Yeehaw! It’s every Texans favorite holiday coming up, Texas Independence Day: the day we became a lone ranger and known as the Lone Star State! And what better way to celebrate than with the three Texas Food groups: BBQ, Tex-Mex and Blue Bell ice cream.
The only thing bigger than Texas are Texan appetites so this year, celebrate like a true Texan with these holiday staples:
Recipe by The Pioneer Woman
1/2 pound Hot Breakfast Sausage (such As Jimmy Dean Or J.C. Potter) Or Chorizo
1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
2 whole SMALL Bell Peppers (any Color Combination), Seeded And Finely Diced
1 pound Monterey Jack, Grated (OR Mozzarella, Or Other Stringy Melting Cheese), Grated
Sprinkle Of Chili Powder
3 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
1/4 cup Cilantro, Chopped
Tortilla Chips For Serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large skillet, cook and crumble the sausage until brown. Remove from skillet and drain on a paper towel. Pour off any excess fat. Add onions and bell peppers to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the veggies are soft and golden brown, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
To build the skillet, place 1/3 of the cheese in a medium-sized ovenproof skillet. Add half the sausage. Add another third of the cheese, then as much of the veggie mixture as you’d like (you may have a little left over.) Add almost all of the remaining cheese, the rest of the sausage, then whatever cheese you have left. Sprinkle the top very lightly with chili powder.
NOTE: Depending on the size of your skillet or baking dish, you may have some ingredients left over. Just build so that the ingredients roughly reach the top of the skillet; they’ll shrink quite a bit once the cheese melts!
Place into the oven and start watching it about 4 to 5 minutes in. You want to bake it until the cheese is totally melted, hot, and slightly bubbling…but before the cheese starts to firm up/harden. (In other words, you still want the cheese to be extra gooey.)
Remove from the oven, top with the diced tomatoes, sprinkle on the tomatoes, and serve immediately with tortilla chips!
NOTE: Be sure to have everything ready so you can serve the queso fundido pretty much right out of the oven. It’s best when piping hot!
Recipe by Neo-Homesteading
Texas Smoked Brisket with Texas Barbecue Sauce
Texas Smoked Brisket:
4-6 pound brisket
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Trim off and remove excess fat from brisket, you want to leave a decent cap, but not too much. Combine dry rub ingredients into a bowl. Using a fork prick the brisket all over on both sides. Rub the seasoning all both sides. Place in the refrigerator overnight. (8-24 hours) I allow mine to rest overnight uncovered. It allows the seasoning to really penetrate. If you do this you want to be sure not to contaminate anything else in the fridge. Use the bottom shelf, and keep other items away from it.
Prepare your grill or smoker with charcoal and wood chips. The ideal temperature is 200 degrees. You want to maintain this heat during the entire cooking process. If you are using a standard charcoal grill you will want to place the coals on one side of the grill, and cook the brisket over indirect heat.
Smoke 4-6 hours, or until the inner temperature reaches 185. Half way through cooking you will want to flip the brisket. A dark bark should form on both sides. If you are using a standard charcoal grill you will have to cook a shorter period of time unless you are able to keep the grill temperature low enough.
Remove from grill or smoker. Wrap in foil or place in an airtight container. Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes. Slice and devour.
(If you do not have a smoker or grill or your just not in the mood to deal with it, you can prepare this in an oven. Wrap in foil, or use a dish with a lid. 200 degree oven for 3 1/2 -4 hours. or- an inner temperature of 160-185 degrees. Adding 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke will give you some smokiness. Time will vary depending on the size of each brisket. To create a bark turn your broiler on high, Remove the brisket from the foil or covered baking dish and darken each side of the brisket until its your desired color/texture.)
Texas Style Barbecue Sauce
2 cups ketchup
1/2 medium onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon malt vinegar
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 teaspoons mustard
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1/2 cup of sugar
2-3 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Saute onion in a little butter or oil, just until slightly tender. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer 20-30 minutes. Store in an airtight container until needed. Can be made days in advance.
And last but not least…dessert
Recipe by My Litter
Homemade Mini Cherry Pies with Blue Bell Ice Cream
2 Pre-made pie crusts
1 can of cherry pie filling
¼ cup of granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 375.
Roll the dough out and use a circle (we used a large cup) to cut a shape a little larger than a cup cake pan. Press the circles into the cup cake pan, and press the edges together. Then spoon the pie filling into the cups – not quite to the top. After you have filled the crusts, take the other crust dough and using a pizza cutter, cut thin strips about 1/4 inch apart. Then use the strips to weave the pie lattice across the top of the pies. Cut off the extra edges and crimp the edges together like you would with a regular pie. Once they are done, I brushed the tops with a little beaten egg and dusted with granulated sugar. Put in oven and bake for 20 minutes until tops are brown.
Top with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
You will have lots of happy Texas bellies after serving these recipes on Texas Independence Day!
Be sure to check out the incredible events we have going on every month at the ranch!