Thursday, September 30, 2010

Okra Pickles

My little brother Alex is a fried okra fiend, I've never seen him not order it when its available. I like okra too, but it doesn't always shout out at me from the menu. Although I'm always jealous when I see that he's ordered some and I missed out. The rest of my family (like most) don't really care for the slimy texture. For them I would recommend the Okra Pickle, it is crisp and tangy, with a mustard and garlic flavor.

Hank's sister Larue got me hooked on these at a family function. I was pretty curious about them, since there's not many pickles I don't like. I had to try one and they were an instant hit - I think we polished off all the okra pickles on the relish tray, they were so good.

Try these and see what you think.

Okra Pickles
adapted from Putting Up by Steven Palmer Dowdney

3 lbs. okra, rinsed & stems trimmed
8 cloves garlic
4 tsp. mustard seed
1 red bell pepper*
4 c white vinegar
2 c water
6 tbsp. salt
4 pint jars

Place 2 cloves garlic and 1 tsp. mustard seed in each jar. Fill each jar with okra pointing up, place a second layer of okra pointing down. Trim if necessary to keep okra from sticking above the jar line. Slice the bell pepper in thin strips and press into the sides of each jar.
Bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a boil. Pour over the okra, leaving 1/2" headspace. Secure lids and rings and process for 15 minutes in a hot water bath. (see Canning Basics)

*the original recipe called for hot peppers, somehow I didn't have any around so I used a bell pepper. Either one will do.

Blog Changes / Fall Update

Hi, Sylvia here. Just wanted to let ya'll know about some changes taking place over the next few days here at the Hungry Texan. I'm spreading my wings a bit and invested in a new domain,, so update your bookmarks! If you're following the blog via Google Reader, etc. the transition should be seamless, but please let me know if you encounter any issues. The old address is set up to automatically forward for now, so we should be all covered.

In other news, Fall is here and I'm gearing up for lots and lots of baking (finally!). I'm also working on pressure canning my chili and preparing for the upcoming chili cookoff. October is already a jam packed month, but I hope to bring you guys a few advance-prep recipes for the holidays (sweet potato butter! tamales!) and of course a few Halloween and Dia de los Muertos themed posts.

Speaking of Halloween, Hank and I are actually on the ball this year and have our house all decked out with spooky spiders, skeletons, and monster toys. The next step for us is carving the jack-o-lanterns, one of my favorite fall activities! I'll be sure to post a few templates on the Downloads page as I make them.

That's all for now, the canning recipe for Okra Pickles will be posted tonight!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Peanut Brittle

When I was a kid we would always stop at Woody's Smokehouse in Centerville on family trips to Houston. I can't say I remember the jerky (although I'm sure it was good), one thing I'll never forget is the candy. There were bags and bags of different types of nut brittles, some even drizzled with chocolate or loaded with coconut. We always loaded up on a few different varieties. It was a real treat.

Its been a while since I've made brittle, but I was craving some a week or so ago (it happened to be National Peanut Day, go figure) so I whipped up a batch.

Peanut Brittle
adapted from Meta Given's Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking
(printable recipe)

2c sugar
1c water
1/16 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c salted, shelled peanuts
2 tbsp. butter

Spread peanuts out on a piece of parchment paper that has been placed inside a 9x13 baking dish. Combine sugar, water, and salt in a large saucepan and stir until dissolved. Cover and boil for 3 minutes. Remove lid and cook until the syrup turns a rich caramel color (320 degrees F). Remove from heat and quickly stir in butter. Pour over peanuts.
Cool completely before breaking apart.
Makes about 1 lb. of candy.

This is a great basic recipe that you can adapt to suit your tastes. Another variation I really like is macadamia coconut brittle. Just substitute macadamias and lightly toasted coconut for the peanuts, and add a few drops of coconut extract in with the butter.

As I munched on this brittle I was reminded of our family trips and all the neat brittle varieties that Woody's carried, and for some reason I had a sudden craving for another favorite road trip snack - Fritos...

