One of America’s Favorites – Barbecue in Texas

July 29, 2019 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A plate of South Texas Style BBQ. Potato salad is common in Texas barbecue as a side dish.

Texas Barbecue is a traditional style of preparing meat unique to the cuisine of Texas. It is one of the many different varieties of barbecue found around the world.

Texas barbecue traditions can be divided into four general styles: East Texas, Central Texas, South Texas, and West Texas. The Central and East Texas varieties are generally the most well-known. In a 1973 Texas Monthly article, Author Griffin Smith, Jr., described the dividing line between the two styles as “a line running from Columbus and Hearne northward between Dallas and Fort Worth”.

Additionally, in deep South Texas and along the Rio Grande valley, a Mexican style of meat preparation known as barbacoa can be found. In Spanish, the word barbacoa means “barbecue”, though in English it is often used specifically to refer to Mexican varieties of preparation.

Generally speaking, the different Texas barbecue styles are distinguished as follows:

East Texas style: The meat is slowly cooked to the point that it is “falling off the bone.” It is typically cooked over hickory wood and marinated in a sweet, tomato-based sauce.
Central Texas style: The meat is rubbed with only salt and black pepper or in some restaurants with spices and cooked over indirect heat from pecan or oak wood or mesquite wood or a combination of woods. Sauce is typically considered unneeded but may be served on the side.

West Texas style: The meat is cooked over direct heat from mesquite wood.
South Texas style: Features thick, molasses-like sauces that keep the meat very moist.
The barbacoa tradition is somewhat different from all of these. Though beef may be used, goat or sheep meat are common as well (sometimes the entire animal may be used). In its most traditional form, barbacoa is prepared in a hole dug in the ground and covered with maguey leaves.

European meat-smoking traditions were brought by German and Czech settlers in Central Texas during the mid-19th century. The original tradition was that butchers would smoke leftover meat that had not been sold so that it could be stored and saved. As these smoked leftovers became popular among the migrants in the area, many of these former meat markets evolved to specialize in smoked meats. Many butcher shops also evolved into well-known barbecue establishments.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson hosted a state dinner featuring barbecue for the Mexican president-elect in Johnson City, Texas. It is generally considered the first barbecue state dinner in the history of the United States.

In 2019 J. C. Reid of the Houston Chronicle wrote that pulled pork barbecue was becoming common in Texas even though the style originated elsewhere.

Regional styles
Central Texas
Central Texas pit-style barbecue was established in the 19th century along the Chisholm Trail in the towns of Lockhart, Luling, and Taylor. The German and other European immigrants who owned meat-packing plants opened retail meat markets serving cooked meats wrapped in red butcher’s paper—a tradition which continues to this day in many Central Texas towns. This barbecue style’s popularity has spread considerably around the world, especially to Southern California, New York City, Britain and Australia.

Today, many Central Texas barbecue restaurants open around 11:00am and serve until “they are out of meat”. Most barbecue establishments close on Sundays.

At a typical Central Texas pit barbecue restaurant, the customer takes a tray cafeteria-style and is served by a butcher who carves the meat by weight. Side dishes and desserts are then picked up along the line with sliced white bread, wavy-cut dill pickle chips, sliced onion, and jalapeño. Barbecue meats are commonly sold by the pound. The emphasis of Central Texas pit barbecue is on the meat—if sauce is available, it is usually considered a side dip for wetting purposes. Calvin Trillin, writing in The New Yorker, said that discussions of Central Texas pit barbecue do not concern the piquancy of the sauces or common side dishes and desserts—the main consideration is the quality of the cooking of the meats.

Smith posits this theory on why sauces are not a focus of Central Texas pit style: in the early days, the noon meat markets were dominated by the upper class purchasers, who could choose among the highest-quality cuts of meat with little interest in sauces. Smith describes many sauces in Central Texas pit barbecue as intentionally made “bland”, as compared to the flavor of the meats themselves. The sauce is typically thinner and unsweetened, different than the Kansas City and Memphis styles (which rely heavily on molasses, sugar, and corn syrup to provide thickness and sweetness).

Jayne Clark of the USA Today said in 2010 that the “Texas Barbecue Trail” is an east of Austin “semi-loop” including Elgin, Lockhart, Luling, and Taylor. Barbecue eateries in this semi-loop, like Louie Mueller Barbecue, are within one hour’s drive from Austin, in a direction of northeast to the southeast.

East Texas
East Texas barbecue is usually chopped and not sliced. It may be made of either beef or pork, and it is usually served on a bun.

Robb Walsh wrote in “Texas Barbecue in Black and White” that due to the prevalence of beef, African-American varieties of barbecue in East Texas tended to use that instead of the pork found elsewhere in the South. Walsh quoted an artist, Bert Long, who stated that African-American varieties are heavily smoked.

