Recipes

June is Country Cooking Month

The month of June officially marks the start of summer. Kids will fill the streets to play and have fun, and adults will be entrusted to take advantage of the great weather to come up with meals that can be enjoyed by family and friends in outdoor settings, such as gardens and parks.

Celebrate Country Cooking this June

Summer brings with it hot weather; a good reason why many like spending the time outdoors. With many people opting to take vacations so as to spend more time with family, it is important to consider what meals to prepare during this quality time. Do you remember how it felt when you were young and your mom or grandmother prepared meals that you still crave up to this day? Well, it is time to relive those memories by celebrating Country Cooking Month.

What is country cooking?

Country cooking means differently for everyone. Some people consider it a time to cook fatty and unhealthy meals. Others think of it as a time to be frugal and cook what is at hand. Yet other people celebrate it by preparing their favorite family recipes.

While there may be no definite meaning to country cooking, what is important to remember is that the aim should be to always prepare the best meals for your loved ones. Country cooking is about taking the time to prepare special meals for the family, like how your grandma perfected that favorite meal you always asked for. They all started from scratch, prepared in their own kitchen.

How can one participate?

There are various ways you can celebrate country cooking during the month of June. Remember that the goal is to prepare meals in your own kitchen, or if you’re visiting, in your host’s kitchen. Try to avoid pre-made or boxed meals. Instead, ask for an heirloom recipe. If you are cooking with your mom or grandma, it is time to pay attention and help out on how it is prepared. If not, try to get as much details as possible.

Technology changed the process of cooking, making it easier and faster to prepare meals. This June, stick to the old fashioned cooking tools and avoid blenders, mixers, microwaves, and other electric kitchen gadgets. Your hands and stove should do all the work.

Back in the day people would hunt their own food. Although you can’t really do this now, you can always go fishing and prepare the day’s catch for a nice meal. Cookouts are also perfect during summer and are a great way to celebrate Country Cooking month.

Summer cooking also means a little too much than people can stuff, meaning the fridge will always be full of leftovers. If you are out of recipes to prepare for the family, you just have to open the refrigerator and create a meal from the leftovers.

Country cooking reminds us how our ancestors used to prepare meals for their families. Celebrating it reminds us of the importance of spending time with loved ones and strengthening the bond through food preparation. So take the time this June to gather everyone in your garden and serve them with your own country cooked meals.

End of School Year Cookout

School’s almost out and the best way to celebrate another year of school is to spend it with your classmates and friends. As summer begins, people already have plans on how they will spend their vacation. However, before everyone goes out to chase their perfect vacation, throw a cookout that gathers everyone and offers a chance to share stories about the previous school year, enjoy the outdoors, and eat some great food.

West Texas catering service for your end of school cookout

When throwing a cookout, it is important to know how many people are going to attend, or at least a close estimate so you can choose the appropriate venue and the right amount of meals to prepare. Also, is the cookout going to be a potluck situation or will you host it on your own? Potluck means that the guests bring different meal items for the event, which they know and are informed about beforehand. If you choose the latter option (hosting it yourself), the meals that you prepare are going to be crucial to the outcome of the cookout event. If you are still pondering over what to cook, here are some recipes you make use of:

Asian Chicken Skewers

For this recipe you will need a marinade mixture made of cilantro leaves, chili sauce, garlic, ginger, salt and onions. Throw them in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Prepare skewers and place boneless, skinless chicken strips onto the skewers. Place the skewered chicken strips onto a nonreactive baking dish and rub the marinade mixture on each strip. Cover the dish and leave it in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours to marinate. Grill chicken over medium-high heat until well charred or cooked through.

Grilled Hotdogs with Homemade Pickle Relish

Hotdogs and sausages are favorites among cookouts. What you need is a pack of hotdogs or sausages, assorted mustard, ketchup, hotdog buns, and other condiments that go well with hotdog sandwiches (like your favorite homemade pickle relish).

You can make your own pickle relish with the following ingredients and procedure:

• You will need cider vinegar, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, sugar, sour dill pickles, red and yellow pepper, onions, and fresh dill.
• Boil vinegar, mustard, and coriander seeds in medium heat until reduced by half and slightly syrupy.
• Remove from heat then add remaining ingredients. Mix all together. You can add salt and pepper to taste.
• Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

If your guests have any special requests on condiments, consider having jalapenos, tomatoes, and grated cheese on hand. The condiments will give your guests more choices to satisfy their varying taste buds.

