Smothered Chicken Fried Steak

820211714_KFVtw-M Nothing says comfort food like chicken fried steak. I mean seriously, the gravy alone is worth it. Add all your favorite fixin’s on the side and you got a dinner that will please everyone.

This is how I make mine.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb of steak of your choice, but I would recommend flatiron, or a thinly cut sirloin. If you move to round steak, then really keep it thin.
  • flour for dusting and dipping.
  • egg wash made from 1-2 eggs whisked with a tbsp of water.
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 c or so of Panko crumbs
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 c milk
  • 1/4-1/2 c beef stock

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut the steak into serving pieces. Pound out until it is no more than 1/8 of an inch, and, depending on the cut, is tenderized.
  2. Sprinkle each slice with salt and pepper.
  3. Dip in the flour and shake off excess. Let these rest until all are done.
  4. Then dip each piece in the egg wash and then into panko crumbs. Place on a rack until all are done.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet and place as many in the pan as will comfortably fit and not touch.
  6. Fry until golden brown and then flip, and do the other side.
  7. Remove to the rack again, and place in a low oven to keep warm.
  8. Pour off most of the oil in the pan until you have the equivalent of about 3 tablespoons or alternatively, remove all oil and add in 3 tbsp of butter. Melt and add the flour and whisk until smooth and cooked (2 minutes)
  9. Add the milk and stir in and bring to a boil. Continue whisking until it has thickened. If it seems a bit too thick, then add the beef broth to thin it down. This adds some depth to the taste.
  10. Put the gravy in a gravy boat and serve at the table with the breaded steak.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: It is essential that if you use round steak, that you really pound this out. Otherwise it will be miserably tough. This is traditionally made with a poor cut meat so tenderizing is required to make it work. Best served with mashed potatoes and your favorite comfort veggie. Corn or peas for most.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Red Chile Gravy Cheese Enchiladas

l200425467 This is categorized as a Tex-Mex dish, though I think the only reason for this is that the chile sauce is “adulterated”, by having ground beef and onions added to it. But it is truly truly a great dish and I think you might like it, if you like real enchiladas.

The making of the dish only gets complicated (read messy) when you get to assembly. The parts are all easy to do.

INGREDIENTS:

  • About 12 dried chile pods (in the mix you prefer) such as New Mexican, Guajillo, Anchos, and Arbol, depending on how hot you like it.
  • 1 lb ground round, leaner rather than fatty
  • 1 c of diced onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • lard, oil, butter (3 tbsp) of any of them
  • corn tortillas
  • 8 oz of cheese, shredded (again use what you like, cheddar, Monterey Jack, Cotija, queso fresco, etc

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Break off the tops of the chiles, and dump out the seeds and discard.
  2. Place in a saucepan with about 2 cups of water and bring to a soft boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Take off the heat, and cool down until warm.
  3. In a saute pan, cook the beef, breaking it into small pieces.
  4. Remove from the pan and add the onions and garlic and saute until softened and just beginning to brown.
  5. Remove the chiles from the liquid and put in a blender along with the onions and garlic, spices and salt and pepper. Add as much of the liquid from the chiles as needed to blend the chiles into a puree.
  6. Strain if necessary (depends on the power of your blender to really get the skins pulverized)
  7. In the saute pan, depending on how much oil remains, add some and add flour until you have a roux going, cooking it for a minute or two.
  8. Add the chile sauce, along with the beef back to the pan, stirring and bring to a soft boil until the chile gravy thickens. Add more liquid from the saucepan or chicken stock if it seems too thick.
  9. Cook for about 30 minutes at a low simmer.
  10. To assemble the enchiladas: dip each tortilla in the sauce, turning to get both sides. Lay on a plate, add the cheese, and roll. Place in a baking dish 8 x 10 works well that has been oiled and has a thin covering of chile sauce in the bottom.  Continue until you have filled the baking dish.
  11. Spoon a bit of sauce lightly over the tops of the enchiladas, then sprinkle additional cheese over the top. Bake in a 375° oven until bubbly. Thirty minutes are probably enough if you have constructed your enchiladas with hot ingredients.
  12. Serve with beans and rice and sour cream, avocados, chopped scallions, and pico de gallo or any combination you like.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: Control the heat by controlling the type of dried chiles you use. Some add a bit of sugar to the sauce if they find it too harsh.

