Eelke Dekker/Flickr Creative Commons
There are those mornings, y’all, when I just want to hit the snooze button with a very large, very heavy hammer. I’m all snuggle-toasty warm, I was having a great dream about being on the beach somewhere that has that almost see-through blue water, and yet this alarm tells me that it’s Wednesday. Early Wednesday at that. Somewhere cold. And I have to put my feet out into that coldness. Yuck! Makes me wonder when someone is going to invent an alarm that just gently whispers, “Breakfast tacos. Breakfast tacos. Breakfast tacos.” at me until I wake up hungry and ready for the day. So I thought I’d give you cold, hungry, tired folks a couple of great breakfast taco recipes to help you with those cold, dark, Wednesday mornings!
They are so simple! Here’s what you’ll need:
- A skillet (of course)
- Tortillas (flour, corn, exotic…it doesn’t matter, whichever you prefer)
- Salsa (again, whatever kind floats your boat)
Heat up the skillet with a little oil in it, a teaspoon ought to be enough. Scramble the egg (well) with salt and pepper. Then cook the bacon, (some folks like to hit the bacon with some regular old all-purpose flour before they cook it to help give it that extra crunch). Lay out your tortilla, add the bacon and eggs, and salsa combined to suit your spice preference and enjoy!
There are so many different varieties of breakfast tacos that include potatoes, fajita style beef or chicken, all the different veggies, migas, chorizo, huevos rancheros, all that stuff. But even with that entire spectrum of flavor to choose from, when it’s cold and early and you have to make them yourself…those plain old bacon and egg tacos can’t be beat! Did I mention that breakfast tacos were invented in Texas? Folks here like to eat good food, and we’re right next to Mexico, so can you blame us for inventing what many millions of people eat every morning?
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regan76/Flickr Creative Commons
As a few of you may know, there are some places in the US where you are still asked whether or not you want red or green salsa. I love those places! There are even a few places left with “salsa bars” with a dozen or so different varieties of salsa, all available for your chip dipping pleasure. So today I thought I would pass along a pretty good green chile salsa recipe that requires a little grill time — and who doesn’t like a hot grill on a cold day?
To get this delicious process started you will need about 3 pounds of tomatillos (husks removed and tomatillos rinsed), a couple ears of fresh corn still in the husks, a jalapeño, a red onion, some cilantro, a lime, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne.
What you need to do first, of course, is get the grill going at high heat. While the grill is warming, get the tomatillos husked and rinsed. Once the grill is ready, simply place the tomatillos on the grill and let them char slightly. Turn them every now and then until they’re charred in 2-3 places, and you’ll know they are done when they change from bright green to an olive green color. Next, throw on the corn with husk still in place. Since they’re fresh, the need to water them is not required. Turn and grill until the husk is charred all over. Once they’re done, pull them off the grill to let them cool, then peel the shucks off and cut off the kernels.
After that little bit of grilling, it’s all easy. Chop the cilantro, a clove of garlic, one jalapeño, and mince the red onion. Throw the tomatillos into a blender, add about a quarter cup of the cilantro, a pinch of cayenne (big pinch if you like), a pinch of cumin, a couple teaspoons of salt, three or four tablespoons of lime juice, and pureé. After pouring into a bowl, add the corn kernels and about a half a cup of the minced onion and stir it all together.
If this salsa doesn’t remind you just a little bit of Santa Fe or northern New Mexico, may I suggest you plan a trip there next summer and try some yourself! Village Café in Santa Fe for example can cure what ails ya! And before you leave, don’t forget to visit us at PPL Motorhomes for all your parts and accessories!
