Conroe Saturday AM market

  (Conroe, Texas)
Exciting ways to use Produce
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King Ranch Chicken from Linked-in and DDDives

King Ranch Chicken is the talk of the town this week. Mark Cosgrove started a discussion on Linked-in asking Chef's around the country to submit recipes and ingredients from their region of the United States. Chef Michael Fleshner responded with this comment 1) Cilantro 2) SamM Salsa 3) King Ranch Chicken. Guy Fieri the host on triple DDD {Diners Drive-ins and Dives} did an episode tonight from Georgetown, Texas where he demonstrated making King Ranch Chicken from scratch.

Let's start with the origin of King Ranch Chicken: Sadly, the history and origin of King Ranch Chicken is a bit murky. While the name invokes that epic south Texas ranch—so gigantic it covers more ground than the state of Rhode Island—the ranch claims no ownership on this recipe. Some surmise that perhaps it was a ranch-hand that developed the dish, but this has not been proven. Then there are those who say someone tacked on the name “King Ranch” because that ranch is emblematic of the state itself in both its size and its myth. Yet one has to ask why the recipe calls for chicken, when both the ranch and the state are known for its beef.

  On Triple DDD they sauteed Fresh Celery, Bell Peppers, Fresh sliced mushrooms added flour to make a roux and finished with Chicken stock, Cream and Ro-tel tomatoes for a sauce. And then built the casserole layering sauce-corn tortillas- shredded cheese and baking at 359 F till golden brown.

And now another version:  Are you familiar with Chicken A La King? It’s a creamy mixture of chicken, mushrooms and bell peppers served on toast. Now let’s take a look at what makes up King Ranch Chicken: chicken (of course!), bell peppers, cream of mushroom soup, with the addition of tomatoes and green chiles (such as a can of Ro-Tel), all layered on corn tortillas. Do you see where I’m headed with this? I believe that someone added ingredients found in traditional Texan dishes—such as the spicy tomatoes and corn tortillas—to their traditional Chicken A La King recipe. In naming this new, Southwestern Chicken A La King they added the word “ranch”—because it conjures up a certain Texan feeling—and did away with the “a la.” And voila! King Ranch Chicken.

Which ever version you choose:

1)Guy Fieri's demonstrated Fresh version or 2) Open all the cans mix and assemble version, Enjoy this awesome southern Texas casserole during your next rainy or cold weather evening. I will be in the kitchen till mid night preparing a dish that brings tears to my eyes remembering my first exposure when I arrived in south Texas and Chef Michael showed me how to create this tasty casserole.


A late night Snack becomes Dinner

I failed to share a story yesterday because it came about at 10:30 pm. I was craving a late night snack and decided around 10pm I was going to build a Tuna Fish sandwich. Down to the pantry I went. Opened a can of Tuna mixed in Hellmann's Mayo and spread it on two thick slices of Hearty Italian bread.The bread was spread with the last of my Fresh Guacamole made from the Farmer's Market Avocados and SamM salsa {diced Roma tomatoes and White onions marinating in Rice vinegar Balsamic style} I finished off my creation with plenty of SamM salsa. And cut it into threes.

Upon consuming my sandwich near the Wife, I heard " I smell Tuna" "Oh! can I have a bite?" I gave up the last section of sandwich. Originally when I went hunting for a late nite snack she was munching on Potato stix. I refer to any snacks like that as diverticulosis snax. Why you ask? Because my brother had Diverticulosis from eating too many of those type of processed snacks.

Now for the rest of the story. I asked,"Do I need to make another sandwich ?" Her response was,"Yes, Pllleease" Back to the pantry, this time for the larger Starkist can.I did remember to ask,"Do I change any part of the recipe ?" Her response was, "More Miracle Whip" She did not know that meant a product change. No Hellmann's , Miracle Whip instead. I obliged and also switched to German Dark Wheat bread. This time I made two sandwiches cut into sixes and added sliced pickles on the side. Brought  drinks, Offered ice cream for dessert. We had ourselves a full blown meal. Laid awake til midnight and fell asleep while watching Hawaii five-O , taped on the DVR.


Tonight's meal made with Chicken Breast marinated in Dill juice will be repeated soon. As she cleaned up her plate, the Wife said " This was good" Tapping her fork on the plate, She said," You need to make this again" I will before I use up all the Chicken breast.


Texas Ranch-style Stuffed Green peppers

The news in Texas is showing the before and after pictures of forests and ranches blackened by wild fires. Tonight I am going to share my recipe for ranch-style Stuffed Green peppers. Many Bell peppers were picked up at Saturday am Market this past Saturday in downtown Conroe.

To start I halved 3 Fresh green peppers removing the stem and seeds and placed them in a baking dish with 1/4 cup of fridge veg juice . I always search my fridge for left over veg  juice before turning on the water faucet. For the meat filling I started with 1/2 lb. ground beef, 2 C of cooked rice, 1 C Ranch dressing,1/2 C of sliced Spanish onion chopped and a mix of minced mini Bell peppers. After mixing all this up I stuffed the pepper halves and let them sit covered in the fridge for several hours. I located a thick Tomato based sauce in my fridge that I poured over the peppers before baking them for 40 min. at 350 F.

Stuffed Green peppers is one of those entrees that taste better the next day. Over the next few days I will share how they turned out. In the meantime, the wife decided to try the Blueberry Banana Nut bread late last night. And she asked for it again for breakfast this morning. I sliced a square; serving open faced for her. Microwaved for 40 sec. and placed Butter patties on them before presenting it to her.Two meals back to back she must have loved it.



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