Hors d’Oeuvres

Cooking Videos Up and Running

I know I have not been blogging like I should, but I have really been busy. Ok that is an excuse and my dad used to have a saying about excuses that I will not repeat here. Anyways, lately I have been recording cooking videos and posting them on YouTube, so that has been taking up a lot of my time. Also the BBQ trailer is rolling strong, so that is keeping my extra time limited. So I said all of that to say this. Here is the link to my YouTube channel so take a look and let me know what you think about it. Leave a comment give me some thumbs up and subscribe if you can.


Categories: Appetizers, BBQ, Competition, Dessert, Entrees, Grilling, Hors d'Oeuvres, Side Dishes, Texas Style Cuisine, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cactus Salsa!!!

This week I took my students to compete in a salsa contest. They prepared an excellent salsa using roasted poblano peppers and cactus paddles. We did not place in the top three, but I thought it was excellent. So here is the recipe it is well worth a try.

Roasted Poblano and Nopalitos Salsa


3lbs             tomatillos

3                  red bell peppers

4                  poblano peppers

4-6              serrano peppers

2                  small onions

4cups          nopalitos

4cloves        garlic

1                    lemon juiced

1tbsp             kosher salt

1bunch          cilantro

1. Roast poblano peppers, remove charred skin and dice

2. Dice onions and nopalitos

3. Julienne red bell peppers

4. Chop tomatillos

5. Pan roast serronos until they are tender and the skin is blackened and mince

6. Saute onions and bell peppers, add the mince garlic at the end to not burn it

7. Sweat tomatillos

8. Combine all ingredients except cilantro and mix well while still on the heat

9. Small chop cilantro and add to salsa after removing from heat

10. Serve with chips or along with your favorite Mexican foods

Categories: Appetizers, Competition, Grilling, Hors d'Oeuvres, Texas Style Cuisine, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BBQ Trailer Up and Rolling


We are a little over two months into selling BBQ in Lytle. Sells have been good for a new business and the community is showing up to support us. You can  find us parked downtown Lytle at   15049 Main St, on Saturdays and Sundays. We try to open up at 11:00 and we stay open until we sell out. We don’t sell out every day but we selling quite a bit of BBQ. We sell brisket, spare ribs, sausage, chicken and pulled pork along with sides. Our sides include potato salad, coleslaw, beans and Mexican rice. On Sundays we are serving a Jack Daniel’s Peach Cobbler for dessert.

A big endorsement by one of Texas's best.

A big endorsement by one of Texas’s best.

My Pitmaker BBQ Vaults doing the work on my trailer's BBQ porch.

My Pitmaker BBQ Vaults doing the work on my trailer’s BBQ porch.

Our 1st cook off in the new trailer.

Our 1st cook off in the new trailer.

The official T-shirt

The official T-shirt

Categories: Appetizers, BBQ, Competition, Dessert, Entrees, Grilling, Hors d'Oeuvres, Side Dishes, Texas Style Cuisine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fun, Food and Fund Raising

Steven Raichlen and I at the Showcase Dinner.

Steven Raichlen and I at the Showcase Dinner.

The SARA, San Antonio Restaurant Association, Showcase Dinner was a huge success once again this year. This years guest chef was Steven Raichlen and he helped to make the evening at the historic Pearl Stables just north of the down town, fantastic. The evening started with drinks and hors d’oeuvre that were prepared by Chef Johnny Hernandez and True Flavors Catering. Chef Hernandez and his people did an excellent job preparing the foods that Mr. Raichlen had chosen for the evening. Upon arriving I met my friend Ruben Sepulveda and his lovely wife Cheryl, who had graciously invited my wife and I to be their guest. My first tasting was Steve’s Buffla-Q Shrimp, I could have just continued with them and been so happy. Next I tried some Finger Burner Lamb Chops and then some Bacon-Grilled Dates, along with some Gentleman Jack to wash them down.

 The meal started with a Grilled Caesar Salad, and we were able to enjoy it while Steven was on stage showing us how to make the shrimp hors d’oeuvres and each of the other courses as we enjoyed them. The main course was a grilled New York Strip with Jack Daniels/Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce and Hell Fire Peppers, it was served with  a Smoked Stuffed Potato, Pimenton Grilled Asparagus and a Oaxacan Grilled Corn Flan. The dessert was an excellent Grilled Pound Cake with Fresh Berry Salsa and Tequila Whipped Cream.

