Tag Archives: chipotle

Stubb’s ‘Triple B’ Pasta Salad

Stubb’s ‘Triple B’ Pasta Salad

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If you’re tired of the same old go-to sides for your summer parties and cookouts, then let me suggest trying something new to kick them up a bit. Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q has an array of tasty sauces, marinades, and rubs that are perfect for injecting new flavors into not only grilled meats, but also your sides and vegetables for holiday cookouts.

For this recipe, I took the classic party dish of pasta salad and gave it a sweet and smoky twist by making a barbecue ranch dressing with Stubb’s Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce (in place of a mayonnaise-only or vinaigrette). The smoky and slightly spicy chipotle peppers nicely complement the sweet brown sugar and molasses in the sauce. To further enhance the barbecue flavors, I added in tangy blue cheese crumbles and smoky peppered bacon. And of course, to add some healthfulness to the dish, I threw in veggies like broccoli, squash, corn and fresh tomatoes.

To make this recipe an even more appealing option to add to your table, it’s incredibly easy to throw together – simply cut up your veggies and make the dressing while the pasta cooks. Then mix it together and let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours to overnight. This gives you plenty of time to work on other dishes and entertaining your guests.

If you’re going for a lighter, lower-calorie side, use Greek yogurt and/or light sour cream to make the dressing. Stubb’s products are great to use on your healthy fare because they don’t contain the fat, calories, or artificial flavors, ingredients or sweeteners you’ll see in many other similar products.

This summer, get creative with your food and look for Stubb’s to aid in creating some crowd-pleasing sides (and barbecue, of course).

Stubbs Pasta Salad 1 sm
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Carne Guisada is a Tex-Mex carne-val for the taste buds

Carne Guisada is a Tex-Mex carne-val for the taste buds

Not to be confused with carna asada (which is marinated flank or skirt steak) carne guisada (CAR-nay gee-SA-da) is a Mexican-style beef stew that’s braised low and slow with chilies, onions, tomatoes, spices and, in this case, beer for hours until it creates its own “gravy” sauce. While fantastic on its own, carne guisada makes an amazing filling for tacos and one great cure-all for anything that ails you — from a cold to a hangover to a bad mood.

It’s often found in Mexican and Tex-Mex eateries in the Southwestern states, and is also offered as a filling at roadside taco stands and food trucks. Besides making a perfect comfort food (and even better leftovers), carne guisada is inexpensive — cheap stew meat is the most expensive component — and easy to prepare. It’s one of those unfussy, “set it and forget it” type dishes.

The ingredients and methods of preparation vary from cook to cook — some use only dried chili powders, while others swear by fresh green chilies; some add an array of veggies, and others simply simmer the beef in chilies and water. It’s all a matter of personal taste, but no matter the differences in ingredients, I bet you’ll never come across a bad version. (Unless, of course, it’s a burnt batch.)

To pay homage to this Tex-Mex staple, I opted for a true Texas beer, Shiner Bock, as braising liquid in place of water or broth. For preparing it in taco form, as I’ve done below, it’s best to keep the toppings simple as to not lose the flavors of the stew: cilantro, a squeeze of lime and a sprinkling of salty cotija cheese.

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Nothing short of delicious: Feast on these Southwestern braised beef short ribs

Nothing short of delicious: Feast on these Southwestern braised beef short ribs

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Braised beef short ribs are the epitome of “high end” comfort food. They can often be found on restaurant menus, cooked with classical French or Asian flavors and bearing a somewhat hefty price tag. I think many people have the misconception that they’re pricey because they’re technically difficult or labor-intensive to prepare, but those preconceived notions couldn’t be father from the truth.

Yes, at the grocery store beef short ribs aren’t as inexpensive as stew or braising meat, but getting the result of tender, succulent, fall-off-the bone meat is so worth extra cost. And this “fancy” restaurant dish can be prepared right in your own kitchen (culinary degree not required). Making braised short ribs at home is definitely worth the effort, and they are, in fact, pretty effortless to prepare. They even create their own sauce while they cook.

For a twist on this classic dish, I’ve put a Southwestern spin on it, using spices and flavors commonly found in Southwestern cuisine and — my favorite bit — tequila. Serve them on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes or sweet corn polenta (as I’ve done) to soak up the flavorful, gravy-like sauce.
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