Comfort Food

Chicken Fried Steak Dinner

Chicken Fried Steak Dinner

How to make the perfect chicken fried steak dinner – includes recipe links to my smoky mashed potatoes, sausage gravy, and garlic butter green beans. Fun fact!: The vintage plate shown in this photograph matches the one from Yellowstone that this meal was served to “Jimmy” on at the 6666 Ranch in Texas.

Pot Roast Braised in Irish Stout Beer

Pot Roast Braised in Irish Stout Beer

Pot roast with carrots and potatoes braised in Irish Stout beer is similar to recipes brought to the American West by Irish settlers. Inspired by the Yellowstone 1923 TV series. Use as the base for Cara Dutton’s Irish Pasties recipe.

Charro Cowboy Beans

Charro Cowboy Beans

Vegan recipe for the saucy, whole Sonoran-style pinto beans that you see cowboys (charros) eating in old Western movies, from the Taste of Tucson cookbook by Jackie Alpers.

Sonoran-Style Red Pozole

Sonoran-Style Red Pozole

This pork and hominy Pozole is a traditional “low-and-slow” braising recipe. It takes about 3 ½ hours to cook from start to finish because pork shoulder is a fatty cut of meat that takes a while to break down. But the pork fat is what gives this soup its richness. My Sonoran-style version of this dish is topped with lots of fresh vegetables and citrus.

Train Station Funeral Potatoes

Train Station Funeral Potatoes

Comfort foods that arrive in a casserole dish are so ubiquitous at somber gatherings they’re known as funeral potatoes in some parts of the country. This version is a cowboy inspired  spin, based on Yellowstone’s signature euphemism for when someone’s next stop is six feet under. This recipe is an excerpt from The Unofficial Yellowstone Cookbook by Jackie Alpers. 

Bison Nachos

Bison Nachos

Bison are a seminal component of Western American history. The massive bison hunts of the 19th century resulted in their near extinction. With conservation efforts in place, the Yellowstone bison are considered the last truly wild herd of American plains bison in existence. Regenerative bison farms have reintroduced this healthy beef alternative into American food systems.

Sonoran Enchiladas

Sonoran Enchiladas

Recipe for Enchiladas Sonorenses: Flat Sonoran-style enchiladas are unique to the desert Southwestern region surrounding the Tucson/Sonora, Mexico border are small corn masa pancakes covered in red enchilada sauce.

Creamed Corn Chowder with Popped Amaranth

Creamed Corn Chowder with Popped Amaranth

This rich and creamy, charred corn chowder is made with lowfat buttermilk and topped with popped Amaranth which is a gluten-free, ancient grain native to the Western and Southwestern United States that can be popped like popcorn which a nice crunch.

Mushroom, Onion and Acorn Soup

Mushroom, Onion and Acorn Soup

Wild morel mushroom and onion soup with toasted bread and melted cheese inspired by ingredients local to Northern Montana where the TV series Yellowstone is set. From The Unofficial Yellowstone Cookbook by Jackie Alpers.

Texas-Style Chile con Carne

Texas-Style Chile con Carne

Chile Colorado con Carne recipe from The Unofficial Yellowstone Cookbook. In the season 4 finale of Yellowstone, the bunkhouse gets into a heated debate over whether or not chili has beans. The Unofficial Yellowstone cookbook shares a recipe for both chili with and without beans because Texas where the character “Jimmy” had recently visited, is famous for their Chile Colorado which is made without beans – it’s mainly beef and red chiles, and it is fabulous. Get the chili with beans recipe… and more in The Unofficial Yellowstone Cookbook.

“6666 Ranch” Pan Roasted Garlic Butter Green Beans

“6666 Ranch” Pan Roasted Garlic Butter Green Beans

After a hard day’s work at the 6666 Ranch in Texas, Jimmy devoured a plate of Country Fried Steak smothered with gravy and a side of green beans. I’m sharing my recipe for Sheet Pan Roasted Green Beans to whet your appetite… you’ll have to wait for The Unofficial Yellowstone Cookbook for the main course.

