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If you have a question for Doctor John, send an email to moc.oohay@nevarkeerc

May 3, 2008

Here we are in the merry month of May. The good doctor is just in from the golf course and is ready to do some serious doctoring. Let's see who's on first.

Emery writes:

Doc, every time I try to fry eggs in my cast iron skillet the things stick and just make a mess. Can you help?

Emery: Your skillet is lacking some "curing". First thing I want you to do is heat the skillet fairly hot on the stove. Take a metal spatula or putty knife and scrape the bottom of it removing every speck of things stuck on. Then put the still hot skillet under some cool, running water. Careful as it's going to spatter and steam.

Now wipe the skillet out with a clean rag. If it is still warm give the inside a light coating of Crisco, all over the bottom and up the sides. Let the skillet cool.

Now warm the skillet up pretty hot, then take it off the heat. Let it cool down enough to give it another dressing of Crisco and let it cool naturally again.

The skillet should now be near non-stick. Fry something in it. When you are finished and while the skillet is still hot, give the bottom a good scraping again. Scrape it every time you use it. Pretty soon the "cure" will build up to where your skillet is as slick as one of them Teflon thingies. Don't EVER use any of that non-stick spray on your skillet. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

From Alex:

My question is this: Out of the three Beef Fajita recipes listed on this site, which do you think is the best? Thanks, Alex

Hi Alex: Of the Texas Cooking marinades, I would choose number 2. Don't tell anyone I said so, but I have one I like better.

Beef Marinade

  • 2 cups Burgundy wine
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
Try both of them and see which one you like. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Jill wants a mild brisket rub:

Dear Dr. John - HELP! I have lived in Texas for 30+ years, yet I feel like my family and I are aliens -- none of us like spicy/hot foods. I would love to have a good dry rub recipe for brisket, similar to what is served in restaurants such as County Line or Dickey's BBQ. Most brisket rubs call for the use of chili pepper, cayenne pepper and/or even hotter spices. I never taste these kinds of spices in the aforementioned restaurants. Could you please help us? Thanks, Jill

Hi Jill: I understand there are people who do not like the spicy foods. Here is a recipe from my friend Chef Paul Kirk. Chef Paul conducts BBQ "how-to" classes all around the states. This recipe is the basis for making your personal rub. It makes about 1/3 cup. You can double the recipe as needed.

Mild Rub

  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried light brown sugar (Dry the sugar on a cookie sheet for a couple of hours; stir it once in a while.)
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram
This recipe is not written in stone. You can adjust it to your specifications. You might want to find a copy of "Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue Sauces". Your local bookstore should have it or you can find it on Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Marcie is seeing blue:

Dr. John: Recently in the supermarket, I saw blue corn chips. I thought corn was yellow or white. What gives?

Marcie: Blue corn is a staple in New Mexico and Arizona. It comes from the Hopi Indian culture. Man's use of corn goes back so far in history that it is very difficult to say for sure what color the first corn was. Around my part of the world we have Indian corn, which shows up around Halloween and is mostly for decoration. It will have blue, red, yellow and in-between kernels on the same cob.

The popularity of blue corn in New Mexico and Arizona is like the "no-beans" chili in Texas. It's just something done to be different. To me, corn is yellow. You can use white corn if you don't have any yellow. I have tried various blue corn items and I really don't care for it. It just doesn't look right to have near black corn chips.

The science boys say blue corn has a few trace elements that the yellow variety does not have, but not enough to make much of a difference. My word on the subject is "Try 'em and see if you like 'em". Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Mark writes:

I am a chef at a Southwestern-style restaurant, and have been trying out different peppers in my seasoning and barbeque sauces. I was wondering if you could suggest which peppers you find that best accompany a good, spicy barbeque sauce?

Chef Mark: I'm a big fan of cayenne. Combined with the other barbecue seasonings, it just does something for the whole presentation. Of course, you have to be careful not to get it too zippy. Chipotle is getting lots of attention lately. You might try some of them.

Everyone likes jalapeños. Again, they can be overpowering. You might look for some TAMU mild jalapeños. Or try a little jalape˜o powder. I would think some of the jalapeños pickled in oil with carrots and onion would go good in a sauce. It is such a problem trying to find something that everyone likes. It's just a matter of experimenting.

An old friend of mine once said, "Watch the kids, if they like it, it's good". Let me know if you come up with a good recipe. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

John writes:

I was visiting Chicago recently and had dinner in a Texas-style seafood restaurant. Along with my meal, a dish of dirty rice was served. It was wonderful. I am asking if you know this dish and if you could give or find the recipe for me.

Hey John: Here's the real recipe. It is not a pretty dish, but it sure is good.

Dirty Rice

  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 1 pound chicken livers and gizzards
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 green onions or scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cook the rice according to package instructions. Cover the gizzards and livers with water and cook in a separate pot. After about 10 minutes over medium heat, they should be done enough. Drain and then chop the livers and gizzards.

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Pour off the grease after the ground beef is done.

Add all of the other ingredients to the skillet except the rice. Cook for another 15 minutes over medium heat. Stir in the rice and continue cooking over medium heat for another 5 minutes, stirring a few times.

Thanks for writing. Dr. John

If you have a question for Doctor John, send an email to moc.oohay@nevarkeerc
end article

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