Texas Roadhouse, Inc. operates a chain of casual-dining restaurants catering to blue-collar families, offering a menu of steak, chicken, side dishes, and made-from-scratch rolls. Texas Roadhouse operates 182 restaurants in 34 states. The company's restaurants feature a southwestern décor, hand-painted murals, neon signs, and jukeboxes, offering patrons a free, unlimited supply of peanuts and inexpensive entrées. The per guest check average is $13.53, roughly two-thirds less than the per guest check average of the company's largest competitor, Outback Steakhouse, Inc. Texas Roadhouse targets secondary markets for expansion, preferring communities with populations above 60,000 and a high concentration of working-class families. The company is controlled by its founder and chairman, W. Kent Taylor, who owns approximately 60 percent of Texas Roadhouse stock.

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Roadhouse Mac & Cheese


MAC and CHEESE
Highway 61 Roadhouse Restaurant Recipe

Mac & Cheese Sauce:
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature, cut in 12 pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
10 ounces shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheese blend

Per Serving:
1 cup Mac & Cheese Sauce
1 cup cooked cavatappi (spiral tube macaroni)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup panko tossed with 1 tablespoon melted butter

To make the Mac & Cheese Sauce. In a saucepan, heat milk and cream on medium heat, stirring often, just until boiling but do not allow to boil. Stir in cream cheese and stir until melted. Keep hot, do not allow to boil. In a large, heavy pot, melt butter on medium heat. Whisk in flour, peppers, salt and garlic; let cook for 2 minutes, whisking continuously, then stir into hot milk and cream mixture. Let cook, stirring continuously, until it thickens. Stir in cheese and cook, stirring often, until cheese melts. Prepare servings. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Makes 6 servings.

To serve Highway 61 Roadhouse style, spread about 1/4 cup Mac & Cheese Sauce in bottom of individual oven proof dishes. Top with cavatappi, then cheddar, then 3/4 cup Mac & Cheese Sauce. Top with buttered panko. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes until hot and panko turns golden.

Note: For Mac & Cheese with Bacon, a Highway 61 Roadhouse specialty, add a layer of about 1/4 cup crisp cooked thick bacon after the noodles.

Red Beans & Rice



RED BEANS and RICE
Highway 61 Roadhouse Restaurant Recipe

1 pound dried small red beans
1 large ham shank
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced yellow onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced green pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (see note)
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
3 whole bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
ham stock as needed
to serve, cooked white rice

Notes: One teaspoon cayenne makes for spicy red beans; 1/8 teaspoon was plenty for our taste. The longer the beans soak, the shorter the cooking time.

Soak beans. Rinse and drain red beans, cover with water plus about 3 inches, let soak for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.

Make ham stock. Cover ham shank with about 6 cups water in a large pot, cover with lid and simmer for about 3 hours. Lift shank from pot, cut away and discard visible fat, shred and set aside the meat. Strain the ham stock.

Make beans. In a large, heavy pot, heat olive oil until shimmery on medium high. Stir in onion, celery, green pepper, garlic, paprika, granulated onion, peppers, thyme, oregano, bay leaves and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add just enough ham stock to cover the beans. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for two to six hours, adding more ham stock as the beans absorb it (you may not need all the stock), until beans begin to break up to form a creamy, soupy (but not watery) consistency. Stir in shredded ham and let simmer for an hour.

To serve Highway 61 Roadhouse style, fill a small bowl with 3/4 cup cooked rice and top with 1 cup beans. Makes 10 cups.

Corn Souffle



CORN SOUFFLE
Highway 61 Roadhouse Restaurant Recipe

1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15 oz.) can cream style corn
2 1/4 cups (about 10 ounces) corn muffin mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sour cream
2 1/4 ounces (about 2/3 cup) shredded cheddar cheese
Honey Butter (1 stick softened butter beaten with 1/4 cup honey), for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 by 13 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake 40 to 45 minutes or until browned around edges and set in the center. Serve hot with Honey Butter. Makes 8 servings.

Note: At Highway 61 Roadhouse, this corn souffle is served as a side dish. Individual servings are baked in 5 or 6 inch pie pans for 25 minutes.

Roadhouse Beans


GREEN BEANS
Highway 61 Roadhouse and Kitchen Recipe

4 tablespoons bacon grease
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 pound frozen haricot verts (see note), thawed
1/2 cup Worcestershire
1/4 cup crisp cooked bacon pieces
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat bacon grease until hot. Add red onion and saute until onion becomes almost transparent. Stir in haricot verts, Worcestershire, bacon and red pepper flakes. Toss until green beans are hot but still quite crunchy to the bite. Season with salt and pepper, toss one more time.

To serve Highway 61 Roadhouse-style, serve beans in a black footed molcajete.

Note: Pronounced “a-ree ko-VER,” haricot verts means “green beans” in French, and in culinary terms, refers to a longer, thinner green bean. Look for bags in the freezer section. Highway 61 Roadhouse prefers haricot verts for consistency in flavor and size. Makes 4 servings.

Texas Steak Soup



STEAK SOUP
Texas Restaurant Recipe

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak (1/2 inch thick), trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 strips
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4 cups water
3 large potatoes, washed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 large carrots, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

 In a soup pot, heat oil over medium high heat and brown steak strips.  Add onion and cook 6 to 7 minutes, or until onions are tender and steak is cooked through. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer 40 to 45 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots. Serve immediately.

Notes This is a nice chunky soup, but if you have any additional favorite vegetables, go ahead and add them, too.