Find fun things to doin the Austin, TX area
Posted: 12:00 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013
Foodways Texas is hosting its third annual symposium April 4-6 in Austin. As in past years, the conference will feature speakers, including authors, historians and academics, as well as events and dinners that are open to the public. The theme this year is “Our Barbecue, Ourselves” and “will explore the past, present, and potential of smoked meat in Texas and its intimate connections to Texas cultural history and identity.” Foodways Texas president Marvin Bendele says that some of the schedule is still being worked out, but confirmed speakers include Robb Walsh, who will talk about about community barbecues from East Texas to North Carolina, John T. Edge, who will explain some of the misconceptions and history behind the word “pitmasters,” and Joe Nick Patoski, who will give insight into the politics of barbecue and barbecue in politics. One of the evening meals will feature several of the state’s best pitmasters, including Justin Fourton from Pecan Lodge in Dallas, Austin’s own Aaron Franklin and Greg Gatlin from Gatlin’s BBQ in Houston. Tickets and details on the symposium, as well as information about becoming a member of Foodways Texas, are available at foodwaystexas.com.
Matt’s El Rancho’s Famous Chile Rellenos
This was Lyndon B. Johnson’s favorite dish at Matt’s El Rancho, and it remains a popular item on the menu. The recipe was originally printed in Matt Martinez Jr.’s cookbook “Matt Martinez’s Culinary Frontier: A Real Texas Cookbook.”
For the meat:
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet white onion
3 Tbsp. finely chopped celery
3 Tbsp. finely chopped bell pepper
For the rest:
1 batch Ranchero Sauce (see recipe below)
Oil for frying
6 fresh anaheim or poblano peppers
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups grated American cheese
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans
To prepare the meat, combine the beef, salt, cumin, garlic, pepper, onions, celery and bell pepper in a 10-inch skillet. Saute the meat over medium heat, until thoroughly cooked, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Completely wipe down and dry the anaheim or poblano peppers. In a skillet, heat oil to a depth of 3/4 inch to 1 inch to 375 degrees. Using tongs, roll the whole peppers around in the hot oil for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, causing them to blister. Remove the peppers, wrap them in a damp cloth and let them sit fo 5 to 10 minutes. Then, remove the pepper skins and then split the peppers to remove the seeds and membranes.
In a bowl, mix together the flour, salt and black pepper. Dust the peppers in the flour mixture, roll them in the buttermilk, and dust each again in the flour. Fry the peppers in the oil over moderate heat until the batter is golden brown.
Arrange the fried peppers in an oven-proof dish. Divide the meat evenly over the tops of the peppers, then sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes, until the cheese starts to melt. While the dish is still in the oven, add the raisins and pecans and continue baking for 1 to 2 minutes, until the cheese starts to bubble. Serve immediately with a spoonful of the ranchero salsa on top. Serves three to four.
2 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
1 cup finely chopped white onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 (14.4-oz.) can whole tomatoes, broken up
2 cups chicken or beef broth
Using a thick, heavy saucepot, heat the oil and brown the onions, celery and bell pepper for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes on low heat. Use immediately while the sauce is hot or refrigerate for later. Keeps for two weeks in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.