Grilling Season 2014, MRN Woody Cain, #6 BBQ Sauce, Liverpool FC

Hello friends.

The harsh winter has finally broken on the Niagara Frontier and it looks like we might only get a couple more chilly days in Buffalo.  This weekend is gorgeous and next weekend will open the grilling season for Chicken Fried Buffalo.  On Friday, I will be headed to the palatial estate high above Lake Moriane in Hamilton (NY).  It has been five long months since I have used my trusty Weber and Master Forge smoker.

The Weber

The Weber

Of course, I did head south for some spring training last week.  There was an O6 Racing all-day singing and prayer meeting held April 2-7 at Texas Motor Speedway.  It is good to get some of the rust off the wagon before you head into another important grilling season.  The Smoke Master from Matador Ron Cox had the Double-T smoker filled with mesquite and he did some of his best work.  The briskets, pork shoulder, homemade sausage, beer-in-the-butt chicken and the smoker beans were all outstanding.  For the weekend, Ron handles the meat while I work on the accoutrements…that is Canadian for side items.

We have added a new item for future events…Smoked Cajun Maque Choux.   This was a recipe that I posted back in January but I had never made it in a smoker.  It came out pretty good.

Speaking of TMS, I had the opportunity to record a few segments with Ryan Hyatt for That Dang Ol’ Show.  Also, I had the chance to meet the Woody Cain of Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Fast Food.  Woody shares many of the same interests of CFB and he did make it out to the campsite to sample my Flying Pig Sandwich.  I will outline this little bit of pig heaven in a future post.

In fact, the Flying Pig made last week’s Fast Food Podcast on MRN.  Click HERE to listen.  Be sure and follow Woody on Twitter @WYcain.

GRILLING SEASON…2014

There are some essentials that will help you over the next few months.

Make your seasoning blends and rubs up ahead of time.  If you have not already done so, make up a batch of Acadiana Seasoning which works well as an all-purpose seasoning.  Here is an Aussie Seasoning that works well on both steak and chicken wings:

Aussie Dust

  • 4  Tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 4  Tablespoons Paprika
  • 1  Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1  Tablespoon Mustard Powder
  • 1  Tablespoon Coriander
  • 1  Tablespoon Black Pepper
  • ½  Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • ½  Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • ½  Tablespoon Thyme Leaves
  • ½  Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper

Combine all ingredients. Store in air-tight container for up to six months.

Everyone has their own preference and taste when it comes to barbecue sauce.  This barbecue sauce recipe does well on just about everything.  Inspired by the sauces available in and around St. Louis like Maull’s, this basic sauce is easy to make and it can be spiced up if that is your style.  Also, Batch #6 BBQ is a good base for making other sauces, like a whiskey sauce.

Also, I actually use the generic or store branded sauces to save a few bucks.  If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, make sure you pick up some Trader Joe’s South African Smoke Seasoning Blend.  This is an amazing product.  It gives great, natural smoke flavor…I hate liquid smoke…to all foods whether you are smoking, grilling or just want some smoke flavor in anything you make.south-african-smoke450

Batch #6 BBQ Sauce

  • 4         Cups Ketchup
  • 1         10-Ounce Bottle A1 Style Steak Sauce
  • 1         10-Ounce Bottle Heinz 57 Style Sauce
  • 1 ½     Cups Apple Juice or Cider
  • ¼         Cup  Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼         Cup Dark Karo Syrup
  • ¼         Cup  Honey
  • ¼         Cup Molasses
  • 1 ½      Teaspoon Trader Joe’s South African Smoke Seasoning Blend or Liquid Smoke
  • 2          Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1          Teaspoon Granulated Garlic or Garlic Powder

In large saucepan combine all ingredients and gradually bring to a low simmer over medium heat, whisking to mix.  Reduce heat.  Let cool to room temperature and place in refrigerator. Good for up to three months.

TOP OF THE TABLE

1002760_10201319924230801_2062922950_nLiverpool sits at the top of the Premier League Table after a 3-2 win over Man City at Anfield.  NEVER FORGET THE 96…YNWA. #LFC

CFB ON THE AIR

Every Monday night, That Dang Ol’ Show features a live CFB segment.  If you are in West Texas, you can listen in on the 2013 and 2014 Texas Country Station of the Year, KJDL The Red Dirt Rebel 105.3 FM.  Everyone else can listen live on the internet…just click HERE to be part of radio history.

 

Surviving St. Patrick’s Day | 10 Tips

BuffaloIrishHello friends or in the old Irish…dia duit cairde.

Even though St. Patrick’s Day is officially Monday, March 17, many folks are already knee-deep in merriment across the country.

Buffalo is a city that was built by the Irish.  The “Old First Ward” in South Buffalo is still predominantly Irish and home to some of the best bars in the city.  St. Patrick’s Day is big on the Niagara Frontier.

I still believe that New Year’s Eve is America’s amateur night and I chronicled my thoughts about that subject in an earlier post.  St. Patrick’s Day, and the weekend that proceeds it, is a close second.  Once some people put on the “green” it is all over.

So in the spirit of the season, here are my St. Patrick’s Day Top 10 Tips:

There is more to Irish culture than St. Patrick’s Day.

Throughout history, the Irish have influenced the world with their literature (James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw), arts and music…not just by their ability to lift a pint.

Remember that most people in the world are not Irish.

