Texas Favorites

Southern Buttermilk Pie

This is a classic pie, through and through, here in the south.  The custard is undeniably sweet, but offset just enough with the slight tang of the added lemon.  The top adds a great juxtaposition with it’s lightly crackled sugar top, reminiscent of its fancy cousin,  crème brulee.  A true old-fashioned treat!

It is believed this pie originated in England, and was brought to America by southern settlers.  Specifically us Texans, where buttermilk was always plentiful.  The recipe seems to remain the same… dang easy!  A quick mix of the ingredients you then simply pour into your pie shell, bake and done!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 (9-inch) pie crust recipe, unbaked
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • Dusting of nutmeg for garnish, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together the eggs, sugar, flour, butter, buttermilk, vanilla, the lemon juice and zest and salt until well combined.  Pour into the unbaked pie crust and bake for 45-50 minutes, until set and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly and set before slicing.  Serve with fresh berries, whipped cream or even a salted caramel syrup and pecans!  Enjoy!

*Place the empty pie shell on a baking sheet prior to filling, so it will be easier to transfer to the oven.

*Please use only whole milk buttermilk (low-fat will work), but it’s not the tie for non-fat.

*This is a custard pie, so it’s best kept chilled till ready to serve or for any leftovers.

buttermilk pie

Kid-Approved Chicken Tenders w/ Honey Mustard

If I was a bettin’ woman, I would say that a solid 90% of children enjoy warm, crunchy chicken tenders with some sort of dipping sauce.  I would also bet that tenders are at a tie with grilled cheese on the number-one spot on any restaurants kids menu.

The somewhat unfortunate part, is that they’re usually more of a splurge and not the healthiest meal for our favorite littles to eat.  Given my favorite 6-year-old is one of those annoyingly picky kiddo’s, I always try to revamp his favorites into something more parent friendly.  These definitely do the trick for his taste buds and my peace of mind and the homemade dip is just extra goodness!

*For a fun switch, add in some shredded coconut to the panko and serve with a sweet Thai chili sauce!

The Starting Lineup

Chicken Tenderes

  • Oil for frying (Peanut preffered, but Canola or Vegetable is fine)
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

Honey Mustard

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

To make the easy Honey Mustard dressing, simply mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

———————————————————

Preheat your oil to 350 degrees F. while cutting the chicken breast into long strips.

In a bowl, beat the 3 eggs.  In one pie dish or shallow bowl, measure out the flour.  In a second shallow dish, measure the panko and add in all of the spices.

Dip each chicken strip first into the flour, then the beaten egg and lastly into the seasoned panko.

A couple at a time, fry the dredged chicken strips into the hot oil for 7-8 minutes.  Remove the golden brown strips to a paper towel lined plate.  Serve alongside the Honey Mustard dressing and enjoy!

ChickenTenders

 

 

Fried Green Tomato Salad

Hands down, one of my favorite appetizers has to be the simple, satisfying and crunchy, Fried Green Tomatoes.  If ever on a menu, this will be what I order and admittedly, judge them off of.

This recipe is southern in origin, and please tell me you love the namesake movie ‘Fried Green Tomatoes (if never seen, run to your tv now), as you WILL enjoy both.  Given it’s long-lasting delicious popularity, is almost unthinkable to skip over such a regional treat.  As I mentioned, this can be eaten as a side, drizzled in ranch, or added to a BLT, burger or into a hearty salad, as you’ll find below.  Simply scrumptious.

The Starting Lineup

Fried Green Tomatoes

  • 4 green tomatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 2 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 5 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cup canola oil

Salad

  • 6 cups spring mix
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onion, sliced
  • 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • Buttermilk ranch dressing, homemade best
  • Hot sauce, if desired

In a small mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk and hot sauce.  Add tomato slices and allow to soak for 20 minutes.

Add oil to a skillet over medium-high heat.  In a shallow dish, mix together flour, cornmeal, smoked paprika, salt & pepper.  Once the oil is hot, remove the tomatoes from the buttermilk, shaking off the excess liquid, and dredge each slice liberally in the flour mixture.  Fry for about 2 minutes per side, not to overcrowd the pan.

While frying, toss together the salad.  Top the salad with the freshly fried tomatoes and a drizzle of ranch and hot sauce.  Enjoy!

FriedGreenTomatoSalad

Roast Beef “Debris” Po’Boy

Mmmmmm…..When most people think of the famous Po’boy sandwich, their mind often runs to fried oysters or fried shrimp.  Mine, however, goes to the heavenly tender roast beef version dripping in gravy.

It can be insanely messy, hence the “debris” name (thank you to the paper towel inventor), but Ill gladly wear the this meal on my shirt, need be.  Something magical happens when you mix the beefy flavor with thick, real southern mayonnaise, juicy tomatoes and cool, crunchy shredded lettuce.

*This can also be made in a Dutch oven and covered, roasted in the oven vs. your slow cooker.  You will still sear and sauté on the stove top, the cover and place in a 350 degree oven for 3-1/2 to 4 hours, till fork tender.  You will also need to up the chicken broth or water by one cup.  Checking once or twice to make sure the liquid didn’t evaporate.

