Sunday, July 7, 2013


Olive oil (to sauté)
2 cups chopped onions
1-2 jalapeños minced (to taste)
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1tsp coarse ground pepper
1/2 stick butter
1.5 cups coarse cornmeal
1 cup cheddar or pepperjack cheese

* Get your 8" cast iron chicken fryer over a mess of hot coals. Once it is hot add a tablespoon
or so of olive oil. If it immediately spreads out and starts looking wavy you are ready to cook.
* Add the onions and peppers and sauté until the just start to take on a bit of color.
* Add the stock, milk, salt & pepper & butter and bring to a boil.
* Move the fryer off the heat a little until the liquid rolls down to a simmer
* Whisk the cornmeal in gradually until it is all incorporated.
* Once the cornmeal is incorporated, continue to stir slowly with a wooden spoon until it begins to turn thick & creamy, about 10 minutes. (There has been much debate over whether or not the kind of spoon makes a difference in the finished product and without a doubt, you will get a creamier, better tasting Polenta with a wooden spoon.)
* ALTERNATE METHOD: Once cornmeal has been incorporated, reduce the heat under the fryer, put the lid on and add 11 coals to the top. (looking for about 350 degrees.) Lift the lid every 10 minutes and stir, being careful not to get any "camp seasoning" in from the lid. Cook for about 20 minutes or until thick and creamy.
* Serve immediately or move to a wide, flat container, line in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.

This recipe makes 8-10 servings. 
John Homrighausen or also spelled H'ausen of J Bar H Catering is an amazing chef creating delicious meals servicing the Houston area residing in Cypress, Texas. His web page is filled with interesting stories, great food and a personality as grand as Texas. 
This polenta is one of our favorites and works nicely with his Kinky Friedmann Brisket. Kinky doesn't know that John name a Brisket dish after him, but I am certain he'd be proud of it. Check out    John's web page at J Bar H and see the only approved way to cook great Brisket without a smoker:   Kinky Friedmann Brisket
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Corn Bread Pie by Jeff Smith

1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 can(4 oz) green chilies
1 can (16 0z) creamed corn
1cup chedder/jack mix cheese
1 cup flour
1 cup corn meal
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt( I omit this and use salted butter)
Preheat oven and Pans 350, place a pat of butter into pan to melt while preheating, cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time mixing well, add chilies , cheese, and can of creamed corn mix well.  Sift flour corn meal and baking powder together and add to corn mixture blending well. Put in buttered cast iron pan, Bake at 325 for 1 hour or untill a toothpick comes out clean.
Note: I used 2 #6 skillets as some wanted Jalapenos and some didn't. Normally I would use a #12 cast iron Dutch Oven when camping or a #10 skillet. Cooking time will vary a little --just follow the toothpick method to ensure cornbread is baked through. 

Topping can be adjusted to amount of an ingredient use to sooth any taste or other types of ingredients to create different staples such as adding bacon and shrimp toppings with your favorite Cajun spices for a Cajun treat style Cornbread Pie. 
Toothpick Test:  When cooking with cornmeal, to check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cook cornmeal item. When removing, inspect the toothpick an see if it is free of batter.  If any batter sticks to the toothpick, continue cooking.  

Cornbread Pie with toppings ready for the oven

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Pork Roast with Cornmeal Dumplings by Joni Hutton

Pork Roast Recipe:
Slow simmer a pork roast until tender, reserving broth to cook dumplings. You may also cook a pot of greens and use that broth to cook the dumplings.

Dumpling Recipe:
1 ½ Cups Yellow Cornmeal
½ Cup All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Ground Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)
A small pan of Boiling Water

Bring broth from roast or greens to a boil. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl until combined. Add enough boiling water to bring the dough together so that you have a moist dough that holds together. With wet hands, scoop up enough dough to make a dumpling and pat it out into small patty. Carefully drop the patties into the boiling broth and cook at a slow boil for 20 minutes until done. The boiling water added to the dry mix helps to cook the dumpling before adding it to the broth. Wetting your hands helps to keep the dough from sticking to them as you pat them out. They are quite warm after adding the boiling water.
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Thursday, May 2, 2013

BUCKAROO Jalapeno and Cheese BREAD

BUCKAROO Jalapeno and Cheese BREAD

1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups bread flour (plus some more for dusting the board)
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 large jalapeño peppers, chopped (take seeds out for milder flavor) 
¼ t instant yeast(quick rise)
sprinkle of olive oil, for plastic wrap

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 cup water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18 hours. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Take the two  Jalapeno peppers and wash, then slice removing seeds and stem for milder pepper flavor which most people will prefer.  Dice into find pieces and then shred 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese.  After the bread has rested, dust with flour, enough to keep it from sticking to the work surface or your fingers.  Roll the dough ball slightly out so you can quickly add the jalapenos and cheese, and fold back over so the dough again is shaped into a ball with the ingredients completely covered inside the bread dough.  Place dough ball back into a bowl  that you have lightly greased with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise for 1-2 hours until double in size.