 I had a chance to meet Mr. Raichlen during the meal and again the next day at the CIA. It was a true pleasure, he was a very nice man and was sincerely seeing that you enjoyed your evening and his meal. I was able to pick up an autographed copy of his new book BBQ Planet to go along with his other books that are in my library of cookbooks.

Thanks Mr. Raichlen for a wonderful evening and to SARA for the hard work they put into this scholarship fund-raising event for the culinary students of San Antonio.

Categories: Appetizers, BBQ, Dessert, Entrees, Grilling, Hors d'Oeuvres, Side Dishes, Texas Style Cuisine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shrimp Skewers

I was looking for a quick meal the other night so I decided to throw together some shrimp skewers. Libby ran to the local HEB food store and pick up some 10/15 shrimp, while I was starting the fires. I put on some rice after starting the fires and washed up some zucchini squash. I had some of my Chipotle BBQ Sauce already made up and I threw together a balsamic vinaigrette. Once the wife got back with the shrimp I started peeling and deveining the shrimp. I left the tails on for presentation and skewered up the shrimp. Half the shrimp were brushed with the BBQ Sauce and half were coated with the vinegrette. The fire was ready when I was finished. I had the propane grill going also so I put the squash on after coating them with some of the vinegrette, and threw on some fresh green onions. The skewers did not take long at all about 3 minutes on each side. I plated everything up by placing the shrimp skewers on a bed of rice, two wedges of squash and a  nice green onion. We had a great meal in just over 30 minutes. Not a bad meal for something thrown together at the last-minute.

Categories: Appetizers, BBQ, Grilling, Hors d'Oeuvres, Texas Style Cuisine | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Oysters Rockefeller

This is my absolute favorite way to eat oysters, although I will eat them any way they are fixed. I had a friend growing up whose dad had a seafood restaurant. Klondike Cafe was the place to be for seafood back in the 70’s and early 80’s. Earl Rudes was the chef and owner of this special placed. Earl was the kind of guy what would make you feel important and he was an excellent cook. Earl passed away  a little over a year ago but before he did I had a chance to visit with him and he gave me some of his recipes. Of course the first I asked for was the Rockefeller. Now Oysters Rockefeller is made with different ingredients I prefer ones made with spinach. They were created in New Orleans by a chef that was having a hard time getting snails. So he decided to use the ample amounts of oysters that were in the region to create his new dish. They say that when he had it perfected it sauce was a rich green sauce, so the richest person he new of was Rockefeller, thus the name.

Shucking an Oyster

A nice plump Texas Oyster

A tray about ready for the oven

Categories: Appetizers, Hors d'Oeuvres, Texas Style Cuisine | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Alpine Cowboy Gathering

West Texas Sunset

Libby and I headed out west to see the boy and enjoy time with friends. The drive was excellent, a beautiful day for the 350 miles out to Alpine. We hit town about 3:30 and went straight to the football field to catch some of the teams workout. When that was finished we greeted John, his friends and a couple of the coaches. We headed to check in at the motel and John headed home to clean up. We had reservations at The Reata for 5:30. now for y’all that have not heard of it is the claim to fame for Grady Spears. Grady is the author of a series of cookbooks on Cowboy Cooking, the most popular I would say is Cowboy in the Kitchen. Now last time we were there I was less than impressed, but this time it was excellent. Sorry for no pictures at the Reata, I was so excited about seeing the boy and celebrating his 21st, which was last Friday, I forgot all about it. The place was packed and we sat out on the patio. It is still a little cool out but with the help of a nice fire and some propane heaters we had a wonderful time. We started out our meal with some bacon wrapped shrimp, served with pico and onion jam. John ordered a New York strip with mashed potatoes and fresh green beans, Libby got the chicken fried chicken with he same sides and I got the carne asada and enchiladas served with rice and beans. The food and service were excellent and we had a wonderful time.

Jeff Gore and some of his family were in for the weekend also, Jeff was performing at the Cowboy Gathering. So we met up with them and had a great visit and we decided to meet at 7:30 the next morning for a chuckwagon breakfast. Saturday started with a beautiful sunrise and a cool temperature of 34 degrees. Jeff, Libby and I were the only ones to wake and make the breakfast. The chuckwagon folks were serving scrambled eggs, biscuits and sausage gravy along with some stout coffee.

One of our host with a big pot of coffee

Might not be gourmet but it's good

Jeff at the campfire getting a coffee refill

A couple of the dutch ovens our breakfast was cooked in

After breakfast Jeff headed to pick up his family and get ready for his performance, Libby and I headed downtown to the Grandada to look over the items in the auction, that was supporting the Museum of the Big Bend. There were many nice items but nothing that got us really excited so we headed down the street to some of the shops on the main drag of Alpine. After picking up John we headed to the Cowboy Grill a new place out on the Marfa highway for burgers. We had a nice meal, then headed to the campus of Sul Ross for some of the cowboy entertainment.