There are just over 80,000,000 Irish worldwide.  That is less than .01% of the world’s population.

bpc-guinness-shamrockGuinness is the the original light/low carb beer.

I cannot count the number of times I have heard someone say, “Guinness is to heavy to drink…it is like drinking motor oil.”  When you hear  this comment, you can bet that person either does not know anything about beer or has never actually tasted a Guinness.  A Guinness has only 125 calories and 10 carbs…not bad for motor oil.

Irish bars are open throughout the year and not just on March 17.

St. Patrick’s Day might be the worst day to check out your local Irish Pub.  Stop by one afternoon and get the real feel of the place.  Be sure and tip your waitresses and bartenders.

Remember you might have to work on Tuesday.

If you go out Monday or Sunday for that manner, monitor your alcohol intake and drink plenty of water.  You don’t want to show up at the office with bar stamps on your hands and sweating like you just ran a 5k.

Don’t drink “green” beer.

This might be one of the dumbest “traditions” every imposed on the beer drinking public…putting green food coloring in a perfectly good beer.  If you must, here is a step-by-step tutorial.

There are very few people that look good in a green plastic derby hat and the chances that you do are slim.PartyHat

You know who you are.

Attending a parade does not give you a license to be a total jackass.

Just because you caught a piece of Double Bubble Gum or an Atkison’s Chick-O-Stick candy thrown by a member of the Lion’s Club doesn’t give you the right to drink 18 Keystone Lights, strip down to your “Kiss Me I’m Irish” boxers and  yelling “Bro” at every person that passes by.

Adhere to this old Apache creed…it is never a good idea to drink Jägermeister while the sun is in the sky.

No explanation needed.

Finally, in the immortal words of Dean Vernon Wormer, “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son.”

Remember this when when you are out drinking a few pints and trying to tell people you are Irish.

Have a safe St. Patrick’s Day.

Here’s to a long life and a merry one.

A quick death and an easy one

A pretty girl and an honest one

A cold beer – and another one!

“Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!”

CFB ON THE AIR:  Every Monday night, That Dang Ol’ Show features a live CFB segment.  If you are in West Texas, you can listen in on the 2013 Texas Country Station of the Year, KJDL The Red Dirt Rebel 105.3 FM.  Everyone else can listen live on the internet…just click HERE to be part of radio history.

An Anachronism | Born In The Wrong Era

There is a discussion that I have had with many of my friends lately.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that this discussion answers many questions about me. I was born in the wrong era.worlds_fair_chicago_1933

So many of the things that I enjoy are anachronisms. They are products of another place in time…another era. They speak to a more genteel time. They are from a time where our lives may not have been artificially extended with advanced science and technology but our lives were less complex. People could enjoy the little things in life. Like most of us, I am a slave to technology, especially for my work.

I am constantly checking e-mail on my iPhone. I have almost every Apple product known to man. I recently cut cable television but added Roku and Netflix…that topic was discussed in an earlier post..but I constantly think about a simpler, lower technological existence.

These thoughts really crystallized for me recently. One of my staff members had volunteered to drop me off at the Amtrak station. I was taking the train back to Hamilton, New York for the Colgate-Navy basketball game.Amtrak-logo

During our ride, he talked about a friend of his that worked for a company owned by a Dutch conglomerate. Whenever the head of the Dutch company came to New York for a meeting, he would take the train and encouraged the local staff to ride the train. His comment was that riding the train made him feel more human. I could not agree more. That is probably one of the things that I love about riding the train. I do feel more human. I feel that the pace of my life has just slowed down and that I can relax and enjoy the ride.

For some reason, I never feel that way when I am flying all over country like I have for the last 25 years. Thousands upon thousands of air miles. More flights and airports that I can count. Always rushing from gate-to-gate. People herded on and off planes like livestock headed for the slaughterhouse. The frustrations are endless.

I never feel that way on a train. Yes I know that Amtrak is not really convenient for most travelers. The trains do not run with near the frequency or service the cities and towns that rail service did a century ago. The automobile and commercial air travel have made sure of that.

Also, it seems as Amtrak is almost never on time, but I could really care less. I love riding a train. In December, I took the train from Penn Station in New York City to the Buffalo Exchange Street stop…which is two blocks from my loft.   It took nine hours, countless stops and sitting on the side tracks waiting on several long freights to pass.

The ride was absolutely fantastic. It was relaxing. The coach seats are the same size as first-class airline seats. There is a club car with food and adult beverages.

I am writing this blog while riding back to Buffalo from Utica on Amtrak’s Maple Leaf. The total cost of the roundtrip was $66.  I brought my small CJ’s Hot Wings cooler with lunch, snacks and a few Monroe City craft beers (Keystone Light) for the ride.Keith Stone

No worrying about black ice on the roads, state troopers or tolls. I spend more on the tank of gas making the trip than the round trip ticket. This is my favorite way to travel.

southern_pacific_railroad_vintage_train_travel_poster-r77eba578984146e08cf6eaa5f9f289da_aabp_8byvr_512There was a time when there was an elegance to train travel. You could have a good meal in the multiple dining cars. If you were so inclined, a scotch and cigar were available in the smoking car. The service was impeccable.  Of course, the golden age of train travel is long gone. A product of an era lost to the advances of technology. An age that will never return.