According to Reid, the presence of pork ribs in East Texas barbecue originated from elsewhere in the South. According to Walsh they had origins in barbecues that were held for slaves. Many black restaurateurs struggled to continue operating restaurants as food safety regulations passed by Texas jurisdictions around 1910 had restrictions on the operations of restaurants until the cinder-block pit became widespread; this innovation allowed black restaurateurs to serve their fellow black customers.

Griffin Smith, Jr., in a 1973 Texas Monthly article, described East Texas barbecue as an “extension” of barbecue served in the Southern United States and said that beef and pork appear equally in the cuisine. According to Smith, the theory on how East Texas barbecue got started was that the emphasis on sauces and spices came as African-Americans received poor quality cuts of meat and needed flavoring. According to Smith, the “finest manifestations” of the East Texas style were found in African-American-operated restaurants. Smith further described East Texas barbecue as “still basically a sandwich product heavy on hot sauce.”

 

Other styles
West Texas barbecue, sometimes also called “cowboy style,” traditionally used a more direct heat method than other styles. It is generally cooked over mesquite, with goat and mutton in addition to beef.

Barbecue in the border area between the South Texas Plains and Northern Mexico is mostly influenced by Mexican cuisine. Historically, this area was the birthplace of the Texas ranching tradition. Often, Mexican farmhands were partially paid for their work in less desirable cuts of meat, such as the diaphragm and the cow’s head. It is the cow’s head which defines South Texas barbecue (called barbacoa). The head would be wrapped in wet maguey leaves and buried in a pit with hot coals for several hours, after which the meat would be pulled off for barbacoa tacos. The tongue would also be used to make lengua tacos. Today, barbacoa is mostly cooked in an oven in a bain-marie.

 

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One of America’s Favorites – Kansas City-Style Barbecue

July 15, 2019 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Kansas City-style barbecue combo plate with various meats and fries

Kansas City-style barbecue refers to the specific regional barbecue style of slowly smoked meat that originated from the pit of Henry Perry in the early 1900s in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas City barbecue is characterized by its use of a wide variety of meats: pork, beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, sausage, and sometimes even fish. Just about any type of barbecued meat served in the country’s other barbecue capitals, from pulled pork to brisket to beef ribs and pork ribs in a number of different cuts, is served in KC-area barbecue restaurants. Burnt ends – the crusty, fatty, flavorful meat cut from the point of a smoked beef brisket – are much in demand.

Kansas City barbecue is rubbed with spices, slow-smoked over a variety of woods and served with a thick tomato-based barbecue sauce, which is an integral part of KC-style barbecue. Most local restaurants and sauce companies offer several varieties with sweet, spicy and tangy flavor profiles, but the staple sauce tends to be both sweet (often from molasses) and spicy. Kansas City barbecue is also known for its many side dishes, including a unique style of baked beans, French fries, coleslaw, and other Southern-food staples.

The Kansas City metropolitan area has more than 100 barbecue restaurants, a number of which are nationally renowned. The area is also home to several large barbecue cooking contests, notably the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle and the American Royal World Series of Barbecue, the largest barbecue competition in the world.

History
Henry Perry
Urban Kansas City traces its barbecue history to Henry Perry, who operated out of a trolley barn at 19th and Highland in the legendary African-American neighborhood around 18th and Vine.

Perry served slow-cooked ribs on pages of newsprint for 25 cents a slab. Perry came from Shelby County, Tennessee, near Memphis, and began serving barbecue in 1908. Kansas City and Memphis barbecue styles are very similar, although Kansas City tends to use more sauce and a wider variety of meats. Perry’s sauce had a somewhat harsh, peppery flavor.

Perry’s restaurant became a major cultural point during the heyday of Kansas City Jazz during the “wide-open” days of Tom Pendergast in the 1920s and 1930s.

Arthur Bryant

Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue at 18th and Brooklyn in Kansas City

Working for Henry Perry was Charlie Bryant, who, in turn, brought his brother, Arthur Bryant, into the business. Charlie took over the Perry restaurant in 1940 after Perry died. Arthur then took over his brother’s business in 1946, and the restaurant was renamed Arthur Bryant’s.

Arthur Bryant’s, which eventually moved to 1727 Brooklyn in the same neighborhood, became a stomping ground for baseball fans and players in the 1950s and 1960s, because of its close proximity to Municipal Stadium, where the Athletics or A’s played their home games during that period.

In April 1972, Kansas City native Calvin Trillin wrote an article in Playboy proclaiming Bryant’s to be the best restaurant on the planet.

Despite new-found fame, Bryant did not change the restaurant’s very simple decor, which consisted of fluorescent lighting, formica tables, and five-gallon jars of sauce displayed in the windows, even as Presidents Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan stopped by.

Bryant died of a heart attack, in a bed that he kept at the restaurant, shortly after Christmas of 1982. The restaurant is still open. The sauce and restaurant continue their success.

Along the main inner wall of the restaurant is photographic history of many famous politicians, actors, actresses and sports figures and other tribute pictures of military personnel displaying Arthur Bryant’s memorabilia such as shirts or bottles of sauce.

