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.
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.
— Gregg Fort (@greggfort) April 10, 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:
- 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Also 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
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.