Indoors or outdoor cooking, preheat a large 12" inch dutch oven . You can line the bottom of the dutch oven with parchment paper or lightly oil and place dough into dutch oven then bake for 45 or until golden brown at 400 degrees (F).  If cooking outdoors directly on coals, place more coals on the lid using less on the very bottom to prevent burning.   Note: If using an outdoor grill, just set the dutch oven on the grill rack and cover the grill for approximately 30 minutes, then remove dutch oven lid and recover grill for additional 10-15 minutes to reach the perfect color.
Fold in Jalapeno Peppers with Cheese
Read about this award winning bread and the Chuck Wagon Kid
Austin Edison with Pete Garcia at King Ranch
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Friday, April 19, 2013

LBJ Potato Salad

No BBQ is complete with out side dishes and baked beans, coleslaw and potato salad seem to be the most popular sides that compliment those main entrees.  City folks take to the outdoors enjoying the comfortable warm season of spring time, nesting near the barbecue grills like cowboys around the chuckwagon. 

Barbecue is certainly a cuisine that has been influenced through many cultures.  The chuckwagon cooks rarely had the time to spend all day smoking meats over the spits, but as the cattle drive era came to an end, the chuckwagon has long yet retired working during the round ups and ranch gatherings where barbecue ranks high among the many entrees. 

As the cook slowly turns the meat over the open fires, the aroma fills the air building large appetites as the crowd long awaits for the succulent taste. The  finale glaze puts a finishing touch of perfection as the cook mops the blended sauce that soon caramelizes. 

As the Spanish explored the new world of the Americas, they discovered the native food of potatoes. Introducing this food to Europe in the 16th century, potatoes became a main dish.  One such dish, Potato salad-type recipes were then introduced back into America by the European settlers, who again adapted traditional foods to local ingredients. This accounts for regional potato salad variations throughout the United States.  

Potato salad, as we know it today, became popular in the second half of the 19th century. Cold potato salads evolved from British and French recipes. Warm potato salads followed the German preference for hot vinegar and bacon dressings served over vegetables. This dish would grow to become one of the most popular side dishes to traditional barbeque gatherings.

Many of these cultural influences would also migrate westward into the new frontier and no doubt, Texas would become as legendary and grand through it's history as those who influenced the growth and the later foods of the Lone Star State.  Cuisines not only of ethnic culture, but also the variations of cooking which many were often in the great outdoors.  Whether enjoying a meal straight from the chuck wagon or cooking from the grill in the family backyard, no barbecue is complete without those side dishes.

One famous Potato Salad recipe is by Lyndon B. Johnson. Born in a small farmhouse in Texas, he was the oldest of five children.  Devoting himself to education, he became a school teacher in South Texas then served in WWII as a Navy Lieutenant Commander receiving a Silver Star for his heroic action. He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980.  Often referred to as LBJ, he is one of only four people who served in all four elected federal offices of the United States: Representative, Senator, Vice President, and President.. Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973),  was the 36th President of the United States (1963–1969) but in his personal life, Johnson shared a  love for Texas, ranch style Barbecues and often entertained guest in a grand Texas tradition. 


10 lb. bag of potatoes
1 Tbsp. salt
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup dill pickles, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large jar pimentos, chopped
3 Tbsp. mustard
¼ cup sugar
Hellmann's mayonnaise

Peel potatoes and cut into chunks. Place in a large pot and cover with water, add salt and bring to a boil. Cook until tender but be careful not to overcook. Immediately drain and cool potatoes. To the cooled potatoes add celery, dill pickles, onions, pimentos, mustard and sugar. Mix with enough Hellmann's mayonnaise to reach desired consistency and taste. Add additional salt, if desired. Garnish with parsley. 

Child Photo of LBJ from 1915

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

PORK LOIN Glazed in Balsamic and Brown Sugar

Pork was always a favorite amongst the cowhands working the trail drives. Although the chuckwagon cook normally served it as salt pork or bacon, the rare occasion of  having wild bore would find the cook skinning the hide off a wild pig and butchering. 

