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Texas Best Barbecue, Fixins

Pit barbecue is considered an art form in Texas. The secret to success is knowing that the heat of the smoke cooks the meat and not the flame. A flame should never get anywhere close to barbecue. The most common mistake made by beginners is cooking too hot or too fast. The ideal temperature is 150 F to 200 F. Temperatures aproaching 212 F will boil the juices out of the meat. If you serve dried out barbecue, you might just as well leave the state before you get run out. Beef brisket, the most common cut, requires minimum cooking time of 10 hours for a small eight pound brisket. The longer the better, 20 hours cooking time is not too much. Barbecue in Texas is beef brisket, beef ribs, pork ribs and sausage.

Texas Barbecued Beef Brisket
7 to 10 Pound brisket
Dry rub made from salt, pepper and paprika.Rub on the rub mix. Do not pierce the brisket with a fork. Smoke in a pit barbecue at 150 F to 200 F for 10 to 20 hours. Turn often. If you don’t have a pit, order the Texas Marinade and cook the brisket in the oven overnight. Eat the same day cooked. Never use a sauce, and never never use a sugar based sauce. Sugar burns and will ruin the brisket. If you must have a sauce, try Glovers Texas Tropic Sauce. This sauce is served separate when it’s time to eat.
 Glovers Texas Tropic Barbecue Sauce
4 sticks butter
1 cup cider vinegar
6 oz jar prepared horseradish
juice of 6 limes.
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 teaspoons jalapeno pepper liquid (from pickled pepper jar) optional
Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add other ingredients. Simmer for thirty minutes. You can keep this for a week, refrigerated. 

Texas Chili
Texans take chili seriously; and as a result, enshrined chili as the Texas State Dish in 1977. Chili originated in San Antonio in the 1880s. Dallas became the Chili capitol of Texas in the fifties with the founding of the Chili Appreciation Society and Frank X Tolbert’s Bowl of Red. If you know beans about chili, you know chili has no beans, tomatoes or bell peppers. The public forum used to celebrate chili is a cook-off. A cook-off is where thousands of people gather to create their version of Texas Red and test the breaking point of local law enforcement. The most successful cook-offs seem to take place at locations devoid of any official law enforcement. Usually about half the contestants are off-duty lawmen who like to have fun.

Frank X Tolberts Quintessential Bowl of Texas Red Chili
3 pounds of mature lean beef
1/8 pound kidney suet
2 to 4 jalapeno chili pods.
2 tablespoons crushed cumin seeds
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 teaspoon oregano
garlic clovesMarinate the beef in beer and keep the liquid for the cooking process. Cut the meat into thumb size pieces. Sear the beef and suet in vegetable oil to seal in the juices. Use two peppers for each pound of meat. This will produce a mild chili. Puree the jalapenos with water and transfer the puree, beer marinade and beef to a large pot. Bring the mixture to boil and then simmer for thirty minutes. Take the pot off the stove and add the cumin, salt, cayenne, oregano and garlic to taste. Use paprika to adjust the color. Put the pot back on the stove, bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes. Stir and keep the lid on as much as possible. Cook until the beef is tender. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Rewarm and serve.

Wolf Brand Chili
The original Wolf Brand recipe was developed in 1895 by a Texas ranch cook and Mr. Lyman T. Davis. Recognizing that they had something mighty good, the pair brought their specialty by wagon to the oil boomtown of Corsicana, Texas. There they sold it for five cents a bowl in front of the Blue Front Saloon. Demand for Mr. Davis’ chili grew and soon Mr. Davis began selling his famous recipe in brick style. By the early twenties, the chili’s great tasting reputation had spread beyond Corsicana. So Mr. Davis began canning chili. At the suggestion of a local photographer, Mr. Davis’s pet wolf, Kaiser Bill, was selected to grace the label. Suddenly the chili had a name, Wolf Brand, which was to become as famous as its flavor. In 1923, the business was purchased from Mr. Davis by J.C. West and F.C. Slawson. But Wolf Brand continued to be made according to the original recipe and its fame continued to grow. Undoubtedly, Wolf Brand employed some memorable marketing techniques. Most notably the can caravan, the vehicles used by Wolf Brand salesmen in the twenties. Each car was designed in the shape of the Wolf Brand can, and in the place of a high-pressure salesmen, carried a live wolf in the cage on the back. A Wolf Brand Chili Can Car still makes regular appearances at chili cook-offs and other events across the Southwest. During the early 20th century, Wolf Brand was sold only in Texas. But the chili had made friends from coast to coast. For example, Will Rogers, the world famous film star, comedian, roper and philosopher, had met plenty of chilis he didn’t like. So he took every pretext of passing through Texas to stop in Corsicana and pick up a case of the one chili he really loved, Wolf Brand. Even today, Wolf Brand Chili is shipped on special order to points around the world to satisfy the longing for the real thing. Wolf Brand Chili’s unique blend of spices, seasonings and lean cuts of beef has flavored the lives of generations. Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili? Well, that’s too long.

