We hope everyone had a safe and fun Fourth of July celebration. We had a very pleasant day, although we seriously overate (look at the size of that burger) and blew our diet out of proportion yet again. Continue reading
If your concept of beef stock comes out of a box or can…we need to talk. Box and canned beef stocks are lacking in flavor and taste dreadful, many of which with an awful aftertaste. This is because the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires a ratio of 135 parts water to only 1 part beef. Do you really believe if the FDA doesn’t require beef in beef stock that cost conscious food manufacturers are actually going to use beef? They don’t. As such, the beef flavor in beef stock doesn’t come from beef. It comes from advances in food chemistry. Manufacturers of beef stock use beef powder, technically called “dried pulverized beef tissue” and beef fat technically referred to as a “beef byproduct.” Another product used to give beef stock that “umami” character is MSG. Yum. Don’t you really want to feed your family canned or boxed stock? Continue reading
This recipe is for all my carnivore friends who get tired of all the seafood recipes. Continue reading
This recipe is a Texas-style chili, commonly referred to as a “bowl of red.” True Texas-style chili includes only meat, chile peppers, and spices. Like cajuns and their gumbo, Texans take their chili seriously and there are numerous disagreements over what is and what is not chili. The debate continues to rage over beans vs. no beans; tomatoes vs. no tomatoes, etc. and, over time, a whole chili lore has developed. Texans take their chili so seriously that chili was officially designated the state food of Texas by the State Legislature in 1977. Also, to most Texans, the fact that a genuine “bowl of red” can only be found in Texas has never been in doubt. In fact, it is generally accepted that, despite its Spanish name, chili con carne originated in San Antonio Texas. Indeed, in the 1800s when San Antonio was host to the Mexican Army, the Chili Queens of San Antonio (as they became known) made large pots of chili at home by day, and clad in brightly colored dresses, trundled their carts to San Antonio’s Military Plaza, ladling out their vendibles from cast iron pots heated over wood or charcoal fires in the evening.
Chili became so popular in Texas (and later elsewhere) that chili parlors and chili cook-offs sprang up everywhere. Legend has it that outlaw and desperado Jesse James refused to rob a bank in McKinney, Texas because that is where his favorite chili parlor was located. Beginning in 1967, as a joke with a chili-cooking duel between humorist H. Allen Smith and journalist Wick Fowler, chili cook-offs are now popular all over the country, with state-wide and International contests. The Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI) cook-off is held in Terlingua, TX and the ICS (International Chili Society) Cook-off was normally held in CA. Even US Presidents have gotten into the fray over chili
“Chili concocted outside of Texas is usually a weak, apologetic imitation of the real thing. One of the first things I do when I get home to Texas is to have a bowl of red. There is simply nothing better.”
Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States
Try this recipe and you, too, can enter a chili cook-off with possibly the winning bowl of red.
Chocolate steak? Really? I know you can cook but this sounds too strange to be any good. And you’re wasting a wonderful Ribeye Steak, too. I’ll try it but… Those were all the swirling thoughts running around in my son Matt’s head as we were discussing the night’s dinner. Matt (like all of the other children) knows I try a lot of different things and eat a lot of different things, some of which he really doesn’t like, i.e. Sea Urchin. He also knows he likes some of the offbeat things we feed him, i.e. Tofu.
This all came about because of a challenge he had given Baby Lady and me. You see, Matt lives in Amarillo and had told his friends Baby Lady and I could really cook. He was coming to DFW with some of his friends and wanted an Iron Chef competition between Baby Lady and me. He was going to provide us with the secret ingredient and we were going to fix a 3 course meal using the secret ingredient as the prime ingredient in all of the courses. He and his friends were to be the judges. (Not a bad gig if you can get it, huh?) Even though we have an above average size kitchen, it’s simply not big enough for a 1 hour competition with Baby Lady and I fighting for range and oven space. Also, someone would have to loose and one of us would have been sleeping on the couch. So, we politely declined. Instead, we told him he could select the ingredient, tell us beforehand what it was so we could go to the grocery store to stock the kitchen and we would fix his friends and him a multi-course meal using his selected ingredient as the main ingredient for the night’s dinner. He agreed. Continue reading