September 2010


Leftover Pot Pie!

 

Did you make a truckload of stew/chicken soup/random meaty substance and can’t stand the thought of having the exact same thing AGAIN for dinner?

Why not make THIS?

Ingredients:

  • Leftover stewy substance
  • Frozen mixed veggies.  Or veggies that are in your refrigerator and are about to croak, so you really really need to use them, like, NOW.  But chop them up first…
  • Maybe some cornstarch?  (up to a tablespoon)
  • Frozen Puff Pastry – thawed for 30-40 minutes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Ramekins would be nice.

Destructions:

  1. Throw the leftovers into a pan on the stove.
  2. Heat to dissolve chunks of grease, coagulated animal particles, etc.
  3. Add a bit of cornstarch if you need to thicken the sauce a bit – The best way to do this is to remove a 1/4 cup of sauce, mix with cornstarch, then return the mixture to the pan.  That way, no lumps!
  4. Add the veggies of your choice and warm through.
  5. When the mixture is done, add it to your ramekins.  If you don’t have ramekins, you can probably use one big baking container or ramekin, but what fun is that, really?   Come on.  Go to the CorningWare outlet and pick up some ramekins.  They’re probably STILL on sale. Seriously.
  6. Unroll the puff pastry.  You can either cut the pastry into equal squares, or trace around your containers (with about 1/2 inch extra border) and then cut.  Whatever. 
  7. Break an egg into a small bowl, add 1 tsp water, and mix well.
  8. Brush egg wash onto rim of ramekins. 
  9. Add puff pastry and seal edges.
  10. Brush egg wash on top of pastry.
  11. If you want to get all artsy, add pastry shapes using egg wash as glue, then brush egg wash over those shapes too.
  12. Cut vent holes!  No ‘splosions!
  13. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  14. Bask in the yumminess.
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Howdy folks!

It’s time for the 2010 State Fair Fried Food Report!

Lots of new things to try this year, so first, let’s take a ride on the Texas Star!

WHEEEEEEE!!!!!!

…Okay, now that our stomachs are nice and churned up, let’s start the day off right, with a Fletcher’s Corn Dog!  And a lemonade!  Because apparently, my usual Flat Dr Pepper is no longer available at the Fletcher’s stands…Booo…

So anyway, Here’s Johnny!

(Isn’t he cute?)

…And our first Scary Fried Food of the year is….

FRIED BEER!

bigtex.com says:

Fried Beer™Beer-filled pretzel pocket is deep-fried to a golden brown. One bite and the escaping beer serves as a dipping sauce.  21 and over, ID required.  Concessionaire contact: Belgian Waffle at the of the Esplanade and inside the Coca Cola Food Court. Winner of Most Creative.


Okay then…  Definitely the most creative.   And also the most disgusting.

Johnny and I got these in the food court.  There was no line.  Also not much adornment on the fried beer pockets.  It was just kinda like, “Okay, here you go, we’re getting paid $5 an hour, so we could give a crap.”

We went outside with our purchase, found a place to sit, and looked forward to eating these…things… with a morbid curiosity that was a lot like the first time I ate squirrel…

But the squirrel was actually pretty tasty.

The fried beer was enclosed in a sort of hard, extremely salty ravioli made of what I believe to be pretzel dough.  So upon first nibble, all I tasted was salt.

Then I bit into the ravioli.  I was glad that I was leaning over the container from whence it came.  Because as soon as I bit into this thing, I had warm, flat beer dribbling down my chin and into the container.  Then I was left with an empty ravioli.  Dipping sauce???  How in the heck do you dip a hard, hollow pretzelravioli into watery beer?

As for the taste, as soon as Johnny bit into his, he made a yakking noise and spit it out.  I was a little more polite with my reaction, but I’m pretty sure this was one of the most disgusting things I’ve eaten in, well, EVER.

Imagine a super salty pretzel/al dente ravioli, filled with really bitter, really warm beer.  It was like a pocket of Hurl…  Warm, salty, bitter Hurl.

Okay, on to the next adventure…

Fried Chocolate!

Fried Chocolate – A white chocolate mini candy bar + a cherry are stuffed into a mouth-watering brownie, dipped into delicious chocolate cake batter & deep fried to perfection.  The finished product has a warm just-out-of-the-oven taste!  Topped with powdered sugar and a rich cherry sauce and served with chocolate flavored whip cream. Nimitz Drive and on Funway inside the Midway.


This was actually not too bad.  Not very creative, but not too bad.

This was basically a fried brownie.  With a cherry inside.  Which Johnny stole.

The outside of the fried brownie had a chewy, almost caramel-like texture.  The inside had a few pecan or walnut pieces.  The chocolate whipped cream was kind of lame.   Not very pretty either.

But I’d get it again.  Maybe.  If they ran out of Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Waffle Balls…  (Try them!  They are amazing!!!)

…And now for an ART BREAK!!!

Apparently they let some kids loose with carving tools and watermelons.  This was in the Food and Fiber Pavilion, just inside the doorway…

It looks like a whale, maybe?  (Notice the tail on the lower left).  Anyway, I like the teefs…

And here is The Woofus...

What is a Woofus, you ask?