Texans eat more catfish than everybody else combined. More than half the farm raised catfish grown in the U.S, are consumed in Texas. There are many species of catfish (see Texas Best Animals). The catfish of preference for the table is the Blue or Channel catfish.
In Texas when you cook catfish, the event is called a fish fry. First you set out a trot line in a lake or river baited with Catfish Charlie’s Catfish Bait. When you run the trot line, you take off the catfish and rebait for the next run. You skin catfish and cook them whole, in crosscut steaks, or fillets. You can skip this step by going down to the catfish farma and buying some catfish ready to fry. 

Traditional Fried Catfish Batter
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 can beer
Clean and dry fish, mix all ingredients except beer. Roll fish in mixture. Drink the beer.

PeePaw’s Beer Batter
1 can beer
1 cup cracker crumbs, rolled fine
1 cup corn flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon paprika
Mix the salt and pepper with the beer. Drench the fish in the beer and then dredge the fish in the dry mix.
Set up a cast iron pot on top of a butane stove outside. Fill pot 2/3 full of peanut oil. Heat the oil to 350 F. Drop in the fish. When they float to the top, they’re done.
When you’re finished with the fish, throw in some dry french fries and you will have some of the best corn meal coated french fries you ever tasted.

Hopkins County Stew
4 slices bacon, diced
2 tablespoons butter
3 1/2 to 4 pounds stewing chicken, cut into pieces
6 (or more) medium onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
3 (1 pound) cans tomatoes
2 (12 ounce) cans whole kernel corn
3 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon curry powder1/4 teaspoon pepper
Fry bacon in large kettle, add butter and chicken. Saute until well browned. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer. Cook covered. After one hour, remove chicken and bone it. Dice and return. Cook an additional three hours covered, stirring occasionally.

Pinto beans, referred to by many cowboys as whistleberries or musical fruit, are the common Texas bean. Cornbread and beans make an easy to fix nearly perfect meal supplying protein when meat isn’t available. Beans are traditionally eaten boiled, baked, fried and refried. Ranchstyle beans made in Fort Worth, Texas are the Texas Best canned and precooked choice.

Texans don’t believe in cutting corners, especially when it comes to steak. For a proper steak the hindquarters of a beef are hung for 21 days to age or untill acquiring WANG. Wang is a term for the natural mold that envelopes beef as it ages. It is a sign that the enzymatic process that tenderizes the beef is occurring. This aging is the difference in a true Texas Steak and those found in other parts of the country. Steak should be seared on each side and served warm. The longer you cook a good steak the tougher it gets. I was taught at an early age that ordering a steak well done was an insult to the chef. If you don’t cut corners in the begining, you will always serve the best steak anywhere. Contrary to rumor, Texas Longhorn beef is extremely tender when produced and prepared correctly. Their toughness is referring to their ability to survive the most severe range conditions and their natural immunity to disease.

Chicken Fried Steak or Cock-A-Doodle-Moo
1-six oz. round steak, machine tenderized
1-can flat beer
1-tablespoon Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer
salt, pepper and garlic salt
Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic salt on both sides of the steak. Put the steak on a tray covered with flour and pound the hell out of that steak. The steak should be a little bigger than the plate it will be served on and the thickness of an LP record. Use a meat hammer and your fingers working from the center out. Turn several times and repeat while working the flour into the steak. Mix the eggs, beer, salt, and tenderizer in a shallow bowl to make a drench. Add a little flour to make a watery batter. Drench the steak and then drag it in the flour on the tray. Now beat the hell out of it again until the moisture is absorbed by flour. Cook in deep fat at 350 F untill golden brown.