Cookouts are always pleasant events and double as a great way to end the school year. If you think that you will be short of time in preparing and handling the meal requirements, you can always ask your West Texas catering service to step in and ensure a great event.

Make a Great Hamburger

With spring time here and summer not so far off in the distance, it is that time of the year where family gatherings and friendly get together are frequent. With the fine weather, it would be crazy not to want to get out more and enjoy the season.

West Texas Catering service and your outdoor events

Cookouts and picnics are a great way to spend your days with the people you care about. But like any other event, the food to eat and how to prepare it is something that needs to be planned properly.

How ‘bout a ‘burger?

Hamburgers are one of America’s favorite food and you can easily find them in your local restaurant. However, it is also great if you can prepare and serve them to your guests in your upcoming event because of the many ways you can enjoy it. First, you need to know how to make a great burger patty because they say that it is what makes a great hamburger. Here are some tips on how to prepare a delicious burger patty.

• It is important to choose the best meat possible so go for the best quality beef you can find. Meat that has about 15-20 percent fat, or 80-85 percent lean meat is fine. The fat is essential to add flavor in your burger. If you have a meat grinder at home, you can use that to grind your meat. If not, make sure to purchase your ground meat in a trusted meat shop to ensure that you get the cuts you want.

• Once you have the meat, you want to add seasoning that will complement the beef flavor. Avoid eggs, bread crumbs, and anything heavy that can ruin the flavor. Instead, go for tried and tested ingredients like pepper, salt, Worcestershire Sauce, shallot, and onions. You can also add herbs and Dijon mustard.

• When shaping the patties, the point is to make them thin and wide as the patty will shrink when cooked. Avoid over-handling the meat because it toughens the burger. There is no need to compress the patty for it to hold.  Press the center of the patties to keep them from bulging out while cooking.

• Grill the patties on medium-high heat and with the cover on. Do not overcook your burger; 3 minutes per side works for medium-rare, and 4-5 minutes per side until cooked through for the kids. Avoid pressing your burgers while grilling them as this pushes out all the juice, ending up with dry burgers. Now that you have the burger patties ready, you can place a buffet of condiments for the guests so they can freely choose which ones go on their burgers.

Make your outdoor events fun and unforgettable by serving your favorite meals in a creative manner. If you find preparing for your next event too time consuming, ask your West Texas catering service to help you prepare great meals that are perfect for everyone at the event.

Happy National Egg Month

Celebrate National Egg Month this May!

Celebrate National Egg Month with West Texas Catering Service

The holiday is a reminder of the numerous benefits of the egg and is observed throughout the month. The holiday originated from the American Egg Board and other related groups to remind us how good eggs are. Apart from being easy to cook, eggs can be enjoyed in various ways.

Eggs are rich in vitamins A, D, E, B6, B12, and minerals like iron, calcium, choline, folic acid, potassium, in addition to being an excellent source of protein. It is for these nutritious reasons that eggs are a great way to start your day. As such, here are some breakfast recipes to try as you celebrate National Egg Month.

The B.E.L.T Sandwich

BELT stands for the healthy mix of bacon, eggs, lettuce, and tomatoes. Toast your bread and set it aside. Cook bacon in medium heat until crispy. Cook your egg scrambled or sunny side up, and add pepper or other herbs that you will enjoy with your egg. Spread a little mayonnaise on the toast, add the bacon, eggs, lettuce (or arugula), and tomatoes to complete the tasty sandwich.

Texas-Style Egg Tacos

For this you need bacon, red peppers, jalapenos, russet potatoes, chopped red onions, minced garlic, eggs, cheese, and warmed flour tortillas. Cook bacon until crispy and set it aside. Cook the potatoes in a non-stick pan until golden brown. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic, and sauté the mixture until soft. Once soft, proceed to add the red peppers, bacon, and eggs (in that order) into the pan. For best results, scramble the eggs until cooked. Sprinkle a little salt, or leftover peppers to flavor.

You are now ready to place the mixture into the tortillas. Top it off with cheese before rolling up the tortilla.

Classic French Omelet

Omelets are fun and flexible to prepare because you can be as creative as you wish to satisfy your taste. For the classic French omelet, what you need is olive oil, cold butter, eggs, salt, pepper, Gruyere cheese, and finely chopped chives. Start by heating the olive oil in a non-stick pan. Whisk eggs until they are frothy, add some butter into the eggs. Place the remaining butter into the pan and let it melt. Pour the beaten eggs mixture into the pan and cook until they are nearly ready. Add the Gruyere cheese and chopped herbs for flavor. Keep mixing everything until cooked to your preference.

