Category Archives: Texpatriate

BBQ Tips | Rubbing Your Meat

Hello friends.

As summer continues to heat up…even here on the Niagara Frontier where we actually got to 85-degrees this week…everyone with a grill and a smoker are looking for additional tips.  One good friend just bought his first smoker and has been continually asking for tips so I decided to do a couple of posts that talk about a few basics.

It Begins With the Rub

If you want good grilled or smoked meat, it begins long before you start your fire.  It begins with the rubbing your meat.  If you are going to smoke some ribs or pork chops, the dry rub below works equally well in the smoker or on the grill.  A friend gave me the basics for the recipe several years ago but I have added and adjusted the original recipe over the years.

Whatever you decide to fix…that is a Texas colloquialism for cooking…make sure you rub your meat at least eight hours before smoking or grilling.  Wash your meat well…if you are fixing ribs make sure you remove the membrane on the backside of the rack…then rub liberally and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Place in your icebox…also a Texas or Southern term for refrigerator…or cooler until ready to cook.

#12 BBQ Seasoning & Rub

Captain America

Captain America

Named in honor of the Dallas Cowboy legend and the greatest quarterback in the history of the world, Roger Staubach, #12 BBQ Seasoning and Rub is simple to make.  In addition, you can mix this rub with any liquid you chose (Dr Pepper, Coke, vinegar, oil, lemon juice, etc.) and make a great mop for your meat while it is cooking.

  • 1  Cup  Brown Sugar
  • ½  Cup  Seasoning Salt
  • 2  Tablespoon  Chili Powder
  • 1  Teaspoon  Onion Powder
  • 1  Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1  Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ½  Teaspoon  Cumin

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

Of course, there are some fellow Texans who will immediately call me out for only providing a rub that works well on pig.  They would say that #12 will not work as a beef rub and I would have to agree.  The #12 is much too sweet; therefore, below is a rub I have used on steaks many times and will also work on brisket.  This recipe is easily doubled or tripled if you feel the need. You’re welcome Ron.

Texpatriate Dry Rub

  • 2  Tablespoons  Kosher Salt
  • 1  Tablespoon  Brown Sugar
  • 2  Teaspoons  Smoked Paprika
  • 2  Teaspoons  Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • 1  Teaspoon  Granulated Garlic
  • ½  Teaspoon  Cayenne Pepper
  • ½  Teaspoon  Cumin

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

 

BBQ Sauce

Most barbecue aficionados will tell you that if the meat is cooked correctly, that you do not need sauce. The flavor of the meat will be all you need.  I completely agree with this hypothesis.  Both restaurants and individuals who do not know how to grill or smoke meat will always default to covering up the meat with sauce and this especially common with establishments outside of the BBQ Belt.

Now that we have established that sauce is not required, I do believe that a good sauce used in moderation can enhance your barbecue experience.  In an earlier post, I provided the recipe for my Batch #6 BBQ Sauce.  This is very versatile base sauce and can be customized or adapted to individual tastes.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

If you don’t have time to make your own sauce or like many of my ne’er’ do well friends who are just too lazy to put in the effort, there are some very good commercial sauces on the market.  In fact, one of the best sauces is made in Syracuse, New York by the folks at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.  Also, you can buy an inexpensive sauce and add a few ingredients yourself.  Below is a quick recipe that will make folks think you like them enough to make sauce from scratch.

 

 

Whiskey River Barbeque Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon  Canola Oil
  • 1  24-Ounce Bottle  Cheap Barbeque Sauce
  • ¼  Cup  Whiskey
  • 1  Tablespoon  #12 BBQ SEASONING, ACADIANA SEASONING or Virgil’s Dixie Dust

INSTRUCTIONS:  In large pot, heat oil. Pour in sauce.  Add whiskey and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

 

Chicken Fried Buffalo 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.

 

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50-By-50 | Smoked Gouda Jalapeño Poppers | Donald Sterling

Hello friends…it as been awhile.

First, I need to offer my apologies. As I have noted before, sometimes life gets in the way of a good time and I complicated my life even further back in February.

For some reason, I have decided to begin a grueling march toward a doctoral degree. It has been difficult to get back into swing of writing 15-page papers in APA style, reading dry technical textbooks and competing in class with students half my age. While not an easy journey, I am enjoying it and it looks like I am headed for a break so I can get back to CFB.

Chicken Fried Buffalo 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.

50-By-50

If chasing another degree was not enough, I have also decided to lose 50 pounds by my 50th birthday on May 5, 2015. Now you may be asking yourself…self, why is a 407x600guy who writes a blog called Chicken Fried Buffalo, posts all these Tex-Mex and Southern comfort food recipes, loves to drink good beer and lives in a city known for fried chicken wings going to start eating grilled tofu and begin training for an Ironman event?

The answer is simple. I am not doing either of those things and you can lose weight and make yourself healthier without giving up everything you enjoy. This is not about The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About book that put infomercial king Kevin Trudeau in the federal pen for 10 years. I am not doing some fad diet with colonic hydrotherapy and seaweed vitamin shakes. This is about a slow, methodical progress toward getting to a weight that will make me healthier and feel better.

This quest began on May 5th and I have already dropped 13 pounds. I still drink beer and eat 40-cent wings on Monday nights at the Wellington Pub on Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo. In fact, I have made the determination that the Wellington has the BEST wings in Buffalo…hands down. As an added bonus, they pour Shiner Bock on tap. I will save a full review for a later post.  SONY DSC

The key for me is portion control and eliminating all unnecessary carbohydrates in my diet. Eating a healthy breakfast…a small smoked gouda omelet made with egg-whites…and making only one weekly trip to Tim Horton’s on Saturday morning. Consequently, I am and will continue to eat the foods I like. I will just not eat as much and will add some healthier ingredients on occasion but the recipes are all still things I eat myself.

Summer Grilling and Smoking

This is my favorite time to cook. The weather has turned warm and there is nothing more fun to host a weekend party in your backyard, on your deck or just about anywhere. Last weekend, we hosted a few dozen folks at our house in Hamilton.

Both the Weber Grill and the Master Forge Smoker were in full effect. Grilled chicken, brats and hot dogs were accompanied by an endless collection of side dishes but one appetizer was the hit of the party…smoked gouda stuffed 2012-08-12-18.00.59jalapenos.

I have been making these “poppers” as most people call them for several years. These stuffed peppers are the perfect finger food and can be done in the smoker, on the grill or even in the oven. I prefer the smoker. Just a warning, they are a little labor intensive but are well worth it.

Smoked Gouda Stuffed Poppers

  • 12 Large Jalapeno Peppers
  • 2 Slices Bacon
  • 1 8-ounce Cream Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup Shredded Smoked Gouda
  • 1 Cup Finely Chopped Cooked Chicken
  • 1 Tablespoon VIRGIL’S DIXIE DUST or ACADIANA SEASONING

Slice peppers in half, removing flesh and seeds. Soak peppers in milk for one (1) hour. Soften cream cheese. In large skillet, fry bacon until crisp and then chop. Combine cream cheese and mayonnaise in mixing bowl. Mix in smoked gouda and chicken. Add SEASONING, bacon and stir. Place in refrigerator and chill for at least one (1) hour. After mix has chilled, stuff each pepper with mix. Place on smoker, grill or in oven and cook until cheese is crunchy.

NOTE: Bacon can be omitted for “non-pig” eaters.

 

Donald Sterling and the Los Angeles Clippers

I did really have anything to say about this clown but I liked this picture.

donald-sterling-clippers-owner

Photo Courtesy of ballerball.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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/.

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