Gates Bar-B-Q headquarters on Brush Creek in Kansas City

Gates & Sons
In 1946 Arthur Pinkard, who was a cook for Perry, joined with George Gates to form Gates and Sons Bar-B-Q. The restaurant was situated initially in the same neighborhood.

Gates barbecue sauce does not contain molasses; the ingredients, as listed on the bottle, are: “Tomatoes, vinegar, salt, sugar, celery, garlic, spices, and pepper. 1/10 of 1% potassium sorbate preservative added.” It is available in Original Classic, Mild, Sweet & Mild, and Extra Hot varieties.

Gates also expanded its footprint in a more conventional way, with restaurants all displaying certain trademarks – red-roofed buildings, a recognizable logo (a strutting man clad in tuxedo and top hat) and the customary “Hi, May I Help You?” greeting belted out by its employees as patrons enter.

Gates has opened restaurants throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. The chain currently consists of 6 area Gates Bar-B-Q restaurants: 4 in Missouri, 2 in Kansas. Gates also has sold barbecue sandwiches at Kauffman Stadium during Kansas City Royals home games, and currently at Arrowhead Stadium during Kansas City Chiefs home games.

Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue
Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue had its beginnings as the second restaurant in the Smokestack BBQ chain, which Russ Fiorella, Sr. had started in 1957. Fiorella’s eldest son Jack worked with his father until 1974, when he and his wife Delores opened their own Smokestack location in the Martin City neighborhood of south Kansas City.

Eventually Jack, along with his wife and children, decided to expand their menu selections, adding non-traditional barbecue menu items like hickory-grilled steaks, lamb ribs, Crown Prime Beef Short Ribs, and fresh, hickory-grilled seafood, along with an extensive wine and bar selection. They also began offering a higher level of comfort and service than most people were accustomed to at a barbecue restaurant. Smokestack BBQ in Martin City soon became one of the most successful restaurants in the Kansas City metro. In 1996, Jack Fiorella was named Restaurateur of the Year by the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association.

By the mid-1990s, Jack Fiorella decided to replicate the success of his Martin City Smokestack restaurant. Other members of the Fiorella family told Jack that he was not permitted to use the Smokestack name for his new restaurant, so both the new restaurant (opened in 1997 in Overland Park, Kansas) and Jack’s existing restaurant in Martin City dropped the Smokestack name and were rebranded as Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue. They also opened a full-service catering operation in Martin City and their third location in the historic Freight House building in the Crossroads Arts District. They began shipping their barbecue nationwide in 2000, and in October 2006 they opened a fourth location on The Country Club Plaza. In 2014, a fifth Jack Stack restaurant opened in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. The original Smokestack chain closed its last remaining location in 2012.

Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue has been featured on The Food Network and The History Channel, and has been rated as among the best barbecue in the United States by several national organizations and magazines. Most notably, the Zagat Survey has named it the “#1 Barbecue House in the Country.”

The original Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que in Kansas City, Kansas

Joe’s Kansas City
Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que can be traced to competition barbecue and the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS). Accompanying friends at the American Royal and The Great Lenexa BBQ Battle inspired Jeff Stehney to start cooking on his own. The first smoker purchased was an Oklahoma Joe’s 24” smoker, christened in April 1991.

By 1993, Jeff, his wife and business partner Joy, and Jim “Thurston” Howell were ready to make their mark on the KCBS competition circuit. Their competition team, Slaughterhouse Five, ended up winning eight Grand Championships, including the prestigious American Royal BBQ, three Reserve Grand Championships, and the KCBS’s Grand Champion “Team of the Year” in 1993. Over the next several seasons Slaughterhouse Five won dozens more awards and was generally recognized as one of the top competition BBQ teams in the Country.

Jeff and Joy opened Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Que (later renamed to Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que) in a gas station in Kansas City, Kansas in 1996. There are also locations in Olathe, Kansas and Leawood, Kansas.

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain listed Joe’s original Kansas City, Kansas location as one of “13 Places You Must Eat Before You Die”. Men’s Health magazine named it America’s manliest restaurant. Joe’s was featured on Season 3 of Man v. Food in August 2010. It was also named “Kansas City’s Best Barbecue” by Zagat.

LC’s Bar-B-Q
Mississippi born L.C. Richardson took early retirement as a company chef for Farmland Industries and opened LC’s Bar-B-Q near the Truman Sports Complex in 1986. LC’s specializes in burnt ends and ribs, and utilizes a sauce similar to Gates’ but with substantially less sugar and more vinegar. LC’s also sauces the meat prior to smoking and continually saucing throughout the cooking process. This technique forms a thin, chewy and extremely flavorful layer on the outside of the meat and effectively seals the ribs, resulting in a remarkably tender and juicy finished product. LC’s side dishes, especially the baked beans and the fresh-cut fries, are almost as notable as the meats. LC’s Bar-B-Q has also been featured on the Travel Channel’s, “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations”.