SOURCE: Adapted from Serious Eats

Bacon Eye-Talian Meatloaf

Bacon-BBQ-Meatloaf Meatloaf is comfort food for us, and serves a dual purpose of being the center of a great dinner and an even better sandwich cold. We never are sure which we like the best.

This one fits both purposes most excellently.

It won’t last long in your house I promise you.

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb ground beef (leaner)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, microplaned
  • 1/2 c finely chopped onions
  • 3 good slices of a sourdough or other hearty bread, cubed and soaked with 1/3 c of milk
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 c fresh parsley,chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 eggs lightly mixed
  • 1 c mozzarella shredded
  • 1/2 parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • slices of bacon or pancetta
  • can of diced tomatoes well-drained
  • 3 tbsp of honey
  • slices of provolone cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add all the ingredients up to the bacon in a large bowl and mix gently until everything is evenly distributed.
  2. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap and put the meatloaf in it, covering with plastic.
  3. Refrigerate for a couple of hours so that the meatloaf can “set up.”
  4. Turn it out onto a rack (so that the grease can drip off and away. Layer on the bacon in a single layer.
  5. Place in a 400° oven and bake for 45 min. or until internal temperature is 160°.
  6. Meanwhile mix the well-drained tomatoes with the honey and some salt and pepper.
  7. When the meatloaf is baked, remove from the oven, place the diced tomato mixture down the center and lay thin slices of provolone cheese over the top.
  8. Reduce the oven to 300° and return the meatloaf for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes have warmed through and the cheese has melted.
  9. Let sit for 20 minutes to rest.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: You could add chopped spinach if you like. Or make it ahead up to the topping and then just reheat and add the topping.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Eggplant Sorta Rollatini with Beef

Rollatini3-500x375 Okay, this is a total fraud. This is Eggplant Rollatini minus the roll. It’s the lazy woman’s Rollatini and plus meat.  Tastes like, but doesn’t look like. Company meal for really close friends who won’t care that you didn’t go to enough trouble for them.

Are we clear now?

Besides that minor glitch…it’s damned good.

I mean really really good.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 3-4 large cloves of garlic microplaned
  • 1/2 c minced onions
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (best quality)
  • 1 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 1/2 c or so of a good quality red wine
  • 1 lb of ground sirloin (keep the fat down) or at least 93% fat-free
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 container of ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c Parmigiano Reggiano grated
  • 2 cups mozzarella shredded
  • 1/4 c minced fresh basil
  • 1/4 c minced fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat up the olive oil and add the garlic being careful not to burn it.
  2. Add the onions and saute until translucent.
  3. Add the beef, breaking up and browning it well.
  4. Add the hot pepper flakes, and the wine, bring to a light simmer, and reduce until most of the liquid is gone.
  5. Add the tomatoes and continue the simmer until quite thick. An hour or so. You want to get most of the juice out.
  6. While sauce is cooking, cut the eggplant into slices lengthwise. I found that 12 strips fit perfectly in my lasagna pan.
  7. Place on parchment paper and liberally brush with EVOO and salt and pepper.
  8. Place in a preheated oven at 400° until browned. Turn over and do the same, and return to oven until the eggplants are done. Set aside.
  9. In a bowl add the ricotta, Parmigiano, eggs, and herbs, mixing well.
  10. Assemble oiling your lasagna pan liberally. Then layer a small amount of the sauce in the bottom. Cover the bottom with eggplant slices, then cover with sauce, then add all the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with about one cup of the mozzarella. Place the remaining eggplant to cover all this. Place the last of the sauce over the eggplant and then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella.
  11. Place in a 350 oven for 45 minutes, uncover the last 15.
  12. Let it rest for 15 minutes and serve.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: The traditional way is the place the ricotta mixture on each slice of eggplant and roll them up and place them on a bed of sauce and then add more sauce over. Do this if you are into pretty or a masochist.

SOURCE:  Sherry Peyton

 

 

Beef And Cabbage Casserole

fried cabbage meal This is another one of those comfort food casseroles. I guess casseroles are sorta all comfort food, but I really like this one. No big surprising flavors, not particularly spicy. Just good.