Luca Nebuloni/Flickr Creative Commons
Did y’all know that the great state of Texas has an Official State Dish? Back in 1977, the Texas State Legislature did one of the smartest things it ever did in it’s 168 year history, made Chili Con Carne the official dish of Texas because, to quote the legislature: “in recognition of the fact that the only real ‘bowl of red’ is that prepared by Texans.” Y’all hear that Cincinnati? It’s in our laws that we make better chili, simple as that. Another proud Texas fact about chili is that it did not originate in what is now called Mexico, it originated right here, slightly north of the Rio Grande. Anyhow, now that all the requisite Texas-style chili saber rattling has been completed, let’s talk a little bit about just how we go about making this stuff.
Chili is, in my opinion, one of the best cold weather meals ever invented. Not only does it warm you up from the inside out, but you also get to use an iron skillet and that sure helps warm up any kitchen, and RV kitchens aren’t too spacious so it should help warm the whole place! While no two Texans will ever agree on what’s really authentic Texas Chili, I thought I’d post the recipe below because it belongs to Debbie Ashman, winner of the Terligua International Chili Championship and was published in Esquire magazine. If that doesn’t carry some weight, nothing will!
Deb’s Hot Rod Chili Recipe
- 2 lbs. of coarsely ground meat
- 1 8 oz. can of “El Pato” tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz. can of beef broth
Mix the following spices for dump 1:
- 1 Tbsp onion powder*
- 2 tsp garlic powder*
- 2 tsp beef crystals
- 1 tsp of chicken crystals
- 1 Tbsp of Pacific Beauty Paprika*
- 1 Tbsp of Mexene Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne*
- 1/4 tsp black pepper*
- 1 package Sazon Goya*
Mix the following spices for dump 2:
- 1 Tbsp of Mexene Chili Powder
- 1 Tbsp of Hatch Mild Chili Powder*
- 2 Tbsp Cowtown Light chili powder*
- 1 Tbsp Mild Bills dark chili powder*
- 1 tsp cumin*
- 1/4 tsp white pepper*
Mix the following spices for dump 3:
- 1 tsp onion powder*
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne*
- 3/4 Tbsp Cowtown Light Chili Powder*
- 1 Tbsp cumin*
1. Gray the meat and drain grease. 2. Slow boil meat in beef broth and 1 equal can of distilled water. 3. Add dump 1 and medium boil for 60 minutes. 4. Add dump 2 and medium boil for 45 minutes. 5. Add dump 3 and medium boil for 15 minutes. In last five minutes taste for heat — adjust as required.
* These spices available from Mild Bill’s Spices, etc.
I can’t wait to try this out myself because it’s cold out there! If you have a favorite Texas Chili recipe or see anything our champion has missed, please feel free to drop us a line in the comment section below, and if you feel like heading to Terlingua there at the bottom of Big Bend to compete in the chili cook-off, don’t forget to swing by PPL Motorhomes for all your parts and accessories!
Living on the Texas Gulf Coast, or the Lone Star Riviera to make it sound more exotic, means we have some fairly mild winters at times, as well as handy access to fresh seafood. So, I thought today we’d combine some good ol’ Tex Mex with some Gulf Coast shrimp and throw them on the barbie!
So you’ll need to get a couple dozen shrimp, and a BBQ pit. First you’ll need to peel and de-vein them, and make sure you leave the tails intact. Then you’ll need to mix the following ingredients together in a decent sized bowl:
- Chop a red bell pepper until you have about a cup of finely chopped bell pepper bits
- Do the same with a clove or two of garlic (one if you don’t like garlic flavor too much)
- Throw in a couple teaspoons of lime juice, a teaspoon of cooking oil, a teaspoon of ground red chiles (whichever variety you prefer)
- Then add a quarter cup of tequila, a quarter cup of red wine vinegar, and a half teaspoon of salt
Blend all those ingredients together real well and then stir in the shrimp. Let the shrimp marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes or so, then bring them out and put them on skewers. Let them cook on a medium heat over the coals for about 5 minutes, and keep brushing the marinade and turning them until the 5 min are up or they start turning pink. Take what’s left of the marinade and put it on the stove and bring it to a boil, then let simmer for 5 minutes or so. Once the sauce has simmered, serve the shrimp with whatever grilled veggies you prefer, and add some Mex style rice, chips and salsa, and some nice warm tortillas. If this doesn’t warm your winter a little bit, maybe add some jalapeño!
