Légal Heatwave Dip: A Spicy Dip Recipe for Baseball Tailgates

Légal Heatwave Dip: A Spicy Dip Recipe for Baseball Tailgates

Another season is underway, and fans are flocking to games. The average cost of food and drinks varies, but the average price of a hot dog was over $5, and a beer cost around $7. It's expensive, which is why tailgates are so popular. Fill up on food and drinks before the game and save money. A spicy dip is a fun contribution to a tailgate that is going to wow your friends and family.

Tailgating dates back to the Civil War. People brought food to sit at a safe distance and watch the Battle of Bull Run. Weird, yes, but that helped set the stage for today's tailgates. The first sports-related tailgate occurred in the 1880s during a Yale-Princeton Thanksgiving game. 

Tailgating has become an American tradition. In 1973, 49ers marketing reps handed out a cookbook with recipes from the players' wives so that fans could make them at home and for future tailgates. Hamburgers and hot dogs don't have to be the only thing you serve at a tailgate. There are no rules on what foods to make. We recommend Légal Heatwave Dip.

How to Make Légal Heatwave Dip

Légal hot sauce is a specialty hot sauce made with Brazil's malagueta pepper. This spicy little gem has an estimated Scoville (spiciness) rating of 60,000 to 100,000, which puts it on par with a Tabasco pepper. It's spicy, but not so spicy you can't enjoy it.

One of our favorite ways to use Légal hot sauce is in our Légal Heatwave Dip. It's a popular choice for family get-togethers, parties, and, yes, baseball tailgates. It's easy to make in a slow cooker, which makes it something you can cook and forget.

Gather Your Ingredients:

Get the ingredients you need. You'll want to head to the store for anything you're missing. For the dip, you need:

  • One recipe of homemade Brazilian cream cheese
  • A bottle of Légal hot sauce
  • A pound of Monterey Jack, shredded
  • A bunch of fresh cilantro, remove the thick stem and chop
  • A large green pepper
  • A large onion
  • 8 ounces of Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 pounds of boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 pound of Chorizo sausage

Make the Homemade Brazilian Cream Cheese:

The key to Légal Heatwave Dip is our take on homemade Brazilian cream cheese. It's a must and not as hard as you might think. In a saucepan, mix:

  • 7 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 ounce cup lemon juice
  • 1 ounce Légal hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Bring the whole milk to a boil and remove it from heat. Stir in the lemon juice and hot sauce. Stir until curds form. Line a strainer with cheesecloth. Move the curds and whey to the strainer and squeeze any water from it. Move the strained cheese curds to a blender. 

Add the remaining ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Move to an air-tight glass container and refrigerate for a day or two. 

Make Légal Heatwave Dip in a Slow Cooker for Easy Transport:

On the day you need to make the dip, dice the green pepper, onion, and garlic and saute them with the diced chorizo. Saute until the onions are translucent and add the chicken thigh that's been chopped into bite-sized pieces. Cook the mixture until it's browned and the chicken is cooked.

Move that to the slow cooker or a casserole dish. Stir in half of the Brazilian cream cheese, the two cheeses, the cilantro, and a half bottle of Légal hot sauce. Mix it well and bake at 350 F with a foil cover or move it to the slow cooker and bake it on low for eight hours.

We prefer to do it in the slow cooker because the dish is insulated. It's easy to bring a slow cooker with you, which helps it stay hot for longer. We recommend a 12-volt slow cooker designed for use in cars and trucks. It makes it easy to keep the dip hot on the way to the ballpark, which is handy. If you don't, baking it and warming it up in a foil pan on part of the grill also works.

You want the cheese to be hot and melty. Our favorite way to serve the dip is with thin, toasted slices of baguette. You can also serve it with tortilla chips, pita chips, or bagel chips. We also have friends and family who go all out and top their hot dog with this meaty, cheesy dip and call it a Brazilian dog. 

Pay Attention to the Ballpark's Rules

Most ballparks and stadiums welcome baseball tailgates as long as you follow a few rules. Here are the basic rules at some of the nation's most popular ballparks. When a stadium doesn't allow tailgating, you might find a private lot that allows it, but any parking lots owned by the stadium prohibit it.

  • American Family Field (Milwaukee) - State-approved propane or small charcoal grills with no open flames. Charcoal must be dumped in the marked containers before you head into the stadium. Tailgate must stop no later than 30 minutes after the start of the game.
  • Angel Stadium (Los Angeles) - No alcohol or charcoal grills. Propane grills with shut-off valves are the only grills allowed. 
  • Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles) - No tailgating
  • Fenway Park (Boston) - No tailgating
  • Globe Life Field (Arlington) - Tailgating must end by the end of the second inning. No open flames or fryers. 
  • Guaranteed Rate Field (Chicago) - Small grills only, charcoal must be dumped into the marked charcoal bins, and all tailgating must end before the game starts.
  • Oriole Park (Baltimore) - No tailgating
  • Petco Park (San Diego) - Stop drinking and serving alcohol 30 minutes before the game's scheduled start. No charcoal and no kegs.
  • Tropicana Field (St. Petersburg) - No charcoal
  • Wrigley Field (Chicago) - No tailgating
  • Yankee Stadium (NYC) - No tailgating

If your stadium isn't on this list, you can find information on tailgating on the stadium's website or go to MLB.com and look up the team and find tailgating information in the A to Z guide.

Follow the rules and your tailgate will be a lot of fun and less stressful as you don't have to do much cooking. It's already done before you leave your house. Make sure you bring a big pan of Légal Heatwave Dip. It's going to be the most requested dish for future gatherings and tailgates.