Baytown: Team Jeg's chef recipe of the week

Death by Chocolate Cake Hail to the Fans! Let's face it- NHRA fans are the greatest! I am in my seventh season with Team JEGS. Before I started, I had no idea what drag racing was all about. I had heard of a Funny Car, but had no idea what...

Death by Chocolate Cake

Hail to the Fans!
Let's face it- NHRA fans are the greatest!

I am in my seventh season with Team JEGS. Before I started, I had no idea what drag racing was all about. I had heard of a Funny Car, but had no idea what they looked like. I didn't know what a Top Fuel car was until Woody put me between two on the starting line at the Phoenix race in 2002. They rocked my world. And, Pro Stock??? I definitely had no idea what that meant. It took me forever to figure out the Christmas tree. I asked someone on the crew every week how it worked until Roy Simmons physically took me to the starting line before a race. He and I both got in a lane and we broke the light beams with our feet until I understood how it worked. He also explained a few strategies. Thanks Roy! I also had no idea how the fans could travel so far to see their favorite driver spend less than a minute of total race time for the whole weekend.

Well, let me tell you... You all hooked me!

I am now a huge fan. My parents have never been into racing, and you hooked them too. And, because I am my Mother's son, and I work for JEGS, Jeg can do no wrong. She is a huge JEGS fan. Greg- Mom thinks that you are a nice guy, but you better watch out when the cars get in the water-box. She means business!

From day one I can say that I have not stopped meeting wonderful people involved in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing. We (as a team) always get a warm welcome at all the races. I meet many fans while I am traveling. I even meet some in the grocery stores who want to know what I am cooking for the weekend. Our pit gets crazy sometimes with people wanting to chat and get an autograph. It is great!

We have different fans that stop by every week and want to talk about food. I have had people send books, recipes and food to my house as well as the track. We can always count on Janine to stop by with some cookies when we are out west. Hobbie and Becky from Nebraska stopped by our pit last year with what had to be some of the best produce I have ever seen out of someone's garden.

I try to sneak out and go pit hopping when I can. I like to see what other people are cooking. It is fun for me to experience the different tastes from race to race. I may go see Anthony Bertozzi for a little of his famous "Duct Tape Chicken," or lay back with "Jimmy the Shoe" for a grilled hot dog. And, if you are in Texas or Memphis and you have BBQ- I will find you! I love the mix of BBQ from Tennessee to Texas. Saint Louis has great ribs too. I always visit the Bayou Boys and the Garrison's when we are at the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals to get a taste of true Cajun cuisine.

This brings me to the next recipes that I would like to share with all of you.

I recently had Jenni Stephens stop by our pits in Pomona. She wanted to see what was going on in the culinary world. We chatted for a while before she stunned me with the question: Did I ever make a cake with Diet Coke? (Don't ever think that you have seen or heard it all.) She told me how easy it was to make, and how good it was. There was no need for me to try and make it because she showed up the next day at our pit with a masterpiece. I was so surprised. I wanted to share it with the whole team, but Randy, Uncle Ronnie, and I had to eat the majority of the cake ourselves (you know- checking for consistency throughout). I asked Jenni if I could post her recipe on line. She was more than happy to accommodate.

You can thank Julia Jordan and her mother Sonja Holton for the next great surprise. They stopped by the kitchen with Apricot Pepper Jelly. Wow- is was great.

I asked for the recipe to share it with all of you. I am sure that you will love the flavor. Julia claims that it is great with cream cheese and crackers or bagels. She said it also makes a nice glaze for ham or chicken. I am going to add it to my BBQ sauce next time I cook pork ribs.

Thanks to all the great NHRA fans for making my job so much fun.

-Enjoy

Death by Chocolate Cake
(Makes 1 cake)
By: Jenni Stephens

Ingredients:
1 Package Chocolate Cake Mix (your favorite)
12 Ounces Diet Coke
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1 Can Chocolate Frosting

Procedure:
-Mix the chocolate cake mix and diet coke together until well mixed
-Pour the cake mix into non-stick baking pan.
-Sprinkle the chocolate chips onto the cake mix
-Bake according to the cake mix directions
-Remove cake from pan; cool to room temperature
-Microwave the frosting for 30 seconds; pour over cake evenly

Apricot Pepper Jelly
(Makes 6.5 Cups)
BY: Julia Jordan and Sonja Holton

Ingredients:
2 Cups Bell Pepper Strips (Green or Red)
2 Cups Cider Vinegar
¼ Cup Jalapeno (Fresh, Chopped) You can add more if you like it hotter
1 Cup Dried Apricots (Slivered)
6 Cups Sugar
3 Ounces Liquid Pectin

Procedure:
-Combine pepper strips, vinegar, and jalapenos in a blender or food processor
-Pulse until all ingredients are small chunks
-Combine with apricot slivers and sugar
-Place in a sauce pot and bring to a boil for 5 minutes; stir frequently
-Remove from heat
-Skim and discard any foam
-Cool 2 minutes
-Stir in pectin
-Pour into sterilized jars; seal immediately
(If desired, place the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes)

-credit: team jegs

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Series NHRA