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I thought today we’d combine a couple of awesome Tex-Mex dishes into the One Tex-Mex Dish To Rule Them All. We’re gonna take Fish Tacos and Fajitas, jumble ’em up, wrap ’em in a fresh tortilla, serve ’em up, and watch folks’ eyes roll back in Tex-Mex glee. So, here’s how we’re going to do it:
First let’s cook the fish.
- Buy enough Tilapia fillets to feed however many people you plan on making happy.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350.
- Wash the fillets and lay them out on a cookie sheet lined with foil.
- Squeeze a lime over them.
- Splash them with tequila.
- Sprinkle a pinch of cumin over each of them, and some black pepper too.
- Sprinkle some red pepper flakes over each as well, and perhaps add a pinch of garlic over them if you feel like it.
- Leave the fillets uncovered and bake them in the oven for 30 minutes.
While the fish is baking, you can gather together the rest of the ingredients you’ll need. Sides like chips and salsa, queso, pico de gallo, etc. You’ll also need some fresh, warm tortillas and whatever you’d like to add to your tacos whether it’s shredded lettuce or cabbage, spinach, sauce, cheese, onions, whatever it is that make your mouth dance for awhile after dinner.
When the fish is done, take a sharp knife and slice the fillets width-wise into 1/4″ wide strips. Roll them up in tortillas, dress them to taste, and enjoy! Not only are these tacos tasty, but they make the entire RV smell wonderful. Open the windows while you’re cooking and just see if the neighbors don’t start lining up, cash in hand! Hope you enjoy these tacos, and if you have a favorite style of RV food, leave a comment in the section below and tell us about it, and if you find your RV’s kitchen in need of a little work, don’t hesitate to visit us at PPL Motorhomes.com for parts and accessories.
Thanksgiving is only a couple days away ya’ll, and in the last week or two I’ve posted some recipes for Thanksgiving side-dishes that are SO true to my Texas heritage. There were a few things you could be certain of when my family got together for Thanksgiving. 1) someone was going to get their feelings hurt about something 2) There was always going to be a football game (or two) on TV 3) the women were all combing the newspaper for the best deals on Friday and 4) we would have lots of delicious great food to choose from. After all, unlike me, my mom was by far the very best cook in Texas. As I look back on those great memories, I can recall all the other Thanksgiving celebrations we attended and it was so funny how there were always arguments and great discussions about who made the “best.” Every family had their opinion of the “best” recipe for all those traditional foods and here in the Republic of Texas, I know of some knock down fights over who’s momma made the best pecan pie. So strap on your helmets and pre-heat the oven because here we go! This is, by far, one of the best recipes ever!!!
Anybody who’s spent time in Texas can’t help but notice there are pecan trees in “purt near every river or creek bottom.” Even out in West Texas where they have to flood irrigate, you’ll see row after row after row of pecan trees. So let’s embrace the National Nut of Texas…and I’m not talking about Kinky Friedman…and make a pie out of it.
Here’s what we’ll need:
This is Texan style, so you’ll need a for real cast iron skillet (10″)
- A store-bought piecrust (unless you make your own, in which case…make one)
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons bourbon
- 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
Preheat oven to 325. Put the crust into the skillet then sprinkle it with powdered sugar. Whisk eggs in a large bowl until they’re kind of foamy then add in the brown sugar, butter, sugar, chopped pecans, flour, milk, and bourbon and whisk together. Pour mixture into piecrust, and then cover the top with pecan halves. Bake at 325 for a half hour, then reduce oven temperature to 300, and bake for another half hour. When the timer rings, kill the heat and let the pie stand in the oven (with the door shut) for another 3 hours. Then……….ENJOY! And, don’t forget the Bluebell Homemade Vanilla ice cream to scoop on top!! Now, this is Texas style eating at its best.