It’s getting harder all the time to find a restaurant that properly prepares chicken fried steak. There are still a few around. See the restaurant guide under Texas Best Chicken Fried Steak. I’m including these instructions hoping more resaurants will rediscover this vanishing Texas Tradition. A chicken fried steak is golden brown with a near crisp batter. It is always a little bigger than the plate it is served on and is covered with cream gravy.To make cream gravy, make a paste with some of the leftover fat and flour. There should be no lumps in this paste. Put this paste in a frying pan and add milk and stir continuously. Bring the mixture to a boil, add salt and pepper to taste and simmer until it starts to thicken. Stir in water as the gravy begins to get too thick and adjust to the desired consistency. If you mess up, throw it out and keep trying until you get the hang of it.

Serve with mashed potatoes or french fries. Perfect your technique and you can win the heart of any Bubba or be the hero at deer camp.

Texas-Best Fajita
Probably originated in the Rio Grand Valley in the thirties and forties. True fajita is barbecue style skirt steak with flour tortillas, guacamole and pico de gallo. The word Fajita implies beef, referring to the elongated cut of beef before it is grilled and sliced. Fajita meat is sometimes marinated and always charbroiled, sliced into strips and rolled up in flour tortillas.

Several pounds of inside skirt steak
burgandy wine
chopped onion
chopped bell pepper
red and black pepper
garlic powder
flour tortillas

Pico de Gallo
Marinate meat in burgandy, onions, and bell peppers overnight in the refrigerator. Wrap the meat in aluminum foil and cook over coals for 1 to 2 hours. Remove foil, season with remaining ingredients, and grill over coals for 10 to 15 minutes.
Slice the meat into thin strips, roll up in tortillas with onions, peppers, and Pico de Gallo.

Texas-Best Tortilla
The ancient Aztecs created the first tortillas.
Mission founded by Mr. Roberto Gonzalez Barrera in 1949, Gruma revolutionized the tortilla process by adhering to a strict recipe that maintains the authentic Aztec flavor.
Mission foods was named “2004 Wholesale baker of the Year”

Created in San Antonio and purchased by Elmer Doolin in 1932 for $100. Doolin’s company, Frito – Lay, is headquartered in Dallas.

Texas Best Nacho
The Nacho was invented in Eagle Pass, Texas (Piedras Negras, Mexico) by Ignacio Anaya in 1939.

Texas-Best Cheese
Mozzarella Co.
2944 Elm Street
Dallas, Texas
Paula Lambert, Goat cheese including Ricotta and Mozzarella

Texas-Best Salsa
Pace Picante Sauce
P.O. Box 15478
San Antonio, Texas
Pace has been produced in San Antonio since 1947.
Hell on the Red
Rt. 1 Box 8-K
Telephone, Texas 75488
Produced from a recipe developed locally in Telephone, near the Red River.
1993 World Champion of the Salsa Hot Sauce Taste Off
Texas-Best Grapefruit
Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit
Named the official state fruit of Texas in 1993Texas-Best Peanuts

Texas-Best Greenhouse
The nations largest hydroponic greenhouse was just opened in Fort Davis, Texas. The 40 acre tempered glass greenhouse is attached to a 63,000 sf packing house and cost 23 million.

Texas-Best Candy
Lammes Candies
5330 Airport Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78767
Since 1885, Pralines and much more.
Golden Gal’s Pralines
1101 South Donoto
Clarksville, Texas 75426
Need sample, call.

Texas-Best Ice Cream
Blue Bell Creameries
Brenham, Texas
Founded in 1907, Many believe this to be the ultimate ice cream in the nation. Time magazine concurred. Blue Bell, so good it is regularly shipped to friends packed in dry ice after their visit to Texas.

Texas Best Milk
Promised Land Dairy
Floresville, Texas.
Available at Whole Foods Markets Listed in Texas Best Health Food Grocer, and other locations.

German Chocolate Cake
Named after its Texas inventor, who was not of German descent.

Collin Street Bakery
401 W 7th
Corsicana, Texas
Since 1896. This fruit cake was originally 27% pecans.

Eilenberger’s Butter Nut Baking Company
512 N. John
Palestine, Texas
Fruit, pecan and apricot cakes since 1898.

Mary of Puddin Hill
201 E Interstate 30 Exit 95
Greenville, Texas 75402
World famous fruitcakes and chocolate delicacies.

New York ( Texas ) Cheesecake
New York, Texas
Population 12, distributed nationwide.

Blackburn Syrup Works
P.O. Drawer G
Jefferson, Texas 75657
Butter Maple, Butter Pecan, Cane, and Maple.

Adams Extract Company
P.O. Box 17008
Austin, Texas 78760
The original Adams Vanilla Extract flavoring and many other spices.

Pendery’s Inc.
1221 Manufacturing St.
Dallas, Texas 75207