Slow cooking pork has always made for great BBQ and Pork Loin is truly a delightful cut.  This was slow cooked and glazed and a true treat that will please your pallet. Christina, from C and C Marriage Factory tried this recipe from Let's Dish stating it was a cinch to make and seriously delicious.

1 (2 pound) boneless pork loin
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast. Place in Dutch Oven with 1/4 cup water. Cook at on 350 degrees (f) for 1 1/2 hours. Approximately 35-40 minutes later, reduce heat and add glazet about6-8 hours. About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cowboy's Baked Beans

Cowboy Greg Martin demonstrates Cowboy Cooking
This recipe share by Oklahoma Cowboy Greg Martin has long been a favorite for those who worked the cattle drives.  Although, Cowboy Bake Beans also complements many other dishes during any gathering, whether served as a side dish with Barbeque Brisket, Chicken Wings, Steak or as a hearty staple with some cornbread. 

Greg enjoys the out-door traditional cowboy style cooking where his friends and family enjoy the splendors of those meals.  Stemmed from a love of western history, Greg has been inspired from the old ways of Cowboy life but his cooking blossomed a few years ago when he worked for a working ranch that performed several large events including the Oklahoma Cattleman's Dinner cooking on a much grander scale.  His average seated meals grew from the mere 8 to 10 people to over 150 to 200 plate settings.  

Greg also enjoys riding his motorcycle and has assisted with the organization "Patriot Guard Riders" who are a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation that have an unwavering respect for those who have risked their lives for America freedom and security.  Greg states, "Being apart of the Patriot Guard Riders has been one of the most amazing things I've ever been part of.  Having the family of a fallen hero make it a point to come say thank you, when in fact we are there in order to say thank you to them, humbling to say the least." 

"Since my cooking is conducted outdoors, weather conditions effects how you cook, and I am always honing my skills about the many techniques and types of different foods."  Looking forward to spring and getting out cooking more often for family and friends, Gregg emphasized that a great deal around his cooking style is also education. "Many people are not aware as to the lifestyle and old ways of the cowboys. Often getting the crowd to ask questions from my fashionable attire of a cowboy or the cookware, to sharing stories about the cattle drives and ol' cookie, the chuck wagon cook), helps keep Cowboy traditions alive. 

Cowboy's Baked Beans

1 lb. Dried navy or Pinto beans 
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 lb. Slab bacon
3/4 cup maple syrup ( the good stuff)
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Dry mustard
Dash of cayenne pepper if you want


Soak beans in about 5-6 cups cold water and allow to soak over night.  Beans should be just slightly covered by the water.  

Build a fire when the beans have soak and are ready to cook.  Have an ample supply of wood or coals to keep a good fire going. 

Drain beans and place in your dutch oven, add enough fresh water to cover beans and place the Dutch oven over the coals and bring to a boil with out placing the lid on.  Once at a boil, put the lid on and continue at a slow boil for another 30 minutes. 

Remove from heat, drain and save your water.  Add in onions, cut your bacon into 3 or 4 chunks and toss into beans and mix.  

In separate bowl, take the water you drained off and mix with syrup, salt and mustard.  Using a dash of red pepper if you desire for some added bite, then stir and pour back over the beans stirring gently.  

Put the lid on the dutch oven, place back over coals and keep a medium heat for about 4 hours.  Occasional, lift lid to inspect, give a slight stir and keep an eye on the water level. Then after 4 hours, add additional coal to the lid and continue cooking for two more hours. This will allow the water to cook down a bit and should thicken up, but cautions not to burn the beans.  

Remove from heat and the beans are ready to serve.  Will feed about 8 people or 5 to 6 hungry cow hands. 

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This recipe was proven to be an award winning recipe: Wayne Calk, 2013 President of the American Chuck Wagon Association wanted to step up his bean recipe for chuck wagon competition.  Receiving 8 different recipes, he narrowed his search down to two.  Liking the idea of using Maple Syrup in the recipe, he selected Greg's and took the recipe to the Cowboy Country Round-Up held in Hondo, Texas where Wayne's gamble on a new recipe proved success as his wagon team won First Place in the Beans:  Wayne caters using his restored John Deere Triumph Chuckwagon. He also has a converted Ford Model TT Truck which he restored into a Chuck-Truck.  One of perhaps three remaining in the USA today.  Read about the Amazing Truck here: 
Wayne Calk, ACWA President and Roger Edison, Cowboys and Chuckwagon Cooking