Extra Special

"Special sauce" is a mainstay at burger joints, and the popular condiment is as simple as combining ketchup, mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, hot sauce, salt and pepper. The combination of sweet, acidic and spicy flavors creates a balanced sauce. Make it your own with additions such as lemon juice, chopped chives or smoked paprika.



Blueberry Hill

When you get those blueberries home from a farmers' market in the Triangle, try broiling them. Yes, broiling! Broiling wild blueberries with brown sugar creates a sweet, jammy mixture that can be transformed into a simple take on blueberry pie. Topping a graham cracker crust pressed into a cast iron skillet with a substantial layer of cream cheese before adding the berries creates a barrier that protects the crumbs from becoming soggy.



Getting Fresh

Watermelon is a fave summer treat. There's nothing like sinking your teeth into a chilled, juicy crescent. But watermelons aren't just for eating by the slice. With a little imagination, you can transform the giant fruit into novel creations. Get recipes from the N.C. Watermelon Association (ncmelons.com) for everything from watermelon Mediterranean salad to watermelon mojitos.








Something Fishy

Fried seafood is a classic North Carolina summer dish. To put a fresh twist on it, chefs are using unusual breading treatments, including rice, sorghum, buckwheat and coconut flours.