UNITED PLATES OF TEXAS

Mark McKinney and his wife Cassie have written their first cookbook, "United Plates Of Texas." They are excited to share over 75 of their favorite recipes and stories from their life long journeys as dedicated foodies. "United Plates of Texas" is due to ship out in January, but you can pre-order your autographed copy today!

Bonus: Every cookbook purchase comes with a FREE DOWNLOAD of Mark's song, "Bacon & Eggs" from the World In Between album. 

Honey-Glazed Balsamic Brussels 

If you're not using beer in your Brussel sprouts, you're doing it wrong. 

I love Brussel sprouts almost any way you can possibly serve them, but this recipe will turn even the most adamant Brussel sprout hater into a lover, trust me. 

 

5-6 cups Brussel sprouts 
8 strips bacon 
2 tablespoons balsamic reduction 
2 tablespoons honey 
1 teaspoon salt 
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup Beer (or water)

Cook the bacon in a cast iron skillet (preferred) or a regular skillet over medium/low heat, flipping it until its crispy all over. This should take about ten minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate layered with paper towels, leaving the drippings in the pan. You should have about two tablespoons of drippings left in the pan; if there is too much just remove a little, if not enough, add a little olive oil. 

While the bacon is cooking, you should cut the Brussel sprouts in half. If the stems are too large just cut them off and throw them away. 

Heat the pan of bacon drippings to medium/ high heat and arrange the sprouts cut-side down in a single layer and sprinkle with salt. Cook for about four to five minutes without moving so they will start to brown on the bottom. Now, stir them around and add just a splash of water to deglaze the bottom of the pan and lower the heat to medium. Allow the sprouts to cook for another three or four minutes, until they are slightly tender when poked with a fork, but NOT too soft – you want them to remain a bit al dente. 

Reduce the heat to low, crumble the bacon and add it back to the pan, along with the honey, balsamic reduction and cracked black pepper. Toss everything together to evenly coat it all and then plate it up and serve. You might want to top it with a little extra bacon if you kept some aside. Enjoy!

 

Click here to Pre-Order the new cookbook, United Plates of Texas! **Ships in January**

Grammy's Holiday Rum Cake 

 

My mom makes this one every year around the holidays and it is my son Jagger's favorite. Don't let the kids go too hard on this one! Haha 

 

FOR THE CAKE: 

1 box butter flavor Duncan Hines cake mix
4 eggs 
1⁄2 cup pecans, chopped 
1⁄2 cup oil 
1⁄2 cup rum (or more if you're looking for a buzz)
1⁄2 cup water 

FOR THE SAUCE: 

1 stick butter 
1⁄4 cup rum (or more!)
1⁄4 cup water 
1 cup sugar 

The cake: Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Beat all ingredients together until well mixed. Spray Bundt pan with baking spray. 

Spread the pecans over the bottom of the Bundt pan. Pour in the batter. Bake for about 55 minutes. 

The sauce: While the cake is in the oven, combine the sauce ingredients in a sauce pan and cook on low heat for about two minutes, stirring constantly. 

When the cake is done, pull it out of the oven and test it with the toothpick test. Pour over warm 

cake in the Bundt pan. It will slowly absorb. After all the sauce has been absorbed and the cake is cool, flip the Bundt cake onto a serving plate.

 

 

Click here to Pre-Order our cookbook, United Plates of Texas! **Ships in January**

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Honey Sriracha Butter Sauce 

Our Christmas Day meals: Egg's Benedict for breakfast, Scallops for dinner. 

 

Scallops are something that can seem really intimidating too cook at home, but they shouldn’t. Combining bacon with just about anything is almost always a good idea – but wrapping bacon around these tasty little candies of the sea with this honey-infused sriracha butter sauce takes it to a whole other level. 

This has become our traditional Christmas Day meal. Scallops on Christmas might sound weird, but hey, why not? They are damn delicious. 

FOR THE SCALLOPS: 

12 medium scallops 
12 strips of bacon 
2 tablespoons Bonfire Blend (or your favorite BBQ seasoning) 
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
10 toothpicks 

FOR THE SAUCE: 

1/3 cup unsalted butter 1⁄4 cup honey 
2 tablespoons sriracha 
1 teaspoon lemon juice 
1 teaspoon garlic powder 1⁄4 teaspoon salt 

The bacon: On a bacon rack over a cookie sheet (to catch the grease), cook the bacon in the oven 

at 350 degrees for about 15-25 minutes. You want the bacon to be fully cooked, but not too crispy, so that it is still pliable. Pull out and let it slightly cool – keep in mind that it will continue to crisp for a bit after it is removed from the oven. 

Put the seasoning on a small plate and press each scallop into the blend on both flat sides of the scallops, and place them on a different plate. Take the bacon and wrap each scallop around the unseasoned edge, overlapping by about an inch, and then break off the rest of the excess bacon if you need to. Place a toothpick through the end of the bacon into the scallop to hold the bacon in place. Repeat for each scallop. 

The scallops: Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium/high heat and pour the olive oil so that it coats the bottom and let it continue to heat until just before its smoking point. Think of your skillet like a clock: Starting at 12 o’clock, quickly place each scallop seasoning side down in the hot skillet. Once you’ve laid them all down and the 12 o’clock scallop has cooked for about two minutes, begin flipping them all over to cook for another two minutes. Now, remove them, clockwise, and transfer to a cool plate. These things cook fast and you do not want to overcook them because they can become tough. Now, place six scallops each on two serving plates and make your sauce. 

The sauce: In a small sauce pan over low heat, slowly melt the butter, then add the honey, sriracha and garlic powder, lemon juice and salt. Increase to medium heat and whisk for 30 seconds so it all blends together smooth. Drizzle equal amounts of sauce over each scallop and serve. Heaven in yo mouth!

