by Virginia Willis in Recipes, March 28th, 2014
by Virginia Willis in Recipes, February 28th, 2014
Country-fried steak is called chicken-fried steak in Texas and pan-fried steak, cube steak or smothered steak in other regions; but frankly, once you taste this dish of down-home comfort, you’re not going to care what it’s called. This is pure meat and potatoes — simple country cooking that is as basic as basic can be.
When considering classic comfort food dishes, it’s often a bit of a mystery where they came from and how they became so exalted. Although it’s not a great feat of culinary genius to consider breading meat and frying it in a skillet, the dish does enjoy uber-celebrity status in Texas. This may be due to the German settlements in the Hill Country near Austin. If you think about it, chicken-fried steak is just a Texas two-step away from das schnitzel.
by Virginia Willis in Recipes, January 24th, 2014
Country hams have long been a Southern staple and one old-time recipe is country ham served on a bed of creamy grits topped with redeye gravy. Redeye gravy is not gravy, nor is it red. It is made from coffee — or Coca-Cola — that is simply poured into the skillet to loosen the salty brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Food lore has two possible explanations for its unusual moniker: The first is that the county ham steak usually has a small round bone in the center (the femur) that resembles an eye. The second is that redeye refers to the caffeine in the coffee, making the dish a rousing breakfast.
Fried chicken is as Southern as sweet tea and kudzu. It is so iconic, in fact, that it has nearly become a stereotype. Fried chicken was once called Gospel Bird. This phrase isn’t another wispy bit of food myth shrouded in fiction and perpetuated by the Internet. I remember very well my own grandfather calling it Gospel Bird when I was a little girl. It was called that because it was most often served on Sundays, once a week.
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