Wednesday, April 1, 2009
"EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE SHAFT" AND A RECIPE FROM "COWGIRL BAR AND GRILL".
When I was a young girl, I went through my childhood "phase" of wanting to be a
Cowgirl and have a Horse.
I grew up in a city, but most of the friends that I had, owned a horse..
They were kept at stables, and ultimately their parents ended up having to pay
for them to be taken care of on a daily basis, or the parents had to go with
the kid after school every day to feed/ride/take care of the horse...
I loved to go to their houses, as sometimes they actually had the horse at home..
We would ride in nearby empty lots, woods, and even on the sidewalks next to the streets!
Other times we would be dropped off at the stables, and ride to our hearts content.
Do you remember the old saying, that you should make a wish every time you go
under a bridge? I actually got to the point of LOOKING for bridges, so that I could pass under, all the while "wishing" for a horse...
My Mother made it very clear that her interest in getting me a horse and going to
a stable every day after school was NOT GOING TO HAPPEN IN THIS LIFETIME OR THE NEXT..(Now that I am older I can SO understand this...Whew..I thought that baseball
practice was trying...Imagine having to sloth through mud every afternoon with your
kids at a stable an hour away?)
When I was ten years old, my Grandfather, who had a big farm with all kinds
of animals, got me a Pinto Pony, to be kept at the farm.
We went to the farm, growing up, almost every weekend on Sundays, or sometimes we would spend the weekend. The pony would be kept there, and I could ride it when
we came out on weekends..Perfect plan! It was around when the summer holiday began.
In the summer we went out there even more, and sometimes stayed a few days..
It wasn't exactly "roughing it"..There was a pool, a player piano, a cook
named "Cindy" that would make us anything we wanted, (we always asked her to
make things that my Mother would not allow us to eat, like Cherry Cobbler..),
and other things to keep our attention, as well as being able to spend time with
both our Aunt and our Grandfather...
I was more than thrilled!
The pony had not really been trained though, and was a bit on the "wild" side..
I named him "Pinto"
(I had such an amazing imagination as a child, didn't I? REALLY...naming a Pinto Pony,"Pinto"...It literally brings tears to my eyes..)
Unfortunately about that exact time, I came down with an illness, that put me in
bed for three whole months, the ENTIRE summer...
Time to break out the kleenex..
I was unable to visit the farm, my "Pinto", or do literally ANYTHING...
As I recall, getting up to pee or going for a Doctor's visit was the highlight
of my life at that time...
(Need more kleenex? Toilet paper actually makes a fine substitute...)
By the time I was able to visit "Pinto", he was so wild that he only knew how to
throw people off his back..
Needless to say, Pinto was sold, and that, in short, was my only experience having my own horse...
Oh well, I suppose sadder things have happened...Hmm..let me think...
Actually nothing comes to mind at the moment, except for possibly a Shirley
Temple movie where "Rich little Shirley" is mistaken for a poor girl and kept from
her ailing Father, and has to scrub floors, and is made fun of by the rich snotty
"Poor Little Rich Girl"...Great film..now THAT I suppose is sadder..Sorta...
Out of all of these memories of my short lived days as a "Cowgirl with a Pony",
I am inspired to post a "Cowgirl Recipe".
This one comes straight from the popular Santa Fe, New Mexico restaurant,
"COWGIRL BBQ RESTAURANT AND GRILL", or sometimes called "COWBOY BAR AND GRILL"
One of their biggest sellers is their "Frito Pie", which they call,
"COWGIRL SMOKED BRISKET CHILI FRITO PIE"
I see this as a great dish for a casual get together..
The restaurant cuts off the top of individual sized Frito bags, puts them on a
plate, slitting the bags across down the middle, and then tops them with chips
The Garnishes can then be added which include, Grated Monterey Jack Cheese or
Yellow Cheddar, Sour Cream, Sliced Pickled Jalapenos, Chopped Green Onions, Chopped Parsley, Chopped Cilantro, and Salsa..(maybe some Sliced Black Olives in case anyone
is there from California..don't complain, it's actually pretty good...)
Provide Ice Cold Beers and Soft Drinks in an "Iced Down Washtub, buy some "Western Themed" party dishes/paper plates, throw on the Tammy Wynette and Hank
Williams CDs, grab your PINK RHINESTONE BOOTS, and you've got yourself a
MIGHTY FINE COWGIRL BASH!!!
No need to wait for summer, you can do this indoors!
(I would like to point out here, that my imagination has certainly improved with
Serves 6-8 (could easily be doubled or tripled...Also, for those that like their food spicier than most, I would add more spice than what they call for..That's always true of my cooking, though..)
3 Tablespoons yellow cornmeal
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano leaf (not ground oregano)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Pinch cayenne pepper(optional)
1 pound lean ground beef, drained after browning
1 1/2 pounds trimmed,smoked brisket,cubed (smoke it yourself or buy it already done)
3 cups onion, peeled and chopped, chunky
2 tablespoons oil
1 (28 ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 (10.75 ounce) tomato puree
1 cup beer (optional)
2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Fritos (the small size, not the large "dip" size)
If you want to serve as the restaurant does, just buy individual bags...Cute..
I mean, you don't HAVE to be "Cute"...
Most of the time, I am in no mood to be "Cute", so I totally understand if you just want to slap it on a paper plate, slide it across the counter, and say
"TIME TO EAT, YA'LL!!! GIMME A BEER, BUBBA!"
That is TOTALLY OKAY, as I don't think that "Bon Appetite" will be there taking
notes or snapping pictures...
Back to the recipe...
Saute in cast-iron skillet with no oil, and just until toasty brown, the yellow cornmeal, chili powder, black pepper, salt, cumin, oregano leaf, and red pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper. Set aside spices to add to chili later.
In separate skillet, brown lean ground beef, and drain. In large (4-to 6 quart) stock or bean pot, saute' chopped onion in 2 tablespoons of oil until pieces start to turn transparent. Add chopped garlic, ground beef and smoked brisket cubes.
Add roasted spices.
Add to pot, canned chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, 2 cups water or vegetable stock, drained kidney beans and 1 cup beer.
Simmer over low heat for at least 1 hour, stirring frequently. Add more water or vegetable stock, if chili seems too thick. If chili seems too thin, add additional cornmeal to thicken.
To increase "heat" to taste, any hot sauce may be added.
Serve chili over Frito corn chips, and let people add their own desired garnishes..