Rustle up an appetite

16 Mar Rustle up an appetite

Celebrate Western Art Week with some tasty cowboy chow

Coconut Chicken Skewers with Yellow, Red and Green Thai Curry Dipping Sauces

Dust off your cowboy hats and shine your boots. It’s Western Art Week in Great Falls — a chance to wander through exhibition rooms, watch mas­ters at work or bid on some pieces to add to your private collection.

The Russell: The Sale to Benefit the C.M. Russell Museum features an opening reception, wall art sale and preview of auction items Thursday evening at the museum.

The Art in Action brunch on Friday morning at the Meadow Lark Country Club welcomes visitors to watch artists as they create works to be auc­tioned off later.

On Saturday, a brunch and live auction to benefit the museum starts at 9:30 a.m. at the C.M. Russell Museum.

The Western Heritage Artists Associ­ation Art Show at the Holiday Inn includes exhibits, demonstrations, seminars and activities for children.

And there’s plenty more to whet your Western art appetite.

So, saddle up and get ready for a fun-filled week. You’ll need some sus­tenance to withstand all that gallivanti­ng around town, partner. So rustle up a party for Western Art Week with a menu complete with Mint Saloon Sip­pers, Cowboy Cocktails and Coconut Chicken Skewers with Thai Curry Dip­ping Sauces to boot. 


Mint Saloon Sippers

 Mint Saloon Sippers

Crushed ice


 Green crème de menthe

 Lime juice


 Club soda

 Fresh mint sprigs

For each drink: Fill glass 2/3  full with crushed ice.

Add ½ shot bourbon, a splash of green crème de menthe, 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, ½ tsp. sugar and enough club soda to fill glass. Stir to mix and gar­nish with fresh mint sprigs.


Coconut Chicken Skewers with Yellow, Red and Green Thai Curry Dipping Sauces


 2 cups coconut flakes

 13.6-ounce can light coconut milk, divided

 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 12 5-inch-by-½ inch strips

 2 cups panko bread crumbs (Asian foods aisle)

 2 tbsp. olive oil

 12 wooden skewers, soaked in water prior to using

Preheat oven to 300°. Spread coconut out on baking sheet and toast for five to eight minutes, watching care­fully so it does not burn.

Raise oven temperature to 350°. Put 1 cup light coconut milk into shallow dish, toasted coconut in another shal­low dish and panko crumbs in a third.

Soak chicken strips in coconut milk. Then dredge chicken strips in toasted coconut, pressing to adhere, and finally in panko crumbs to coat.

Brush a large glass baking dish with olive oil. Thread prepared chicken strips onto skewers. Arrange chicken skewers in oiled pan, leaving space between and bake on upper oven rack

for eight minutes until browned and then turn to bake the other side for an additional eight min­utes or until cooked through.

Makes 12. Serve warm with dipping sauces.


 ½ cup real mayonnaise

 1½ tsp. curry powder

 Dash of salt

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


 1 tsp. green Thai curry paste, or more, to taste

 ¼ cup light coconut milk

 2 tbsp. smooth peanut butter

 ½ tsp. rice wine vinegar

 1 tsp. brown sugar

 Dash of salt

Mix all until smooth. Refriger­ate until ready to serve.


 ¼ cup light coconut milk

 1 tsp. red Thai curry paste

 ½ tsp. sugar

Mix all until smooth. Refriger­ate until ready to serve.

Cowboy Cocktails



Molasses Baked Beans

 1 pound dried navy beans or white beans

 2 quarts water

 15-ounce can tomato sauce

 ½ cup ketchup

 ½ cup butter

 1 sweet onion, chopped finely

 ¼ cup brown sugar

 ½ cup molasses

 1 tsp. salt

Put beans in a large Dutch oven and cover with water. Place over medium high heat, bring to a boil and boil for two minutes.

Remove from heat and soak for one hour. Drain and rinse beans.

Return to Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for one hour. Drain.

Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium high heat and cook onions until soft. Add remaining ingredients, cover and bake at 400° for 1½ hours, checking peri­odically to make sure edges don’t overbrown. Refrigerate until ready to assemble Cowboy Cock­tails.


 3 tbsp. olive oil

 1 small sweet onion, sliced into thin rings

 3-pound beef roast (I used choice Angus blade roast)

 ¼ cup brown sugar

 2 cloves garlic

 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

 ½ cup orange juice

 2 cups ketchup

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until soft. Brown roast on all sides.

Combine remaining ingredi­ents and pour over roast. Cover and bake in preheated oven for two hours or longer, until meat is easily broken apart. Stir to incor­porate meat into sauce.

Refrigerate until ready to assemble Cowboy Cocktails.


 ½ cup real mayonnaise

 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar

 1 tsp. sugar

 1 tbsp. poppyseeds

 3 cups shredded cabbage

In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and poppyseeds until smooth. Stir in cabbage until incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

To assemble: Reheat Molasses Baked Beans and Tangy Barbecue Beef. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the beans into the bottom of each martini glass.

Top with 2 to 3 tablespoons Tangy Barbecue Beef. Top with 2 tablepoons Poppyseed Coleslaw.

Makes 15 to 20 appetizers.

Serve with cocktail forks.

Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached  at . 

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