So I combined the two, substituting 2 cups of Fritos for the peanuts that way I was sure to have some of the salty chips in each bite. This was a really tasty variation, maybe a new favorite. The crunchy, salty chips are a great complement to the sweet candy, definitely a good alternative if you are all out of peanuts or just want to try something a little different.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Smoked Ribs & Brisket

Hank and I finally invested in our very own smoker. Now is really the time to buy one too, there's definitely some good deals to be had. I think we went to 3 different places (I like to shop around) before we bought this one, which happened to be the last one the store had in stock. Anyways, we christened it this past week with ribs and brisket. Here's the lowdown:

The night before we prepared the rubs, both had the same basic ingredients with some different ratios. Feel free to use your favorite rub or expand on this recipe. I really wanted to taste the smoke flavor in the meat so I was concerned about going too crazy with the rubs, basic was the way to go I thought.

Black Pepper Brisket Rub
(printable recipe)

1/2 c fresh coarse ground pepper
2 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. paprika

Brown Sugar Rib Rub

(printable recipe)

1/4 c brown sugar
3 tbsp. pepper
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt

Rub and wrap the meat, and refrigerate overnight. The next morning prepare the smoker. You'll need a bit of charcoal, wood chunks and chips, and either water or marinade for the water bath.

Start by soaking the wood chips in water, they'll need to soak for at least 30 minutes before being used.

Get a small charcoal & mesquite wood fire going and work on it until the smoker reaches 250 degrees. At this point put in your water or marinade and brisket (fat side up). The brisket will take about 1 hour per pound and you'll need to monitor the fire and keep it at 250. It helps to have a charcoal starter (chimney) going to prepare additional wood chunks to add to the fire. Also be sure to check the vents, add additional soaked wood chips as necessary to facilitate more smoke, and keep the water bath filled. Time the ribs (also about 1 hour per pound) so that everything will be finished up at once.

We smoked the ribs for about 2 hours, pulled them out, sauced them, and then returned them to the smoker for almost another hour. They turned out so good and super tender. I actually had to stick some of the bones back in to get these pictures. We had slathered one with this barbecue sauce and the other with a mustard sauce. Both very tasty, I had a hard time choosing a favorite.

Be sure to let the brisket rest 15-20 minutes before slicing into it. And speaking of slicing, remember to slice the brisket across the grain. This way the meat will pull apart easily with each bite. My dad demonstrated the slicing technique... (thanks Dad!)

Slice off the top layer of fat... oh gosh.

Then turn the brisket and slice across the grain starting at the tip. What a pretty smoke ring!

Keep slicing... stop to marvel at the fat that looks a lot like melting butter...

And finally snap one last shot before your family just about kills you for making them wait on your stupid photos.

The brisket was phenomenal, with a perfect peppery crust, nicely rendered fat, and moist, smoky interior. No sauce was needed, although I did dab a little of my bbq sauce on just a few bites. We paired all this with smoky barbecue beans, okra pickles (recipe soon!), and a cool cucumber salad with homemade ranch. It was a great feast for a Sunday evening and looking back I can say our smoker was definitely a good investment, it will surely get lots of use in the future.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ranch Dressing

When did Ranch become so popular? Was it always the go-to dressing? Hank and I both agreed that it's been a favorite for as long as we can remember. A quick wiki will tell you that Ranch dressing has been around since the mid fifties but it only gained the most popular dressing spot in 1992.
It is of course wildly popular here in the south and can be found slathered on sandwiches, as a dip for pizza, wings, and fries.
For me the best way to have Ranch is made fresh, its preservative free and easy to customize to suit your tastes. Then you can add wild and crazy things like pickled jalapeƱos, avocado, cheese, chipotles, bacon. You name it and Ranch provides a great canvas for it.

Here is my basic method with additional ingredients for flavored varieties below:

Ranch DressingLink(printable recipe)

2 c mayonaisse
2 c sour cream
1/2 - 3/4 c chopped chives (not packed)
1/2 - 3/4 c chopped parsley (not packed)
1/2 - 3/4 c chopped dill (not packed)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, minced
salt & pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients except salt, pepper, and milk in a food processor. Pulse until thoroughly blended. Add salt & pepper to taste, thin with milk if desired. This should keep for about a week in the fridge.

