valentine’s day rice krispies

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Happy Valentine’s Day, Hungry Texans-verse! If you’re looking for a quick treat to shower upon your loved ones today whip up a batch of fruit-filled rice krispies!

Five simple ingredients and voila!

2 sticks of butter
2 bags of mini marshmellows
1 12 oz box of rice krispies
1 bag of craisins
1 cup chopped apricots

The two tricks to this recipe are opting for the stove over the microwave & adding in some chopped fruit to add a little flavor “pop” to the puffed rice “snap” and “crackle”. Brown your butter on the stove. Stir and melt marshmellows into your browned butter. Add rice krispies & dried fruit. Spread your mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Let cool 20-25 minutes and then use cookie cutters to cut into your desired shapes.

Childhood nostalgia with fruity pizazz!

Hope your Valentine’s Day snaps, crackles, and pops!

xoxo,

HungryTexans

king cake

king cake hero

Sharing King Cakes during Mardi Gras season is a cherished Gulf Coast tradition, but it wasn’t until college that I realized King Cake folklore isn’t universal. Jaws dropped when I explained there’s a prized baby Jesus baked inside! There are competing interpretations of what it means to eat the slice with the baby. In some circles, he or she who finds the baby is declared King or Queen for the day while in others finding the baby means bringing the King Cake next Mardi Gras. Any way you slice it, King Cakes are fun for all. Even if you don’t buy the King Cake superstitions, who can object to a giant, glorified cinnamon roll? Not us!

A homemade King Cake isn’t the easiest feat, but you should try it once! Especially if you’re nowhere near the third coast.

You’ll need:

Dough Ingredients

Dough
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 cup buttermilk

Custard Ingredients
Cinnamon Filling
1 cup milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
5 yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Cinnamon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons raw sugar

Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
2 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt
purple, green and gold colored sugars for garnish
traditional King Cake baby, penny, or trinket

Start by making the dough. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer & mix for 15 whole minutes. I know this seems like a crazy long time, but alas! it works and your dough will be a silky ball after 15 whole minutes. Transplant your ball into a greased bowl covered with plastic wrap and leave to proof for ~2 hours. Note: your dough would be much happier proofing in an environment resembling the Gulf Coast (~80 – 90 degrees) than a drafty DC kitchen, but we made do!

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While your dough is proofing, make your filling. To make your cinnamon filling, start by combining your milk & sugar in a small saucepan. Stir rigorously to dissolve all the sugar. Once the milk & sugar mixture starts to boil, lower the heat slightly. Combine your cornstarch, vanilla, and egg yolks in a measuring cup & then add some of your warm milky mixture to the egg mixture (temper your eggs). Then, add your tempered eggs to the hot milk mixture, slightly elevate your heat, and continuously whisk your mixture until it begins to boil & the mixture resembles a thick custard. Remove custard from heat, cover & place in the fridge to chill. Once chilled, stir in cinnamon. 

Custard Steps

To make your cinnamon sugar mixture, combine all ingredients!

Once your dough is proofed, you get to play with it!

Dough A

 

  1. flour your work surface
  2. flatten your ball of dough
  3. cut into two equal parts
  4. roll out each part into a rectangle
  5. spread your cinnamon filling liberally on each rectangle
  6. sprinkle your cinnamon sugar generously on each filling covered rectangle
  7. cut each rectangle in half (hot dog-style)Dough B
  8. roll each rectangle pinching the seems to form a cinnamon-filled snake
  9. braid your cinnamon-filled snakes so that you have two braids
  10. place braids on a parchment lined baking sheet & pinch ends of each braid with the other braid’s end until you have a circle

Now leave this to rise. Should rise for 90 minutes to 2 hours, although mine didn’t get greatly larger in size (it should double!).

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown!

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To make your icing: cream cream cheese until soft, add powdered sugar, milk, vanilla & pinch of salt. Add powdered sugar until your icing reaches desired consistency. I went with a thin icing to drizzle over my cake through the tip of a Ziploc turned piping bag.

