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Cowpoke cookies

25 Jun

bakerella.com


Bakerella is a genius. Not only did she come up with the cutest layered cookie jar gifts to give our Stampede guests, she provides printable labels for them. J’adore.
We would love to hand these out to friends at a Stampede backyardecue.

COWGIRL COOKIES
recipe adapted from bakerella

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup & leveled
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooking oats
3/4 cup m&ms
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 – 1/2 cup chopped pecans
(some people add coconut, but you may have trouble fitting it into the gift jar.)
Stir all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Add

1 slightly beaten egg
1/2 cup butter (melted slightly in the microwave)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Use the back of a large spoon to work it all together.

Roll the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, place on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Makes 26-28 cookies.

More from Bakerella:
Start with a 1 quart smooth Ball jar.

Layer the ingredients:

First: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
Second: oats
Third: m&ms
Fourth: chocolate chips
Fifth: brown sugar
Sixth: white sugar
Seventh: chopped pecans

Pack each level down really tightly. The ingredients should be flush to the top of the lid when you seal it.

To decorate the top of the jars, use suede cord and western fabric: gingham or bandana patterns.
Cut the fabric into 6-inch squares and the suede into 25 inch pieces. Place the fabric on top and tie ribbons around the lid to hold it in place.

Spaghetti Western 2.0

25 Jun


Yahoo! Our mailbox is filling up with Stampede party invites. High season is almost upon us. But before the ubiquitous beef-on-a-bun buffet staple hits our tummies, might we suggest a Spaghetti Western Stampede warmup?

We love last year’s tomato-whisky version, but here’s the next generation of our beloved ease into all things Stampede.

This year, we are fond of the idea of spicy cowboy chili — chock full of baked beans and smoked paprika — with the whole mess served over hot spaghetti. Works perfectly for a crowd, especially because chili is always better after it sits for a day.

We have two recipes to choose from. An Italian sausage and whisky number, and Cincinanti’s famed Skyline chili. Two things make this deep, Greek-tasting dish so legendary: its soupy beef sauce heavy on cinnamon and cloves, and its toppers: two-way (chili over spaghetti), three-way (with cheese), four-way (with onions), or five-way (kidney beans).

LAZY S SPAGHETTI WESTERN
recipe by Saucy Cherie

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 pounds hot Italian sausage links
3 pounds lean ground beef
2 onions, chopped
1 shot whisky
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 4 ounce can chopped green chilies
1 11 ounce can pork and beans
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp smoked paprika, or to taste
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons chipotle pepper sauce, or to taste

cooked spaghetti
grated cheddar cheese

Boil sausage for 7-10 minutes. Drain and cool.
Brown ground beef in canola oil. Drain fat, reserving a tablespoon or so. Add onions and saute until soft. Add whisky. Slice sausage and add to cooked beef mixture. Add everything else and stir well. Simmer for an hour or until thickened.

Serve on spaghetti with a shredded cheddar.

_______________________________

CINNY CHILI SPAGHETTI WESTERN
Skyline Cincinnati Chili

2 lbs ground beef
2 cups minced onions
4 cups beef stock

2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
2-3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 ounce grated unsweetened chocolate or 2 3/4 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons instant minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper or cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 bay leaf

Toppings
chopped onion
finely shredded cheddar cheese
kidney bean (optional)
Directions
Boil beef and onion in stock, breaking apart.
Add remaining 13 ingredients, simmer uncovered 1 hour.
Remove bay leaf, skim off extra fat.

Hot Diggity Dogs

15 Jul

Stampede may be over, but we’re finding it hard to cease and desist entertaining on a hot summer night. Enter White Trash Theatre. Think drive-in movie meets backyardecue. We like to wheel a large screen television up to the sliding glass patio door and have everybody seated outside on lawnchairs to watch movies. Of course, we’re talking  about a dusk-til-dawn affair, a la the Corral 4 better dancing hot dogDrive-In circa 1978. Summer staples can include, but are not limited to: Jaws, Grease, American Graffiti, Animal House, Dazed and Confused etc. Our friend swears that any Matthew McConaughey movie simply must be featured, as he embodies all that is white trash. But we know it’s your call.

We have been tempted to set out a popcorn and candy bar buffet, but it remains a dream unfufilled. Microwave popcorn, Smarties, and ice cream are as far as we’ve bothered. Still the fantasy lingers.

Barbecued hot dogs, of course, are a must. The bar for accoutrement is set high, with Le Chien Chaud and Tubby Dog  in our near vicinity. Set out a tub of chilled beverages (cream soda, orange, and cola really should share priority with beer and wine), pop the corn, and hit play. Don’t forget blankies and mosquito repellent.

