January 20, 2012

Happy Trails

Cowboy Food!

We talk often about what we miss most about Texas. Now of course, you know, that the initial thought that pops to mind are the boys, followed by Abbs and Noah. The second thing that we most often talk about is how much we miss the food! Absolutely! We discuss our favorite dining spots which include Mac's, Pappadeaux, The Keg, Joe T Garcia's and Coopers BBQ! We salivate when speaking of a What A' Burger, Chick Fil' A, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and especially Blue Bell Ice Cream! Now each one of these places has special memories tagged to it....taking the grandchildren for breakfast before a soccer game, swinging by for a burger after a night out in the Stockyards, a special anniversary dinner or a birthday celebration....a send off dinner to college and family barbecues on Brookfield....the list of good memories is endless! Maine has been the best, but we are ready....ready to say, "Happy Trails to us!!!!" These are a few of our favorite Texas style recipes which we refer to as "Cowboy food!!"

Estelle's Cowboy Beans
8 slices bacon
1 small onion
1 3/4 C brown sugar
1/3 C plus 2 T apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 t dry mustard
1 1/2 t ginger
1 1/2 t salt
1 16 oz can butter beans
1 16 oz can pinto beans
1 16 oz can red kidney beans
1( 30 oz) can Bush's Homestyle Baked Beans

In a large skillet fry up your bacon, until it is crispy and browned along the edges. Remove it from the pan onto a plate lined with paper towels. Discard the bacon grease except for about 1 or2 teaspoons in the pan.Toss your onions into the hot pan. Cook until they are golden and wilted.
While your onions cook stir together the brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, dry mustard, ginger and salt. Pour the sauce over the wilted onions. Let the concoction simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse your butter, pinto and kidney beans. Open up your can of baked beans. Pour the whole can, sauce and all into a 3 quart casserole dish. Add the other beans to the dish. Crumble up your bacon and sprinkle it on top. Pour your saucy-onion-mixture-of-wonder into the dish.  Give everything a nice stir.  Cover your dish and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove the dish from the oven, give the beans a stir and put the old girl right back in, uncovered this time. Cook for 30 more minutes. Or, cook them in your Crock Pot on low for 3-4 hours.

Estelle's Cowboy Cornbread
1 cup White Cornmeal (Estelle's used White Lily)
1 cup Milk
½ tsp Salt
2 Extra-large Eggs, beaten
½ tsp Baking Soda
1 can (15-ounce) Cream-style Corn
1 lb Hot-style Pork Sausage, cooked, crumbled and drained
1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
1 (4-ounce Can) Diced Green Chili Peppers, drained
8 oz Velveeta Cheese, cubed

In medium mixing bowl combine first 6 ingredients and mix well. Pour half the mixture into a buttered 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle cooked sausage over cornmeal mixture, followed by onion, diced chilies and Velveeta cheese. Top all with remaining half of cornmeal mixture. Place in preheated 350 degree F. oven and bake for 45 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean!

Estelle's Cowboy Bourbon Peach Cobbler
1 Cup Sugar
6 Cups Fresh Peaches, Peeled and Sliced
1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Jack Daniel's bourbon
1 1/2 Cups Whipping Cream

Preheat Oven 350 degrees F. Melt Butter in saucepan. Add peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, sugar and cream. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add bourbon and stir tenderly. Cook for 15-20 minutes.Pour mixture on the top of bottom layer of crust. Cover top with whole crust or strips of crust in latticework pattern. Bake for 45-50 minutes

Cobbler Crust
2 Cups Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Sugar
6 Tablespoons Shortening
1/4 Cup Cold Water

Mix dry ingredients, add shortening and cut in with two knives or pastry blender. Mixture should resemble coarse cornmeal. Add cold water gradually to make a ball. Divide into two balls for top and bottom. Roll out on floured surface with rolling pin. Place on crust in bottom of pan add Filling top with remaining crust or strips of crust in latticework pattern.

It's the way you ride the trail that counts....right Darling?

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