Once your cake cools, drizzle with icing and decorate with yellow, green, and purple colored sugars (you can make these yourself with a few tablespoons of sugar and a few drops of food coloring!). If your trinket’s plastic and could easily melt, we recommend slipping it into a seam after your cake has cooled. If you’re using something heartier like a penny, you could pop it in before your cake goes in the oven. To each her own!

laissez les bon temps rouler,

HungryTexans

 

a hungry texans super bowl

Super Bowl Hero

Hopefully one day soon we’ll get to root for one of our teams on the grid iron as they vie for victory in the Super Bowl (go Texans! go Redskins!), but until then these Hungry Texans would rather spend our game day munching on Super Bowl snacks on snacks on snacks.

Dipp-ability & cheesiness are award-winning characteristics when it comes to Super Bowl snacks. Whether you’re hosting your own Super Bowl party or looking for a dish to bring to a friend’s look no further than these delicious dips & apps!

Jalapeño Poppers

Red, White & Blue Nachos

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Pineapple Salsa

Ninfa’s Green Sauce/Tomatillo Salsa

Those snacks are perfect munchies for the Big Game, but if you’re looking to round out your menu with something a little heartier, we recommend crab cakes (in honor of the Ravens, “crab cakes & football that’s what Maryland does!“), veggie chili, or some Chicago-style DC half smokes.

Finally, to satiate your Super Bowl sweet tooth, whip up a batch of these One Bowl Brownies! If you’re a 49ers fan, we recommend using Ghirardelli cocoa powder for good luck!

Wishing you all a super Super Bowl!

yay, sports!

Hungry Texans

 

ninfa’s green sauce

Ninfa's Green Sauce Hero

Every Houstonian knows Mama Ninfa is an institution, and this green sauce know doubt helped her emerge as a Tex-Mex queen! I found this Houston Chronicle newspaper clipping for Mama Ninfa’s famous green sauce and didn’t skip a beat before I tried to recreate this famous salsa. The secret that’s not clear from the recipe below, is that this recipe is really good for three unique salsas/dips! With proper pauses, you can stretch this recipe from one creamy green dip into creamy green dip, avocado tomatillo salsa, and tomatillo salsa. All three are delicious in their own right, so use this recipe for one or all three!

Ninfa's Green Sauce Ingredients

Green Sauce Newspaper Clipping

You’ll need:

3 medium green tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4 tomatillos, chopped
1 -2 jalapeños, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves
2 tbl olive oil
3 ripe avacados
¼ c cilanto
1 tsp salt
1 ½ c sour cream (less if you go for more than one of the salsa varietals)

 

 

Combine your tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapeños, garlic & oil in a small pan. Bring to a boil & then simmer for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft.

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For salsa 1: let all these ingredients cool to room temperature & then mix in a food processor adding your salt, cilantro, and lime. Remove as much of the tomatillo salsa as you’d like to enjoy.

For salsa 2: add your avocados to the tomatillo mix & combine in the food processor. This is another reasonable point to pause! Scoop aside some avocado tomatillo salsa & enjoy.

For salsa 3: the most decadent, Ninfa’s-esque, creamy dip, add your sour cream & combine. Depending upon how much salsa you’ve removed already, modify the amount of sour cream you add to reflect the proportions remaining in the bowl of your food processor. Add sour cream to taste & to your desired level of creaminess.

Enjoy any of these three salsas with tortilla chips, as enchilada sauce, or taco toppers!

 

spinach artichoke dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip_Title

Dips take deux with this Spinach Artichoke Dip. I made this for the Texans v. Pats playoffs game a few weeks ago (these Hungry Texans will get our vengeance on those Boston Boys’ team one of these days!), but it will certainly be seeing a return appearance on our Super Bowl spread.

Spinach Artichoke Dip Ingredients

You’ll need:

1 package frozen spinach, thawed
1 can artichoke hearts
8 oz cream cheese
½ c parmesan (usually we prefer the real stuff, but jarred parm is a-okay for this!)
2 tbl crushed garlic
1 c sour cream
¼ c cottage cheese
Hot sauce & pepper to taste

Start by thawing your spinach and wringing out as much of the excess liquid as you possibly can. Place spinach, artichokes, and garlic in a food processor & pulse, pulse, pulse until they’re thoroughly chopped.