We originally enjoyed these Rocky Mountain redhots at Stampede time. The spicy sweet sauce is also a good meatball bath for tailgate or Christmas parties. Try this cool spiral technique:

Diggity Dogs
Recipe from Blue Flame Kitchen
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp (15 mL) oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) ketchup
1/2 cup (125 mL) medium salsa
1/3 cup (75 mL) sieved raspberry jam
1 – 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) balsamic vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
12 jumbo wieners
12 large hotdog buns

Cook onion in oil until tender. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add next 6 ingredients (ketchup through mustard). Simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Score wieners corkscrew fashion. Grill wieners over medium heat on natural gas barbecue until browned on all sides. Add wieners to sauce and simmer 5 minutes. Place wieners in buns and top with sauce.

Chili Con Midway Carney

13 Jul

doug

During Stampede, bubbling vats of chili are always a welcome warmup after a rainy night at the chucks. We love biting into velvety chunks of brisket and tomato. Cocoa, oregano, and smoky chipotle always mingle with black beans in ours. We’ve been known to simmer the meat with beer and top our bowls with lime-scented sour cream. We also have dreams about green chicken chili thickened with crushed corn tortilla chips. Yum.

Still riding the wave of nostalgia from yesterday’s 4 Street Rose theme, here is another Stampede-themed recipe scooped from the now defunct cafe. Their beanless chili is from the 1980s, so it’s chipotle-free. But for a straight up beef and tomato chili to feed a crowd, it’s basic and tasty. A quick search of foodnetwork.com shows 2,117 recipes for chili. If you haven’t mastered your own house speciality yet, chili is an easy work in progress.

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4 Street Rose Chili

2 kg lean ground beef

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1.1 kg (2.5 lbs) coarsely chopped white onions

2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes, chopped (with liquid)

1 7 oz can tomato paste

340 ml tomato juice

1 1/2 tsp Tabasco

2 1/2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce

2 tbsp chili powder

1/4 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp each cayenne, salt and pepper

Brown beef well in 1 tbsp oil. Drain fat and set meat aside. Add oil to pan and cook onions until transparent. Drain and set aside. Add all ingredients to a deep roasting pan, cover with foil and bake in a 350 F oven for 1 hour.

 

 

 

Shanghai Noon at Midnight

5 Jul

When weary, bleary-eyed Stampede-goers leave the chuckwagons, midway, beer and bars behind in the early morning hours, they make way for a post-midnight snack at Singapore Sam’s on 11th Avenue and 5th Street S.W.

But take heed, late night revellers: If you’re not here before midnight, you’ll be waiting in a lineup that snakes out the door and down the sidewalk.

For these 10 days of excess, locals and visitors alike will line up until 3 a.m., largely for the ginger fried beef and its storied reputation as preventative medicine for hangovers.

More than a hundred patrons drum their chopsticks at once on tabletops and glasses in time to Queen’s We Will Rock You or whatever is blaring over the speakers. The chopstick cacophony is part of the party.
The mahogany slivers of crunchy, deep-fried meat in a pool of sweet, spicy sauce is said to have first surfaced in Calgary at the Silver Inn restaurant at 2702 Centre St. N.E. during the 1970s.

K.W. Cheung started serving the dish shortly after the Peking restaurant opened in 1974. The dish was introduced by George Wong, who had been a cook in England.

In a research project on Chinese-Canadian cuisine and cultural identity a few years ago, University of Calgary anthropologist Josephine Smart discovered most people in Eastern Canada and the United States had never heard of ginger beef.

We love the charm of regional specialties. North American inventions blending Hunan and Szechuan styles are as firmly rooted on takeout menus now as they ever were. New York claims General Tso’s chicken, Phoenix, Arizona-based P.F. Chang’s orange peel beef  (chicken or shrimp also) has the same devoted following. A legion of loyal fans in Springfield, Missouri swoon for cashew chicken.

We recently a Pacific Northwest take on ginger beef at Victoria, B.C.’s J & J Wonton Noodle House. Thin, square slabs of marinated flank steak were deep fried, but not battered in an eggy coating. The sauce was sticky and sweet and brightly flavoured with ginger. Not a candied carrot sliver in sight. Dare we say it rivals our homegrown ginger beef? It’s a worthy contender and one we’ll take for a spin.

Calgary’s beloved dish has become a phenomonen. Be careful when ordering ginger beef outside of the city. Deep-fried shredded ginger beef is what you’re after. Ask for ginger beef, and you’re taking a gamble. You might get a very different dish. Or a blank stare.

GINGER FRIED BEEF
Recipe from The Best of Bridge: Grand Slam
These Calgary moms say this is “a ‘must’ for out-of-towners.'” If you love real Calgary-style ginger beef, do give this version a try. Be patient, and cook it in batches, otherwise you’ll end up with a mess. Take the time to have the ingredients chopped and ready to go. Try it once to get the technique down, and make note of any tweaks to suite your tastes if you like things spicier, or an extra punch of ginger. This could be your new famous dish!

