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Keep your crowd pleased with a variety of game-day classics
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Keep your crowd pleased with a variety of game-day classics

Break out your cookware, and get ready for a year’s worth of basketball madness condensed into less than two weeks’ time.

Where many high-profile sporting events offer only a few hours of excitement, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament offers fans 67 action-packed games before a winner is crowned. Between March 17 and 29, 64 of those games will be played, offering numerous opportunities to prepare the perfect game-day meal.

In 2019 no state had more teams in the tournament than Virginia, and no team fared better than the national champion, the Virginia Cavaliers. This year, show off your state pride with recipes featuring Virginia-grown products. They are sure to excite your guests from the opening tip-off to the final buzzer.

Mexican-Style Beef Sausage Nachos

For sausage:

1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1-1½ teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1-1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1-1½ teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
½ cup salsa
4-ounce can diced mild green chiles, drained


For nachos:

8 ounces tortilla chips
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1¾ cups shredded Mexican-style cheese blend
2 cups thinly sliced lettuce
1 cup diced tomatoes


In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for the beef sausage, and mix lightly but thoroughly. Heat large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add sausage mixture to skillet, and cook 8-10 minutes, breaking sausage into crumbles and stirring occasionally.

Add salsa and green chiles to beef sausage mixture, and cook 2-3 minutes until heated thoroughly.

Preheat oven broiler on high. On large foil-lined baking sheet, spread chips into a single layer. Spread sausage evenly over chips. Top with beans and cheese. Broil 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted and begins to brown. Remove from oven, and top with lettuce and tomatoes. If desired, garnish with avocado, cilantro, olives, sour cream, jalapenos and lime wedges.

Source: Virginia Beef Council


Classic Barbecue

5- to 6-pound pork shoulder or loin
½ cup butter
1 cup white vinegar
½ cup ketchup
dash of hot sauce
juice of ½ fresh lemon
1 tablespoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 large chopped onion
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon chopped garlic


In a slow cooker, cover pork with water and heat on low overnight or on high all day. Drain, and let the meat cool. Discard all visible fat, and then chop pork into small pieces. Return the pork to the slow cooker.

In a medium saucepan, mix remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes. Pour over pork, and stir. Turn slow cooker temperature to low until ready to serve.

Source: Chef Tammy Brawley, Real Virginia

Honey Chicken Wings

½ cup honey
⅓ cup soy sauce
¼ cup chili sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
8 drops red pepper sauce
3 pounds chicken wings or drumettes


Preheat oven to 350°.

In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, chili sauce, garlic salt, pepper and red pepper sauce.

Arrange chicken in a single layer in a 9”x 13” baking pan, and pour the sauce over the chicken. Rotate the chicken pieces to completely coat with sauce.

Bake for one hour, turning chicken once. Cool slightly and serve.

Source: National Honey Board

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