Don't be limited by plain Ranch! It happens to be a great canvas for any extra additions you might like...try these tasty varieties:

1/2 c pickled jalapeƱos
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo
6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
3/4 c crumbled blue cheese
1 large avocado
Use the quantities above or just add a little at a time and adjust to your liking.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

BBQ Beans

Barbecue (or cowboy) beans are a cookout staple. Whip up a batch to take to your next potluck and make instant friends. No one can pass up smoky, sweet, brisket filled beans, adding a bottle of Shiner to the mix only helps matters.

BBQ Beans
(printable recipe)

3 c dry pinto beans
1/2 onion sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 c dark brown sugar
1/4 c molasses
1/4 c honey
1 bottle Shiner bock
3 tbsp. worcestershire
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. liquid smoke
2 tbsp. hot sauce
2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 c bbq sauce
salt & pepper to taste
10 slices bacon OR butt-end of a smoked brisket

Soak the beans in twice as much water overnight. The next day drain off the beans and cover with water in a large stockpot. (keep covered by 1-2 inches of water while cooking) Boil 45 minutes or until beans are tender. While these are cooking prepare the sauce, combine all remaining ingredients except the bacon / brisket in a saucepan. Simmer 20 minutes over low heat. Chop the brisket if using. (I prefer it over the bacon)

When the beans are done drain them and pour off into a crockpot. If you choose to use bacon I like to layer the beans and bacon in the crockpot then pour the sauce over. If you use brisket as I did, just add it all in and stir the whole thing up. Turn the crockpot on low for a few hours until the bacon is cooked or until ready to serve.

These beans are right at home next to a hamburger, steak, or any smoked meat. Layer in sliced fresh jalapeno with the bacon (or brisket) to spice things up a bit if you like.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tortilla Warmers

I found these great tortilla warmers last night that I had to share. I love the fact that they are ceramic so you can warm them in the oven and pile fresh tortillas inside, the heat retention from the dish keeps them warm while you eat! The glazes are really nice too, made by artists in Carlsbad, NM and others are made in McQueeny, TX. Check them out here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lengua Tacos

Delicious, delicious lengua tacos from El Si Hay. Taco Bell has nothing on this.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Recipe Cards

There's just something special about a handwritten recipe. I have tons of bookmarked recipes and links saved but its just not the same as thumbing through recipe cards that someone took the time to write out and provide little bits of insight and thought on a dish.

On that note I thought I'd let you know about the new Hungry Recipe Cards available for download. And they're free! Always a good thing, right?

Anyways, enjoy the cards! Use them to adorn your home canned gifts, scribble a recipe for a friend, or send along with a plate of cookies or treats.

Avocado Paletas

Yep, you can turn just about anything into a paleta. My success with other fruit flavors got me thinking, why not avocado? Its got an inherent creaminess, a rich flavor, it purees well, and I just might be addicted to it. Combine all that with sweetened cream and you have a truly delectable popsicle, too good to share.

Oh, wait you’re here for recipes. Well since you asked so nicely...

Paletas de Aguacate
(printable recipe)

1 c heavy cream
1/2 c milk
2 large avocados
1/2 c sugar
pinch of salt

Slit the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh and mash with a fork until fluffy. I like to leave a few small slivers and chunks instead of making this completely smooth. Add the cream, milk, sugar and salt and stir until thoroughly combined. Taste for sweetness and adjust to taste. Pour into molds and freeze until set. Unmold by running under water briefly then gently sliding the paletas out.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I love a good Michelada, plenty of lime, a bit of heat, and tomato juice to round it all out. The perfect mix to add to your favorite Mexican beer.

(printable recipe)

for the chile-salt rim:
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder

Combine the salt and chili powder and put on a small dish. Run a lime wedge around the rim of each glass then turn in the salt mixture.

for each glass:
1/4 c V8 (or other tomato based vegetable juice)
juice of 1/2 lime
dash of your favorite hot sauce (I like El Yucateco Chile Habanero)
dash worcestershire
Mexican beer, Modelo Especial or Tecate works well

After you rim each glass fill 3/4 of the way with ice. Add the ingredients in order, top with beer. Serve immediately.
Alternately, make the drink base in a pitcher, pour into glasses and top each with beer.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lemon Ice Box Pie

I've never been sure what to call this pie. Is it a no-bake? Well sort of. A refrigerator pie? Not sure, but "ice-box" has a nice nostalgic ring to it. Either way its a delicious, smooth and creamy pie, sure to convert lemon-haters and delight those of us who already love lemon desserts. This is a great pie to slice up after a meal with bold or spicy flavors, a hit at potlucks, or just a nice treat anytime you're craving lemon.

