Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Raspberry Jam

Today is the last day of June, can you believe it? The summer seems to be flying by, and if you haven't taken advantage of all the in season fruits and veggies, now is the time to start! The grocery stores and farmer's markets seem to be flooded with cheap, ripe, sweet berries. I got a bargain on these very ripe raspberries at the downtown Farmer's Market, they were begging to be made into jam.

Raspberry Jam
(printable recipe)
from Ball, Complete Book of Home Preserving

5 tart apples, stems removed. Chopped coarsely (peel, core, and all)
1 lemon (unpeeled), finely chopped
4 c raspberries
5 c sugar

1. In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan combine apples, lemon and enough water to prevent sticking. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat, partially cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until soft. Working in batches transfer mixture to a fine sieve to remove cores and skins. Should yield 2 cups of applesauce.
2. Prepare canner, jars, & lids.
3. Back to the pot with the applesauce, add raspberries and sugar. Bring to boil stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Boil about 20 minutes (keep stirring!) until it thickens and mounds on a spoon. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
4. Ladle into six half-pint (8oz) jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Remove any air bubbles, wipe rims and secure lids and rings.
5. Process 10 minutes in a hot water bath canner.

You may also substitute other fruit for the raspberries, use the following measurements:
8 c halved hulled strawberries
4 c blueberries (reduce sugar to 3 c)
6 c peaches, plums, or nectarines (chopped, pitted, peeled)

Steak Butter Sauce

Here's a quick sauce to whip up and slather on steaks or anything else you fancy. Its barbecue season! Grill meat now!
You need just a few things,

Melt the butter over low heat, don't allow it to brown. Add worchestershire sauce, lemon juice, pepper, dry mustard, hot pepper sauce, kitchen bouquet and minced garlic. Stir to combine and heat through, serve with steak!

This will yield enough to fill 1 pint jar, which makes it perfect to make ahead and take to a bbq. It will start to separate as it cools so it may need to be rewarmed before serving. Here's the exact recipe proportions:

Steak Butter Sauce
(printable recipe)

1/2 lb. butter (2 sticks)*
1/2 c worchestershire sauce
juice from 3 lemons
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce (like Tabasco or similar)
1 tsp kitchen bouquet
1 clove fresh minced garlic

* reduce this to 1 stick of butter for a more concentrated sauce

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Burguesa Burger

Hank and I decided it was time to check out Burguesa Burger, home of the original Mexican burger. There are 5 locations around DFW, our local Oak Cliff location just opened its doors weeks ago. They specialize in Mexican style hamburgers, and feature a signature burger, La Monumental.
We decided to split one thinking it must be... well, monumental. It was definitely a big sandwich, checkout the setup:

I love the tostada in the center but I wanted more beans. Also the burger is served with a whole jalapeno on top, I would have preferred sliced jalapenos layered in there. The ham is a great touch, as is the avocado. My only other concern was the beef, which was obviously frozen patties. I guess for an $8 combo you really can't expect handformed patties. The star here is definitely the toppings and overall it was a good burger. I'm sure you want to see the inside...

I also liked the spicy fries and salsa cremosa for dipping. Each combo comes with a cute lucky taco fortune cookie and if you dine in there's free peanuts!
Burguesa Burger also makes their own sodas which I didn't realize until we were headed out, have to try those next time.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lula B's West

Hank and I spotted these metal cactus sculptures at Lula B's West a few weeks ago. I love that they will eventually age and rust if left in the elements, very cool for a patio or garden.

Chili Mac (Beef & Macaroni)

Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate a fancy gourmet meal as much as the next Hungry Texan but there is always something to be said for simplicity. Chili mac, a favorite from my childhood, takes basic ingredients and combines them in a one pot meal thats sure to please. I crave this stuff regularly and it never disappoints.
Lets dive right in shall we?

Here's what you'll need: 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef, 6 cups cooked macaroni, 2 (15 oz) cans stewed tomatoes, 3 celery stalks, 1/2 white onion, salt & pepper. I know we forgot a few things in the photo - use your imagination!
I made this over at my folks'. Nothing like dirty-ing up someone else's kitchen...

Start by cooking the ground beef until its about 2/3rds done. Season with a bit of salt & pepper.

Meanwhile leave it to Dad to show you a nifty trick to chop those tomatoes. Maybe not the most sanitary, but it definitely works like a charm.

Add thinly sliced onion and tomatoes, allow them a few minutes to cook down a bit. Then add celery, you want the celery to retain a little crunch so it should cook for just a few minutes.

Finally, add macaroni and stir well to combine. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Chili Mac makes fantastic leftovers. Oh and here's the handy printable recipe.

Bocado de la Tarde

I've been working on perfecting my marranitos recipe, so just doing some tasting to see how they compare. And ice coffee, a must.

The Ranch

My husband Hank comes from a long line of frontiersmen and outdoor types. (his words, and well, he likes to quote Raising Arizona) Anyways, he does have some cattle ranchers in his family. The Black Family Ranch sits right outside Breckenridge, TX about 2 and a half hours from Dallas. Its 5500 acres of wide open Texas country, with a pasture along the Brazos. It is one of my very favorite places to go. Luckily for me, we were married there and return each year for our anniversary. Here is a glimpse of our most recent trip.
Ritualistically once we turn onto the dirt road that leads to the ranch we
toss off our seatbelts, roll down the windows, and hop in the back of the truck and grab a cold beer from the cooler. There's nothing better on a Friday evening at sunset.

The next morning we magically wake up at the butt-crack of dawn. There's something about getting a full night's sleep in silence that can do that to a person. Now, if this happened to me in town I may gripe about it, but being up early in the country has its benefits.

Awesome sunrises and delicious, delicious coffee aside, I also had time to make biscuits! In the morning! When they are typically eaten! Sausage gravy too! Hallelujah.

After filling up on breakfast we normally go out for a walk or a drive, this time since we were spotting snakes left and right we opted for a drive. I was dying to check out all the wildflowers that were blanketing the pastures.

We said hey to some of the cows & horses...

They looked at us funny.

And we drove on.

Later that day there was a pot full of fresh beans, hours spent on the porch swing, and a happy dog.

All in all a wonderful, relaxing trip, and a happy anniversary.


Hi, and welcome to my blog! My name is Sylvia and here at the Hungry Texan I hope to share some of my family recipes, cook up some tex-mex and southern favorites, and make this a place to learn and share experiences about food. I'll be posting about recent meals and dining experiences over at the Hungry Texan EATS and uncovering great kitchen gear and food products at the Hungry Texan SHOPS. And of course you can check out the Hungry Texan COOKS for all my recipes and the Hungry Texan PUTS UP to read about my adventures in preserving.
Pull up a chair and dig in!