Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lady Bird Johnson's Home Made Barbecue Sauce

The food for most of Lyndon Johnson’s barbecues was prepared by a chef named Walter Jetton, who owned a popular catering business in Fort Worth, Texas, a few hours south of the LBJ Ranch. Calling himself “The Barbeque King,” Jetton dressed in a Stetson hat, creased white shirt and black string tie, and often had a whole headless cow rotating on a spit beside a smoldering log fire.

This original recipe for “Mrs. Lyndon Johnson’s Barbecue Sauce” was reprinted in numerous newspapers and magazines throughout the 1960s.

¼ cup butter
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and Tabasco to taste

Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add other ingredients and bring to a boil. Pour over meat to be barbecued. Yields 1 ½ cups.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Zachary Taylor Hominy and Chicken Soup

Zachary Taylor and his beloved war horse "Old Whitey" supposedly shared a love of hominy. Not wanting to request special treatment, General Taylor would let his horse roam around and "sniff out the freshest corn from among the many musty sacks of rations." After Old Whitey had chewed a hole through the sweetest-smelling sack, Taylor would reportedly ask the cooks to quickly whip up a batch since the sack had already been gnawed open! This quick and easy recipe is adapted from

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 bunches green onions, sliced
4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
8 cups chicken broth
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes in juice
1 purchased roast chicken, meat shredded, skin and bones discarded
3 (15-ounce) cans golden or white hominy in juice
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add green onions, cumin, and paprika and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add broth, tomatoes with juice, and chicken. Puree hominy with juice in processor or blender. Mix into soup and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Serve warm and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

George Washington Garlic Mashed Potatoes

So did you know that by the time he became president, George Washington had lost almost all of his teeth? Because of constant pain constant from ill-fitting dentures, George had to eat soft foods (like mashed potatoes and hoe cakes) throughout most of his adult life.

Contrary to popular belief, George did not wear a set of wooden dentures. Instead, a talented New York dentist named John Greenwood handcrafted his dentures from elephant ivory, hippopotamus tusks and parts of horse and donkey teeth. This recipe for roasted garlic mashed potatoes, taken from Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery, has been adapted for modern cooks.

4 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 stick unsalted butter
¾ cup heavy cream

In a large pot of cold water, bring the potatoes and garlic to a boil. Salt the water and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Mash over low heat with the butter, cream and 2 teaspoons salt. Serve warm and enjoy!