We are “instant” society today. How fast can we get where we are going? How quickly can the news of today be spread around the globe by the internet? How many things can technology strip of their wonder?

Maybe this is why I still love the magic of listening to a baseball game on radio. Watching a classic movie that was made without CGI. The smell of a library. Cooking a meal from scratch in my grandmother’s skillet. Actually talking to someone. The Sunday newspaper.

Ernie Harwell

Ernie Harwell

The thrill of having to wait a minute, hour, day or week for something great to happen. I wax rhapsodic about these things knowing that it is this mindset that affects my life. This probably answers why I like to cook, entertain people and write.

When people ask me how I relax…because it appears I seldom do…I tell them that is almost impossible for me in today’s world. That is because I really belong to another time and place.

It is there that I can find some peace…with a smooth train ride. Where I can unplug and feel human again.

Corn Dogs | Chili Corn Dog Casserole

Hello friends.

Is there a more perfect food than the corn dog?  A hot dog placed on a stick that is covered in batter and deep fried.CornDog

There is much debate on the history of the corn dog.  Who first batter-fried a sausage or hot dog?  Who was the unmitigated genius who added the wooden stick for portability?  These are much debated questions.

Many claim to have invented this culinary masterpiece but all Texans and experts who know what they are talking about all point to the Lone State as the home of the corn dog.

Carl and Neil Fletcher invented the deep-fried corn-battered hot dog in their Dallas kitchen in 1941 and sold it for the first time at the State Fair of Texas in 1942. Since then it’s become a state fair tradition, the Fletcher family reports they sell around 500,000 corny dogs during the fair’s 24-day run each year.

fletcher-logo

I have eaten corn dogs all over the United States and in Canada, where they call them pogos or pogo sticks, but I have never tasted anything like a Fletcher’s Corny Dog.

There are two different styles of corn dogs in Texas.  First, there is the Fletcher’s style where the batter is thin and is fried to a golden brown.  The crust is crunchy and most other corn dogs try to follow this model.  This is the style that most people have tried at local festivals, county and state fairs across America.

As a Texpatriate, I do not get the opportunity to attend the State Fair of Texas each year like I did in my youth but I do get my Fletcher’s fix each April at Texas Motor Speedway where they are sold during the races.  Thank you Eddie Gossage.

The second style is a hot dog dipped and fried in a sweet and thick cornbread batter.  This style is much harder to find.  In my home town of McKinney, a man named Leroy Steffey served a “Jiffy Dog” at his long closed drive-in restaurant. His version fried to a much darker brown and had a consistency more like a cornbread muffin or hush puppy. Currently, you can still find this style of corn dog at a small drive-in chain in West Texas and Oklahoma called Dixie Dog.

I would give $50 for two (2) “Jiffy Dogs” and an order of Mr. Steffey’s onion rings right now.  Steffey’s was my favorite place to go as a kid and it is a shame that it no longer exists.  NOTE:  The onion rings at Ted’s Hot Dogs in Buffalo are a fine substitute.

If you have never tried a corn dog, I have one piece of advice.  Make sure your first corn dog is handmade and freshly fried.  Please don’t eat a frozen corn dog and think it is the real thing.

Rick Perry Eating A Corn Dog

Rick Perry Eating A Corn Dog

Also, the corn dog was made to be slathered in yellow mustard…no ketchup, no mayonnaise, no ranch dressing and no Grey Poupon.  Period.

Over the years, I have tried to make my own corn dogs but have failed miserably.  It is something I just have not been able to do and have I just stopped trying but recently came across a dish that adds a twist to the corn dog that others might enjoy.

This dish is not for the meek and is possibly one of the most unhealthy recipes I have ever made but it has minimal ingredients and is every easy to make.  It is a great way to use leftover grilled hot dogs and/or Ranger Chili.

NOTE:  There are two outstanding brands of hot dogs available in Western New York.  Sahlen’s in Buffalo and Hofmann’s from Syracuse.  You cannot go wrong with either.

Chili Corn Dog Casserole

  • 1  8 ½ Ounce Package Mexican corn mix

  • 1  Package Hot Dogs (cut into bite-size pieces)

  • 1  Can Chili or 16 Ounces of Ranger Chili

  • 2  Tablespoons brown sugar

  • ½  Teaspoon Garlic Powder

  • ½  Teaspoon Chili Powder

  • ½  Teaspoon Cumin

  • 1  Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Prepare corn bread batter according to package directions. Spread batter into a greased 8-in. square baking dish and set aside.

In a large skillet, saute hot dogs until lightly browned. Stir in the chili, brown sugar, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and ½ cup cheese.  Spoon over corn bread batter.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for five  minutes.

Hope you enjoy this great Texas dish.

CFB ON THE AIR:  Every Monday night, That Dang Ol’ Show features a live CFB segment.  If you are in West Texas, you can listen in on the 2013 Texas Country Station of the Year, KJDL The Red Dirt Rebel 105.3 FM.  Everyone else can listen live on the internet…just click HERE to be part of radio history.

Liverpool FCFYI:  Also just is case you have not checked the Barclay’s Premier League table recently, Liverpool is second with 59 points.  You are welcome and YNWA.

Recipe | King Ranch Chicken

Hello friends.

Our long national nightmare is over.  The Great American Race will run later today…the Daytona 500.

If you are having a party, I am sure you are already grilling or cooking and have already had a couple of Bloody Bills but I am also sure that there are others that realized they don’t have a food plan for the rest of the day.

