Tailgate Idea: Salsa That Will Please

Chef Noe Alcala shares his tailgating tips — with a little bit of spice

When prepping for a tailgate, it’s always important to remember two things: the duration of your tailgate and how many people are in your group. Why? One, for the obvious reason of knowing how much to buy in regards to ingredients and two, to make dishes that are not complicated and can feed a big crowd.
We love dips here at The Daily Meal, so we’re very keen on the idea of a delicious salsa being passed around the parking lot before the game. Also, grilled corn — it's both affordable and prep efficient —makes for a hit. These two Mexican staples will certainly do the trick, no matter the crowd. 

Chef Noe Alcala, executive chef of Hussong's Cantina & Taqueria at Mandalay Place in Las Vegas, is sharing tips and tricks for making a great salsa:

Tips and Ingredients:

* If you are starting from scratch, use fresh ingredients like tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic.

* When using a pre-prepared salsa, you can still add fresh ingredients to enhance the flavors.

* Fresh cilantro is a must, as it will add that final kick of flavor.

* Customize your salsa by adding lime juice, spices, extra pepper, grilled corn, or even fruit.

* Chips can range from a simple tortilla chip to Doritos or Fritos.

Note: If you have a premade salsa, jump to the last step and enhance it to fit your taste.
Dice ingredients. From here, it's your preference. You can grill it, boil it, or leave it raw. Just make sure all the ingredients have the same cooking method — if the salsa is grilled, make sure all of main ingredients are grilled (tomatoes, garlic, onions, and peppers). Next, you have the choice to either blend the ingredients or smash them for a chunkier texture. Once complete, feel free to add the extra ingredients that make the salsa your own.


Grilled Corn Street Style is a signature item at Hussong's Cantina, and is also one of the most simple to make.

Tips and Ingredients:

Corn: I prefer to use white sweet corn as it is tender with great flavor.

Butter: Any unsalted butter or substitute butter will work.

Mayonnaise: Your preference.
Cotija Cheese: A dry cheese that is easily accessible in most major stores.

Chile flakes: "Tajin" is a common and traditional brand of chile flakes from Mexico. It has a nice lime flavor and goes well with not only the corn, but is also tasty on margarita rims and sprinkled on fruit.


Remove the husk and cook the corn on a grill. If you don't have access to a grill, place the corn over the stove burners for a similar result. Mix in equal parts of mayonnaise and butter — 1 teaspoon of each should do. Spread some the mixture evenly over the corn. Sprinkle the grated cotija cheese. Top with chile flakes.