Tusca-Tailgate: A perfect recipe for victory

A perfect recipe for victory: Eric Norwood's Extinct Elephant Steaks, Cryin' Crimson Tide Casserole, Garcia'S Great Green Bean Salad or Elephant Ear Salad, all finished with a Garnet Victory Velvet Cake. Anna Rumsey has whipped up a special batch of mouthwatering recipes that you can take on the road to Tuscaloosa to enjoy before the monumental upset of the Tide by the Gamecocks.

Whenever I hear the cry, "Roll Tide," I get a well-ingrained Gamecock kneejerk reaction to yell back, "Roll BACK the Tide." And then I try to get real spiritual and start thinking of Moses. He stood in front of the Red Sea and lifted his staff and he watched and believed as the Lord parted the sea.

Now I am not trying to be blasphemous here, but that's about where we are. We're making our exodus from Columbia, traveling over the highways and byways of our beloved South Carolina to Tuscaloosa and standing before the sea of Crimson Tide football players from the University of Alabama. Now we don't have Charlton Heston and his golden-tongued voice to play Moses for this game, but I figure we can divide up the duty of lifting the staff among all the tailgaters headed over there and be triumphant in making this a memorable day for our opponents.

We're going to do some grilling on Saturday and our big old tongs, spatulas and grilling forks are going to be our mighty staffs. After we have sat on the shores of that stadium, we're going inside and we're going to lift those instruments and say, "Part the Tide, Lord."

I'm sure that if we have enough faith going over there, that sea is going to be parted and we are going to ROLL BACK THE ALABAMA TIDE and come home with a victory. It is my greatest desire to give you the meal that's going to nurture you and allow you stalwart, Tuscaloosa-bound fans to "GET ‘ER DONE."

Now you all know how important your presence is there. Some of us can't make the trip and we will be here doing our part. But you fine, brave travelers to the Black Warrior country have got to buck up and do your Carolina Best-est and hold up our Gamecock boys in their shoulder pads, cleats, helmets and Gamecock jerseys with your most effective cheering and clapping. It's all business when you get in there, no time for the faint of heart. We need to crow like we mean it. Sound the alarm; we're going to do some elephant hunting. So, take your binoculars, jackets, towels — whatever you need to jumpstart our guys into wanting to taste the victory.

Nothing makes me happier than to think of our great offensive line scoring touchdown after touchdown on that foreign turf. I'm even more ecstatic dreaming about the defensive line bagging those elephants. Where's Hefty, Hefty, Hefty when you need it? It's going to be a tough game, but I know that we're not coming home empty. I've always thought Elephant heads would look lovely in my den. You know—hang your hats on the tusk, decorate them with lights for Christmas. I don't want to desecrate the poor things, but surely you can understand my enthusiasm for this safari.

So, take your grills, charcoal, grilling tools, ice chests, collapsible tables, napkins, plates - all you will need to set up your camp and get entrenched in that Bryant-Denny Stadium parking lot and surrounds. Make your presence known. Let the aroma from the Carolina Camp be so tantalizing that the other team can't think straight. Mesmerize them with the power of your cooking skills, and then get into that stadium and MAKE YOUR PRESENCE KNOWN. Do it for us back home. Do it for the disbelievers. Scare those doubters right out of their seats and turn the Crimson Tide pink. Bag your limit from that Elephant herd, you mighty football players. GO COCKS!!!

ERIC NORWOOD'S EXTINCT ELEPHANT STEAKS A/K/A ROLL BACK THE TIDE RIBEYES.

Marinade:

1 c. Vodka

2 (46 ounces) cans tomato juice

1 (10 ounce) can beef bouillon

1 teaspoon coarsely-ground fresh black pepper

1 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon Accent seasoning (MSG), optional

4 ounces lemon juice

1 (5 ounce) bottle Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce

Tabasco sauce to taste (for heat)

2 Tbs. olive oil

Use for 6-8 1 inch ribeye steaks.

Cover ribeyes with marinade turning to coat.

Refrigerate 2-4 hours.

Grill.

Heat remaining marinade to a boil in saucepan while steaks are grilling. Stir together cornstarch and water to make a slurry and add to liquid in saucepan stirring constantly until thickened. Spoon over steaks and garnish with parsley flakes and a pat of herbed butter.