I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends enjoying the old or making new Texas traditions. Thanksgiving weekend brings a lot of travel, so be safe out there on the road. At PPL Motor Homes, we will be closed Thursday thru Sunday for this Thanksgiving weekend so our PPL family will have time to make memories with their own family and friends. We will be closed at both locations, but our website is always open for your shopping convenience.
Here’s another one of those dishes that’s sure to raise a ruckus on the wherefore’s, thou shalt’s, and everybody’s grandmother/grandfather/momma/daddy’s special recipe was to-die-for. On that I believe we can all agree. Another thing I think we can all agree on is there are two basic kinds of cornbread here in America: Yankee and Southern. To my tastebuds the only difference between the two is that Yankee cornbread seems to use more flour and sugar than Southern cornbread does. So before we get into all kinds of regional mud-slingin’, let’s get to cookin’ up a mess of cornbread, Southern Style!
Thanksgiving is almost here, and folks will be coming over to the house pretty soon, and they’ll be H-O-N-G-R-Y! What you’ll need more than anything else to appease the famished masses is some good ol’ down home cornbread, and for that you’ll need:
- A Skillet!
- 1/4 cup of shortening, or better yet…bacon fat for that “true to the old days” flavor
- 1 1/2 cups of yellow cornmeal
- 3 Tbsp of regular flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- a peeeeench of sugar
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 egg
First heat the bacon fat or shortening in the skillet on the stove, then pre-heat the oven to 425. While everything is heating up and smelling great, mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Once the bacon fat or shortening has liquified, gently slosh it around the skillet to coat the majority of the cooking surface of the skillet, then pour the rest of the fat into the dry mixture and stir. Add in the egg (beat it lightly first) and pour in some buttermilk, you may not use all of it…what we’re looking for is a thick mixture, but pourable. Make sure you fold the mixture over and over instead of actively stirring when you add in the buttermilk. Once you have the mixture to a thick but pourable consistency, pour it into the skillet, and put the skillet into the over for 20-25 minutes or until a knife stuck into the center of the cornbread comes back clean. Once the cornbread is finished, let it rest in the skillet for 5 or so minutes, then turn it out onto a plate and enjoy!
Before you hit the road this Thanksgiving holiday season, be sure and hit our website for all your RV parts and accessories!
Green Beans! photo from: http://www.roadfood.com/recipephotos/102.jpg
There is no better, or quicker way I know of to get into a fight here in Texas than to say, “No, THIS is how you cook green beans!” So all you native Texans out there, read this post with a grain of salt. Yes your grandmother’s green bean recipe is the best, so is my grandmother’s recipe, and everybody else’s grandmother’s recipe, too. ALL those recipes are the best…OK? So with all the legal preamble and disclaimers out of the way, here’s an old fashioned Texas Green Bean recipe that may or may not be the best, depending on whose grandmother we’re talking about here…haaaaaa!
Some folks say that in order to do anything right, you’ve got to take it slow. Well, this is definitely a slow cooking method for making green beans, which works well for the holidays! With these you can leave the beans simmering on the stove for a couple hours while you’re making all the other dishes, hollaring at your husband to turn the game down, swatting the grandkid’s hands as they try to sneak a bite before dinner, answering the phone, welcoming guests, etc etc etc.
Step One: Recruit a grandkid, or one of your favorite guests, to snap a pound and a half of green beans for you.
Step Two: While the beans are being snapped and y’all are talking about family members who have yet to arrive, get three or four strips of bacon, roll them up, and stick a toothpick through them to keep them from unrolling.
Step Three: Put the snapped beans in a pot with enough water to cover them, add the bacon rolls, salt and pepper, maybe a little garlic, and bring the pot to a boil.
Step Four: Once the pot begins boiling, bring the heat back down to a simmer, cover and let simmer for 2 hours.
Step Five: Shoo away your bean snapper, and get to work on everything else.
