Friday, May 28, 2021

Tortilla - in Spanish means "little cake" although, the Tortilla is one of the oldest known foods to the civilized world, dating back to 10,000 BC.  Anthropologist have found in 3000 BC that the Mesoamerican civilizations of the Mayans and the Aztecs did hybridized wild grasses that produce a large nutritious kernels we know as corn. 

Tortillas are made from corn meal (maize) or Wheat flour and used to serve with many different Mexican foods that have influenced Tex-Mex and Southwest cuisine.  Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes in 1519, arrived in what is today, Mexico. He found the indigenous Mesoamericans natives had a sophisticated and flavorful cuisine based on native fruits, game, cultivated beans and corn and domesticated turkeys." Below you will find recipes to make both corn and flour tortillas.
Making Corn Tortillas

When making corn or flour tortillas, divide the dough after it has been thoroughly mixed into small balls about the size of a walnut. Keep the dough wrapped while you work with one piece at a time.  The best way to bake the tortillas is to use a cast iron griddle. IF working from an indoor stove, use a griddle that stretches across two burners of the stove or two 12" inch cast iron skillets.

Ingredients:  Corn Tortillas

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • yields (12 servings) 
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and cornmeal. Add baking powder and salt, and mix together well. Stir in water to form a crumbly dough. Work dough with your hands until it holds together.
  2. On a floured surface, knead dough until smooth. Divide dough into 10 to 12 pieces. Roll each into the shape of a ball about the size of a walnut. Cover lightly with cloth wrap and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Flatten each piece of dough by hand, then roll into a 8 to 9 inches round.
  4. When using a griddle, have one side heated to medium heat while the other side should be cooler. If using two skillets, first skillet should be near 350 degrees (f) while the second cooler approximately 250 (f). 
  5. Lay the tortilla on the hot side of the griddle or hotter pan. Avoid getting burned by working from left to right, laying the left-hand edge of the tortilla onto the griddle, and gently sweep your hand away 
  6. After about a minute on the hot griddle, flip the tortilla over into the cooler skillet. 
  7. The center of the tortilla should begin to puff and will be cooked after about 30 seconds to one minute on the cooler pan. 
  8. Remove and place hot tortillas on a kitchen cloth to keep warm while you work making additional tortillas. 
Note: When using the corn tortillas to make other foods, lightly grease the finished tortilla until pliable. You can fold for making tacos or roll them for other dishes.
Making Flour Tortilla


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons lard
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • yields (24 servings)
  1. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Mix in the lard with your fingers until the flour resembles cornmeal. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together; place on a lightly floured surface and knead a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
  2. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Use a well-floured rolling pin to roll a dough ball into a thin, round tortilla about 8-9 inches. 
  3. Place into the hot skillet, and cook until bubbly and golden; flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side. 
  4. Place the cooked tortilla in a kitchen towel and cover to keep warm while making the additional tortillas. 

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Chuck Wagon Cooking King Ranch, Texas  photo by Roger Edison

Sunday, June 9, 2019


1 rattlesnake (3 pounds)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 clove garlic 
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp pepper

FEEDS 4 Servings: 


Step 1. 
Remove the snake head. Merely cut through the snake one inch behind the head and remove. Rattlesnake fangs are still dangerous. Ensure to not allow contact with the fangs. By cutting behind the head, this ensures there is no venom gland. You can also remove the tail rattlers or if desired, leave it with the skin. 

Step 2.
Wash the snake in water. Use mild soap and rinse thoroughly.  

Step 3. 
Run a knife edge along the length of the belly from head to tail. Then peel away the skin from the flesh.  If you desire to dry the skin for taxidermy purposes, roll the skin starting at the head section and roll towards the tail for drying out later. 

Step 4. 
Along the same cut of the belly, remove all the guts.  The snake should now be ready for cleaning. 

Step 5. 
Rinse meat in water and then cut into 3 to 4 inch sections. 

Cooking Directions: 

Beat egg and then add milk.
Mix all dry ingredients together. 
Mince garlic and mix in with dry ingredients. 
Preheat deep cast iron skillet with cooking oil.
Dip snake meat into egg mixture and then into dry mixture. 
Place in hot oil (400 degrees F) and cook until golden brown.  
If you desire a spicy crust, you can add about 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne 
pepper along with 1/2 teaspoon of oregano powder, or chili powder if desired. 

Nearly 8 foot Rattler Snake
Premont, Texas

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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