Of the four styles of BBQ this country boasts, Texas BBQ is the most well-known. The famed pit barbeque creates smoked meats so flavorful that side dishes are secondary: one article in The New Yorker stated, "you don't hear a lot of people talking about the piquancy of a restaurant's sauce or the tastiness of its beans; discussions are what a scholar of the culture might call meat-driven."
When you have a product so good that it stands alone -- and is purchased by the pound, even in restaurants -- the urge to change or alter it in any way seems nonexistent. However, when you take into account the popularity of Tex-Mex, a combination of Mexican and southwest U.S. cuisines, the concept of a delicious food mishmash is too good to pass up.
The Birth Of A New Cuisine
Tex-Mex barbeque has become more common in the last few years, mostly due to the presence of new restaurants like Valentina's in Austin and 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio. Esaul Ramos, owner of the latter, stated he simply studied the pit-style way of smoking meats and combined the skill with the foods he grew up eating; tacos, barbacoa, pico de gallo, and nopales all have a place in Tex-Mex barbeque.
At Valentina's, you can enjoy a slice of juicy brisket inside a warm tortilla, and a side dish of rice and beans is as common as coleslaw. The merging of the two cuisines is having quite the cultural impact on the country's biggest state. Since backyard barbeques are popular the nation over, we figured we'd teach you how to throw a Tex-Mex BBQ of your own.
This Pit Is Lit
The most important part of any barbeque is the food selection, and this goes tenfold for Tex-Mex BBQ cuisine.
Meats: Texas barbeque relies on three main meats, all smoked over the pit, of course. Sliced beef brisket, German-style sausage, and meaty ribs with a tangy, tomato-based sauce are the staples. The meat is meant to be untouched, while the Tex-Mex influence impacts how it's served and what it's served with.
Sides: Classic barbeque sides include macaroni and cheese and potato salad, but savory condiments are heavily favored. Pickled jalapeno peppers, cherry peppers, sliced onions, and dill pickles provide a little extra saltiness to the meal. Add some black bean, corn, and tomato salad for that Tex-Mex flair, or simply serve with rice and beans. As long as you're relying on Mexican fundamentals -- such as peppers, corn, and beans --, your barbeque will have some kick to it.
Beverages: Sweet tea is a great non-alcoholic choice, and there are many Texan beers and wines to choose from. Shiner Bock from Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas, is a favorite among Texans, as are hearty reds (like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) from Llano Estacado Winery or Caprock Winery -- both are located in the panhandle of Texas and have won numerous awards.
How much you buy depends on how many guests you're expecting; the average party size that requires a caterer is between 100 and 250 people, so keep that in mind if you're trying to throw a neighborhood-wide rager. As much as you might want to smoke and roast the meat yourself, sometimes a professional team is needed. Gather the requisite tables, chairs, and utensils, and you've got a great party on your hands.
You don't need to be from the Lone Star State in order to host a backyard get-together embracing its cultural cuisine and history; if you possess a love of good food, great friends, and want to experience Tex-Mex barbeque for yourself, take matters into your own hands. Once their bellies are full, nobody will care where you're from or where you grew up!
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS announced today that they will offer free food to every TSA employee working without pay throughout the partial government shutdown at their family-friendly Rock & Brews Restaurants nationwide.
"We are proud to operate restaurants at airports and respect the diligent, hard work of each and every TSA employee to ensure the safety of travelers," said Simmons and Stanley in a joint statement. "They touch our lives daily, and as long as they are working without pay, the least we can do is provide them with a delicious meal to show our support."
No party is complete without festive food for the occasion, even if your guests dressed in their best ugly sweaters for the event. If you want to serve up the best samples of the season, try these festive shots and drinks that put the "spirit" in Christmas spirit.
The other day, my wife and I were shopping at Mariano's with our girls and she said "Look, they have a guacamole bar." Puzzled, I asked why she would point out such a thing to me? After all, she's been living with me for 21 years and knows how much I despise the avocado. "Some people like it," she said. Still, I was surprised that this would be a point of interest - especially since I can't recall ever seeing my wife consume any avocado-based food items, so my curiosity shifted to concern: is it possible that the avocado mafia (perhaps those "Avocados from Mexico" people) had gotten to her?
They say that "winter is coming," but as far as I'm concerned, it's already here in the snow-covered landscape of northern Illinois. While Game of Thrones is still hot, beer should be served cold as snow, and on Black Friday the crew at Cooperstown, NY-based Brewery Ommegang unleashed their fourth beer inspired by GoT. King in the North, a beer brewed for Jon Snow, is the fourth and final beer in this year’s Royal Reserve Collection, a series of four limited release beers, each designed and brewed as an homage to one of four epic figures engaged in the battle for the Seven Kingdoms.