B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ
In October 1990, after leaving a sales job, Lindsay Shannon and his wife Jo opened B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ in south Kansas City. The main focus of B.B.’s is Kansas City style barbecue and Louisiana dishes. The menu includes Kansas City favorites like ribs, sausage and pulled pork, which are slow-smoked in a 60-year-old pit with apple wood. The Louisiana dishes include gumbo, jambalaya, and goulash. Not long after opening in October 1990, owner Lindsay Shannon decided to add another one of his passions: blues music. Local and national blues bands perform at B.B.’s six nights a week. B.B.’s is known as “where barbecue meets the blues” in Kansas City. B.B.’s has been featured in the New York Times, and USA Today. About.com lists B.B.’s in the Top 5 Barbeque Restaurants in Kansas City. B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ has also been featured on Food Network’s, ” Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives “, hosted by Guy Fieri.

KC Masterpiece
In 1977, Rich Davis capitalized on the reputation of Kansas City barbecue to form KC Masterpiece, which evolved from his “K.C. Soul Style Barbecue Sauce”. KC Masterpiece is sweeter and thicker than many of the traditional Kansas City sauces served in the region. The KC Masterpiece recipe uses extra molasses to achieve its thick, sweet character.[citation needed]

KC Masterpiece was sold to the Kingsford division of Clorox in 1986 and now claims to be the number one premium barbecue brand in the U.S. When Davis sold the rights to his sauce to Kingsford, he announced plans to build a franchise of barbecue restaurants. The franchises were successful for a few years, but have since all closed.

Curt’s Famous Meats storefront

Curt’s Famous Meats

Curt’s Famous Meats is a meat market founded in 1947 by Curtis Jones and sold to Donna Pittman in 1989. With clientele from all across America, Curt’s specializes in barbecue prepared with Kansas City rub. It has a long history of award winning barbecue, having won eight times the American Royal barbecue competition, the largest in the world. Curt’s is located on East Truman Road in the Maywood neighborhood of Independence, Missouri. Although not in Kansas City proper, Curt’s has been a large competitor in many local competitions in barbecue. Curt’s Famous Meats is also known for its predominantly female staff that Donna Pittman has hired. They are known locally as the Lady Meat Cutters.

Kansas City Barbeque Society
The Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) was founded in 1986. With over 13,000 members worldwide, it is the world’s largest organization of barbecue and grilling enthusiasts. KCBS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to “promoting barbecue as America’s cuisine and having fun while doing so.”

KCBS sanctions nearly 300 barbecue contests across the U.S. each year and offers assistance to civic and charitable organizations with producing these events. The KCBS has developed a set of rules and regulations that govern all official KCBS competitions.

KCBS offers educational programs, consultation services and civic organization presentations to help spread the gospel of barbecue. The mission of the Kansas City Barbeque Society is to celebrate, teach, preserve and promote barbecue as a culinary technique, sport and art form.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Barbecue in the United States

July 1, 2019 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A slab of barbecued pork ribs at Oklahoma Joe’s in Tulsa.

In the United States, barbecue refers to a technique of cooking meat outdoors over a fire; often this is called pit barbecue, and the facility for cooking it is the barbecue pit. This form of cooking adds a distinctive smoky taste to the meat; barbecue sauce, while a common accompaniment, is not required for many styles.

Often the proprietors of Southern-style barbecue establishments in other areas originate from the South. In the South, barbecue is more than just a style of cooking, but a subculture with wide variation between regions, and fierce rivalry for titles at barbecue competitions.

There are 3 ingredients to barbecue. Meat and wood smoke are essential. The use of a sauce or seasoning varies widely between regional traditions.

The first ingredient in the barbecue tradition is the meat. The most widely used meat in most barbecue is pork, particularly the pork ribs, and also the pork shoulder for pulled pork. The techniques used to cook the meat are hot smoking and smoke cooking. These cooking processes are distinct from the cold smoking preservation process. Hot smoking is where the meat is cooked with a wood fire, over indirect heat, at temperatures between 120 and 180 °F (50 and 80 °C), and smoke cooking (the method used in barbecue) is cooking over indirect fire at higher temperatures, often in the range of 250°F (121°C) ±50°F (±28°C). The long, slow cooking process take hours, as many as 18, and leaves the meat tender and juicy. Characteristically, this process leaves a distinctive line of red just under the surface, where the myoglobin in the meat reacts with carbon monoxide from the smoke, and imparts the smoky taste essential to barbecue.

The second ingredient in barbecue is the wood used to smoke the meat. Since the wood smoke flavors the food, the particular type of wood used influences the process. Different woods impart different flavors, so the regional availability of the various woods for smoking influences the taste of the region’s barbecue. Smoking the meat is the key, as otherwise cooking meat over an open flame is simply “grilling” the meat, whereas barbecue is the actual process of “smoking” it.

* Hard woods such as hickory, mesquite, pecan and the different varieties of oak impart a strong smoke flavor.
* Maple, alder, and fruit woods such as apple, pear, and cherry impart a milder, sweeter taste.
Stronger flavored woods are used for pork and beef, while the lighter flavored woods are used for fish and poultry. More exotic smoke generating ingredients can be found in some recipes; grapevine adds a sweet flavor, and sassafras, a major flavor in root beer, adds its distinctive taste to the smoke.

