Wayne's Weekend: March Madness Party Recipes

Make colorful and seasonal snacks to enjoy the NCAA tournament with friends

As we head in to Spring, I wanted to do a segment on the fun, fresh flavors of the season.  But, in March, the NCAA Basket tournament is also a hugely popular topic.  So, I decided to do a mashup of the both Spring recipe ideas and food for a "March Madness" party.  I enlisted the aid of my talented Facebook friends and they came through with wonderful suggestions.  Here's a quick summary (and credit) below and the actual detailed recipes follow:

Ahi Tuna Mini Burgers (Carol Mackey)
Roasted Shrimp Taco Bar (variation on Carol Mackey's idea)
Deviled Eggs in School Colors (inspiration from Ida Waterous)
Pineapple Salsa
BBQ Chicken Dip (Angela DiAnna)
Veggie Platters in School Colors - Modified to Veggie Shooters (George Brown/Sandra Samson/Yvonne Agnello-Adams)

Tuna-Steak Burgers
courtesy of Carol Mackey


Tuna  Patties

1 lb Tuna, finely chopped
1 tbl Soy Sauce
1 Russet Potato, peeled, cubed, boiled, then mashed
1/4 cu Mayonnaise
4 tbl Dijon Mustard
1 tsp White Wine Vinegar
1/4 cu Kalamata Olives, finely chopped


1/4 cu Mayonnaise
2-3 tbl Fresh Basil, chiffonnade


Mix tuna patty ingredients together, shaped into twelve mini patties.  Brush with olive oil and place on hot grill. Cook to desired doneness.  Meanwhile, combine basil and mayonnaise.  Serve mini burgers on dinner rolls or mini burger buns with a tomato slice.

Shrimp Taco Bar

inspired by an idea from Carol Mackey



1 lb med Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 tbl Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/4 tsp Tumeric
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper

Pico de Gallo

1 cu Whole Kernel Corn
1 med Tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 cu White Onion Chopped
1/4 cu Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
1 tbl Minced Jalapeño
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Salt

Tarter Sauce

3/4 cu Mayonnaise
1 tbl Lemon Juice
1 tsp Minced Garlic
1/4 cu Cilantro, chopped
1/4 cu Sweet Gerkins, finely chopped

Additional Ingredients for the taco bar

1 Avocado, peeled and mashed with juice of 1 small lime, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp salt
1 can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cu Shredded Red Cabbage
1 can Green Chilis
Lime Slices
Corn Tortillas


Mix together pico de gallo ingredients and place in a serving container.  Mix together tarter sauce ingredients in put in a second serving container  Put avocado, black beans and shredded cabbage in separate serving containers as well. 

To prepare shrimp, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven for 10 minutes until it is hot. 

Rinse shrimp in cold water and dry them really well with paper towels.  Mix together olive oil, chili powder, curry, cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper.  Toss shrimp in the mixture to coat well.

Open oven and slide out rack with the hot baking sheet.  Put shrimp on the baking sheet and roast for 8-10 minutes, turning them once to get color on both sides.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  Roughly chop the shrimp and place in a serving container.

White shrimp is roasting, prepare tortillas by sautéenig them in a bit of olive oil until just tender.  Place prepared ones on a plate and cover with a towel until read to serve.

Place all ingredients on the table for your guests to build their own tacos with their choice of ingredients.

Deviled Eggs In School Colors

inspiration from Ida Waterous


12 Lg Eggs
2-3 different colors of Food Coloring
2-3 tsp Vinegar
1/4 cu Mayonnaise
1/4 cu Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Paprika


Place eggs in a large pot.  Fill with water and bring to a boil over medium heat.  As soon as water starts to boil, remove pot from heat and cover for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes drain the pot and run room temperature water over the eggs to cool them down.  Once fully cool, peel eggs.  Slice each in half and remove yolks.  Mix yolks together with the mayonnaise, dijon and salt and set aside in the refrigerator.

Fill a 2-3 cup container with cold water and add 1 teaspoon of vinegar.  Add 4-6 drops of food color to the water to get a rich color.  Place 6-8 egg whites in the container and leave them in until the eggs reach the desired color (some can take as much as 20 minutes).  Drain on a paper towel.  Reuse with additional egg whites or mix additional colors until you've colored all of your eggs.

To serve, place eggs on a serving platter.  Fill a disposable plastic bag with the yolk mixture.  Cut a small slice in one corner of the bag and pipe the yolk mixture back into the egg whites.  Garnish with a few sprinkles of paprika.

Pineapple Salsa

2 cu Fresh Pineapple, diced
1/2 cu Red Pepper, diced
1/2 cu Orange Pepper, diced
1/2 cu Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1/3 cu Red Onion, finely chopped
1/2 med Jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
1 clove Garlic, smashed, peeled and minced
zest and juice of 1 med Lime
1/2 tsp Salt


Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve with tortilla chips.

BBQ Chicken Dip
courtesy of Angela DiAnna

1 1/2 cu shredded Rotisserie Chicken (BBQ style, skin removed)
3/4 cu BBQ Sauce (Angela recommends Sweet Baby Ray's)
1/4 cu Ranch Dressing
1/4 cu Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese, optional


Mix chicken, BBQ sauce, ranch dressing and sour cream together and serve. This recipe can also be topped with your favorite cheese and heated for a warm dip with a cheesy crust.  In this preparation, Angela will mix some cheese into the mixture as well.  Heat mixture in a 350 degrees F oven until warmed through and cheese has melted.  Serve with hearty chips or crackers.

Veggie Platters in School Colors
original suggestion by George Brown, Sandra Samson, Yvonne Agnello-Adams

I liked this idea but I decided to change it up a bit.  Rather than creating vegetable platters, I decided to create vegetable shooters in tall shot glasses.  Using a combination of vegetables like white asparagus, blue asparagus, carrots, sliced red pepper or yellow pepper strips, and cucumbers, you can match a number of different school color combinations.  I simply poured a bit of ranch dressing in the bottom of the glass and insert a few tall veggies into it.  Lined up on the table it makes a great presentation.

Thanks to all of my Facebook friends for their contributions.  Great ideas!  If you have any comments or questions, please send me an email at wayne@waynesweekend.com or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

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