LSU tailgaters were out in full force on Saturday, hitting Lot 14 on the south side of Cowboys Stadium before the Tigers' first game of the season against the Oregon Ducks. This particular lot, designated for RVs, has never been so jam-packed with buses, purple and duck meat. Hiding in the shadows of their tall party barges, fans wouldn't let the heat keep them down.
Following are some shots of what was cooking for the pregame meal.
Joe Labbe and Jeremiah Kern are LSU grads who work hard, but play harder. They began their tailgating tradition more than 10 years ago under the big oak trees on campus, and keep the "Krewe de Cajun Bandits" (aka, the 100-or more friends who tailgate with them) full with jambalaya and a side of white beans. I honestly don't go into these situations with the intent of trying the food, but they absolutely insisted. I had never had white beans with jambalaya before, but they were fabulous.
Randy Norris from New Iberia, Louisiana, brought homemade deer and duck sausage to nibble on. That's just rude to eat the opponent's mascot. Funny, though.
James Naquin of Thibodaux went to his first LSU game in 1962 and has been tailgating since. He, too, chose to indulge in duck for his pregame meal along with some chicken, since duck wings don't really have much to offer in terms of actual meat. Again, he insisted I eat, and as I expected, the chicken wings were fiery hot and fantastic.
Craig Richard out of Scott, Louisiana, met up with a few dozen of his friends and cooked a big pot of corn macheaux (MOCK-shoe). This particular recipe also had shrimp, crab and crawfish with the corn base.
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Kevin Kingston and his cadre from Slidell, Louisiana, used pasta instead of rice for "pasta-laya," which is full of andouille sausage, chicken, pork, smoked sausage, onion, shallots, and Cajun spices. I loved this dish, and it reminded me why I love Cajun cooking so much: every bite packs a punch.