The last, and in many cases optional, ingredient is the barbecue sauce. There are no constants, with sauces running the gamut from clear, peppered vinegars to thick, sweet, tomato and molasses sauces to mustard-based barbecue sauces, which themselves range from mild to painfully spicy. The sauce may be used as a marinade before cooking, applied during cooking, after cooking, or used as a table sauce. An alternate form of barbecue sauce is the dry rub, a mixture of salt and spices applied to the meat before cooking.

Typical plate of chopped pork barbecue as served in a restaurant with barbecue beans, sauce and Texas toast

The origins of American barbecue date back to colonial times, with the first recorded mention in 1672 and George Washington mentions attending a “barbicue” in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1769. As the country expanded westwards along the Gulf of Mexico and north along the Mississippi River, barbecue went with it.

The core region for barbecue is the southeastern region of the United States, an area bordered on the west by Texas and Oklahoma, on the north by Missouri, Kentucky, and Virginia, on the south by the Gulf of Mexico, and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean. While barbecue is found outside of this region, the fourteen core barbecue states contain 70 of the top 100 barbecue restaurants, and most top barbecue restaurants outside the region have their roots there.

Barbecue in its current form grew up in the South, where cooks learned to slow-roast tough cuts of meat over fire pits to make them tender.

These humble beginnings are still reflected in the many barbecue restaurants that are operated out of “hole-in-the-wall” (or “dive”) locations; the rib joint is the purest expression of this. Many of these will have irregular hours, and remain open only until all of a day’s ribs are sold; they may shut down for a month at a time as the proprietor goes on vacation. Despite these unusual traits, rib joints will have a fiercely loyal clientele.

Barbecue is strongly associated with Southern cooking and culture due to its long history and evolution in the region. Indian corn cribs, predecessors to Southern barbecue, were described during the Hernando de Soto expedition in southwest Georgia, and were still around when English settlers arrived two centuries later. Early usage of the verb barbecue, derived from Spanish barbacoa, meant “to preserve (meat) by drying or slowly roasting”; the meaning became closer to that of its modern usage as a specific cooking technique by the time Georgia was colonized. Today, barbecue has come to embody cultural ideals of communal recreation and faithfulness in certain areas. These ideals were historically important in farming and frontier regions throughout the South and parts of the Midwest with influences from the South. As such, due to the strong cultural associations that it holds in these areas, barbecue has attained an important position in America’s culinary tradition.

Parts of the Midwest also incorporate their own styles of barbecue into their culinary traditions. For example, in Kansas City, barbecue entails a wide variety of meats, sweet and thick sauces, dry rubs, and sliced beef brisket. Kansas City barbecue is a result of the region’s history; a combination of the cooking techniques brought to the city by freed slaves and the Texas cattle drives during the late nineteenth century has led to the development of the region’s distinctive barbecue style. Barbecue as a cultural tradition spread from the South and was successfully incorporated into several Midwestern regions such as western Missouri, again owing to the cultural ideals that the barbecue tradition represents and the need for locals to express those ideals. Variations of these ideals by region are reflected in the great diversity of barbecue styles and traditions within the United States.

Barbecue has been a staple of American culture, especially Southern American culture, since colonial times. As it has emerged through the years many distinct traditions have become prevalent in the United States. The pig, the essential ingredient to any barbecue, became a fundamental part of food in the South in the 18th century because the pig requires little maintenance and is able to efficiently convert feed to meat (six times quicker than beef cattle). As a result of the prevalence of hogs in the South, the pig became synonymous with Southern culture and barbecue. The origins of the pig symbol with Southern Culture began as a result of its value as an economic commodity. By 1860, hogs and southern livestock were valued at double the cotton crop, at a price of half a billion dollars. The majority of pigs were raised by residents of the South and as a result the pigs contributed considerably to the economic well-being of many Southerners.

A barbecued pig

Pigs and barbecue were not only valuable for economic reasons but barbecue “scores of hog” were set aside for large gatherings and often used as an enticement for political rallies, church events, as well as harvest festival celebrations. Barbecues have been a part of American history and tradition from as early as the first Independence Day celebration. In the early years, Independence Day was celebrated as a formal civil gathering, in which egalitarian principles were reinforced. The traditions of Independence Day moved across the country as settlers traveled to western territories. By the 19th century, the role of barbecue in public celebration and political institutions increased significantly and it became the leading practice of communal celebrations in the South as well as the Midwest. The important social, political, and cultural gatherings of barbecues have spanned three centuries and its cultural significance remains important today.