Chicken Fried Buffalo to the rescue with a quick and easy recipe that will feed the masses and make you look like star in the kitchen.

First, we will start out with a short Texas history lesson.  The King Ranch is more than just a style of Ford truck. 250px-King_Ranch_logo

It is one of world’s largest ranches, the King Ranch is over 800,000 acres and covers six countries in Texas.  Captain Richard King, a native of New York, and Gideon K. Lewis founded the ranch in 1853.

Located between Corpus Christi and Brownsville in deep south Texas, the King Ranch raises cattle and horses.  In fact, the 1946 Triple Crown winner Assault and the 1950 Kentucky Derby Champion Middleground.

fsd14_models_detailflip_twotonepaintAlso famous for its leather products, Ford added a King Ranch Edition to its F-150 truck line in 2001 and has increased the offering in additional vehicles due to the popularity of the brand.

In addition, King Ranch lends its named to one of Texas’ best comfort foods…King Ranch Chicken.

Many of the foods that non-Texans called Mexican or Tex-Mex are really just South Texas ranch food.  Dishes that were developed in the region that took advantage of what inexpensive items were available. While King Ranch Chicken is an example of this, the best example is fajitas…more on that in another post.

This is one of my all-time favorite dishes and is perfect for a large group.  There are different variations…some people use crushed tortilla chips instead of tortillas. etc.

Texpatriates worldwide will tell you that King Ranch Chicken might be the best Texas comfort food ever created.  As noted earlier, it is simple to prepare and does not take much time.

For years, it was sometimes difficult find Ro*Tel in the grocery stores outside Texas but that has become much easier.  In fact, I have found that many of the less-expensive, generic brands of tomatoes and diced green chiles are superior to the original.  If you are fortunate enough to have a Trader Joe’s in your area, they have a fire-roasted tomato version that is amazing.

King Ranch Chicken

  • ¼  Cup Butter

  • 1   Chopped Red Bell Pepper

  • 1   Chopped (Small) Onion

  • 1   Tablespoon Minced Garlic

  • 2   Can Cream of Chicken Soup

  • 1  Can Ro*Tel Style Tomatoes with Green Chilies

  • 2  Cups Shredded Chicken

  • 1  Tablespoon Chili Powder

  • 1  Tablespoon Cumin

  • 2  Cups Shredded Mexican Cheese

  • 12  Tortillas

In large pot, melt butter. Add red bell pepper, onion, garlic and cook for five (5) minutes. Add cream of chicken soup, Ro*Tel, chicken, chili powder, cumin, cheese and cook for 10 minutes. Grease a 10×13 pan. Layer tortillas and sauce mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese bubbles and browns.

Hope you enjoy this great Texas dish.

Every Monday night, That Dang Ol’ Show features a live CFB segment.  If you are in West Texas, you can listen in on the 2013 Texas Country Station of the Year, KJDL The Red Dirt Rebel 105.3 FM.  Everyone else can listen live on the internet…just click HERE to be part of radio history.

Finally, great win at Anfield by Liverpool 4-3 over Swansea City…YNWA. splash_crest

(Almost) Cutting The Cable

Hello Friends.

One quick announcement before we move on.  Every Monday night, That Dang Ol’ Show features a live CFB segment.  If you are in West Texas, you can listen in on the 2013 Texas Country Station of the Year, KJDL The Red Dirt Rebel 105.3 FM.  Everyone else can listen live on the internet…just click HERE to be part of radio history.

One of the things I have tried to do with this blog is to show folks how to save a little money on food.  Well today, I turn my attention to another area where you can save a little coin…cutting the cable. photo

After spending the better part of two years debating on whether I could do it, I finally developed enough self confidence to pull the trigger and I began the process of “cutting the cable” from my life last month.

Now, I did not have the courage go cold turkey. I did not call my local cable company and say shut it down…shut down grid 212…lose the grid or lose your job.  My approach is a phased reduction in the dependence on my cable company and trying to save enough money to pay for my Dallas Cowboys‘ season ticket package.

Over the last few months, I dedicated some time to researching my options and I hope that what I have discovered will help others in their quest.

Let me give you a few basics before I begin.  I live in a loft apartment within an historic warehouse building in downtown Buffalo. Why you might ask does this matter in cutting the cable?  Well, because my building is zoned historic, so it cannot have satellite dishes anywhere on the building.  That eliminated DISH or DirecTV as a possible option.

This is important because it is almost impossible to deal with a cable company and get a better deal if there is no available competition.  Everyone in my building has only one choice.  This means that the company does not have to extend any “first-time customer/sign-up” deals and this is what I was faced with.  After my initial 12-month introductory price was over, the company doubled my bill.  I only had internet, an HD digital cable television package with DVR and no premium channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.).  I attempted to negotiate but got nowhere.  There is something fundamentally wrong with paying more in cable than you pay for your car payment.

Now I begin my quest.  I did an inventory of the channels that I knew I wanted…local stations, CNN, FoxNews, ESPN, A&E, History Channel, etc.  There was no question that I had to continue my internet service so I knew that I would have at least some package with my local cable company.  Whether it was ROKU, Apple TV or Chromecast, I had to have good internet service.  I researched the above mentioned streaming devices/services.  Full disclosure…I am an Apple nerd and have been for three decades. I have an iPhone, iPad, iMac and all other gadgets from Cupertino but in my research, I saw that ROKU might be the best fit for me.  I have friends that utilize each of the different streaming services so what works best for me might not work best for everyone.