Lemon Ice Box Pie
(printable recipe)

For the crust:
1/2 stick melted butter
40 nilla wafer cookies

For the filling layers:
12 oz cream cheese (1 1/2 blocks) room temperature
9oz lemon yogurt (1 1/2 containers)
zest of 2 lemons
juice of 1 lemon
7 tbsp. powdered sugar

1 c heavy whipping cream, chilled
powdered sugar to taste

1/4 c lemon curd, optional

To make the crust pulse the cookies in a food processor until they are finely ground. Pour in the melted butter and pulse a few more times until it begins to come together. Pour into a pie pan and press evenly to form the crust. Prick with a fork. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.
Allow the crust to cool completely before adding the filling. (you may also use a store bought graham cracker crust)
To make the lemon filling beat the cream cheese for 2 minutes, slowly add the yogurt. Beat well and scrape down the mixer if needed. Add the lemon juice, zest, and powdered sugar. Add the filling to the cooled pie crust.
Whip the cream in the chilled stainless steel bowl from your mixer until stiff enough to hold a shape. Do not overbeat or it will become too stiff and grainy. Fold in powdered sugar to taste. Top the pie filling with optional lemon curd (or jam if you like) then *spread the whipped cream over the top taking care to cover the lemon curd layer. Chill for 3-4 hours before slicing.

*I got a bit lazy (not to mention hurried) when I finished off this pie, the textured whipped cream look is the result of slapping my offset spatula all over the top, but you can certainly take a little extra time to smooth this out nicely or pipe on the whipped cream, its all up to you.

This ice box pie is also a great base recipe to adapt to different fruit flavors, try lime, blackberry, or blueberry. Substitute fresh crushed fruit for the lemon juice / zest or add a few spoonfuls of thick jam and reduce the sugar called for in the recipe.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

One way Hank and I determine whether or not a Tex-Mex joint is worth their salt is to order this classic dish, Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas. The shredded chicken filling should be moist and flavorful and the sauce rich and creamy. I prefer a bit of cheese in the sauce or sprinkled on top with a generous amount of pickled jalapeños. Give me a side of rice and burracho beans and I’m all set. Pure heaven.

Here’s my version of this Tex-Mex classic:

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
(printable recipe)Link
Salsa Verde para Enchiladas (see this recipe)

Shredded Chicken Filling
1 1/2 lbs. chicken (I used 2 large chicken breasts)
1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 poblano roasted, peeled, and chopped
2 cans stewed tomatoes, drained and chopped (reserve the juice)
1 tsp. comino
salt & pepper

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, cook in a bit of oil, until cooked through. Use a pot with a lid to keep the moisture in. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion becomes transparent. Add the poblano, tomatoes, and comino.
Once cooled, shred or chop the chicken into even chunks and add to the pot with the veggies and warm through. Working in batches pulse the mixture in a food processor until the chicken is evenly shredded. You may wish to add a little juice from the stewed tomatoes if the mixture seems dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sour Cream Sauce
3 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp flour
3/4 c chicken stock
1 16oz. container of sour cream
10 oz. monterrey jack cheese, shredded

Melt the butter in a sauce pan, add the flour to make a roux. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock over low heat until you have a somewhat runny gravy. Whisk in the sour cream a little at a time until smooth and thoroughly incorporated. Add a handful of cheese to the sauce and stir to combine.

To Assemble the Enchiladas
Fry the corn tortillas one at a time in about 1/2” of hot oil. You want to pass them through the oil briefly, until they are just soft and you begin to see bubbles form, about 15 seconds per side. Stack these on a plate and allow them to cool before you handle them. Meanwhile set up your assembly station. I like to use a pie plate to dip the tortillas in the sauce. A good size baking dish is great for rolling and holding the finished enchiladas.