If you are throwing an event this May, celebrate National Egg Month by asking a West Texas catering service to prepare meals that include eggs in it; so everyone in your event can remember the many ways we can enjoy this nutritious food.

National Pecan Month

This April is National Pecan Month, celebrating one of the most flavorful and important nuts in North America. A Pecan is the only tree nut that is native to the North American continent (which accounts for 80 percent of the world’s supply). Pecans were favored by early civilizations/settlers and served as a major food source because of their prominence and are easy to de-shell.

Ask your West Texas caterer to included pecan in your event dishes

Though the settlers weren’t aware of it, we now know today that pecans include 19 important vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and several B vitamins. They are also a good source of fiber and possess high levels of heart-healthy unsaturated fats, making them an excellent source of all round nutrition.

Pecan recipes

There are many different recipes that we associate with the pecan. While many of us remember the wonderful scent of a pecan pie baking in the oven or even enjoying some topped on a chocolate cake with frosting, there are various other dishes that one should consider when it comes to including this healthy nut in your diet.

Toasted pecans atop baked pumpkin muffins make for a nutritional and tasty treat for kids at a birthday party. It’s likely that the parents are going to want some too. But for those that would want to enjoy pecans as part of a meal, mixing fettuccini, asiago cheese, zucchini, and a few pecans make for a tasty Italian-styled dish that will please any guest list.

Chicken Masalas laced with crushed pecans is a great combination, especially for summertime events. It combines the great flavor of a classic dish with the wonderful taste and nutrition of the pecan. On the other hand, you don’t always have to get exotic in order to enjoy pecans. Maple honey and pecans mixed with apples and pears into a salad is a highly nutritional (and tasty!) addition to your day and doesn’t take much time or effort to prepare.

Sweet tooth pecans

You can include pecans in your sweet tooth indulgences, too. Consider hot caramel and pecans on top of ice cream as a perfect after-dinner treat. Alternatively, you may be in the mood for something to keep you going in the morning or afternoon, which is where a banana-pecan smoothie would hit the spot. Even for breakfast, the pecan can be your tasty friend when mixed with hot cakes, French toast, or atop your syrup-laced waffles.

For those looking for some great party favor snacks, a choice dish is the pecan-stuffed jalapenos, which improves on the classic jalapeno popper recipe. Some snacks are a little simpler, such as chili and lime covered pecans which are delicious and make great tabletop snacks for guests.

When planning your upcoming event, be sure that you discuss these and many other recipes with your choice West Texas caterer and discover what choice pecan dishes will leave guests wanting more. Even when you’re not preparing for a party, there are countless ways to include this highly nutritional and tasty nut into your everyday diet.

Gluten Free at Your Next Event

When planning an event, one of the biggest concerns is the food you plan to offer. With so many recipes and ingredients to consider, preparing the right combination for your event is one thing that requires careful consideration. This is mainly because your goal is catering to your guest’s food needs. While some like it all, there are those with allergies to foods such as shellfish, eggs, or peanuts. However, there is a growing concern for one particular food item that can be even more detrimental than allergies- gluten.

Consult your West Texas Caterer for gluten free meals

Gluten-free, please

Gluten is naturally found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley and is primarily found in products such as bread and crackers. But, they aren’t the only products that can contain gluten. Noodles, breading, stuffing, and even canned goods such as chicken broths also contain gluten. As such, it pays to be aware of the contents of your ingredients before you prepare them for the guests.

Gluten has become more of a concern in recent years due to the fact that Celiac Disease can cause intestinal inflammation and scarring. It isn’t like food allergies, but is just as more dangerous to the unsuspecting guest.

But that doesn’t mean your guests can’t enjoy a wide variety of recipes. These days, gluten free pastas, crackers, breading, and assorted recipes have become widely available, though they tend to be a little more expensive when pre-packaged.

Gluten alternatives

As such, you will have to consider alternatives for your gluten-free event. Such entrees as the bacon-wrapped almond or cheese-stuffed dates are excellent dishes. All fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, and dairy products are naturally gluten-free, but be sure to double check that the food items haven’t been mixed with gluten (such as breaded, canned, or stuffed items). Substituting ingredients in a recipe for gluten-free alternatives results in a healthier and tastier menu for all of your guests.