While the wide variety of barbecue styles makes it difficult to break barbecue styles down into regions, there are four major styles commonly referenced, Carolina and Memphis, which rely on pork and represent the oldest styles, and Kansas City and Texas, which use beef as well as pork, and represent the later evolution of the original Deep South barbecue. Pork is the most common meat used, followed by beef and veal, often with chicken or turkey in addition. Lamb and mutton are found in some areas, such as Owensboro, Kentucky (International Bar-B-Q Festival), and some regions will add other meats…………..
(To be continued)

 

Diabetic Dessert of the Week – Upside-Down Pineapple Cake

May 30, 2019 at 6:02 AM | Posted in dessert, diabetes, diabetes friendly, Diabetes Self Management, Diabetic Dessert of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s Diabetic Dessert of the Week is – Upside-Down Pineapple Cake. Upside-Down Pineapple Cake just made healthier. Only 165 calories per serving! The recipe is from the Diabetes Self Management website where you not only find Diabetic Friendly Recipes but also Diabetes News and Diabetes Management Tips so check it out today! Enjoy and Make 2019 a Healthy One! https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/

Upside-Down Pineapple Cake
Ingredients
1 can (15 ounces) pineapple slices in juice
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sucralose-based brown sugar substitute
1/4 cup margarine, melted
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions
1 – Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2 – Drain pineapple; reserve 3/4 cup juice. Place pineapple rings evenly in bottom of prepared pan. Drizzle molasses evenly over pineapple. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

3 – Beat sugar substitute, margarine, egg whites, and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer at low speed until well blended. Add reserved pineapple juice, flour and baking soda; beat until smooth. Pour batter over pineapple.

4 – Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Tip: For maximum flavor, let cake sit overnight before serving.

Yield: 12 servings.

Serving size: 1/12 of cake.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 165 calories, Carbohydrates: 28 g, Protein: 1 g, Fat: 4 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 108 mg, Fiber: 1 g
https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/recipes/desserts-sweets/upside-pineapple-cake/

One of America’s Favorites – Baked Beans

April 22, 2019 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Baked beans over scrambled eggs on toast

Baked beans is a dish containing beans, sometimes baked but, despite the name, usually stewed, in a sauce.] Most commercially canned baked beans are made from haricot beans, also known as navy beans (a variety of Phaseolus vulgaris) in a sauce. In Ireland and Great Britain, a tomato sauce is most commonly used, and they are commonly eaten on toast or as part of a full English, Scottish, or Irish breakfast.

American Boston baked beans use a sauce prepared with molasses and salt pork, the popularity of which has led to the city’s being nicknamed “Beantown”. Beans in a tomato and brown sugar, sugar, or corn syrup sauce are widely available throughout the US.

Canada’s Quebec-style beans often use maple syrup. This style is also popular in states bordering Canada’s eastern provinces.

Canned baked beans are used as a convenience food. They may be eaten hot or cold, straight from the can, as they are already fully cooked.

The beans presently used to make baked beans are all native to South America and were introduced to Europe around 1528. The dish is commonly described as having a savory-sweet flavor and a brownish- or reddish-tinted white bean once baked, stewed, canned or otherwise cooked. According to alternative traditions, sailors brought cassoulet from the south of France or northern France, and the Channel Islands, where bean stews were popular. Most probably, a number of regional bean recipes coalesced and cross-fertilised in North America and ultimately gave rise to the baked bean culinary tradition familiar today.

While many recipes today are stewed, traditionally beans were slow-baked in a ceramic or cast-iron beanpot. A tradition in Maine of “bean hole” cooking may have originated with the native Penobscot people and was later practiced in logging camps. A fire would be made in a stone-lined pit and allowed to burn down to hot coals, and then a pot with 11 pounds of seasoned beans would be placed in the ashes, covered over with dirt, and left to cook overnight or longer. These beans were a staple of Maine’s logging camps, served at every meal.

Canned beans, often containing pork, were among the first convenience foods, and it is in this form that they became exported and popularised by U.S. companies operating in the UK in the early 20th century. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated in 1996, “It has for years been recognized by consumers generally that the designation ‘beans with pork,’ or ‘pork and beans’ is the common or usual name for an article of commerce that contains very little pork.” The included pork is typically a piece of salt pork that adds fat to the dish.[citation needed]

Canned baked beans with small pork sausages are still available, as are variants with other added ingredients such as chili.

In the United States, Bush’s (Bush Brothers and Company), Van Camp’s, B&M (Burnham & Morrill Inc.), Allens, Inc., the H. J. Heinz Company, and the Campbell’s Soup Company are well-known

Beans on toast

producers or brands of packaged baked beans. B&M specializes in Boston-style baked beans often sold in beanpot-shaped jars, and canned brown bread, a traditional regional accompaniment to baked beans, whereas Bush and Van Camp produce multiple flavor varieties of canned beans, some styles using cured bacon to flavor the products.

In the New England region, baked beans are flavored either with maple syrup (Northern New England), or with molasses (Boston), and are traditionally cooked with salt pork in a beanpot in a brick oven for six to eight hours. In the absence of a brick oven, the beans were cooked in a beanpot nestled in a bed of embers placed near the outer edges of a hearth, about a foot away from the fire. Today, baked beans can be made in a slow cooker or in a modern oven using a traditional beanpot, Dutch oven, or casserole dish.