According to TexasTwisted.com :

A strange sight has made an appearance at Fair Park for the first time in decades. Known as the Woofus, the 9-foot-tall statue is composed of a sheep’s head, a longhorn steer’s horns, a horse’s neck, a hog’s body, a duck’s wings and a turkey’s tail.

The 2,700-pound bronze sculpture was originally created for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition, but was mysteriously misplaced shortly thereafter. It’s possible that it was removed for repair and simply lost, or that it had fallen victim to conservative religious groups who saw it as a pagan idol. For now, it’s impossible to know; documentation concerning the Woofus is sketchy. In fact, no one is even sure where the name Woofus came from.

It had been forgotten for years until Craig Holcomb, executive director of Friends of Fair Park, discovered some old photographs of the oddball creature and, in 1997, started a campaign to recreate it.

Annual Woofus Dinners were held, during which patrons greeted each other with a “woof, woof” and sang the Woofus Song. The ridiculous nonsense raised $30,000 in two years.

The new Woofus was scheduled for installation in 1999, but the seemingly cursed creature hit a speed bump — its mold was destroyed in a fire, the cause of which was not determined.

More woofing and singing (and dining at $150 a plate) raised another $15,000 and the mysterious Woofus was finally installed last week, just in time for the 2002 State Fair of Texas.

The Woofus can be found outside the Swine Building, near the Pan Am Gate.


Pretty nifty, huh?

So anyway…  Back to the Fried Abominations…

the Deep Fried Frozen Margarita!

Deep Fried Frozen Margarita – Sweet & creamy funnel cake batter is deliciously coupled with margarita ingredients. Fried, dusted with a tangy lemon/lime mixture and lightly spritzed with south of the border flavor, it’s served in a salt rimmed glass. 21 and over, ID required.  Desperados stand on Nimitz Drive, near the entrance to Creative Arts.

Uh…yeah…

This was a pile of crumbled up funnel cake that was thrown into a plastic margarita glass, then drowned in a margarita.  With whipped cream.  And salt.  Because what goes better with funnel cake than salt…?

The first bite or two of this was…okay.  And then the funnel cake started getting soggy and disintegrating into the rest of the margarita.  And this was an actual margarita.  With tequila and everything!  Lots and lots of tequila.  Which was a waste of tequila, because by the time we got halfway done eating the funnel cake, it had turned into a disgusting mush of cake particles and tequila.  Blech!

Like this.  This is what happens when you mix funnel cake and tequila, kids.  Don’t waste good tequila on bad, greasy funnel cake!

Mmmmm…Slushy!


After the Cakey Margarita Nightmare, we headed over to the Wine Garden to refresh our palates.  Or further destroy them.  However you want to look at it…

This.  This is the best wine at the fair.  Don’t waste  your money on other wines.  This is where it’s at.

This is Fall Creek Vineyards’ Ed’s Smooth Red.  This is a tasty vino.

Ed(?) said that he created his Smooth Red to go with BBQ.  It’s a smooth, slightly sweet merlot-based red, which was served chilled to enhance the cherry/blackberry/blueberry (?!?) flavors.  Highly recommended!

YUM!

Okay, now that we’re getting slightly drunksy, what better drunk food is there than FRITO PIE!?

Texas Fried Fritos Pie

Texas Fried FRITOS® Pie A generous portion of savory Texas born chili accented with a hint of sharp cheddar encased in everybody’s favorite corn chip. Lightly battered and fried to a golden brown perfection. With its smooth medley of hot, meaty, crunchy, salty, cheesy, oozing goodness; “Texas Fried FRITOS® Pie” transports you back to the golden age of Fair Food.  Bert’s Burgers & Fries stand in Cotton Bowl Plaza, near the entrance to the Midway. Winner of Best Taste.


Holy crap.  We totally saved the best food for last!

There are at least 5 food stands selling the fried Frito pie at the fair.  Johnny and I had to visit THREE of these places before I could sink my teeth into these crunchy mounds of goodness.

The first stand (by the Creative Arts building) had a line a mile long.  And the line wasn’t moving.

The second stand was empty.  I walked up and placed my order, and the guy said that they were having “technical difficulties” and couldn’t provide me with my Fried Manna.  Curses!

I guess the third time is the charm!  I finally made it over to the Bert’s stand next to the Fletcher’s stand that everyone goes to (in front of the Cotton Bowl…You know where it is…).  There was no line, and all systems were Go.  Yay!  I finally got my fried Frito Pie!!!

The Frito Pie morsels were fresh out of the grease pit…  Warm, crispity, crunchity, and YUMMY.  Imagine a big, dip-sized Frito, with a mound of chili on top, which has been battered and fried to yummy, crunchy perfection.  The texture of the coating was almost like a beer batter.

It was accompanied by sour cream and salsa for dipping.  The sour cream worked pretty well as a dip, but the salsa just sort of made the Frito nuggets wet, while the tomato particles stayed in the container.

Overall, I think that for 2010, the Fried Frito Pie was the definite winner!

But don’t forget about the Chocolate-covered-strawberry Waffle balls!  They are delish!

And the Spanakopita in the food court!

And beer is WAY cheaper in the food court too!

So run along, go to the Fair, park in a safe place, don’t pet the homeless people, and don’t get jacked, knifed, or mugged.

Have fun!