Photo by Eric Eike
by Eric Eike
Every fall in my hometown of Bryan, Texas the city of Bryan hosts the Texas Reds Steak and Grape Festival. Like many festivals in Texas, arts, crafts, food, live music and a cook-off are showcased at Texas Reds. Unlike other cook-offs in Texas, which often features BBQ or chili, steak is the item competitive cooks enter for judging.
So when a good friend of mine asked me if I would like to cook steaks to enter in the contest, my answer was a resounding "Hell Yea!". Not so much because I am a competitive cook, but because my friend was actually a sponsor of the event and received a cook-off entry for his sponsorship.
What kind of sponsor? Lets just say that my friend works for a certain company whose signature trademark is a large trailer pulled by draught horses with two drivers and a dalmatian as a co-pilot. Staying hydrated as I worked over the pit was not going to be a problem.
During the festival, patrons make their way through downtown and stop by booths to sample whatever is coming off of the pit. Instead of feeding people the steak that we were entering for judging (there are huge tents where patrons can consume mass quantities), I decided to add some variety and made a marinated chicken dish (recipe below) that I frequently prepare before another fall tradition in Bryan/College Station - Aggie Football tailgates.
It is a tried and true recipe that got rave reviews for the folks that stopped by. More than I can say about the steak that we entered for judging. While our name was not called during the awards ceremony, some of the judges caught wind of my chicken and stopped by for a sample after their duties judging the steak.
The moral of the story.....if you stay properly hydrated and have a good recipe you can prepare a dish worthy of competitive food judges, and for your tailgate party for that matter. Prost and enjoy!
Weekend Warrior Pale Ale (Karbach Brewing Company, Houston, Texas)
Weekend Warrior is an American pale ale. It was the fifth beer to come out of the brewery, which opened in 2011.
Beer geek notes:
ABV = 5.5%; IBUS = 40; Color = Pale gold; Hops = Magnum Cascade, Bavarian Mandarina, Amarillo, Zythos, Simcoe; Preferred serving temperature = 40 degrees F