Kick off football season with Kansas City-style and Texas-inspired recipes

Texas-born chef Sarah Grueneberg and pitmaster Phil "The Grill" Johnson are representing their teams in a battle of the barbecue.
/ Source: TODAY

Football is officially back — which means football food is, too! To celebrate the kickoff of the season, two chefs are battling it out in our annual TODAY Food Loves Football series. Texas-born chef Sarah Grueneberg and pitmaster Phil "The Grill" Johnson are representing their teams in a barbecue cook-off. For the Houston Texans, Grueneberg is making chicken fried steak sliders and beef chili with macaroni noodles, and for the Kansas City Chiefs, Johnson is cooking up baked beans, sweet and spicy coleslaw, skillet cornbread and classic burnt ends.

Sarah Grueneberg's Texas Tastes

Chicken-Fried Steak Sliders

Chicken-fried steak was one of the first dishes I learned how to make as a kid, and one I made often because I love it. Cream gravy is a traditional sauce, but the addition of the hatch green chile gives the dish a little spice with some earthy freshness.

Texas Chili Mac

Texas Chili Mac

Sarah Grueneberg

I love this dish because it combines my two loves in life, pasta and Texas! When I think about growing up in Texas and watching football, a pot of chili was always on the stove. This version totally melds my Texas roots with my Italian love of pasta and sauce. Making it now makes me feel like I'm back at home.

Phil "The Grill" Johnson's Kansas City Cuisine

Kansas City Burnt Ends

Burnt ends are a delicious slightly fatty cut of brisket that will melt in your mouth. When I make these for my family, they do not last long — they're like bites of meat candy.

Kansas City Baked Beans

Ground spicy Italian pork sausage is my secret ingredient that people would never expect to find in baked beans. It adds a killer flavor and extra richness to the beans.

Honey-Jalapeño Coleslaw

The grated jalapeño and hint of honey give this slaw a delicious balance of sweet and heat, which makes this classic side dish more exciting and dynamic.

Skillet Honey Cornbread

Preheating the pan with shortening gives the cornbread that perfectly crisp texture around the edges that everyone wants. The hint of honey adds a subtle sweetness and makes for an all-around delicious cornbread.

If you like those terrific tailgating recipes, you should also try these:

Rodney Scott's Famous Carolina-Style Ribs
Pimento Cheese-Sausage Balls