Sunday, October 18, 2015



“There'll be peace without end
Every neighbor a friend
With every man a King.”

       "Every Man A King" by Huey Long and Castro Carazo

By Doc Lawrence

Holly Clegg with Tailgating Centerpiece
Nothing anywhere compares to the food and outdoor celebration in Baton Rouge on game day. Here in this college town and capital city of Louisiana, the aromas, laughter and music aren’t all that unusual because this is one of those top-tier food shrines that dot the Southern landscape. Ask someone to describe in just a few words the defining cuisine of their city and they will likely stammer searching for some common thread. In this river city, it’s a fusion of European, African, Caribbean, traditional Southern, Mediterranean and more that continues to evolve, embracing new ingredients and cooking styles, but remaining true to its culinary roots.

Game day means LSU football. Legendary Tiger Stadium is a powerful reminder of Huey Long who as governor and U.S. Senator, constantly promoted LSU’s football program and wrote the LSU fight song, Touchdowns for LSU.

Tailgating at LSU incorporates culinary heritage with Deep South panache, showcasing music, food, wonderful beverages and some dancing. There are no strangers on game day. Even the “enemy” is welcome to have a drink and some gumbo. Lovely handmade centerpieces beautify the stadium parking lots. “It’s a special touch,” observes Baton Rouge resident Holly Clegg, a Louisiana cooking superstar and devoted LSU fan. She will be the first to tell you that food tastes better served alongside table decorations.

As a mother, wife and cookbook author, Holly Clegg appreciates the ability to create a tasty dish that is both convenient and healthy, offering expert advice for nearly 20 years on quick, flavorful and healthy eating . With nearly 1 million books sold, she has been featured in USA Today, Country Living Magazine, and First for Women. The American Culinary Federation of New Orleans also recognized her as one of the Top Louisiana Chefs of 2011.

Holly Clegg brings her Southern charm to every aspect of her life. “After all,” she says, “I’m a LSU fan which means I’m just as serious about food as football.” And the tailgating feast doesn’t get much better than Holly’s amazing creation:

16 (2 tablespoon) servings 
1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups roasted red pepper hummus
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped cucumber
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat Feta cheese 
3 tablespoons sliced Kalamata or black olives
1. In bowl, blend together cream cheese, yogurt, oregano, garlic, lemon juice and season to taste.  Spread on large round serving plate.
2. Carefully spread hummus over cream cheese.  Sprinkle evenly with remaining ingredients, refrigerate until serving time.
Serve with pita chips or vegetables (cucumber rounds).

With my recent introduction to the native varietal wines from the historic Portuguese region of Tejo, tailgating at LSU provided the perfect setting to enjoy some of these wines with Louisiana food. Why Portuguese wines? The thrill of wine enjoyment is expanding the palate with new taste adventures and these delightful wines fit seamlessly. We enjoyed the Conde De Vimioso, a gentle high-value and high-quality white wine that enhanced our enjoyment of the wonderful food.

Adventures in food and wine are integral parts of Deep South tailgating traditions. For more original recipes from Holly, visit her website:

The historic cookbook, Jim Sanders Cooks for Wine Lovers, has been reprinted and will be released this week. It is not only a collectible but includes Jim’s never duplicated wine pairing chart.

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