced scallions

cup grated cheddar cheese

Cook bacon: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. …

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