Introduction: Backcountry Gado-gado and Cowboy Bread


Gado-gado is a traditional main dish in Indonesian cuisine, often a vegetable salad served with peanut sauce dressing. It is widely served at hawker carts, warung stalls, and in a variety of restaurants worldwide. As it gained popularity, more mix flavors of gado-gado are created and enjoyed. This guide will show you one way to create a special kind of gado-gado delight, Backcountry Gado-gado.

Backcountry Gado-gado is a special dish consisting of peanut butter sauce spread over sunflower seeds, raisins, and spaghetti noodle. It is made to tease your taste buds with its delicate taste. Originally, this recipe came from Asia, but earned its additional name of "backcountry" from being cooked up only in the mountains in the western part of the United States—today, it is a treat served in homes all around the world.

Cowboy bread is a traditional cinnamon bread that can be added to any meal as a side or appetizer. It is most commonly found in the mid-western and western United States--it became popular with the cowboys in the 18th century as they drove cattle from Texas to Kansas and Missouri to be sold at market. Hence, its western name!

Step 1: Utensils Needed

Backcountry Gado-gado:

- cutting board
- sharp knife
- spoons
- solid spatula
- rubber spatula
- 1-cup measuring cup
- 1-tablespoon measuring spoon
- sauté pan
- large bowl
- tall cooking pot (approx. 4 quarts)

Cowboy Bread:

- 9”x13” baking pan
- medium to large mixing bowl
- 1-cup measuring cup
- 1-teaspoon measuring spoon
- fork

If making icing:

- medium mixing bowl
- fork
- rubber spatula

Step 2: Backcountry Gado-gado and Cowboy Bread Ingridents

Ingredients for Gado-gado

- 1 lb. spaghetti noodles
- 2-3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 white onion
- 1 green pepper
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 4 tbsp. soy sauce
- 4 tbsp. vinegar
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup raisins

Ingredients for Cowboy Bread

- 3 c. flour
- 2 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 c. butter
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 3 eggs

Ingredients for Icing (Optional for Cowboy Bread)

- 1 stick butter (1/4 lb.)
- 1 cap vanilla
- 1 lb. of powdered sugar
- Milk (enough for proper consistency)

Step 3: Backcountry Gado-gado Cooking Instructions

Spaghetti(while spaghetti is cooking, prepare vegetable below)

1. Bring 4 quarts of tap water per pound of spaghetti to a boil (212o F) on top of stove.
2. Break the spaghetti in half and add the appropriate amount of spaghetti to the boiling water and return to a boil (optional).
3. Cook uncovered until the spaghetti is tender, stirring occasionally.
4. Meanwhile, place a straining bowl in the sink and the larger bowl off closely to the side.
5. When the spaghetti has finished cooking, remove from heat (turn off stove-top).
6. Carefully pour out all spaghetti from the cooking pan into the strainer (watch out for steam raising).
7. Gently shake out excess water from spaghetti, then pour spaghetti into the large bowl (this will accommodate later ingredients).

Step 4: Backcountry Gado-gado Cooking Instructions

Green Pepper and Onion (to be completed while spaghetti is cooking)

1. Begin by peeling the outside of the onion, disposing of all bad layers.
2. Wash the onion and green pepper in water. 
3. Cut onion and green pepper into bite-sized pieces.
4. After completing the preparation of the onion and green pepper prepare a space to cook them.
5. Add 2-3 tablespoons of oil into a frying pan and turn the stove top onto a medium heat. 
6. When the oil is hot and begins to crackle, carefully add in the onion and green pepper stirring constantly to ensure that you are not splattered with hot oil (a cover for the pan may be needed to mitigate splatter).
7. Continue to stir. Once the onions and green peppers are sauteed to a golden brown, remove them from the heat.

Step 5: Backcountry Gado-gado Cooking Instructions

Mixing It All Together

1. Add the cooked vegetables to the mixing bowl with the cooked spaghetti. Stir thoroughly.
2. While the spaghetti and vegetables are still hot, stir in the peanut butter. The process can become messy, but heat will melt the structural integrity of the peanut butter, making it easy for you to mix into you spaghetti.
3. Add soy sauce and vinegar and mix well.
4. Mix in raisins and sunflower seeds.
5. Mix the raisins and seeds thoroughly so that a nice heterogeneous mixture can be seen.

When finished, Gado gado should be served hot and with a spoon, dished out onto a dish.

Step 6: Cowboy Bread Cooking Instructions

Batter and Topping(Preheat oven on to 375 degrees)

1. Bring butter to room temperature or soften in microwave for 30 to 60 seconds on high setting.
2. In a medium bowl combine flour, brown sugar, salt, softened butter, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
3. Mix well with a fork until all ingredients are smooth and consistent.
4. Remove 1 cup of material and set aside to be used later for the topping.
5. Add buttermilk and eggs to the material in the mixing bowl.
6. Mix well with the fork to a smooth consistency.
7. Grease a 9”x13” pan with butter or cooking spray
8. Pour batter into 9”x 13” greased pan.
9. Spread batter evenly across pan.
10. Sprinkle the cup of dry material set aside earlier on top of batter in the pan.
11. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is a golden brown. 
12. Remove bread from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. 
13. If icing is desired, drizzle it over the bread at this time. 
14. Cut bread into desired sizes and serve. (3 inch by 3 inch pieces will yield 12 pieces.)

Step 7: Cowboy Bread Cooking Instructions

Icing (Optional to Honey Butter, also not pictured)

The Ingredients that you will need:
1 stick butter (1/4 lb.)
1 cap vanilla
1 lb. powdered sugar
Milk (enough for proper consistency)

1. Add butter, vanilla and half of powdered sugar. Add milk and rest of sugar until icing is the correct consistency for drizzling.
2. If this consistency is to thick, add a few small splashes of more milk; if it is too thin, add a few tablespoons of sugar, stirring contents together until right consistency.

When bread has become fully cooked, let cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving. Honey butter can be spread or icing can be drizzled onto Cowboy bread if desired. Cut with a knife and serve using a spatula alongside with a spoonful of Backcountry Gado-gado. Enjoy!