According to the brewery: "King in the North pours jet black with a thick tan head. Aromas of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate blend with those of oak, bourbon, and vanilla. The flavor is rich and full with notes of chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and roasted malt up front followed by smooth bourbon and a hint of oak. The finish is thick and chewy with oatmeal creaminess, and pleasant lingering roast. King in the North pairs well with funky aged cheeses, rich dark meats and decadent desserts. It also makes a great dessert on its own."
They say it's intended to "sustain a leader through a long, dark night," and I could see that. After downing a sample bottle that arrived here at Rock Father™ HQ, I can attest to the fact that there's some heft to this brew!
King in the North is available in draft and in 750ml bottles at the brewery, with bottles and a limited-edition gift pack featuring all four Royale Reserve Collection Beers available through specialty retailers. It would make a great gift for the hardcore Game of Thrones fan! Want even more GoT gift ideas? Check out my friends at Entertainment Earth.
Game of Thrones Disclosure:
I'm always upfront and honest about things here in the virtual pages of The Rock Father™ Magazine, so with that I feel obligated to reveal that other than watching a YouTube supercut of Emilia Clarke saying "dracarys" to her dragon to unleash all kinds of firepower, I have never seen an episode of Game of Thrones (we don't have HBO). Maybe I'll catch it somewhere down the line.
As always, please consume your royal beverages responsibly.
Cold and flu season is upon us -- hopefully, you're as prepared as possible. But getting the flu shot, washing your hands, and using sanitizing wipes can only go so far, especially with flu viruses being able to survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours. One of the best ways to keep your body healthy and strong enough to fight off viruses is by strengthening it from the inside. To do this, you should consume foods and drinks that have immune-boosting qualities. So to keep you healthy this cold and flu season, here are a few foods and drinks that can help give your immune system a much-needed boost.
This week, news hit the wires that General Mills has launched a search for talent in hopes of bringing their famed "Monster Cereals" characters to life on-screen. The cereals have been a breakfast staple for decades, and as the new "Work With the Monsters" website points out, they've been on the fringes of Hollywood since the 60s - but they've never had a big break of their own. Recent years have seen the Monsters enter the toy departments through licensing agreements with Mattel's Hot Wheels brand, Funko, and even Big G Creative for this year's excellent Monster Crunch Game. Now it's finally time to take things to the next level, and that means that I need to remind the folks at General Mills about something: I have the winning pitch. In fact, back in 2015, General Mills' Kevin Hunt invited me to call in and record a bit for the Monster Cereals episode of the A Taste of General Mills Podcast, and in this 2012 article I first mentioned publicly that I'd been sitting on a treatment for a General Mills Monsters movie - one that could easily be adapted into a binge-worthy television series.
If you think that it will soon be too cold to enjoy delicious frozen ice cream, then you're making a terrible mistake. With 1.5 billion gallons of ice cream and similar desserts produced in the United States annually, there's no reason why it should all be eaten during the dog days of summer. While almost everyone thinks of ice cream as a perfect summer treat, there are plenty of excellent ways to enjoy it once the temperature drops.
Sometimes, you just need the perfect beer to enjoy on a crisp fall night. If you choose your drinks based on the time of year, you're not alone; eighty-four percent of craft beer drinkers like to choose their beer depending on the season. Of course, not everyone likes every type of fall beer, specifically when it comes to pumpkin beers. Most people fall into one of two camps with pumpkin beer: love it, or hate it. For those of us in the latter group, here are three other types of beers to try this fall.
The marriage of barbecue flavors and Mexican dishes is perhaps one of the most natural in our country. Cooking meat in big Texas smokers infuses them with incredibly delicious flavors, while the spices and complimentary sides in Mexican cuisine help bring out the meat's inherent smokiness. Dive into this ultimate fusion food by learning about what it is, where you can find it, and how to make your own.
Last week, Jimmy Kimmel returned to his hometown of Brooklyn for another string of shows. While there, the mighty Wu-Tang Clan showed up to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by performing a few tracks (watch: C.R.E.A.M., Protect Ya Neck) after which RZA and Method Man sat down with Jimmy to answer some "ridiculous questions" over CÎROC Black Raspberry cocktails. Check out some video below...
Chipotle Mexican Grill has announced the return of Boorito, its annual Halloween celebration. On Wednesday, Oct. 31, from 3 p.m. to closing, customers who are in costume at all Chipotle locations in the U.S. and Canada can order a burrito, bowl, salad or tacos for only $4. Customers can also receive the same deal through the Chipotle app or online (for both pickup and delivery) by using the code "BOORITO."