Rudy’s BBQ

15 07 2009

One of the first things that popped into my head when I found out we were moving to Austin was Texas BBQ.  Yes, I know that’s kind of sad.  The fact that out of all the amazing wonders of the Lone Star state, I focused on food is pretty telling of my state of mind (and waistline).  But it’s always on my mind, what can I say?!?  People are very passionate about their BBQ here.  And each person has their favorite.  But a consistant favorite here is Rudy’s.

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The first thing about the Rudy’s near my house…  It’s not a restaurant, it’s a gas station!!  Seriously!  Some of the best BBQ in Austin is attached to a Shell station.  Awesome.  But once you’re inside, you’re immediately transformed into a country cookin’ extravaganza.  It’s like a big church picnic inside.  There’s even a winding line (like you’re waiting for a rollercoaster).  There are rows of soft drinks, beer, cole slaw, potato salad, banana pudding, and huge pickles.

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Once you get to the counter, you order your meat by weight.  “I’d like 1/2 pound moist brisket and 1/4 pound smoked turkey.”

After you get your 2 lbs of meat, you have to use their famous BBQ sauce.  The sauce comes out of the dispenser like lemonade from a Igloo cooler.  Even more awesome.

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When you’re finished eating, they even have a hand washing jacuzzi that shoots warm sanitized water on your hands and gets rid of all the sauce and meat that may be sticking to your fingers.

Rudy's Hand Washer

One of my favorite things is the cole slaw here.  It tastes sweet and tangy, just like KFC but fresher and more delicious.  I’ve tried to recreate the recipe and I think I’ve got it pretty close.

Sweet Cole Slaw

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 small head green cabbage

3 carrots

1 c mayonnaise (can substitute light)

1/4 c sugar

2 T apple cider vinegar

Directions

  1. Grate cabbage into small pieces using a box grater or the grating blade on a food processer.
  2. Grate carrots using box grater.
  3. In a big bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar with cabbage and carrots.
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Southwestern Salsa

11 07 2009

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Is it a salsa?  Is it a salad?  What about a relish?  I guess you could say it’s all three.  But the best part about this is it’s healthy and really good.  And without a hint of oil or fat (with the exception of the avocados) this is virtually health food!

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When you are shopping for the ingredients, make sure they are really good and fresh.  I’d encourage you to buy all organic for this dish, if possible.  Not because I’m a hardcore organic fanatic, but since there’s no cooking involved, it’s probably better to choose things that have the least amount of pesticides and other foreign stuff.

Salsa

If you have a serrated knife, that’s the easiest thing to use to cut tomatoes.  You can get a cool red one for about $12 at any cooking store.  Make sure you dice all the vegetables the same size so you don’t have any huge chunks in your salsa.  Just throw everything into a big bowl and stir a few times.  That’s it!

Southwestern Salsa

Serves 8 one-cup servings

Ingredients

5-6 roma tomatoes

1 sweet onion

2 small avocados

2-3 tomatillos

3 jalapeno peppers

2 anaheim peppers

2 ears sweet corn

2 cloves garlic

1 15-ounce can black beans

1 T cumin

1 T chili powder

1 T chopped cilantro

1 T white sugar

1 lime (juiced)

salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Remove seeds from tomatoes and dice. Dice onion and avocados.
  2. Remove wrapper from tomatillo and dice.
  3. Remove seeds from jalapeno and anaheim peppers and dice in small pieces.
  4. Boil corn in water for 2 minutes only. Cut corn off cob with sharp knife using a bundt cake pan to hold end of cob and catch the kernals.
  5. Chop garlic in small pieces.
  6. Rinse canned black beans under cool water in a colander.
  7. Add cumin, chili powder, cilantro, sugar, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
  8. Mix in large bowl.




Baked Macaroni and Cheese

6 07 2009

 

Baked cheese goodness.

Baked cheese goodness.

I’ve always been a huge fan of macaroni and cheese.  I mean who wouldn’t be?  Cheese, pasta, butter, milk, buttery crunchy on top.  YUM!  But I have this uncanny knack to ignore the traditional recipe to make something even more naughty.  Normally you use cheddar cheese in mac and cheese, but that’s just not enough.  I need more flavor.  More cheesy goodness.  So I add extra sharp cheddar and/or gruyere and/or parmigiano-reggiano.

Or all of them!

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So that’s it.  I made macaroni and cheese tonight.  It was easy and it was delicious.  The gourmets make their mac and cheese with all of my favorite cheeses too, but they add all sorts of herbs, spices, fruits, nuts, whatever.  I like mine simple, they way grandma’s make it.  Cheese, pasta, butter, milk.  And then instead of a bread crumb crust on top… saltines!  Butter covered saltines.  Hungry?

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Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 lb pasta (macaroni or any other short stubby pasta)

4 T + 3 T unsalted butter (divided)

1/4 flour

2 c whole milk

4 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese

4 oz gruyere cheese

2 oz parmigiano-reggiano cheese

10-12 saltine crackers

1/2 t salt

1/2 t pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees and butter 8×8 baking dish.
  2. Boil pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.
  3. Melt 4 T butter in small saucepan.  Add flour and stir for 2 minutes to remove raw flavor of flour.  Add milk and stir until thick and bubbly.  Add salt and pepper to sauce.
  4. Grate cheeses and add to white sauce.
  5. Add pasta to cheese sauce and place in baking dish.
  6. Crush saltines.  Melt 3 T butter and add to crushed saltines.  Place crumbs on top of pasta.
  7. Bake in 350-degree oven for 20 minutes or until topping golden brown.