Not all grains contain gluten either, so don’t strike starch off the menu just yet. Rice is amongst the better known grains that is naturally gluten free and can replace an array of ingredients in many recipes. Rather than breaded chicken, you can go with a chicken and wild-rice recipe.

Because preparing a gluten free menu will take time and careful consideration combined with food-safety knowledge, it’s ideal to discuss these options with your preferred West Texas catering service. This will ensure that not only is your food gluten-free, but the recipes present the best flavor for your guests to enjoy.

So, the next time you find yourself preparing a menu for an event, consider the needs of your guests carefully so that you can ensure that everyone can enjoy the meal prepared for them. After all, as the host of the party, it’s your task to make sure everyone has a happy and healthy experience at your event.

April is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month

The month of April is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich month, and just about everyone is familiar with this favored pastime dish. Whether it’s a meal or a mid-afternoon snack for your kids, the grilled cheese sandwich has been around long enough to have earned its way into our national pastime.

Consult your West Texas caterer on different cheesy recipes

Cheese cooked sandwiches have been around for centuries, but they didn’t really become common until the early 1900’s. During the 1920’s the modern-day grilled cheese sandwich became popular as inexpensive American cheese and bread became abundantly available. It was in fact one of the choice menu selections during the Great Depression era, making it ideal for families to survive on even during the harshest times. But, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that the grilled cheese sandwich began to include the top bread. Before that, it was featured as an open-face sandwich. Later, it found its way into military cookbooks, featured by Navy cooks preparing them by broiling cheese filled sandwiches for the service men and women.

Variety of looks

However, the classic grilled cheese sandwich isn’t the only way you can celebrate it this April. While we’re commonly familiar with the combination of a loaf of bread and a few slices of American cheese, there are some intriguing and exotic mixes you can prepare for guests at your next event.

One of the favored choices is the grilled “mac ’n cheese” sandwich, which is easy to prepare, but can get a little messy if one isn’t too careful. In its simple form, the mac ’n cheese sandwich features macaroni and cheese atop toasted or grilled bread of your choice. Adding such sidings as shredded rib meat or peperoni will add some flavor to the sandwich.

Another, if your tongue can handle it, is the Jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwich for those that like things a little spicy. The classic popper is a choice recipe on its own, but turning it into a sandwich just makes things better.

For those that like to add veggies into the mix, a spinach pesto grilled cheese sandwich can be created by using grated graviera or gruyere cheese with spinach pesto added; all squeezed in between wheat bread for a healthy afternoon snack. Of course, if you want to start the morning off right, some sourdough bread, fried eggs, provolone cheese, and some pancetta slices can make for a wonderfully cheesy morning breakfast treat.

Sometimes adding a few extra ingredients or changing things up a little can turn old recipes into new flavors. Consider a grilled cheese sandwich laced with peperoni or perhaps a grilled cheese sandwich as a quesadilla (substituting bread for tortilla). They are easy recipes and can be prepared in a matter of minutes.

National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month isn’t just about celebrating a classic recipe. It’s about coming up with new ways to emphasize an age old tradition of enjoying one of the simplest recipes in the cookbook.

National Corn Dog Day

Celebrating this March 23rd as National Corn Dog Day sounds a little strange to some of us out there. However, it’s become somewhat popular as even people in locations as far as Australia and Antarctica have participated in this American founded event.

West Texas catering service to help you celebrate National Corn Dog Day

While March 17th is the actual declared date, National Corn Dog Day occurs in March of every year on the first Saturday of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. The festivities usually include the taking of tater tots, American beer, and of course- corn dogs.

History 

In Oregon, Brady Sahnow and Henry Otley first began the celebration in 1992. The first event featured corndogs and playing of basketball. Since then, it has been celebrated nationally, and sometimes even on an international level.

First seen in America during the 1920’s, the corn dog is simply composed of a hot dog sausage, dipped in thick cornmeal or buttermilk batter, and then fried in oil. While today’s versions have a stick poking out of it, earlier versions didn’t have this feature, and were eaten just like a hot dog.

The concept behind the corndog is relatively simple. The ingredients are the area where you can get creative. Some of the more popular additions are onions and peppers added into the batter, turning an ordinary corn dog into a spicy one.

However, not everyone will warm up to the idea of a spicy corn dog. Luckily, there are other ways to come up with unique and delicious tastes. Different types of hot dogs make for different types of corn dogs. Examples include cheese filled or covered hot dogs, beef, chicken, and pork. You can even use sausages as the core for your corn dog, turning the ordinary corndog into a very versatile addition to your party.

