Celebrate Texas with a Five Star Supper

Have you ever noticed that you can take the Texan out of Texas, but it’s impossible to take Texas out of a Texan? Every Texan I’ve ever had the pleasure to know has something somewhere in their home that displays their Texas pride.

Unlike nearly every other states that joined the Union as a territory, the Republic of Texas was actually a country before it became a state. Between 1836 and 1845, Texas ruled itself as an independent nation. It was through a treaty between the United States and the Republic of Texas that Texas agreed to join the union. Perhaps the fact that Texas was once an independent nation for nearly 10 years explains why Texans feel the way they do about their state and their relationship to the Federal Government.

The size of Texas alone is reason enough to be its own country. At 268,820 square miles, Texas is larger than many countries around the world. More impressive, Texas is bigger than any nation on the European continent. The size of Texas explains why the King Ranch in Kingsville can sprawl across six counties and be 75 square mile larger than the entire state of Rhode Island. King Ranch isn’t one single contiguous plot of land, but rather four large sections under one umbrella. Only two of the four sections actually border each other. The ranch was founded in 1853. Known for its cattle, King Ranch is home to at least one triple-crown winning horse.

We all know that everything in Texas is bigger. So it should come as no surprise that breast implants were invented by two Texas doctors, Dr. Frank Gerow and Dr. Thomas Cronin. In 1962 the first breast implant surgery was preformed. But implants aren’t just about size. Reconstructive surgery helps women who have lost their sense of completeness to breast cancer. So thank you Texas.

Every state has it’s strangely outdated laws that made sense at the time, but makes us scratch our heads today. In Texas, it is against the law to milk someone else’s cow. The milk is considered personal property of the cow’s owner, and taking the milk is theft. However; the fine set for milking someone else’s cow cannot exceed $10.00.

While Arizona has the Grand Canyon, Texas has a canyon of its own that is pretty impressive. The Palo Duro Canyon has an average 850-foot descent, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region. As it should. The Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the US. It’s roughly 120 miles long, and reaches a width of 20 miles in some places. There are even spots along the stretch of the canyon that reach a depth of 1,000 feet. Palo Duro is Spanish for “hard stick”. Its dramatic geological features include multicolored layers of rock and steep mesa walls.

One thing is certain, Texans love a good steak dinner. Add a strong Bourbon Sauce and you’ve got the makings for a fine Five Star caliber supper indeed.

Five Star Texas Supper
New York Steak with Tomato Bourbon Peppercorn Sauce
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Pan Seared Garlic Asparagus

Oh, and did I mention today is National Baked Alaska Day? Can’t overlook what has to be a truly Five-Star inspired dessert.

National Baked Alaska Day
Chocolate Cookie Baked Alaska

New York Steak with Tomato Bourbon Peppercorn Sauce
4 New York Steaks (12 ounces each)
Salt to taste
Black Pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons Green Peppercorns
6 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1/4 cup Bourbon
1/2 cup Beef Stock
1 cup Heavy Cream
4 tablespoons Butter

Dry meat with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Let rest on the counter 45 minutes before grilling.

Heat grill to high. Grill steaks, searing both sides. Lower heat and continue to grill to desired doneness. Once grilled, let rest for 10 minutes before serving. While the steaks rest, make the sauce.

Crush peppercorns, set aside. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add tomato paste and peppercorns to the hot skillet. Lower heat to medium and cook tomato paste, scraping with a spatula until the paste begins to brown. Deglaze the pan with bourbon and reduce by half. Add the beef stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 1 minute and add the cream. Return to a simmer. Remove from heat, whisk in butter 1 tablespoon at a time until silky and smooth.

Plate steaks. Ladle sauce over the steaks and enjoy.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
3 lbs Russet Potatoes
8 Garlic Cloves
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
4 tablespoons Olive Oil

Peel potatoes, cut into chunks and place in a saucepan. Peel garlic, add whole to the pan.

Cover potatoes with about 1-inch of cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Cook potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid.

Return potatoes with garlic to the pan. Mash the potatoes and garlic together. Season with salt, pepper. Add enough reserved cooking liquid to achieve a creamy consistency. Gently warm olive oil. Drizzle warm oil over the mashed garlic potatoes.

Pan Seared Garlic Asparagus
1 lb Asparagus
3 Garlic Cloves
1/4 cup Butter
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste

Trim asparagus, set aside. Peel and thinly slice garlic, set aside.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the olive oil. Add asparagus, season with salt, and pepper. Turn asparagus several times to sear, then reduce heat to medium.

Scatter garlic over the asparagus. Cover and cook until tender, about 6 minutes.

Serve and enjoy.

February 1 just happens to be both Dark Chocolate Day and Baked Alaska Day. How fitting to end an over-the-top steak supper with a dark chocolate cookie that has been transformed into the base for Baked Alaska. Yum!

Chocolate Cookie Baked Alaska
Dark Chocolate Cookie

1/2 cup Butter
1 large Egg
1-1/2 cups sifted Flour
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened Dark Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
Pinch Kosher Salt

Let butter and egg come to room temperature.

Sift flour BEFORE measuring. Scoop flour into a dry measuring cup, use a knife to level the measurement without packing the flour down. Set flour aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter with sugar. Cream at medium speed for about 3 minutes, until light an fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix another 2 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda and a pinch of salt. Beat on low for a minute or 2, just until incorporated. Take care not to over-beat the cookie dough to avoid tough cookies.

Cover dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350-degrees.

Line cookie sheets with a Non-stick baking mat. Use a spring-release scoop to drop uniformed balls of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet 2 inches apart.

Spray the bottom of a drinking glass with with cooking spray; flatten cookies slightly.

Bake cookies in the heated oven for 8 minutes or until the edges have set and the tops are just beginning to set. When baked, the cookies with have a matte finish.

Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to rest on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Ice Cream Mound
15 scoops Favorite Ice Cream

The ice cream can be any you like. Neapolitan Ice Cream gives a variety of ice cream flavors in a singe scoop. Rocky Road would add additional texture. Whatever you like is perfect.

Place cooled cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Top each cookie with a rounded scoop of ice cream. Place in the freezer until ready to serve.

Meringue Topping
4 Egg Whites
1/2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
Pinch Salt
1-1/4 cup Sugar

Separate egg whites from yolks. Reserve yolks in the refrigerator for another purpose.

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat egg whites with lemon juice until beginning to foam. Add Cream of Tartar and salt, continue to whip until soft peaks have formed.

With the mixer running, slowly add in the sugar about 1/8 of a cup at a time until stiff peaks have formed.

To Assemble:
Heat oven to 400-degrees.

Remove ice cream topped cookies from the freezer.

Scoop meringue on top of the ice cream. With the back of a spoon, spread the meringue over the ice cream and the cookie, fully encasing both in the meringue.

Bake Alaska Cookies for about 5 minutes, just until meringue begins to brown a beautiful golden color.

Serve immediately.

Note: Baked Alaska can also be held in the freezer to enjoy later.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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