Cara Dutton’s Irish Pasties

Cara Dutton’s Irish Pasties

Traditionally made with leftover Sunday pot roast, Butte pasties are a beloved Montana via Ireland tradition to this day. 

Tri-Colored Smashed Potatoes

Tri-Colored Smashed Potatoes

These tri-colored smashed potatoes utilize heirloom varieties of produce, which help restore diversity to local agriculture. This recipe is an outtake, cut for space from The Unofficial Yellowstone Cookbook. 

Beanie Weenie Tacos

Beanie Weenie Tacos

Is it a hot dog? Is it a taco? Is it Beans & Franks? Yes, it is! My hot dog tacos are made with charro beans and topped with pickled red onion and a special sauce. This recipe is an excerpt from Taste of Tucson: Sonoran Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona by Jackie

Sonoran Hot Dogs

Sonoran Hot Dogs

Sonoran Hot Dogs are a Tucson, Arizona tradition. This recipe comes from Daniel Contreras whose restaurant, El Guero Canelo was presented with a James Beard America’s Classics Award. This is his version of the Sonoran style hot dog which I am honored to include in my cookbook, Taste of Tucson.

Grilled Sonoran-Style Carne Asada Quesadillas

Grilled Sonoran-Style Carne Asada Quesadillas

Grilled flour tortillas stuffed with carne asada, green onions, cheese, & crispy corn tortilla chips for extra crunch! It’s everything you always wanted in a quesadilla but with more crunch!

Spicy, Smoky, Southwestern Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Spicy, Smoky, Southwestern Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Because I’ve been known to eat a Thanksgiving meal that consists almost entirely of mashed potatoes and gravy, I replace the cream and some of the butter in the recipe with an aromatic garlic and chile infused broth that I cook the potatoes in, resulting in lighter mashed potatoes that are BIG on flavor.

Old West Style Chili

Old West Style Chili

Old West style spicy vegan chili recipe made with plant-based meat, black beans and mushrooms. Served with vegan shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

BLT Lettuce Wraps

BLT Lettuce Wraps

Tomatoes are at their best, and something about the heat and humidity of the Arizona monsoon season makes me almost totally inert and immobile. This is about all I can muster dinner-wise, so I’m lucky that it’s fairly healthy… It turns out that mayo and bacon are better for us than expected, and my versions is also low-carb.

Parmesan & Pepperoni Crustless Pizza

Parmesan & Pepperoni Crustless Pizza

If you bake a layer of Parmesan cheese in the oven it will crackle and pop after a while, turning into a crispy, cheese cracker that’s much tastier than any pizza crust I’ve encountered. I topped this baked cheese crisp  (which is a popular dish called Frico in Italy) with pizza spices and toppings before sliding it into the oven. The results: crustless pizza!

Molletes for Breakfast Anytime

Molletes for Breakfast Anytime

These open-faced breakfast sandwiches are made by slathering refried beans onto toasted bolillo rolls and then heaping avocado slices, a fried egg, hot sauce, and lots of cheese on top.

Chorizo, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Taco

Chorizo, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Taco

I ate this for breakfast every day for weeks while writing my Taste of Tucson cookbook. The fat from the chorizo makes the egg really crispy and adds a lot of flavor without too many extra calories.

Matzoh Molletes Rancheros

Matzoh Molletes Rancheros

This crispy matzo based breakfast is a cross between molletes and huevos rancheros. I used beans from a can and my homemade chiltepin salsa.

Beef Patty Tacos

Beef Patty Tacos

Teresa Matias told me that to help satisfy her children’s cries for burgers when buns weren’t handy, she would fold a hamburger patty into a tortilla and fry it. Topped with cheese, lettuce, and tomato, it later became a regular menu item at her restaurant, Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe. Apparently, a lot of moms had the same experience, because the beef patty taco has been standard restaurant fare around southern Arizona since at least the mid-1970s.