These are delicious and so easy and we all know that I love to use the EASY Button when I’m preparing a big meal.
What’s your favorite method of cooking down-home green beans? Leave us a comment below and tell us about it, we’re always keen to try new methods! Also, don;t forget to visit us at
PPL Motorhomes.Com for all your RV needs.
Vernon Chan/Flickr Creative Commons
Here’s one for your grill, y’all! It combines the best of Hamburgers and Tex Mex! What’s more down-home Texas than that, I ask ya? Here’s what you’ll need:
- Ground Turkey (preferably not lean)
- Black Pepper
- Your favorite Salsa
- Hamburger Buns
- Bell Peppers
- Purple Onion
First thing, you need to do of course is get the charcoal going, or, if you’re using a gas grill then just get it lit and heating up. While the grill/charcoal is heating up, prep the veggies. Cut the bell peppers and onions into strips like you would for fajitas. If you prefer grilled veggies to un-cooked, then throw them in a covered pan with a splash of olive oil, and stir often to prevent them sticking to the bottom of the pan, and when the onions begin to look transparent, they’re done.
To make the patties, separate the turkey out into whatever size patties you enjoy, and as you work the meat into patty shape add in the cumin and black pepper to taste. Remember cumin can be a fairly strong spice, so a pinch will do per patty. Get them packed and burger-shaped, but be aware that you don’t have to work the turkey as much as you would beef so don’t get too energetic ha!
Slap the turkey patties on the grill and then hit each of them wish a splash of beer, flip them immediately and hit that side with a splash of beer too. At this point the cooking duties of your beer are complete so you might as well enjoy the rest of it while you watch the turkey brown. One thing to watch is the moisture content of the patties, don’t squash them with your spatula like you may do with beef as you want to prevent the patties from drying out. After you’ve ensured that the patties are just about cooked through, get the buns toasting in the oven. Once the buns are golden brown and your patties are cooked completely, assemble your burgers using your favorite salsa as a spread on the bun, and add the peppers and onion. When you bite into this burger it’ll taste like fajitas!!
What’s your favorite Tex Mex meal? Please let us know in the comment section below and we’ll give it a try! And as always, stop by PPL Motorhomes for all your RV’s kitchen needs!
If I give y’all a wonderful fall recipe, will summer here in Texas finally end? I don’t know, but I’m willing to do my part and that ought to count for something!
Tortilla soup is a wonderful thing to have warm on the stove when folks come in from the cool — it has a little spice to it, it’s filling, and it leaves that “happiness in your mouth” feeling that lasts for the rest of the day. Oddly enough, it’s also one of those dishes that mature by the second day into an even more flavorful meal, so if you want to give it a try, cook up a batch the day before company arrives. The RV will smell great, and your visitors will begin drooling by the time they open the screen door!
We’re going to make some Tortilla soup that, in my opinion, has more of a traditional Mexican flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 Pasilla chile, dried
- 1 Ancho chile, dried
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2: purple onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 1/2 tbsp Cilantro, chopped
- Bag of tortilla chips
- 3-4 oz shredded cheese of your choice (Monterrey, Cheddar, or even Feta works)
- 1-2 Avocados, sliced
- 1/2 cup Mexican sour cream
- (optional) – cut a couple chicken thighs into strips, fajita sized, and add if desired
First boil the chiles in a small pot until they soften. Once they’re soft (and have cooled down!) remove stem and seeds. Then put the chilies along with the copped tomatoes and onion, the garlic, and about a half cup of the chicken broth into a blender and puree well.
Put the remaining chicken broth into a large pot, add in the chile puree mixture and the chopped cilantro, and salt to taste. Serve with tortilla chips in separate bowl so folks can garnish their soup to taste. Feel free to add some strips of chicken (thighs) to fill it out into a hearty soup. ENJOY!
What is your favorite fall soup? Let us know in the comment section below, we’d love to try it! And remember, check PPLmotorhomes.com for all your RV needs!