Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Call Is Out

These recent pictures inspired me to write the following poem.

 The Call is Out

“Come one, Come all,” their voices sang.
Circling, diving, gliding
over rooftops, wires,
and even nearby shores.

The flocks began to swell
with electrifying speed,
soaring to dizzying heights.

Pelicans, pigeons, skimmers,
herons, cranes and seagulls,
just to name a few.

With their feathered suits,
preened and pressed,
they lined the pier
with stately grace.

As the ship’s horn bellowed
into the evening fog,
a signal the vessel
had just returned.

There they perched
an army of birds
stood at attention
in military formation
welcoming the crew
from a day at sea.

by Sue Ready
As  I explored the diversity of Texas cooking some regional foods were overlooked in the recipes posted such as fish, peaches, pecans and beef.  Hard to cover it all in a month so I thought I'd post some recipes for your consideration.
The first recipe a shrimp salad is one that is tried and true. It was given to me by a lady who has lived here in Texas all her life.      

 South Texas Shrimp Salad


· 1 cup small shell pasta
· 1 strip celery diced very fine
· 3 hard boiled eggs
· 1/4 c onion minced very fine
· 1/4 c chopped bell pepper (I used red and also very finely chopped)
· 1/2 lb boiled and seasoned shrimp, peeled, deveined and those you can chop in 1/2
· 1/2 lb crabmeat...I used a can of the not very expensive and you couldn't even taste it so you  can forget the crab unless you have some very good lump crab to use
· 1 cup mayo
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 cup sour cream
· 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
· 2 tsp. Heinz cocktail sauce 
 and 1/8 tsp. Sweet Baby Ray's Marinade & Sauce Buffalo Wing Sauce
  •  Cut some of the white off the eggs and chopped them very fine you could tell they were in there but couldn't really see big pieces. Cook pasta drain and cool. Mix pasta celery, onion, bell pepper, shrimp and crab in big bowl.

  • In another bowl mix the sauce ingredients and pour it over the pasta mixture. Mix thoroughly and then seal in a  bowl and chill for 4-6 hours or overnight
Recipe submitted by Jo Blaylock 

Little Smokies in Whiskey Sauce
Cook’s note: FYI These little snacks are real popular here and each recipe I found emphasizes the use of  Heinz when purchasing chili sauce. Using whiskey was new to me but sure sounds good to add a little zip:)
  • 1-cup Jack Daniels’s whiskey
  • 1 cup bottled Heinz chili sauce
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 1-cup brown sugar
  • 2 LB. smoked cocktail sausages
  • Combine whiskey and chili sauce, Tabasco and brown sugar in a saucepan
  • Over medium heat stir to blend and simmer 15 minutes or until slightly thickened
  • Add sausages and heat through about 10-15 minutes
  • Transfer to a warming dish/tray or crock pot–use toothpicks for serving
 Candied Pecans
  • ½ cup pecan halves
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • Toss pecan with oil and place on a baking sheet
  • Bake @350 for 10 minutes stirring every 3 minutes
  • Toss with confectioners sugar in a bowl
  • Cool store in airtight container till ready to use
 Pecan Crusted Red Snapper
Pecan Crust Breading
  • 1 cup bread crumbs or use Panko crumbs
  • 2 cups finely chopped pecans (use food processor)
  • 1 tsp each dried basil, oregano, whole leaf thyme, white pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced

Pecan Crusted Red Snapper

  • 6 boned fillets red snapper (could substitute another type of fillet)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Pulse all breading ingredients in food processor until medium fine place in flat dish and set aside
  • Prepare fish
  • Combine eggs and milk to create an egg wash
  •  Dredge red snapper in flour until well dusted and then pass floured fillet through egg wash wetting the entire fillet and then through pecan breading-use hands to press in breading to fillet
  • Set aside on a cookie sheet till all fillets are completed with breading
  • Heat oil in pan and sauté fillets until golden brown in batches of 2 or 3
  • As each one is cooked place on a baking sheet in warm oven @ 180
  • Serve with a sauce made of garlic/lemon/herb juice

Fredericksburg Peach French Toast

  • 3 fresh peaches
  • 1 (3 oz.) cream cheese softened
  • 3 Tb. chopped pecans
  • 12 bread slices
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • ½ milk
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • Finely chop 1 peach and stir in pecan and cream cheese in a small bowl
  • Spoon 1-1/2 TB. of cream cheese mixture onto each of the 6 bread slices-spreading evenly
  • Top each with remaining bread slices
  • Beat eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla in small bowl
  • Dip each sandwich into egg mixture
  • Melt 1 TB. butter over medium heat-might have to add more butter to complete toasting
  • Cook 2 sandwiches at a time 3 minutes per side
  • Slice other two peaches and place thin slices on top of each cooked cream cheese/ egg bread mixture
  • Drizzle with syrup
 Brisket with Barbecue Mop Sauce
Texas barbecues range from ribs to goat to sausages but beef brisket remains king. The brisket is basted  and served with a sauce called mop sauce. This sauce also is excellent on pork ribs too. It adds flavor and retains the tenderness in cooked meats even after slow roasting. Be sure to add foil under meat when basting to catch the drips. 
  • 1 TB. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. chili powder or chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 TB. butter
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 1-cup Lone Star beer (Texas) or some other kind of lager
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 TB. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 TB. steak sauce
  • 2 TB. brown sugar
  • 2 cups of beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Combine black pepper, chili powder, paprika, and cumin –set aside
  • In saucepan melt butter and sauté onions, peppers and garlic
  • Add spice pepper mixture and cook 2 minutes
  • Add rest of ingredients and stir till well blended
  • Simmer 15 minutes
  • Makes 5 cups


  1. I love the image of "feathered suits preened and pressed" (nice alliteration too.)

  2. Love the pairing of photo with poem. Well done. It's interesting how an image can inspire.