I don’t care if you are a South Carolina Gamecock fan or not. You have to appreciate the way these fans tailgate, grill out and enjoy their football games. In fact, Gamecock fans and Chattanooga tailgaters share a common link – Trains. Yep, trains.
In 1990 a longtime South Carolina fan and his wife, with a business near campus, decided that they hated the look of worn out old train tracks which ran alongside of the stadium. His idea to spruce things up and make use of the tracks helped create one if the neatest forms of tailgating in the country. They decided to renovate cabooses and update them with everything a football fan would desire. They placed the cabooses on the cleaned up tracks and created a one of a kind tailgating experience.
If you are going to tailgate, why not do it inside of a private train caboose with running water, a living room, big screen TV’s, cable, air conditioning and heat for cold days while being located only a few short steps from the grid iron action.
Today there are 22 Carolina “Cockabooses” located next to the stadium. Each caboose is stationary so rentals are available for home and away games. Can’t make the drive to an away game, why not party in your own caboose?
In honor of the Carolina Gamecocks and the Cockabooses this week’s recipe is a time honored camping dinner with a South Carolina tailgate twist. It’s a Cockaboose Hobo Dinner.
In a nutshell, a Hobo dinner is a meal cooked in foil over a campfire traditionally containing meat and assorted vegetables or baked beans with available seasonings. For our purpose, I’m moving that to the grill and adding some French bread deli rolls. Use what works best for you and theme it towards your team. Of course, you can also use the oven. Just make sure you use a cookie sheet to catch any drippings.
Cockaboose Hobo Dinner Meatball Po Boy
For the Meatballs
1 pound ground turkey (or beef)
Salt and pepper
Flavored bread crumbs (crushed croutons)
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and form into meatballs. Or, use your favorite meatball recipe.
For the mix
Sliced or chopped onions
Sliced of chopped carrots
Sliced or chopped potatoes
Diced red or yellow peppers
Quarter cut corn on the cob
Seasonings of your choice
Directions: Use heavy duty foil. Place 3-4 meatballs in the center of a foil square. Add small equal portions of the mix ingredients. Season as you desire. Carefully fold the foil up to make a sturdy packet. Double the foil if needed. Place the packet on the grill and cook with medium high heat with the lid closed for about forty five minutes. When the potatoes are tender the dinner is done. Heat French bread on the grill and place the meat balls, onions and any desired items from the pack on the bun, top with cheese if desired and other condiments. You can also use traditional Po Boy toppings such as thin sliced lettuce, tomatoes and more. Serve hot with remaining hobo packet veggies on the side.
Next Week – Kent’s Tailgate Recipe Tour cooks up a dish for Florida Fans.
Kent Whitaker is a culinary writer and cookbook author living in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is the winner of the Emeril Live BBQ contest and winner of an American Authors Association Gold medal. Mr. Whitaker’s books are in bookstores nationwide and are available online. Visit him online at www.thedeckchef.com or twitter.com/theKentWhitaker