Here’s the procedure:
Dip each tortilla in the green sauce, coating both sides. Place the filling (about 3 tablespoons) a bit off center (closer to you than perfectly centered), form into a log. Bring up the edge closest to you and roll like a cigar, keep the finish end at the bottom to prevent it from coming undone. Repeat until you have a pan full, or roll as many as you need. (these taste great reheated, but they can start to fall apart the next day)

Top with a generous amount of sour cream sauce and monterrey jack cheese. Sprinkle with paprika and finally top each enchilada with a few pickled jalapeños or some green salsa, try this one. Serve to hungry dinner guests.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Prickly Pear Jam

If you happen to spot some tunas, or prickly pears at the market be sure to snatch them up. I found these at Supermercado Mexico, 10 for $1. I bought 20 to make jam and a few extras to snack on, but you might want to get a few more to make this agua fresca or my tequila granita, both very tasty!

Prickly Pear Jam is sweet with just a hint of tartness from lemon, the flavor is somewhat like a papaya jam I made earlier this year. This is an interesting and tasty preserve to add to your repertoire and a great way to use a lesser known fruit!

Prickly Pear Jam
(printable recipe)

4 c prickly pear pulp (with seeds)*
3 c sugar
grated rind & juice from 2 lemons

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a stainless steel pot. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, or until thick. Prepare canner, jars, and lids (see Canning Basics).
Pour into 4 half pint jars and process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.

*You may wish to strain out the seeds and pulp to make jelly. I actually like the seeds, they give the finished jam a jewel-like appearance and add texture but I know others prefer to leave them out. Follow these changes if you’re not a seed fan:

Prickly Pear Jelly
(printable recipe)

1 c prickly pear juice
3 c sugar
1/3 c lemon juice
1/2 bottle liquid pectin

Prepare canner, jars, and lids. Combine juices and sugar over medium high heat, and bring to boil. Stir in the liquid pectin and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and test for a gel. (see Canning Basics). Skim off any foam, pour into jars and process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Barbecue Sauce

Technically there's less than 2 weeks left of summer, but with the weather starting to cool off a bit I've finally been in the mood to fire up the grill. With all this grilling I had planned I figured we'd need a good slatherin' sauce- bold enough for chicken, but also sweet, spicy, and smoky enough for ribs. Enter my Hungry Texan Barbecue Sauce, a slow simmered, big-batch recipe, great to feed a crowd or more than enough to last all week.

Hungry Texan Barbecue Sauce
(printable recipe)

3 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1/2 c molasses
1/2 c cider vinegar
1/4 c + 2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. onion powder
3 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. red pepper flake
1/4 c honey
1/4 c dark brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small yellow onion, cut into quarters
1 jalapeno, stemmed & seeded
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tbsp. liquid smoke
2 tbsp. mustard

Combine all ingredients a large crockpot. Turn on low and cook for 3-4 hours stirring occasionally. Sauce should thicken and coat a spoon. Use immediately to slather on grilled meats or store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Makes about 2 quarts.

Spicy Variation: Puree 2-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and add to sauce. I like to divide the barbecue sauce in half and make 1 as is (mild) and 1 spicy.

La Calle Doce

Shrimp tostada and a margarita as big as your face. Lunch on the patio at La Calle Doce doesn't get much better.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Recycled Topo Chico Glassware

I love these recycled glasses made from Topo Chico bottles by Etsy seller Wolf Art Glass.
Very creative, check them out here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Guava and Arroz con Leche Paletas

Days after I posted my recipe for Mango Paletas, I fell in love with a new flavor, Guayaba (Guava), and proclaimed it my favorite, well...for now I guess. I never can seem to decide. Guava paletas are everything you love about the fruit- the floral, tropical flavor combined with rich sweet cream, with none of the seeds or gritty texture. Giddy with my new found flavor-love, I promptly sought out another. But I couldn’t locate one anywhere, and I haven’t been able to find any since. I was pretty bummed until I whipped these up, sweet victory.

