Food Herky salsa.

Herky salsa.

Show your spirit with Cyclone green chili or Herky salsa

Published on September 4th, 2013 | by Laura Billingsley

Even if your team isn’t able to put one over on its in-state rival this year, put your school pride on full display with a tasty concoction developed by a local chef loyal to your team.

Robert Moore lived in Ames for about 12 years before opening Bandit Burrito in Johnston in 2008. “Tailgating in Ames is serious stuff,” Moore said. “The behind-the-scenes usually requires early mornings and sacrificing of fun nights beforehand.”

He’s catered tailgates in both Ames and Iowa City and offered two tips for hosting a tailgate: One, arrive early to beat the traffic and allow yourself time to set up and relax a bit. Two, keep things easy once you get there. His recipe for Cyclone Green Chili brings a tornado of flavors together and allows the cook to prepare most of the food ahead of time, putting it all together at the event. The mild green chili can be used as a filling for breakfast burritos, or add some meat and eat it on its own.

Stacey Parkins, owner of Nonna’s Inspired Cooking, may have graduated from Simpson College in Indianola, but she is also a serious Hawkeye fan. Growing up in Adel, her family always rooted for Iowa. “It’s kind of a culture where you are bred into it. My cousin married an ISU fan so we pretend to disown her,” Parkins said.

She hopes to experience her first tailgate in Iowa City this fall, but most games find her and her family watching on TV while sharing their favorite foods. Nonna’s Inspired Cooking provides in-home cooking parties where guests learn to prepare meals, and Parkins combined her love of cooking and the Hawkeyes to come up with a black and gold salsa for game day.

Cyclone Green Chili

Robert Moore, Bandit Burrito

Yields about 20 servings of chili, or about 150 servings for burrito topping. Recipe can be halved.


2 ounces of butter or oil

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and small diced

3 cloves of garlic (peeled and minced super-fine)

10 tomatillos

1 raw red or yellow pepper (washed and seeded)

2 4-ounce cans of diced green chilies (or roast, peel and dice fresh hatch green chilies)

2 tablespoons salt

4 quarts pork stock (bouillon or beef stock works too)

40 corn tortillas

In a large pot—6-8 quart capacity—heat butter or oil and sweat the onion and garlic until translucent.

Meanwhile, soak the tomatillos in water for a minute to easily remove the peels, then puree in a food processor or chop by hand, along with the red or yellow pepper.

Add the puree into the pot with the 2 cans of diced green chilies, 2 tablespoons of salt and 4 quarts pork stock (Robert says: Ok, so you don’t make delicious pork stock everyday like Bandit Burrito does. Instead use some bouillon or beef stock, perhaps 1/4 part wine or beer—or salted water in a pinch).

Once everything is in the pot, simmer on medium heat. Tear apart the corn tortillas and sir into the pot. When those tortillas melt away and the chili develops some body and thickness, taste and adjust for salt, pepper and spice level.

For a standalone chili, add diced grilled pork.

Serve over potatoes, as soup or chili, in walking tacos, breakfast burritos or nachos or with scrambled eggs. Serve with tomatoes, grilled pork, green onions and hot sauce.

Herky Salsa

Stacey Parkins, Nonna’s Inspired Cooking

Yields 3 cups


3 tablespoons jalapeno, chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1-1/2 limes, juiced and zested

1 tablespoon honey

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

2 pinches of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped

1/4 cup crumbled bacon pieces

1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese (substitute your favorite cheese)

Serve with yellow corn chips or corn scoops.

Roasted Corn:

Coat a medium cast-iron skillet with enough vegetable oil to barely coat the bottom; heat over medium-high heat. Add corn to the hot skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes or until slightly caramelized. Remove from heat, set aside to cool.


Add the jalapeno, cilantro, zest and juice of limes, honey, cumin, salt and pepper to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Taste, adjust seasoning as desired. Drain and rinse the black beans (this removes a lot of the extra sodium from canned products). Place all remaining ingredients (sweet onion, bacon and cheese) into the bowl with the lime vinaigrette and mix thoroughly. Taste for seasoning; add more jalapeno, cilantro, or salt and pepper if desired. For best results make at least 60 minutes prior to kickoff.

Also tryTailgate recipe: Mini sweet pepper poppers


About the Author

Laura is contributor to Juice Magazine.

Back to Top ↑

write my paper for cheap