Friday, July 8, 2011

Texas Cooking

In March, Roy and I had the opportunity to be public judges at the Texas Men's State Chili Cook-off. Johnson City has hosted this event for the past 8 years. We judged only 10 entries out of many. Beer was provided for refreshing the palate. Competition chili doesn't have beans in it, and is judged on several criteria such as flavor, red color, appearance, and aftertaste. This got Roy fired-up to try his hand at preparing Texas chili. He studied the recipes of locals who had won international competitions, and then modified them to create his own. He experimented with different ways of cooking with Serrano and Jalapeno peppers. We feel he's perfected a recipe good enough to win a championship.

In the last two months, Roy has been studying smoking meats. A fellow RVer taught Roy how it's done. He has prepared smoked beef brisket twice and smoked chicken. With the other RVer having moved on, Roy is now the resident expert!

The wood they use in the smoker is from a local tree called a Honey Mesquite. The tree to the foreground is a Honey Mesquite, and it looks like several in the background are as well.

Here is a look at the leaves. Remember the tree branch from an earlier post that had long thorns on it. I didn't know it at the time, but it is one of these.