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Then add & mix in your cream cheese.

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Then add & combine your sour cream!

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Then add your cheeses. Full disclosure, I usually add way more mozz, but when I set out to make this dip I got home from the store only to realize we had about 2 tbl of mozarella in the fridge (oh, rats!). I ended up adding the sprinkling of mozz I had, but the cottage cheese I substituted in worked great, so feel free to get creative with your queso!

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Next, season to your desired level of kick — I did a few shakes of each pepper & hot sauce — and give it all a final few whirls around your food processor (taking time to scrape the sides and ensure it’s all combined!).

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You could start dipping away now, but I think this dip’s better hot, so fill a square pyrex dish with your dip & bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes or until the top starts to get the littlest bit golden and crusty.

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Enjoy with your favorite dippers and root your team to victory!

Go Texans!
Hungry Texans

A Hungry Texans Inaugural Feast!

Hungry Texans Seal(1)Ah, America.  It’s a good time to live in DC, a district buzzing with excitement for the 57th Inauguration.  The Secret Service is in their dry-run stage for Monday’s big event, but we’ve already put together our Inauguration menu fit for the president himself.  Sure, we could have gone with a red, white & blue theme or made 12 versions of apples pie (trust us, we could have).  But we think this POTUS is just about the cutest thing since President Bartlett, so we decided to draw on inspiration from Obama himself.  A man who governed in food-loving Chicago, steals away to his native Hawaii for vacations, and now calls our very own DC his home.  A president who escapes the White House for crowd-drawing trips to Ben’s Chili Bowl and Komi, and, with his lovely Michelle, has reinstated the important White House garden (the produce from which is used not only in the family’s own dinners, but also donated to Miriam’s Kitchen- go WH!)  Yes, I’d say we’ve got quite the foodie president on our hands.

So we created a menu that incorporates many of the POTUS’s foodie roots- from the Windy city to the Big Island.  To escape the crowded Mall (or before you head to a ball), try this Hungry Texans Inaugural Feast!

Inauguration Feast

Featuring:

Chicago Style Half Smokes

Hawaiian Deep-Dish Pizza

Coconut & Pineapple Cupcakes

inauguration dinner hungry texans

We The Pizza.

hawaiin deep dish pizza

Continuing our Obama-inspired menu, we drew from POTUS’s island roots and decided to make a Hawaiian pizza- fresh pineapple, thinly sliced ham (proscuitto would be delicious as well), and two varieties of mozzarella make Hawaiian pizza one of the most popular in the States.  And then we got crazy and paid homage to his Chicago life ALSO, throwing those Hawaiian toppings on a traditional cornmeal deep dish crust.    Check out our recipes for homemade pizza crust and marinara sauce also!

You’ll need:
Deep Dish Pizza Crust
6 oz. shredded mozzarella
2 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese
6 slices of thinly sliced ham or proscuitto
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup sliced pineapple
2 cups marinara sauce

Start by rolling out your pizza crust to a 13-inch circle.  Rub the inside of a spring form pan with olive oil and set the crust inside the pan, working it two inches up the side of the pan.

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Layer on the shredded mozzarella and the sauce on top.  Seriously people- cheese FIRST.  Sauce SECOND.  The cheese sort of melts into the crust and creates this gooey perfection.

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Now, layer on your toppings.  We were looking for a traditional Hawaiian pizza, but obviously you could use a variety of other toppings:

  • Pepperoni
  • Assorted cheeses
  • Roasted bell peppers
  • Kalamata olives
  • A bevy of cured meats
  • Shrimp
  • This list could literally go on forever.

Bake at 425° for 20-30 minutes, or until, you know, the pizza is ready.  If you don’t know when a pizza looks gooey and crispy and perfect, then shoot us an email and we’ll come to your house and tell you.  We charge in pizza slices, if you catch my drift.

Love,

The Hungry Texans