The ROKU 1 was my choice.  I am not a gamer so this entry level ROKU was best for me.  It was only $45 at Target and since my purchase, I have seen it cheaper.  My plan was to set up my ROKU and test it for a week or so before I made my cable decision. The set up could not have been easier…15 minutes and I was up and running. ROKU has countless options and has easy to sync apps. TIP: You will need your computer to activate several of the apps so have it up and running.Roku-1-3quarter-wLogoPartnerRemote-HR-RGB-JPG

As I began my testing, I found that there is an app that turns your iPhone into a ROKU remote.  I am an Amazon Prime member so I get that service at no additional charge.  Also, I reactivated my Netflix account so now I had two (2) high powered streaming services for my viewing pleasure.  ROKU gives you so many options and all in 1080p and have been pleasantly surprised with the quality of the stream.

All the music streaming apps like Pandora are also available.  Weather, news, sports…everything you can imagine.  So now I had a streaming device, what next?  I knew I could get 20+ channels with an HDTV antenna…including Canadian channels…but could I live with that plus my ROKU.  It was then that I remembered the streaming app from my local cable company.  I checked my ROKU and that app was available.  This gave me 70+ channels in 1080p through streaming.

Now we are getting somewhere.  There is also the Watch ESPN app but you have to be paying for a cable television service and package that carries ESPN in order to watch the self proclaimed “Worldwide Leader” on the net.  I took my channel inventory and cross checked it with the local cable app and found that everything I wanted was either available there or through another app on ROKU…except ESPN.

The next step was to contact my local cable company.  I knew that I had to maintain my internet service but now all I felt I needed was the lowest cable television package that allowed me to stream through the app.  As fate would have it, the lowest standard cable package gave me all local channels in HD, ESPN and streaming of 70+ channels thorough the app.

That package and my internet was half of my current cable bill. If you net out the monthly cost of Netflix, I am now saving $80 a month.  I am getting all the channels I wanted to keep in 1080p and HD quality.  All I did to watch the Super Bowl was switch back over the standard cable and I had it in HD. I will do the same with March Madness.

12458_lg-2This is how I am saving almost $1,000 this year and still getting all the television I want to watch.  By the way, that is Buffalo’s own Grover Cleveland on the $1,000 bill.

While this solution will not work for everyone, it worked for me and hopefully it will anyone who wants to “cut the cable” or for other cheap folks like me that want to save a few dollars.

Be sure and follow Chicken Fried Buffalo on Twitter and Facebook.

CFB Radio Interview on That Dang Ol’ Show

Here is my weekly segment with Ryan Hyatt on That Dang Ol’ Show.  This week we chatted about ordering Tex-Mex cuisine in restaurants outside of Texas, Lubbock music and a little NASCAR.

That Dang Ol' show

That Dang Ol’ show

Listen To The Interview

Be sure to follow That Dang Ol’ Show on Twitter @dangolshow.

14 Super Recipes for the 2014 Super Bowl | Margaritas, The Big Lebowski, Chicken Wings and Sriracha Sauce

Hello friends.

It is getting close and I know folks across the country are starting to get prepared for February 2nd and the Super Bowl.  More importantly, people are are getting ready for their Super Bowl party.

The Super Bowl is a great American spectacle where an over-hyped game normally makes for boring event.  As a Texpatriate, I am a football fan.  I am a Dallas Cowboy fan.  I am an NFL fan but I am not a big fan of the Super Bowl…of course unless my Cowboys are playing which may not happen again in my lifetime.

So why is a hardcore football nut not a fan of the Super Bowl?  It is mainly because Super Bowl Sunday has been taken over by the non-football, corporate, Johnny-Come-Lately, I haven’t watched a game all year crowd where the game is about the commercials and and the betting pool.

The irony in this is that I do love to attend and host Super Bowl parties so I thought that I would provide 14 different recipes you can use for your party of one you are attending.

DRINKS

Rocky’s Margaritas

Frozen Margarita

Frozen Margarita

While I lived in Nacogdoches, I had a neighbor that was famous for his margaritas.  He loved to entertain people and was the ultimate host.  Unfortunately, he died a few years ago but he left this very simple…but a little expensive…recipe.  I still make these today.

  • 2  Quarts Ice Cubes
  • 1  6-Ounce Can Frozen Limeade
  • 3  Ounces Patron Tequila
  • 3  Ounces Grand Marnier
  • 1  Ounces Orange Juice
  • Margarita or Flaked Kosher Salt

Instructions

Fill blender with ice.  Pour in limeade, tequila, Grand Marnier and orange juice.  Blend at highest speed until drink is almost smooth.  To salt the margarita glasses, pour a single layer of salt on a salad plate. Moisten each glass rim with lime; dip each rim in the salt. Pour margaritas into each glass; garnish with lime.

APPETIZERS

Here are a couple of appetizer ideas.  There are also plenty of other ideas in previous Chicken Fried Buffalo posts.

Monroe Beer Cheese

  • 1 Pound Shredded American Cheese
  • 16 Ounce Cream Cheese
  • ½ Teaspoon Red Pepper

Instructions

Combine all ingredients except chile powder and roll into logs. Roll in chile powder. Cut and serve with crackers.