Guava Paletas
(printable recipe)

1 c heavy cream
1/2 c milk
1 lb. guavas
1/2 - 3/4 c sugar

Remove the blossom ends from the guavas and give them a good rinse. Puree in a food processor then run the fruit through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds and skin. This should yield about 1 c of pulp.
Whisk the heavy cream, milk, fruit pulp and sugar together thoroughly. Start with a 1/2 c of sugar then add a bit more if needed. Pour into molds and freeze until set. Unmold by running under water briefly then gently sliding the paletas out.
If you have any of the mixture left pour the rest off into your ice cream maker (and follow manufacturer instructions for ice cream) or into a shallow dish. Freeze and stir every hour to break up the ice crystals.

And heck, while we’re at it lets make some paletas de arroz con leche too. I had some leftover rice and cream so why not? Rice paletas are a nice treat, they remind me of my dad’s atole, full of spicy cinnamon and warm, sweet good. I’ll share that recipe once it gets a bit cooler around these parts. For now, have a popsicle. Summer's not over yet.

Arroz con Leche Paletas
(printable recipe)

1 c heavy cream
1/2 c milk
1/2 c sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon (plus additional for each mold)
3/4 c cooked rice

Combine all over a low heat, taste for sweetness and add sugar as necessary. Pour off into molds giving each an equal amount of rice. Put a dash of cinnamon on each mold and insert sticks. Freeze until set. Unmold by running under water briefly then gently sliding the paletas out.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I had a friend in grade school that loved elotes. I remember after a movie her dad stopped us at the Chupacabra's by my house for a treat. She eagerly ordered the elote in a cup... Wait, Chupacabra's you ask? Its a little paleteria/torta shop that used to be right off of Ross Ave. I believe they have since moved into the gas station next door. Dallas has lots of odd combo businesses, the other day I spotted a convenience store / tax office, we also had an empanada / pizza / chicken wing place in our neighborhood...but I digress.

So she ordered the elote in a cup, curious I asked what was in it. "Corn, mayo.." Oh no, mayo? and corn? Weird. I wanted nothing to do with it. I happily enjoyed my fresas con crema.
Years later, on a trip to Fiesta, our local grocery store, the roasted corn beckoned from the elote stand. I watched as the vendor sold the fragrant corn slathered with mayonnaise and dusted with cheese. I had to give this a try, could my friend have been onto something? She most definitely was, I'm now hooked and love to prepare corn this way. It's become a summertime staple at our house. Here's how you do it (or go here for the printable recipe):

Soak in the corn in water for about 30 minutes. This will help keep the husks from burning on the grill. Peel back the outer layers and remove them, leave enough of the inner layers attached so that the corn can still be covered by the husk. Remove all of the silk.
Rub with butter and season with salt and pepper. Cover the corn with the husks, use some of the softer pieces to tie them shut.

Grill for 20 minutes on a medium high heat, be sure to shut the lid. Turn them over about half way through. Carefully pull back the husks and put the corn directly on the grill to char it a little. Tie back the husks (they make a convenient handle) and slather with mayonnaise, dust evenly with parmesan, sprinkle with cayenne and chili powder.

You could also use crema fresca and queso fresco instead of the mayo / parmesan. I actually prefer the mayonnaise though. If eating off the cobb is too messy for you (and believe me, its probably one of the messiest things you'll ever eat) you can cut the kernels from the cobb, pile on the toppings and eat it out of cup like my friend did all those years ago.

Rum Soaked Grilled Pineapple

Party appetizers don't get much easier than this. Soak pineapple wedges in your favorite rum, grill them up and munch! You'll need two things:

Friends for life!

While we're on the subject, lets go over how to tackle a fresh pineapple.

Start by lopping off the top and bottom to create a flat cutting surface.
Then run your knife all around to remove the tough exterior, pineapples definitely come with plenty of armor... let me at the fruit!! Be sure to remove all the eyes and seeds, they are not fun to bite into.
Then proceed to make wedges by cutting pieces from the core. I like to do two big cuts on either side, then cut the smaller pieces from the core. Slice into thick even wedges.

Now that thats out of the way, time to put that pineapple to work. Grab as many wedges as you need, 1 per person is about average. Cut them in half crossways to feed a crowd. About 30 minutes before you're ready to grill cover them halfway with rum. Then after 15 minutes flip them so the other side has a chance to soak up the goodness. Grill on a low heat for a couple of minutes per side, the rum will cause flare ups at first but it won't last.
Serve warm to eager party guests.