Jeff performing in the University Center

John wanted to have supper at his house instead of going out. So we headed to the grocery store and picked up some supplies for the evening meal. Libby grabbed items for baked potatoes and green bean casserole. John and I went to the meat section and picked up 10 T-bones and 4 New York strips. I had brought some stuffed jalepenos and roasted corn and poblano salsa with me. So we got to John’s and started cooking. Well actuallyl we started cleaning the kitchen so we could cook. John had invited a few of his friends, Jeff Gore brought his family over along with Robert Barge so we started the fires outside and the ladies got going in the kitchen.

Starting the fire in the Texas Hibachi, a barrel grill

The steaks seasoned up and waiting on the grill

Steak Rub

  • Kosher Salt
  • Course Ground Black Pepper
  • Dark Brown Sugar

Steaks are ready and so is the crowd

Rob looks happy

Earnest with a full plate

John enjoying his birthday dinner with friends and family

Saturday finished great. Libby and I headed to the motel, so did Jeff and his family. Robert headed home and the boys laid back and rested a full belly. We will be up early Sunday for church then lunch and head back to Lytle before to late.

Categories: Appetizers, BBQ, Entrees, Grilling, Hors d'Oeuvres, Texas Style Cuisine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hors d’oeuvres for an Open House

Roasted Corn Salsa

We had never had a Grand Opening for the new kitchen so I had an Open House during Career and Technology month. The kids prepared on Monday and Tuesday, then on Wednesday we entertained guest from 1:00 – 7:00.

We had a large array of guest show up. The superintendent of school, school board members, teacher, administrators, local restauranteurs, friends and parents of the students. A nice group from Ace Mart showed up as well as student chefs from St Philip’s College. It was my pleasure to have Chef John McGinty one of my chef instructors drop by also.

The menu was diverse and did not really follow a theme. I did not realize that it was Ash Wednesday until Monday so we had to add some vegetable dishes. On the grill and smoker we make ABT’s (stuffed jalepenos), Chipotle Bombers (recipe at bottom), various chicken breast skewers. We also smoked a brisket for BBQ sundaes and two pork butts for pulled pork sliders. We made some mozzarella crustinies, cucumber canapes and stuffed mushrooms. We made a roasted corn and poblano salsa and salsa quemada to serve with chips. Dessert was cherry cheese cakes, a mistake, and petit fours. I say the cheese cakes were a mistake because we had planned on serving mini cheese cakes with 4 different toppings. The young man making them did not read the whole recipe so when he saw cherry pie filling he just dumped a can of dark sweet cherries filling and a can of red tart cherry pie filling. We had enough cheese cake for 200 so I was not sure what would happen. The worry was it may not set up, but it did. Once we saw it was set up we topped it with a Chantilly cream. That was the only road bump that we ran into, so it was an excellent day once again.

I will drop in the pictures this evening so drop back by.

Chipotle Bombers

This is an easy recipe, although you can increase every difficulty by making everything from scratch.

  • 10 lbs     precooked 1 oz meatballs
  • 80            slices bacon
  • 1 Gal       your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1              28oz can chipotle peppers in adobe, pureed
  • 12 oz      honey
  • 1 btl        red wine or 16 oz red wine vinegar
  • TT           fajita seasoning
  • 160        tooth picks

Combine all ingredients and heat to a boil. defrost meatballs and wrap with 1/2 slice of bacon, secure with toothpick. Season meatballs with seasoning and cook 3/4 the way through, about 140 degrees. The time will depend if you are cooking them in the smoker or the oven. Remove meatballs and generously coat with the sauce. Return to oven to finish cooking through and candy the sauce.

BBQ Sundae

This is an excellent and fun dish that is simple to put together.

  • shredded beef brisket
  • pinto beans (I use borracho or ranchero)
  • Coleslaw
  • pickle spears
  • 9 oz clear squat cups

In the bottom 1/3rd of the cup fill with the brisket then add the beans. When you are ready to serve add the coleslaw on top and the pickle spear stuck down the side.  This is a great presentation that takes little time and people seem to love it.

Pulled Pork Slider with Creamy Coleslaw and a Stuffed Jalepeno

Categories: Appetizers, BBQ, Grilling, Hors d'Oeuvres, Texas Style Cuisine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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