Monday, September 16, 2013


Duke Puts Energy In The Gameday Feast

By Doc Lawrence

DURHAM, NC-My generation called this area part of Tobacco Road, cities and business built on the tobacco industry. Today, it’s high-tech headquarters with an educated population where the new millennium is juxtaposed with rich traditions of history, architecture, and a long list of prominent Duke graduates. When you factor in lifestyles, including dining, Duke and Durham glow with excellence.

The 1942 Rose Bowl game was played here, a response to fears that there was a possibility of attacks or invasion by Japanese armed forces in Southern California with Pearl Harbor branded in the popular psyche. Duke law School counts among its alumni Richard Nixon. Melinda Gates, Charlie Rose, Elizabeth Dole and PBS newscaster Judy Woodruff.

Gameday was highlighted by the football contest with visiting Georgia Tech taking on Duke’s Blue Devils. Tailgating was, as expected, almost an all-Duke affair with food reflecting Carolina favorites: barbecue, grilled chicken, shrimp salad and different styles of hash, some served with rice flavored to perfection.

Beverages ranged from sweet tea and soft drinks to beer, wine and cocktails. One trend I’ve noticed is the growing popularity of Sangria, the wine punch that encourages creativity and experimentation. There are recipes, of course, but no law says you can’t blend your own Sangria. It wouldn’t seem to matter if you used inexpensive jug wines as the base and then added your choice of juices, fruits and a neutral spirits. I enjoyed a glass of Sangria from a Duke fan made, she said, with pomegranate juice, and Southern Comfort, plus a “secret ingredient.” Fine by me. It was wonderful.

North Carolina’s Ragapple Lassie Vineyards Viognier was served with a delightful oyster casserole. This spectacular white wine is one of the top bottles produced in the state’s Yadkin Valley. One red wine I enjoyed was Votre Sante, a burgundian-style blend from Francis Ford Coppola. It was a perfect fit with beef fajitas.

Popular ocal dining venues tell a good story about food preferences and Bullock’s Bar-B-Cue was the choice for baby back ribs (a full slab) that validated the claims that North Carolina leads the country in barbecue. I had a sample of the hand-pulled pork with the homemade spicy sauce. One word: Terrific!

Chef Lara Lyn Carter
Palmetto Cheese, Sassy Henry’s recipe for pimento cheese, has its roots in her pimento cheese prepared for Atlanta Braves tailgating. Her Palmetto Cheese was perfected in her Pawley's Island, South Carolina kitchen and found its way into the market place. She calls it “Pimento cheese with soul” and I had it with Jack and Denise Hall, Tech fans from Atlanta who served a feast before kickoff, using it as a topping for one of Jack’s Angus sliders.

The day was perfect featuring a late summer Carolina sky with loads of warmth and a salsa was appropriate. Enjoy Chef Lara Lyn Carter’s original recipe:

Vidalia Onion and Black Bean Salsa
Two 15 oz. cans of black beans drained
16 oz. can of whole kernel corn drained
16 oz. can chopped tomatoes
10 oz. can Rotel tomatoes with peppers
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
6 tbsp. canola oil
½ cup finely chopped Vidalia onion
1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

Mix all ingredients together and allow flavors to blend for 2-3 hours. Serve with chips or as a side dish.  This is super wrapped in a flour tortilla shell and served as a vegetarian burrito!

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