Chicken Molé Amarillo Recipe from the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Chicken Molé Amarillo Recipe from the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Nuttier and less sweet than its chocolate based cousin, this version of Molé Amarillo is the personal creation of Chef Suzana Davila of Tucson’s Cafe Poca Cosa. She specializes in these complex sauces, and her recipes are longtime local favorites which is one reason why I wanted to feature the recipe in my upcoming cookbook Taste of Tucson: Sonoran Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona. Serve this dish with tortillas and a pretty, salad, as Suzana would. 

Sonoran Style Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

Sonoran Style Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

There are Southwestern regional influences that vary from New Mexico to Arizona, Texas, and Southern California. Here in Tucson, our regional cuisine is defined by fresh veggies, grilled meats and all of the delicacies that a mid-sized, sunshine filled desert city/college town, 60 miles from Mexico, has to offer. It’s summertime eating all year round.

Grill The Perfect Cowboy Steak

Grill The Perfect Cowboy Steak

Making authentic cowboy steaks is really easy. When I asked Bryan Keith, the Grill Master from Pinnacle Peak Steak House if he had any additional tips he said, “Put some love in it!”

The Moistmaker Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich From Friends

The Moistmaker Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich From Friends

The Moistmaker Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich inspired by Friends:  “The One Where Ross Loses it Over a Sandwich,” with a dinner roll soaked in gravy in the center, turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, proving that Monica is a culinary genius. 

Candied Yam Waffles

Candied Yam Waffles

Waffles made with leftover candied sweet potatoes are a fun Thanksgiving leftovers brunch recipe that is sure to please.

Spooky Spaghetti Carbonara

Spooky Spaghetti Carbonara

A recipe for black spaghetti carbonara with mushrooms that is spooky looking, yet elegant enough for a Halloween themed adult dinner party.

Linguine with Walnut Pesto

Linguine with Walnut Pesto

Walnuts taste even better in pesto than pine nuts. Spinach linguine keeps this easy pasta recipe a lovely shade of green.

Sonoran Style Marinated Flank Steak

Sonoran Style Marinated Flank Steak

I marinated myself a flank steak using my mom’s recipe from the 80s, adding in some Mexican oregano and extra citrus to #sonoranize it a bit so now it’s an Ohio meets Tucson recipe.

The Italian Stallion Hot Dog

The Italian Stallion Hot Dog

This no-recipe recipe is my tribute dog to Sweathog, Vinnie Barbarino. This recipe has become very popular since I first created it for my monthly column on the FoodNetwork.com. The people of the Internet have spoken, and they have said that it’s a cross between a pizza and a hot dog, and that is not untrue.

Spaghetti Squash Supreme Pizza Boats

Spaghetti Squash Supreme Pizza Boats

A healthy recipe for creamy, cheesy, supreme pizza flavored spaghetti squash, for the pizza flavors that you crave in cute single servings. They are fairly low in calories, very filling and taste like pizza. So it’s win-win-win.

Bombshell Boxed Brownie Dessert Pan Pizzas

Bombshell Boxed Brownie Dessert Pan Pizzas

These individual brownie pan pizzas are baked and served in Lodge 3.5-inch cast iron skillets. The options for different toppings are endless. Have fun experimenting with different combinations or set up a topping bar and let everyone pick their own.

Black and White Oreo Bark

Black and White Oreo Bark

Three ingredient white chocolate bark with Oreos that can be made in 30 minutes or less for a quick dessert or snack.

Mini Brownie Stack Cakes

Mini Brownie Stack Cakes

A beautiful looking stacked dessert that’s easy to make using boxed brownie mix, berries and whipped cream.

Beautiful Brownie Bites

Beautiful Brownie Bites

These rich, mini bits of extra-gooey brownies are decorated to look like fancy boxed chocolates. The topping are a great way to try out new flavor combinations and play with the contrast of the colors against the dark background of the bites.

Order Jackie's Cookbooks

The Unofficial Yellowstone Cookbook Cover
cover of The Unofficial Elf Cookbook by Jackie Alpers. Treat every day like Christmas with recipes inspired by the classic film "Elf".
The Unofficial Elf Cookbook by Jackie Alpers
About Jackie Alpers
Jackie Alpers International Photography Awards Honorable Mention
International color awards nominee medal