The Starting Lineup

  • 3 pound beef roast (i.e. top round, chuck, eye of round etc)
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 8 cloved garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1 Tbsp both vegetable oil and butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef or chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp worcestershire
  • 1Tbsp hot sauce (i.e. Crystal)
  • 1 bay leaf

Assemble:

  • Six 6-inch length French bread ‘baguettes’
  • Mayonnaise (i.e. Dukes, Blue Plate)
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Dill pickle slices (optional)

Heavily season the beef roast with the salt and pepper.  Make about 16, 1-inch slits all over the roast and insert the halved garlic cloves into the roast.  Dredge all sides in the flour.

Heat up a pan to medium heat and add in the vegetable oil and butter.  Sear the beef roast on all sides until a crust appears, while also adding the prepared onion, carrot, bell pepper and celery.  Sauté and sear!

Transfer the seared roast and sautéed vegetables to a slow cooker.  Pour a bit of chicken broth to pan to scrape up any ‘brown bits’ and also add to the slow cooker.

Whisk together the broth, Worcestershire and hot sauce, pour over.  Add the bay leaf, cover, and set to low for 8 hours.

Prepare:  Turn the slow cooker to warm and shred the beef (remove bay leaf).  Half the French bread loaves and spread with mayonnaise.  Layer a good amount of the juicy shredded beef, followed buy the tomatoes, pickles and shredded lettuce.

Serve with hot, salted fries or a handful of Zapp’s chips and a Barq’s Root Beer, enjoy!

RoastBeefPoBoy

Christmas on the “Ranch” Rollups

I just love this time of year!  Not only because of the family time, presents, décor or music, but also because of all the yummy appetizers to be had!

This one here is a cinch to make and looks great on your Christmas Eve buffet.  Its creamy, yet has great crunch from the fresh vegetables and tremendous flavor from the bacon and ranch seasoning.  Plus you can add in any additional veggies you may have on hand (shredded carrots, chopped tomatoes, etc.), which is a great way to sneak in a little bit of extra nutrition for your picky eaters!  This is definitely family and kid-approved!

 

The Starting Lineup 

  • 4 large garden spinach herb flavored (green) tortillas
  • 2 (8oz) blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (1oz) packet Ranch Seasoning
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, Ranch seasoning, crumbled bacon, red bell pepper, green onions, jalapenos and pepper.  Mix thoroughly.

Spread an even amount of the cream cheese mixture over each tortilla.  Roll up like a jelly roll and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to overnight.  Slice each roll into 1″ pieces and arrange on a serving dish.  Enjoy!

RanchRollups

Puff Pastry Pecan Rolls with Bacon Caramel

These sticky buns are quite the guilty pleasure and one that needs to be taken advantage of!  They’re sweet, salty, and unlike your typical breakfast bun, these are made with puff pastry which gives a light and airy crunch to them, a la Baklava!  Plus, they have baaccooonnn!!  To answer the old age question, nothing, I repeat nothing, is better than bacon!

*Make sure to serve fresh and warm as the caramel will harden.  You can reheat them.

**These can also be made using your standard dough recipe for an equally delicious and softer bun!

***They’re also great as dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 lb bacon + grease
  • 1-1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 (17.5oz) package puff pastry (freezer aisle)
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place a 12-cup muffin tin on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Cook the bacon slices until almost crispy, but not quite done.  Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.  Pour the bacon fat into a small pot.  Once the bacon is cool, crumble into small pieces.

Place the pot of bacon grease over medium-low heat.  Add 1 cup brown sugar and cook, whisking frequently, until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes (the mixture will look granular).  Slowly stream in the maple syrup and whisk vigorously as the mixture begins to bubble.  Once the syrup comes together, add the cream and kosher salt.  Remove from the heat and whisk until all of the cream is incorporated.  Reserve until ready to use.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  Unfold both sheets of puff pastry and arrange the sheets so that the fold lines run parallel to the counter edge.  Generously brush the sheets with the melted butter.  Combine the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the buttered sheets.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup crumbled bacon and some of the chopped pecans over the pastry.  Gently press the bacon and nuts into the sugar mixture with your palms.  Roll the pastry away from you, forming 2 tight logs.  Use a serrated knife to cut each log into 6 equal pieces.

Pour 1 Tablespoon of the caramel into each muffin cup.  Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon each crumbled bacon and chopped pecans.  Place sticky buns cut-side into caramel in each muffin cup and gently press down, maintaining the round shape.

Bake until the caramel bubbles and the buns are deeply golden brown, about 35 minutes.  Work quickly to release the sides of the buns from the muffin cups, using a small knife, as if you wait they will stick.  Carefully invert the muffin tin onto another baking sheet/serving tray.  Spoon any caramel that remains in the muffin tin over the buns.  Serve immediately.

