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Mini Italian Sandwiches with Garlic Aioli – Tailgating Recipes Version 5

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I’ve decided to finish this week of tailgating recipes on an easy note. Not that the other recipes aren’t super easy, but you really don’t get any easier than a good sandwich. I really like sandwiches for tailgating. I especially like the mini versions of sandwiches. This gives your guests the chance to chow down on the other great dishes that you will undoubtedly have at your tailgate =). These sandwiches can either be made ahead of time or fixed up once you get to the tailgate. This also makes them a great food for a tailgate. Spread them with some pesto and garlic aioli and you really have yourself a special bite-sized treat. These mini Italian sandwiches are the way to go with any get together. You can really get creative with them and make them anyway you please! I love the idea of having a beer paired theme for a tailgate. This keeps your guests who aren’t super interested in football, but interested in the tailgate that goes along with football something to get excited about. Next time you throw a tailgate, whether it’s from the back of your truck or from the comfort of your own home, try beer pairing on for size!






Fun Facts and Opinions:

1. I like the idea of using store-bought pesto for this recipe. There are some really great ones out there, but if you would like to make your own, then sure be my guest! This is especially ok if you have a crazy amount of herbs (primarily basil) that you need to get rid of. Any type of pesto that you decide to use will be A-OK.

2. The types of meat you decide to use is totally up to you. Mortadella, Salami and Turkey just happen to be three of my favorite types of cold cuts, but use what you please! I won’t tell anyone. I also suggest keeping an eye on what’s on sale. Cold cuts can get expensive, and you don’t want to completely overdo it for a tailgate. Most people will probably be slightly intoxicated anyway!

3. I like the idea of using mini sandwich rolls (or slider buns) for this recipe. You can certainly make these sandwiches in “tea sandwich” form or “large sandwich” form. I think that the “large sandwich” form can become very filling for most people which is why I like to go the “mini” route. A panini-style would also be ok, but if you want to stay out of the kitchen or you don’t want to spend the whole time cooking at your tailgate, then I suggest going the “cold” route. =)

So I decided to go extreme for this beer pairing and go with Bear Republic’s Racer X Double IPA. I love this beer, and anytime we can get our hands on a bottle then it’s a very good day. This is rare however. I feel like here in Colorado it’s very difficult to get your hands on some. This double IPA is S-P-E-C-T-A-C-U-L-A-R in every sense of the word. It’s perfectly malty and perfectly hoppy and it really compliments these sandwiches. I would not however suggest supplying this brew for all of your guests. You may go broke in the process. Do what Zach and I do, buy a couple of bottles and split amongst your guests. Tasters are the best way to celebrate great beers without having to spend a fortune. We don’t want to break the bank!

Happy Thursday everyone! Saturday I will have a compilation of all our great tailgating recipes with the brews to match. See you all then!






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I’m the voice, author, creator, and photographer behind Cooking and Beer. We started things about 10 years ago and Cooking and Beer has morphed and grown into what it is today: providing hundreds of recipes to thousands of people.

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Hello! I'm Justine.

I’m a blogger and web developer from the beautiful state of Oklahoma, where my loving husband, two adorable kids, and two mischievous dogs keep me on my toes 24/7. My idea of heaven includes endless summer days, getting lost in a good book, and whipping up some delicious homemade bread.


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