Creamy Jalapeno Dip

  • 1  Cup Real Mayonnaise
  • ⅓  Cup Buttermilk
  • ⅓  Cup Sour Cream
  • 1  4-Ounce Can Chopped Jalapeños
  • 1  4-Ounce Can Chopped Green Chiles
  • ⅓  Cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 1  1-Ounce Packet of Dry Ranch Dressing ix
  • ½  Teaspoon Minced Garlic

Instructions

Throw all ingredients into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Place in refrigerator and chill for at least one (1) hour.

Sweet Chili Dip

  • 1  8-ounce Cream Cheese
  • ½  Cup Mayonnaise
  • ½  Cup Sweet Chili Sauce

Soften cream cheese. Combine cheese and mayonnaise in mixing bowl. Mix in sweet chili sauce. Place in refrigerator and chill for at least one (1) hour.

CHICKEN WINGS

ncc_logoNothing says Super Bowl or Super Bowl Party like chicken wings.  American will eat over 1.2 billion chicken wings on Super Bowl weekend according to the National Chicken Council.   Now that is a lot of yardbird my friends.

One of my first posts on Chicken Fried Buffalo, I discussed Buffalo-Style Chicken Wings.  I know that from coast-to-coast people will be frying, baking, grilling and smoking wings for their party.  The ways to prepare wings is virtually endless but I wanted to provide some simple prep tips and different sauce/seasonings.

First, I want to make a suggestion.  If you are cooking for a large group, don’t try and cook all the wings yourself.  Find a place that will pre-cook the wings for you without any sauce.  This will allow you to re-heat the wings and toss in any sauce or seasoning you would like.  Trust me…this is a big time saver and it does not add much to the overall cost.

I am going to try and list these different options in order from easiest to most complex.  Remember that the sauce/seasoning will we added to freshly cooked or reheated wings so I am not going to list chicken wing cooking instructions.

Also, everyone should know to place cooked/reheated wings in large bowl and pour sauce or seasoning over wings.  Toss until well covered.  Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing.  I have posted my Cowboy Blue Cheese Dip/Dressing that will work great with wings and who doesn’t know how to make or buy ranch dressing.

Wing Sauces

The Dude’s Buffalo Wing Sauce…because this is the lazy man’s sauce and the Dude was most certainly that. Quite possibly the laziest in Los Angeles County, which would place him high in the running for laziest worldwide.

The Dude

The Dude

Instructions

Open bottle and pour hot sauce over cooked wings.

Cajun Wing Sauce

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in medium sauce pan. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.  Remove from heat.

Hot Maple Wing Sauce

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in medium sauce pan. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.  Remove from heat.

Virgil’s Famous Wing Sauce

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in medium sauce pan. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.  Remove from heat.

Doc Pham’s Sriracha Sauce…hopefully you have some Sriracha sauce horded due to the much-publicized “shortage” thanks to a California judge.  Of course, Texas to the rescue:  Huy Fong Foods to start making Sriracha in Texas?

Sriracha Sauce

Sriracha Sauce

  • 5  Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • ⅓  Cup Honey
  • ¼ Cup Sriracha (Asian Chile Sauce)
  • 1  Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 2  Teaspoons Lime Juice

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in medium sauce pan. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.  Remove from heat.

Carolina Wings

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in medium sauce pan. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.  Remove from heat.

Garlic Parmesan Wings

  • 3  Teaspoons Minced Garlic
  • ½  Cup Mayonnaise
  • 2  Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
  • 1  Tablespoon Corn Syrup
  • 1  Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1  Teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • ½  Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½  Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ¼  Teaspoon Thyme
  • ¼  Teaspoon Marjoram
  • ¼  Teaspoon Oregano
  • ¼  Teaspoon Basil
  • ¼  Teaspoon Black Pepper

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in medium sauce pan. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.  Remove from heat.

Dry Seasonings

Aussie Dry Wings…this is also nice all-purpose seasoning for grilling.

  • 4  Tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 4  Tablespoons Paprika
  • 1  Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1  Tablespoon Mustard Powder
  • 1  Tablespoon Coriander
  • 1  Tablespoon Black Pepper
  • ½  Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • ½  Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • ½  Tablespoon Thyme Leaves
  • ½  Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper

Instructions

Combine first 10 ingredients in bowl and mix well.

Indian Dry Wings

  • 2  Tablespoons Cumin
  • 2  Tablespoons Coriander
  • 2  Tablespoons Chile Powder
  • 1  Tablespoon Ginger Powder
  • 1  Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1  Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1  Teaspoon Black Pepper

Instructions

Combine first 10 ingredients in bowl and mix well.

DESSERT

Debra’s Chocolate-Caramel Cookies

My sister-in-law makes these very simple cookies and they are great.  You can easily double or triple the recipe for a big crowd.

  • 12  Ounces Rolo’s Caramels
  • 1  Box Devils Food Cake mix
  • 2  Eggs
  • ⅓  Cup Canola Oil

Mix cake mix, oil, and eggs. Take a small ball of dough and form a ball around the Rolo. (Only use enough dough to cover the rolo so it can spread through the cookie.)  Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Yields about 3 dozen.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

THAT DANG OL’ SHOW

That Dang Ol' show

That Dang Ol’ show

What is That Dang Ol’ Show and why is Chicken Fried Buffalo part of it?