In southern states and along the eastern seaboard of the U.S., the beans become tangier usually due to the addition of yellow mustard. For example, the baked beans of Tennessee-based Bush’s include mustard in most of their varieties of beans. Ground beef may also become common alongside bacon in the home versions some of these bean styles. They may take on a flavor similar to Cowboy Beans, a home-mixed stew, somewhat similar to a chili but made instead with sweet baked beans.

Baked beans are a staple side dish for various types of barbecue. This is due in part to the ease of handling, as they can be served hot or cold, directly from the can, making them handy for outdoor eating. The tomato-based sweet sauce also complements many types of barbecue. The already-cooked beans may also be baked in a casserole dish topped with slices of raw bacon, which is baked until the bacon is cooked. Additional seasonings are sometimes used, such as additional brown sugar or mustard to make the sauce more tangy.

Heinz baked beans became very successful as an export to the UK, where canned baked beans are now a staple food. In America, the H. J. Heinz Co. continue to sell baked beans, although they are not always as widely distributed as competing American brands. Despite their international fame, there are currently substantial differences between the Heinz baked beans produced for the UK market (descended from the original American recipe) and the nearest currently equivalent American product (Heinz Premium Vegetarian Beans).

The American product contains brown sugar where the British beans do not, and the U.S. product contains 14 g of sugar per 16 oz tin compared to 7 g for the British version (equating to 140 versus 90 calories). The U.S. beans have a mushier texture and are darker in color than their UK counterpart. This has resulted in a situation where the product is now imported back to the brand’s home country. For several years, UK Heinz Baked Beans have been available in the U.S., either in different-sized cans from those sold in the UK or in a 385-gram can (the same can as the 415-gram can in the UK) with an “export” label with American English spelling and the word “baked” dropped from the title on the label. These are sold in many U.S. specialty stores, attesting to the popularity of baked beans and their appeal to expats. Bush, Van Camp, B&M, and Heinz all produce pork-free baked beans labeled as vegetarian beans, making this American dish available to people who abstain from pork for religious, dietary, or ethical reasons.

Three beanpots used for cooking homemade baked beans. The small one is glazed with the letters “Boston Baked Beans”

In the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore, the term baked beans usually refers to tinned beans in a tomato sauce. They were originally imported from American companies, first sold in the UK in 1886 in the upmarket Fortnum & Mason store in London as an expensive foreign delicacy.

Today, baked beans are a staple convenience food in the UK, often eaten as part of the modern full English breakfast and particularly on toast (called simply “beans on toast”). Baked beans freshly cooked from raw ingredients, much closer to their original unprocessed, unindustrialised form, are offered by a few upmarket brunch establishments.

The best-selling brand in the UK is Heinz Baked Beans.

 

Diabetic Dessert of the Week – APPLESAUCE CAKE

April 18, 2019 at 6:02 AM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, Diabetic Dessert of the Week, Diabetic Gourmet Magazine | Leave a comment
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I’m starting a new feature post on Thursday’s, Diabetic Dessert of the Week. For the first Dessert it’s a recipe for APPLESAUCE CAKE. Molasses, Egg Substitute, Splenda No Calorie Sweetener, and Unsweetened Applesauce are just some of the ingredients you’ll need to make this week’s recipe. It’s from the Diabetic Gourmet Magazine website which has a huge selection of Diabetic Friendly Recipes. So check it out today for some delicious and healthy recipes. Enjoy and Make 2019 a Healthy One! https://diabeticgourmet.com/

APPLESAUCE CAKE

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup reduced-calorie margarine
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Directions

1 – Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8×8 inch metal cake pan with vegetable cooking spray. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside.
2 – In a large mixing bowl, beat margarine and molasses with an electric mixer on high speed for approximately 1 minute.
3 – Add egg substitute and vanilla and blend on high speed for 30 seconds. Mixture will be liquid.
4 – Add Splenda Granulated Sweetener and beat on medium speed until very smooth, approximately 1 1/2 minutes.
5 – Add flour mixture and applesauce and beat on low speed until mixed, approximately 45 seconds.
6 – Spread batter evenly into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Recipe Yield: Yield: 8 servings Serving size: 1 slice.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING:
Calories: 170
Fat: 7 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 grams
Fiber: 1 grams
Sodium: 260 milligrams
Protein: 4 grams
Carbohydrates: 24 grams
Sugars: 10 grams
https://diabeticgourmet.com/diabetic-recipes/applesauce-cake

One of America’s Favorites – Shoofly Pie

October 22, 2018 at 5:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Shoofly pie

Shoofly pie

Shoofly pie (or shoo-fly pie) is a molasses pie or cake that developed its traditional form among the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 1880s, who ate it with strong black coffee for breakfast. It is called Melassich Riwwelboi or Melassichriwwelkuche (molasses crumb cake) in the Pennsylvania Dutch language.