Herbed Blue-Cheese Butter

8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

3 tbsp. roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

3 tbsp. roughly chopped chives

1 shallot, finely chopped

6 oz. crumbled bleu cheese

2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce



Combine the butter, bleu cheese parsley, chives, Worcestershire Sauce and shallots in a blender. Season lightly with salt and pepper; cover with plastic wrap and set aside. In the alternative, spoon mixture onto plastic wrap, roll tightly and tie off both ends, making a log of the mixture—refrigerate until ready to use. (Minimum 2 hours)

SPURRIER'S SUPERIOR SPUDS A/K/A CRYIN' CRIMSON TIDE CASSEROLE

1 bag frozen cubed hash browns

1 green bell pepper, diced fine

1 red bell pepper, diced fine

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small can sliced jalapeno-(your preference, mild or hot) drained very well

1 regular size can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can creamed corn

1 can whole kernel corn

1 small carton heavy cream

½ lb. sharp cheddar cheese

Butter to dot casserole

Salt and pepper to taste.



Combine all the ingredients except cheese , cream and butter in a deep baking dish. Season mixture with salt and pepper. Dot casserole with pats of butter. Pour cream over mixture evenly. Spread cheese over top of mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Test for doneness, add another 5-8 minutes if needed.

Serve hot.

GARCIA'S GREAT GREEN BEAN SALAD A/K/A TAKING CANDY FROM AN ELEPHANT

2 lbs. thin green beans, trimmed

1 lg. red onion, peeled, halved & thinly sliced

1 c. pine nuts, toasted

Freshly ground pepper

1 lg. head Radicchio

1 lg. head Bibb lettuce



MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE:

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp. stone ground mustard

1 tsp. salt

9 tbsp. olive oil

Cook beans in 2 quarts boiling water or steam until crisp-tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold water and drain well; pat dry. For Vinaigrette: Combine vinegar, mustard and salt in medium bowl. Slowly whisk in oil in thin stream.

Combine beans, onion and 1/2 cup pine nuts in large bowl. Mix in vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper. Let marinate 15 to 30 minutes. Alternate radicchio and bibb lettuce leaves over large platter. Mound bean mixture in center. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup pine nuts and serve.

ELEPHANT EAR SALAD

1/2 lb. Orrichiete Pasta (elephant ear pasta), cooked tender and drained

2 lbs. swiss chard, steamed down and drained

1 bunch broccoli, steamed crisp-tender, chopped

1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained well

½ lb. pancetta, diced and drained

3 cloves garlic, sliced fine, sautéed in olive oil

2 roasted red peppers, sliced fine ( commercially canned)

½ c. extra-virgin olive oil

¼ c. fresh squeezed lemon juice

½ tsp. dried basil

½ tsp. dried oregano

½ tsp. dried mint

Salt/fresh-ground cracked pepper (to taste)

Whisk together last six ingredients in a small bowl. Combine first seven prepared ingredients, toss gently with oil and lemon mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Can be made 1 day ahead.



GARNET VICTORY VELVET CAKE

3 cups sifted cake flour

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

4 large egg whites

2 cups fat-free buttermilk

1 (1 ounce) bottle red food coloring

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting:

7 ounces low-fat cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 3/4 cups powdered sugar

2 pats butter-softened

Filling: (combine following three ingredients with a pinch of salt and a tsp. of softened butter, bring to a simmer for three minutes stirring constantly, careful not to scorch, set aside until cool.)

1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

Crushed fresh red raspberries (about ½ c.)

1 Tbs. melted semi-sweet chocolate

Extra fresh raspberries to decorate top and base of cake.

Preheat oven to 350°F Coat 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray and line bottoms of pans with wax paper or parchment paper.

Measure out 3 cups cake flour by spooning into measuring cup and leveling with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Set aside.

In another bowl, beat granulated sugar and butter with a mixer at medium speed for 4 minutes or until well blended.

Add egg whites to sugar mixture, beat at medium speed for 5 minutes or until fluffy. Combine buttermilk, food coloring, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until moistened. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Tap pans sharply on counter to remove any large air bubbles.

Bake at 350°F for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean (do not over bake).

Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

For frosting: Combine cream cheese, butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl.

Beat with a mixer at high speed for 3 minutes or until fluffy.

Add powdered sugar and beat at low speed just until blended.

To assemble cake: Place 1 cake layer on plate; spread with jam mixture; top with second cake layer.

Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Decorate with fresh raspberries, chill until ready to serve.

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