The Country Music Association Awards are just around the corner. It's a big event here in Nashville, after all the show this November 4th marks 49 years of celebrating the music and its top artists. Every record label will have an after party, and some artists host their own after parties to celebrate victories and congratulate everyone involved—from the artists, to songwriters, video directors, managers, and agents. It takes a lot of people to create wins in the music biz!
All of those parties are great and I love attending, but my favorites are always those hosted by friends in their own homes. By watching it on TV, you get the best camera shots, the best audio, and the best seats, and there's always what seems like an unending table of good food. So if you happen to be throwing your own CMA awards show-viewing party, I thought I'd give you a couple ideas for some easy-to-make, sure-to-please food. First up is Texas Hash, in honor of all the great Texas artists that have left, are leaving now, and surely will leave in the years to come their mark in the annals of country music history.
Before we get into the food, let's talk just a little bit about that history. Country music origins cover plenty of Southern states. Rooted in the Appalachia hillbilly music of Scottish/Irish immigrants, Bristol, Tennessee, was declared by Congress in 1998 as the "Birthplace of Country Music", no doubt due in part to those famous recordings known as the Bristol Sessions. My fellow Mississippian Jimmie Rodgers took part in those sessions along with the Carter Family and others, and he is known as the "Father of Country Music" with his hillbilly sound, train-themed attire, and trademark yodeling. A resident of Kerrville, Texas, after moving from Mississippi, one of Rodgers most famous songs is "T for Texas". That brings us to the Lone Star state. From legends like George Jones, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings to the superstars of today, like Miranda Lambert and King George Strait, the state of Texas has certainly produced more than its fair share of country music giants. So it was a no brainer to tip my hat to Texas for this perfect country music award show dish.
I first experienced Texas Hash at my friend Gillian Baxter's house over the holidays last year, and I loved it! One-pan, full of rice and great flavor, and a dish you could top with many different things to make it your own. I came home and added some of my favorite flavors, like chorizo and Red Gold's great tomato taste. Charlie had the idea of adding in pinto beans and serving it in tortilla cups so that guests can grab and go and head right back to the TV, not missing a moment of the awards show. Make up the hash earlier in the day and heat it up for the party. Bake the tortillas earlier in the day, too and serve at room temperature. Lay out the toppings, and if you want to serve along side some chips and salsa or guacamole, you are all set for country music's big night! Good luck to your favorite artists, have fun at your viewing party, and enjoy the music & the food!
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