PecanPuffPastry

 

Apple Butter Cheddar Waffles

Since I just don’t know how to leave things alone and feel the need to always one-up myself, I decided to tackle the typical Sunday brunch waffle.  While the standard homemade waffle is good, if not great as is, I thought to make it spectacular!

All the flavors I put together compliment each other perfectly.  Nothing overpowers the other and they come together in a slightly sweet and savory way.  Also that apple butter maple syrup at the end is so good it could be eaten off a shoe!  …or perhaps over ice cream or a slice of pie. 😉

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 cups All-Purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon each apple pie spice & cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1-1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • *Combine and warm equal parts pure maple syrup with the apple butter to drizzle overtop.

Preheat your waffle iron to its medium setting.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, spices and salt.

In another bowl whisk together the milk, apple butter, shredded cheddar, eggs and vegetable oil.  Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir/fold to combine.

Spray the waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray and spoon the batter onto the heated griddle.  Close and cook according to your waffle iron’s instructions.

Serve the waffles with the warmed apple butter syrup, enjoy!

CheddarAppleButterWaffles

Peanut Butter & Jelly Pie

Our favorite nostalgic sandwich has been turned into our family favorite pie, no matter the age!  These classic flavors go together like…well, you know 😉  Now that Fall is approaching (c’mon my favorite season, we have mere weeks until the 21st and this weather needs to cooperate with that!), I’ve been craving those rich, warm flavors.  Given the heat just won’t break, what’s better than a chilled, comforting pie for dessert!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 cup peanut butter, creamy
  • 1(8oz) block cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/8 cup powdered sugar
  • 1(8oz) container whipped topping
  • 1(9-inch) graham cracker crust
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/3 cup grape jelly
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and the peanut butter until well blended and smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and beat until well blended.  Gently fold in 1-1/2 cups of the whipped topping just until combined.

Pour into the crust and spread evenly.  Spread the remaining whipped topping over the top.  Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

Chill for a minim of two hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, whisk the jelly, water and powdered sugar together in a small saucepan.  Warm and drizzle over the pie.  Enjoy!

PeanutButterandJellyPie

Green Chile Artichoke Dip

If you haven’t realized, I like to take classic recipes and give them a bit of a spin!  The typical artichoke dip is no exception.  I took the hot, cheesy concoction and amped it up with a couple cans of green chiles and diced hot peppers.  What was usually tasty, but quite bland, now has a real kick of flavor and your guests will love the welcome change!

*IF you have any leftover, you can served warm over grilled chicken breasts and rice.

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 cans diced green chiles, (one 4oz hot, one 7oz regular)
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1-2 fresh jalapenos, diced (I keep seeds in)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Drain the artichokes and pat dry.  In a large bowl, thoroughly combine all the ingredients and transfer to an 8-inch cast iron pan (preferred, to hold in the heat) or 8×8 baking tin.

Place in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly, and then pop under the broiler till the top is a golden brown, 2-3 minutes.  Serve with tortilla chips, baguette bread or fresh veggies.

GreenChileArtichokeDip

Green Chile Chicken Pizza

I feel like I’ve been on a sort of hiatus.  I imagine that is also the definition of ‘summer’.  I now see how my kiddos summer break is relaxing for them, but in turn, means more work for me!  With only 1 week left till school begins, I’m about to be on my A-game again and can cook and RELAX.

This recipe is dedicated to the days I have my boys hollering for pizza, as I’m excited it’s a Taco Tuesday!  The best of both worlds!  Our local Texas grocer, HEB, has a yearly Hatch chile roasting event and its spectacularly delicious!!  That being said, I purchased a roasting bag full and came up with this family pleaser!  Hint: you can just as easily use the canned variety.  I just recommend to at least mix the hot and original mild variety.  Who wants a bland pizza?!

The Starting Lineup

  • 2-3 rounds pizza dough (store bought or homemade)
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled and chopped
  • 8oz ‘hot’ hatch green chiles
  • 4oz green chiles (to top pizza with)
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 16 oz mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (garnish)
  • 1/3 cup cotija cheese (garnish)

*Makes 2-3 medium pizzas

**Your local pizzeria will often sell you fresh pizza dough, which makes your life that much easier!

In a large pot, sauté the onion till translucent (5-7 minutes).  Add in the chicken breasts, chopped poblano peppers, 8oz green chiles, chicken broth, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika and salt.  Cover, and simmer on low for 2 hours, until chicken is cooked through.

Remove the cooked chicken, shred and set aside, reserving the chile/poblano sauce.  Allow to cool slightly and use either an immersion blender or transfer to your stand blender and combine thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to your pizza dough recipe/brand’s instruction (often 500 degrees for homemade).  If homemade, roll out your dough to roughly 12″ in diameter.  Ladle on the pureed green chile sauce and top with your shredded chicken, extra green chiles and mozzarella cheese.  Bake in the preheated oven until your crust is a golden brown and cheese is bubbling and melty!

Remove and top generously with the fresh cilantro and cotija cheese, enjoy!

GreenChilePizza

 

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