Shoofly pie is a molasses crumb cake that was baked in a pie crust. The addition of a pie crust made it easier for people to hold a piece in the hand while eating it.

It comes in two different versions: wet-bottom and dry-bottom. The dry-bottom version is baked until fully set and results in a more cake-like consistency throughout. The wet-bottom version is set like cake at the top where it was mixed in with the crumbs, but the very bottom is a stickier, gooier custard-like consistency.

A Montgomery pie is similar to a shoofly pie, except lemon juice is usually added to the bottom layer and buttermilk to the topping. Treacle tart is a pie with a filling made from light treacle.

Shoofly pie began as a crust-less molasses cake called Centennial cake in 1876, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. In the 1880s, home bakers added a crust to make it easier to eat alongside a cup of coffee in the morning, without plates and forks. Precursors include Jenny Lind cake, a gingerbread cake from the middle of the 19th century.

Because the cake contains molasses but no eggs, historians conclude that it was typically baked during the winter, when chickens laid no eggs but when molasses would store well in the cold weather. The use of baking powder places its invention firmly after the Civil War and in the 1870s, when Pennsylvania Dutch bakers began using baking powder.

 

Diabetic Dish of the Week – APPLE AND SQUASH BAKE

September 18, 2018 at 5:02 AM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, Diabetic Dish of the Week, Diabetic Gourmet Magazine | Leave a comment
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This week’s Diabetic Dish of the Week is a APPLE AND SQUASH BAKE. A perfect Fall Dish using both Apples and Butternut Squash. The Dish is only 120 calories and 20 net carbs per serving. Another Delicious and Diabetic Friendly Recipe from the Diabetic Gourmet Magazine website. So many Delicious and Healthy recipes to choose from. Plus don’t forget to subscribe to the Diabetic Gourmet Magazine, one of my favorites! So Enjoy and Eat Healthy in 2018! https://diabeticgourmet.com/

 

APPLE AND SQUASH BAKE
This recipe combines all the best fall flavors and makes a great alternative to the candied yams often served for Thanksgiving dinner.
Yield: 8 servings
Serving Size: 3/4 cup squash and apple bake

Ingredients

1/3 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1 teaspoon molasses
1/4 cup light butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
2 pounds butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cut into
1/2 inch slices
2 large apples – cored, and cut into 1/2 inch slices

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, stir together Splenda Granulated Sweetener, molasses, butter, flour, salt, and mace. Arrange squash in an ungreased 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with slices of apple, then sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, or until squash is tender.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories: 120
Calories from Fat: 30
Protein: 2 g
Sodium: 340 mg
Cholesterol: 10 mg
Fat: 3.5 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Dietary Fiber: 4 g
Sugars: 9 g
Carbohydrates: 24 g
https://diabeticgourmet.com/articles/10-diabetic-friendly-apple-recipes-to-celebrate-autumn/

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

April 3, 2018 at 5:00 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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Bean dish flavor hint…….

If you’re making beans as a side dish, add a small amount of brown sugar or molasses at the end of cooking for a delicious flavor.

Gingersnap Pumpkin Cheesecake

November 12, 2017 at 6:05 AM | Posted in CooksRecipes, dessert | Leave a comment
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I’m passing along a recipe I came across at the CooksRecipes website, Gingersnap Pumpkin Cheesecake. Splenda® Granulated No Calorie Sweetener replaces the Sugar in the recipe. Perfect Dessert for your Holiday Table. Again its at the CooksRecipes website which has a huge selection of recipes for all occasions. Enjoy and Eat Healthy! http://www.cooksrecipes.com/index.html

 

Gingersnap Pumpkin Cheesecake
This new and healthy version is a tasty twist of a classic recipe. The gingersnap crust offers the perfect balance to the creamy pumpkin filling.

Recipe Ingredients:

3/4 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
3/4 cup crushed fat-free graham crackers
2 tablespoons Splenda® Granulated No Calorie Sweetener
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 (8-ounce) containers block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Splenda® Granulated No Calorie Sweetener
1 1/2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 cup nonfat evaporated milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
4 large eggs

Cooking Directions:

1 – Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease and flour an 8 inch springform pan.
2 – Using a fork, combine gingersnaps, graham crackers, 2 tablespoons Splenda® Granulated Sweetener, and melted butter. Press mixture onto the bottom and two inches up the sides of the pan to form the crust.
3 – With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup Splenda® Granulated Sweetener until light and fluffy. Stir in the pumpkin. Mix in the molasses, evaporated milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth.
4 – Pour batter into prepared crust.
5 – Bake in the preheated oven for 90 minutes, or until center of cheesecake is set. Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes, then refrigerate overnight.
Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/8 of recipe): Calories: 310; Calories from Fat: 100; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 130mg; Sodium: 550mg; Total Carbs: 34g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 18g; Protein: 19g.

http://www.cooksrecipes.com/diabetic/gingersnap_pumpkin_cheesecake_recipe.html

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