Saturday, June 13, 2015

Kentucky Derby Favorite Foods

Kentucky cuisine centers around old fashioned, mouth watering southern style cooking: Fried chicken with cream gravy over mashed ‘taters with buttermilk biscuits, Catfish and Frog Legs fried in cornmeal batter with hush puppies, Burgoo Stew with meat and veggies, and, of course, the breakfast favorite Biscuits and Cream Gravy thick with breakfast sausage. Although Mint Juleps are the sacred tradition of the Derby, you won’t be ostracized if you order ice tea, as long as it’s Sweet Tea.

Yield: to fill 12 shells
Purchase a box of Old El Paso® Crunchy Taco Shells and Soft Tortillas (6 each)
1 pound lean ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Fresno chili peppers (or of choice), minced
1 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
6 ounces tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 ¼ cup (10 ounce can Campbell’s®) beef broth
2 large plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Package 8 ounces Mexican chopped 4-cheeses
Optional: Sliced black olives

1.      Put the ground beef in a heavy bottom pot and cook it in its own fat over medium heat until slightly brown, breaking it up as it cooks. Discard any excess fat.
2.      Add the garlic, chili peppers and onion and stir to combine. Stir in the cumin. Stir in the tomato paste and lemon juice.
3.      Stir in the beef broth, ¼ cup at a time, as sauce thickens.
4.      Bring to the bubbly stage, stirring. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered, stirring often, until sauce is thick. (10 minutes)
5.      Remove from the heat. Stir in the diced tomatoes. Allow sauce to stand 30 minutes or longer. Taste for seasoning. Reheat.
6.      Heat the tacos and tortillas according to package directions. Place a large spoonful of the sauce into each. Top with the shredded lettuce, chopped cheese and olives.

Yield: 8 juleps

½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
12 or more tender mint leaves
Cracked or crushed ice
12 ounces Bourbon (or more to taste)
8 silver julep cups or hi-ball glassses

1.      Make simple sugar syrup: Heat the water. Stir in the sugar until it is dissolved. Remove from the heat. Refrigerate until cold or overnight.
2.      Place cups or glasses into the freezer 30 minutes to frost.
3.      Pour the sugar syrup into a glass or silver pitcher.
4.      Add the mint leaves. With a muddler or back of a long spoon, bruise the mint gently, blending it into the syrup by stirring and pressing. Do not crush the leaves, because they will release bitter juice.
5.      Pack the pitcher with cracked or crushed ice. Add the bourbon and swirl gently with a spoon, bringing the mint leaves up to the top.
6.      Pour into individual cups or hi-ball glasses. Insert a straw and garnish with fresh mint.

Yield: Contents below make 1 drink.  Multiply for more.

1½ ounces tequila
½ ounce triple sec liqueur
3 ounces sour mix (For 4 drinks, combine 1¼ cup sugar with 1¼ cup hot water until sugar is completely dissolved. Add 1¼ cup fresh lime juice and 1¼ cup fresh lemon juice and refrigerate.
Lime wedge to garnish
Salt or sugar to rim the glass
Margarita or martini glasses

1.      Chill the Margarita glasses in the freezer.
2.      Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice cubes and shake well.
3.      Pour salt or sugar or both into a bowl. Turn each glass upside down into the salt to coat the rim. (They should be moist from the freezer. If not, turn upside down into cold water before coating with the salt)
4.      Pour the drink with its ice into the glass. Garnish with lime.

sandwich bread, topped with another slice of bread. Cut into finger sandwiches.


6-10 inch flour tortillas
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced (peaches work during season)
1 poblano pepper, seeded and minced
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat grill for medium heat.
1.      Spread half of the tortillas with about 2 tablespoons cream cheese each. Sprinkle mango and poblano peppers over cheese, and press another tortilla on top. Brush butter over the outside of each quesadilla, top and bottom.
2.      Grill quesadillas 5 minutes each side, or until golden brown. Remove from grill, and slice into wedges. Serve warm.

Derby Pie™, a trademark dessert of Louisville's Kerns Bakery, is sinfully rich and delicious, filled with chocolate chips and pecans. The pie has long been a tradition enjoyed on Kentucky Derby Day, the first Saturday in May.

Kentucky Bourbon Chocolate Walnut Pie
Kentucky bourbon chocolate walnut pie is traditionally served at the annual Kentucky Derby Horse race. This pie recipe is similar to the Melrose Inn's famous version which has been served at the race for over 50 years. The name "Derby Pie" is trademarked, and the owners of the name are very aggressive protecting the name "Derby Pie."
 This recipe is so simple!

½ cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup melted butter
2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 ready-made piecrust
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and butter. Mix to combine. Stir in the bourbon, walnuts, chocolate chips, vanilla, and salt. Pour the mixture into the unbaked piecrust. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely before slicing. 

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