1 lb. flank steak
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water
vegetable oil
2/3 cup grated carrots
2 Tbsp. chopped green onion (or more to taste)
4 Tbsp.(1/4 cup) minced ginger root (or more)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. cooking wine – Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp hot chili oil or crushed red chili flakes
Slice steak while partially frozen into narrow strips. Mix beef and eggs. Dissolve cornstarch in water and mix with beef. Pour ample oil in wok. Heat to boiling hot, but not smoking. Add beef to oil, 1/4 at a time. Separate with a fork (or chopsticks if you’re talented) and cook, stirring frequently until crispy. Remove, drain and set aside. (This much can be done in advance)
Put 1 Tbsp. oil in wok. Add carrots, onion, ginger and garlic and stir fry over high heat. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

Add beef, mix well and serve. If your steak is over one pound, cook it all anyway.

Serve with steamed rice.
Serves 4

Does this look familiar? Those Best of Bridge ladies loved lifting a recipe!

IMG_5992 (1).JPG

Ay Ay, Red Eye

3 Jul

IMG00302The Caesar may have been created here 30 years ago by Westin Hotel bar manager Walter Chell, but you can bet we’ll be enjoying a few Red Eyes while watching the chucks.

Just add clamato juice to beer (up to half and half, but we prefer a 1:4 ratio) and there you have a Calgary Red Eye.

This year, after reading the New York Times piece about the comeback of the beer cocktail, we took the Red Eye to a new level. We enhanced our beer with a Caesar: half beer, half vodka-spiked Clamato. Beesar? Be careful, they pack a wallop.

Another Stampede libation making the rounds in backyards everywhere is the Beergarita. Somewhat vile sounding, it’s undeniably refreshing on a scorching day. A good welcome wagon drink, also.

In Chicago, the beergarita — a margarita amplified by Flemish sour ale and framboise — is popular at Small Bar.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/01/dining/01cocktail.html?ref=dining

Beergarita is a cousin to our favourite Victoria Day long weekend staple, Skip and Go Naked (pink lemonade, gin, and beer).

Beergarita
1 (12 ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
6 ounces tequila (half the limeade can)
3 (12 ounce) cans lager beer
Lots of ice

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. If you’re ambitious, you could put the whole works into a blender for frozen margaritas. But. Honestly. It’s Stampede and we don’t have a minute to spare. Old school ice cubes work wonders, especially for watering down too-sweet limeade.

And don’t feel guilty about using pedestrian canned limeade for this rather than concocting juice with fresh (key!) limes. Save your money for the casino and get off your high horse.

A Brisket, A Basket

29 Jun

brisket take 2The skillful Stampede-goer knows the perfect late night snack for post-chuckwagon races and Cowboys closer.

And it’s not pizza.

These miniature brisket buns are divine. In anticipation of many late nights, we cooked a huge brisket in advance, sliced it, packaged it into portions, and armed ourselves with pillowy parkerhouse rolls. We popped everything into the freezer so they can be set out to thaw by the time you roll in with your bleary eyes and barking dogs. A hot summer night with friends on the patio, fireworks in the sky, cold beer nightcap and a mini beef bun. Cheers — it’s another perfect Stampede night.

Stampede Brisket
Recipe from President’s Choice

1/4 cup (50 mL) canola oil 
2 lb (1 kg) onions, thinly sliced 
1/2 cup (125 mL) PC Smokin’ Stampede Beer & Chipotle Barbecue Sauce **
1  beef brisket, about 5 lb (2.2 kg)
2 tsp (10 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) freshly ground black pepper 
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) beef broth 
1/2 cup (125 mL) crushed tomatoes 
1 bottle (341 mL) beer
1  bay leaf
 

(This baby is as saucy as we are. We strained the liquid into a mason jar and used it as au jus for dipping our buns. But any other time of year we would serve this with mashed potatoes. True story.)

(** The label on PC Smokin’ Stampede Beer & Chipotle Barbecue Sauce says it’s made with honey red beer, bourbon, chipotle peppers and dark coffee. Although we usually prefer to concoct our sauces from scratch, this is dynamite. Good heat and not too sweet).
Add broth, beer, and tomato sauce and bay leaf to slow cooker to heat up while you prepare onions and beef.
In large frying pan, heat 2 tbsp (25 mL) of oil over medium heat. Stir in onions. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until deep golden brown. Reduce heat if onions start to scorch, and feel free to add liquid to keep them moist (beer or tomato juice). Make sure pan is deglazed and add onions to slow cooker, scraping all the juices with them.
In clean large frying pan, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle brisket on both sides with salt and pepper. Cook until well browned, about 5 minutes per side. If brisket is too large to fit in your frying pan, cut it in half crosswise (across the grain) and brown each piece separately. Transfer to slow cooker. Deglaze pan so you can add drippings to slow cooker.
Cover slow cooker and let cook for 8 hours on low setting.

After 8 hours (note: we reduced our cooking time because our slow cooker is an overachiever), transfer brisket to cutting board, leaving sauce in slow cooker. Discard bay leaf and skim fat from top of sauce. Slice brisket across the grain into 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick slices. Return sliced brisket to slow cooker. Serve hot, with mashed potatoes if desired.