Other flavors can be acquired by dipping your corn dog in mustard, ketchup, and relish (often found on the classic hot dog); all of which are great additions for the corn dog. Even the oil used to fry will affect the flavor.

If you’re getting ready for a celebration this Corn Dog Day, be sure to consult your West Texas catering service to explore the different ways you can come up with unique corn dog delicacies for your patrons. So, while you’re preparing to watch the game, be sure you don’t forget the tots and beer too. After all, what’s a Corn Dog Day without the complete package?

National Peanut Month

Peanuts are amongst the most popular food item, found in food products of many types. Not only is this tiny nut tasty, but it has an astounding number of benefits as well. March is National Peanut Month, celebrating how this nutritious nut has changed the lives of so many people in the world.

Ask your West Texas caterer to serve nutty desserts in your next event

The average American consumes around six pounds of peanuts and peanut products (peanut oil, peanut butter, candy bars) each year. In fact, the top ten candy bars in America contain peanuts, making it hard to get away from enjoying the flavor of peanuts. And that is a good thing, since the benefits are great for your body. They’re a great source of protein – especially for those that enjoy physical activities (a fruit smoothie made with peanut protein powder aids muscle growth). In addition, the peanut also contains more antioxidants than broccoli, helping the body eliminate harmful toxins and restore natural balance within the body.

How to enjoy it

There are numerous ways to enjoy the peanut. While the classic appearance of the roasted peanut at the circus is one of the classic ways to enjoy it, you can get a little more creative than that. For some, peanut butter caramel corn is a delicious snack, as are peanut butter jelly bars. There are even home-welcoming treats, like peanut butter taffy and chocolate covered peanuts.

But, what are some bigger recipes you can enjoy this month? How about an apple and peanut salad? Simple and easy to make, this recipe consists of diced apples, dry-roasted peanuts, and some whipped icing to hold it all together. It makes for a great afternoon snack and packs plenty of nutrition.

If you want something a little more exotic, you could always try an African beef curry recipe. Utilizing stew meat, tomatoes, onions, a little curry, along with raisins and peanuts, this dish is best served on top of white rice and can be an amazing topic of conversation at your next event. Just be sure that you do inform the guests beforehand, as peanut allergies are becoming more common in younger children.

The peanut is a simple food, and has made its way into dishes of all types- from mid afternoon snacks to the main course at holiday events. Regardless of how you prefer to enjoy the peanut, there are always new and improved dishes you can try that will add some flavor and plenty of nutrition to your life.

National Potato Chip Day

Today’s potato chip comes in a variety of styles and flavors. Whether its barbeque, baked, or even seasoned with cheese, you can enjoy the flavor and simplicity of this popular snack food. March 14 of the year marks National Potato Chip Day, and is renowned throughout the world. But the history all started in Saratoga Springs, New York on August 24, 1853. While there are accounts of similar recipes as far back as the 1820’s, it wasn’t until a New York diner’s chef encountered a discontent patron that the potato chip became widely popular.

Your West Texas caterer to spice up your next event

Agitated by a patron who was repeatedly sending the potato wedges back because they were too thick, George Crum, the head chef, decided to slice the potatoes paper thin, boil them in oil, and add some salt as a joke. They were an instant success and the dinner quickly became famous for the new dinner menu recipe dubbed: Saratoga Chips. As early as 1908, manufacturers in the United States began mass producing them. But at the time, chips available in markets were usually sold in tins or scooped out of storefront glass bins. As time progressed, the use of wax paper bags to maintain freshness led to the invention of the more familiar cellophane bags.

Chip recipes 

While most individuals enjoy the simplicity of the potato chip as a solo dish, we’ve come to expect a little more from them. Many recipes include an on-the-side dish of chips to go along with your burger or hotdog. We dip them in nacho cheese and even mix them around in some barbeque sauce. There are even those that enjoy them mixed in with other dishes to add some crunch value, such as the chicken crispy bake which uses potato chips to achieve the crispy taste that most people love. Even recipes that include wild mustard potato chips and sweet-potato potato chips have become increasingly popular, so it isn’t always the classic potato that hits the oven these days.

Potato chips have been a national favorite for over a hundred years, and they’re available in all flavors, styles, and even shapes. So at your upcoming event, consider some of the different ways you can incorporate the simple potato chip into your festivities to spice things up for the guests. What are some wild recipes or potato chip mixes you enjoy?