It’s show is all about music, racing, food, beer…you name it.  All of those topics are right in our wheelhouse.  It looks like I will be on the show each week.

Try and set aside a little time each week from 5-7:00 p.m. Central on Real County 98.5 in Lubbock and hang out with us on That Dang Ol’ Show.

For some reason, they are allowing the show to be streamed live on the internet so you can listen from anywhere at http://thatdangolshow.com/listen-live-4/.

New Year’s Day | Nor’easter 2014, Cajun Shrimp Moque Choux Recipe and CFB Mailbag

Hello friends.

It is New Year’s Day here on the Niagara Frontier and we have a nor’easter bearing down on Buffalo from the west and this Texpatriate has decided that the best place to be is nice and warm in my loft.

My initial thought was to make a big pot of tortilla soup for myself and any ne’er do wells who might stop by to watch a little football today but I decided to do something a little different.  Many of my friends here in Buffalo have not really been exposed to Cajun cooking.  I had made a batch of Texas Caviar as a dip for for good luck and also made a pan for cornbread but needed something else.

Cajun Shrimp Maque Choux

Cajun Shrimp Maque Choux

I looked around the icebox…as my grandmother used to say…to see what I had around and saw that I had just the things I needed to make a maque choux.  Maque choux (pronounced Mock-shoe) is identified with the culture of South Louisiana but it is really a fusion of Cajun and Native American flavors.

This is a dish that works both in the dead of a WNY winter or in the summer with fresh ingredients from the a farmers’ market.

I had not made dish this in many years but I was was looking for a vegetable dish on Christmas night so I threw it together and it worked out just fine.

While I had tasted maque choux when I lived in New Orleans, I was really exposed to it by a co-worker at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas who had worked at LSU…Geaux Tigers.keep-calm-and-geaux-tigers-20  His wife made it many times for different functions and it was always a big hit.  I have added shrimp to this version.

Cajun Shrimp Maque Choux

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • ¼ Cup Chopped Bacon or Pancetta
  • 4 Cups Corn
  • 1 Cup Chopped Yellow Onions
  • ½ Cup Chopped Red Bell Peppers
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Jalapeno, Italian Giardiniera or Hoagie Spread.
  • 2 Tablespoons Acadiana Seasoning
  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ½  Cup Cream
  • 1 Pound Small Cooked Shrimp

Melt butter in a large cast iron skillet or saute pan then add bacon and cook over medium high heat until brown. Add the corn, onions, bell peppers, jalapeno, Acadiana Seasoning and salt.  Cook, stirring until soft for 10 minutes. Add cream and shrimp.  Cook for additional two (2) minutes.

NOTE:  You can substitute some healthier ingredients…half-and-half, canola oil, etc.  This dish can be made the day before and then re-heated.  Also, I know that when you read the ingredients you might have looked twice when you saw “Hoagie Spread” listed as a substitute for jalapenos.  This is a condiment that is used on sandwiches throughout the Northeast and I have found that it works great in recipes.  I am working on my own recipe and will post when I finally get it right.

Since I already had cornbread made, I thought grilled cornbread would make a nice side for the maque choux.  This simple technique for cornbread works well with many other dishes and is a nice change from standard dinner roll or garlic toast.  Obviously, I like corn so the “double” corn dishes are fine with me.

Garlic Toasted Cornbread

  • Cornbread Squares Sliced Lengthwise
  • Butter
  • Garlic Powder

Heat iron skillet over medium heat.  Butter one side of cornbread then sprinkle with garlic powder.  Place cornbread butter-side down in skillet.  Grill until golden brown.

Chicken Fried Buffalo Mailbag

One of the followers of Chicken Fried Buffalo asked if I would share some of my e-mail correspondence.  Please send questions or comments to info@chickenfriedbuffalo.com or post your question on Twitter @ChkFriedBuffalo.

Why can’t I get Whataburger to deliver?  I have called several times and they never bring any of the food I asked for.  Thanks.

– Trae (Lubbock, Texas)

whataburger+signFirst, do not call 911 like Latreasa Goodman of Fort Pierce, Florida did to complain about McDonald’s…this might get you back in trouble with the local authorities.  I suggest you either drive to Whataburger…they are open 24-hours…and place your order in person or order Chinese from Little Panda.  They deliver with a $15 minimum order which should not be a problem for someone like you.

What type of beer would you pair with your Ranger Chili?  Thank you…I’ll hang up and listen.

– Ben (Berwyn, Ill.)

Cold.

You said in an earlier post that you come from a family of good cooks.  Besides your family, who else made you want to cook?

– Dan (Frisco, Texas)

That is correct.  I do come from a family of cooks so I guess its in the genes…so to speak.

Growing up in Dallas, there was a television cook named David Wade.

David Wade

David Wade

Now this guy was always talking of cooking with “class” and he acted like a condescending jackass.  He called himself the “Rembrandt of the Kitchen” and peppered his presentation with adjectives.  He wore an ascot and blazer, created his own “coat of arms” and had “B” list celebrities stop by his show in the early days.

My mother watched his shows and I was forced to watch him as well..since we only seven channels and one television..but watching David Wade cook was mesmerizing to me.  In fact, I still use a couple of his recipes.