 

Click here to Pre-Order our Cookbook, United Plates of Texas today! **Ships in January**

Crab Cake Egg's Benedict with Bacon Hollandaise Sauce 

Our Christmas Day brunch tradition is Cassie's favorite - egg's Benedict. But I decided to spice it up a few years back and make them with crab cakes, and infuse the hollandaise sauce with bacon and we quickly had a new favorite. This meal is not one you'd consider quick and easy - but definitely worth it. 

Serves: 4 

FOR THE CRAB CAKES: 

1 egg 
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped 
1⁄4 cup roasted red pepper, chopped 
1 tablespoon melted butter 
8 ounces lump crab meat 
1 cup panko bread crumbs, plus 1 cup divided 1⁄4 teaspoon salt 
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper 
Pinch of cayenne 
1⁄2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning 

FOR THE HOLLAINDAISE: 

4 strips bacon 
4 tablespoons butter 4 egg yolks 
2 tablespoons lemon Pinch of cayenne 
4 eggs (for poaching) 

The crab cakes: Combine all the crab cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Reserve one cup of the Panko for breading. Form into 4 patties, about 1 inch thick. Place remaining Panko in a bowl, and one at a time, place the patties in the Panko and press until they are well-covered with bread crumbs on all sides. 

In a pan over medium high heat, cook the bacon until crispy and cooked all the way through. Set the bacon aside. Add the crab cakes to the pan and cook them in the bacon grease. Cook until they are golden brown on the underside, and then carefully flip the crab cakes and cook on the other side until they are cooked all the way through. This should take about 3 minutes per side. Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside. 

The hollandaise: In a food processor, add the bacon and process until the bacon disintegrates into crumbs. Add the egg yolks and process for about three minutes. Melt the butter in a pot on the stove (or in the microwave) until hot and steaming. While the food processor is running, slowly, SLOWLY add the butter until it is well-combined with the yolks. Add the lemon and cayenne, and process until smooth. If your sauce is too thick, add water about a teaspoon at a time to thin it out. 

The eggs: To poach the eggs, bring a large skillet of water to a simmer over medium heat. Break your cold eggs one at a time into a small bowl. Holding the bowl just above the simmering water, gently slip the egg into the water. Repeat for the remaining eggs. Cook the eggs in barely simmering water until white is set and yolk is cooked but still runny inside. This usually takes about 3-4 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and drain well. 

Place one crab cake on each plate, top with the poached egg, then add the hollandaise. I like to serve it over a bed of arugula to add a nice color and extra flavor. Season with pepper to taste and serve right away.

 

Click here Pre-Order our new cookbook, United Plates of Texas, today! **Ships in January**

Sweet & Salty Green Bean Bundles 

When you want to bring a tasty side to a holiday party without being the fourteenth dip on the buffet line...Cue: Sweet & Salty Green Bean Bundles! 

 

Makes 10-15 bundles 

1 (12 ounce) package of long green beans
1 package thin bacon 
1⁄2 cup soy sauce 
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
1 tablespoon butter 
3 tablespoons brown sugar 
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Toothpicks 

 

To Make:

These tasty little bundles are great as a side with almost any meal, and they also make a great appetizer to show up with at your next family gathering. 

The green beans: Bring a medium sized pot of lightly salted water to boil. Drop the green beans into the boiling water for about five minutes so that the beans start to soften, but are still partly crunchy. Remove from the heat, drain the water and set the beans aside. 

The bacon: In a cast iron skillet, cook about ten pieces of bacon for about four minutes, so that it is cooked, but not crispy. You want the bacon to be limber enough to wrap around the bundles of green beans. 

The sauce: In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add in the minced garlic. After about two minutes, add the soy sauce and the brown sugar and stir it all together. When the brown sugar has dissolved, remove the sauce from the heat. 

The bundles: Cut your ten pieces of bacon in half. Take about five or six green beans at a time and wrap a piece of bacon around them, covering a good portion of the center of each bundle. Stab a toothpick or two through the bacon to hold the bundles together. Repeat this until all of your green beans are wrapped. 

Pre-heat your oven until 350 degrees. Place the bundles on a cookie a sheet and brush each one with the sauce, saving enough to brush them again once they are done baking. Bake for 20-25 minutes, remove and brush the remaining sauce on top of the bundles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-Order Your Copy of United Plates of Texas today! **Ships In January**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sriracha Deviled Eggs 

Kick your classic holiday deviled eggs up a notch with our Sriracha Deviled Eggs! 

Deviled eggs are one of the most popular items to bring to a holiday gathering. Here's a delicious and easy way to make yours stand out from the rest: 

Makes: 2 dozen egg halves

What You'll Need:

12 hard-boiled eggs 
3 tablespoons mayo 
2 tablespoons Sriracha 
3⁄4 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
1 Teaspoon lime juice 
1⁄2 teaspoon salt 
1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Garnish Options:

Paprika
Pickled jalapeños
Chopped fresh chives 

 

To Make:

Split the hard-boiled eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the egg yolks. In a mixing bowl, break up the egg yolks with a fork. Stir in the Sriracha, mayo, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Fill a Ziploc bag with the mixture, cut a small slit into one corner of the bag, and squeeze the mixture back into the egg whites. Shake as much paprika as desired over the eggs and top each one with a few chives and/or a pickled jalapeño. Chill in the fridge before serving. 

***If spicy isn’t your thing, just go with our classic version: Replace the Sriracha with mustard and add a 1/3 cup of grated onions to the mix. Top each with a black olive!

You'll find this, plus 80+ more recipes, in the United Plates of Texas cookbook!

Click here to Pre-order your copy today!

**Ships in January**