Justin Wilson

Justin Wilson

The next cook that I still think about today is Justin Wilson.  Now, I knew of Justin Wilson as a Cajun comedian for many years before I knew anything about his cooking.  He was southern humorist in the same mold as Jerry Clower and Jeff Foxworthy but he also wrote five Cajun cookbooks.

In 1982, WYES-TV in New Orleans began broadcasting Justin Wilson cooking shows for PBS.  These shows were filled with Justin cooking the way I wanted to cook.  Cooking food I wanted to eat.  Justin was probably the biggest influence on me…I gha-rawn-tee!  Justin Wilson passed away in 2001 at the age of 87.

What makes ham so tasty?

– James Francis (Waterloo, Iowa)

I like ham.  I like bacon.  I pretty much like everything related to pig.  The process is what gives the ham is flavor…curing, smoking or salting.  You’re welcome.

New Year’s Eve Party Tips | Recipes, Cocktails, Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Un

New Year’s Eve might be my least favorite holiday.  It is amateur night…plain and simple.  People that have not been out all year decide that it is a good idea to take drunk with all the other amateurs out there.

Ouch.

Ouch.

I no longer have the desire to be part of such nonsense.  It makes me just as happy to watch the “ball drop” in Times Square from the comfort of my own home or in the company of good friends.  I have always preferred a small, intimate soiree to ring in the New Year.

As a kid, NYE was normally spent with my grandparents while my mom and dad, along with a few other couples, made their way down to Greenville Avenue in Dallas and the “Original” Kirby’s Steakhouse.  Growing up in North Texas meant you were on Central time and that Dick Clark would countdown the New Year at 10:59pm…East Coast bias.  My parents always seemed to make it home just before midnight so we could be together as the calendar marched onward.

If you feel the same way about NYE , I thought I would include a few simple recipes that are perennial favorites.

Here are a couple of dip ideas you can make for your party or take them with you to a friend’s home.

Cowboy Blue Cheese Dip/Dressing

  • 1  8-ounce  Cream Cheese
  • 2  Cups  Mayonnaise
  • 1  3-ounce  Blue Cheese
  • 1  Tablespoon  Grated Onion
  • 1/8  Teaspoon  Garlic Powder

Soften cream cheese.  Combine cheese and mayonnaise in mixing bowl.  Mix in blue cheese.  Grate onion into mix.  Add garlic powder and stir.  Place in refrigerator and chill for at least one (1) hour.

NOTE:  If you would like a thinner dip or to use as a salad dressing, just add a tablespoon of milk or half-and-half.

Chicken Fried Buffalo Dip

  • 2  8-ounce  Cream Cheese
  • 2  Cups  Shredded Cooked Chicken
  • 2  Cups   Hot Sauce
  • 1  Cup  COWBOY BLUE CHEESE DIP
  • 1  Cup  Ranch Dressing
  • 1   Cup  Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

Preheat oven at 350. Soften cream cheese.  Combine cheese and next five ingredients in mixing bowl.  Pour into 13”x9” baking pan.  Bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until bubbly.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  Serve warm or cold.

NOTE:  This dip can be served with tortilla chips or crackers but it is amazing with homemade crostinis.

Baked Crostini

  • 1   Loaf   French Bread/Baguette
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder

Preheat oven at 400.  Cut baguette into slices (1”).  Brush or spray olive oil on each side. Sprinkle garlic powder on slices.  Bake until crispy.

New Year’s Day

Now let’s talk a little about New Year’s Day.  Of course we have the parades in the morning and college football throughout the day.  If you were “overserved” on NYE, then you might want to start your day with a Bloody Bill.

The Bloody Bill was developed in Lone Star Circle (Row P Spaces 2-4) at Texas Motor Speedway several years ago.  Named after Captain William T. “Bloody Bill” Anderson, the Bloody Bill is a bold, spicy, “take-no-prisoners” Texas version of the Bloody Mary.  Also, the Bloody Bill is more than just a hangover cure…it is also nutritious and tasty breakfast.  As a Texpatriate, I always use Austin’s own Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

Bloody Bill

Captain William T. Anderson

Captain William T. Anderson

Mix juice, vodka, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and seasoning.  Pour over ice and then squeeze lime juice into drink.

All Texans are required to eat blackeyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck.  I know that some do not like blackeyed peas.  The recipe below for Texas Cavier is a great substitute for a big pot of cooked, mushy peas.

Texas Cavier

  • 1/3  Cup  Red Wine Vinegar
  • ¼  Cup  Canola Oil
  • ¼  Cup   Chopped Onion
  • ½  Teaspoon  Finely Chopped Jalapeno
  • 1  Clove   Minced Garlic
  • ½  Teaspoon  Salt
  • ½  Teaspoon  Pepper
  • 3  Cups  Cooked or Canned Black-Eyed Peas

Whisk together vinegar and oil in large mixing bowl.  Add onion, jalapeno, garlic, salt and pepper to mixture and stir. Gently stir in black-eyed peas and refrigerate, covered for at least two (2) hours.

Crackpot Convention Photo:  newsmax.com

Crackpot Convention
Photo: newsmax.com

Finally, you may be wondering why Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Un…no real reason.

I hope that everyone has a safe and happy New Year.  Also, I would like to thank all the people that have visited this site in the last few months.

Chicago At Night Recent Posts

If you can't fry buffalo, what can your fry?

Homesick Texan

If you can't fry buffalo, what can your fry?

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