Enjoy. Kid friendly.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb leaner ground beef
  • 4-6 slices bacon, diced and fried and drained on paper towels and set aside
  • 1/2 of a large cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 fairly large onion, sliced or diced
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Retain a tablespoon or so of the bacon grease and fry the onions until translucent and then reduce heat and saute until caramelized.
  2. Remove and add to the bacon set aside.
  3. Brown and cook thoroughly the beef, breaking it up into small crumbles. If there is noticeable grease from the cooking, drain off. Add to the onions and bacon.
  4. Place the chopped cabbage in a microwave safe bowl and cook until about half done.
  5. Place garlic in the pan and saute until fragrant, and turn out to the dish with meat and onions.
  6. Melt the butter in the pan and add the flour, making a roux. Cook for a minute or two.
  7.  Then add all the cooked ingredients into the pan. Add the tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring up to a low boil just so the juices will thicken.
  8. Mix well and transfer to a baking dish. 8 x 11 should be fine.
  9. Bake in a 350° for 30-45 minutes depending on whether you do this immediately or set it all aside for final cooking later. Cook covered with foil.
  10. About 2/3 of the way through, remove and stir in the parsley and return to finish off the cooking.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You can make this your own by adding chopped carrots or corn, or frankly anything else you like to the mix.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

 

Beef Gorditas

beef gorditas Oh this is heavenly food. What’s on the inside is really up to you, but you gotta master the gordita end of it. That’s where the true joy comes from.

It’s sorta like a taco but not really. It’s sorta like a burrito, but not really.

Got that?

It will take a bit of time to make the gorditas but it’s so worth it.

So get out the flour and get busy.

INGREDIENTS:

for the masa:

  • 2 1/2 c masa harina (found in most grocery stores)
  • 1/2 c regular flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c lard (this is best but you can use shortening or even regular oil)
  • 2 + c of warm to hot water

for the innards:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 poblano, Anaheim or hatch chile, blistered, peeled and seeded and chopped
  • 1 -2 jalapenos chopped
  • 1 tbsp Mexican seasoning
  • 2 c of Mexican coleslaw
  • one batch of Pico de gallo
  • cheese any kind you like, but queso fresco is great with this

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients for the masa dough, and then drizzle over this the melted lard. Mix with fork until its sort of like peas.
  2. Add the water one cup at a time, mixing until it forms a dough (you could do this in a food processor). When it comes together, just knead it a few times to bring it together nicely.
  3. Cover with a towel and leave for 15 minutes or so. (You can put in fridge covered with plastic wrap, but you must bring it to room temp and then warm it in the microwave a bit before proceeding.
  4. When ready to fry, get a fry pan (cast iron works well here), filled with about a 1/4 inch of oil. Heat to around 350°.
  5. Divide the dough into fifteen or so balls about golf ball size (you can halve this recipe).
  6. Wet the left hand, and then place the ball in that palm, and press other palm to it, flattening, turning the disk and patting it out. You’ll get the hang of it. (you could use a tortilla press but I’d advise oiling or using plastic wrap to keep it from sticking).
  7. Place as many as will fit on a griddle or large dry pan and leave for just a minute or so to brown. Flip to other side and do the same.
  8. Place each partially cooked gordita into the hot oil, not crowding. They will puff up and rise to the surface. Flip and do the other side until lightly browned.
  9. Remove to a paper towel. Cool until they can be handled and slice open. Fill as desired.
  10. Brown the meat, chiles, and seasonings until no pink remains.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: You can use any fillings you prefer. Shrimp, chicken, turkey, carnitas, you name it. You can omit the coleslaw and used chopped tomatoes and lettuce. You can add any cheese you prefer or no cheese at all. These are like sandwich pockets and can be filled as you like. Peanut butter and jelly? I don’t see why not.

Beef Enchiladas with Ranchero Sauce

beefenchranch Not everyone likes or can take a serious Mexican red sauce, or green one for that matter. Chiles, even the milder forms are too hot for them.

This is a recipe for people who would like a milder, tomato based sauce, or who grew up on a cuisine known as Tex-Mex.

It’s quick to throw together, will freeze well, so consider making it in large batches and you will always be able to put together an authentic Tex-Mex dish in minutes and pop it into the oven.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 or so corn tortillas (wrap them in a dampened towel and microwave for 30 seconds when you are ready to assemble the enchiladas
  • 1 lb of beef (from a skirt steak, tri-tip steak, or ground beef
  • 3 c of shredded cheese such as cheddar or Monterey Jack, divided
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, blanched and peeled and then chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (or one)
  • 1 Poblano or Anaheim or Hatch, roasted, peeled and seeded and diced fairly fine
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Boil tomatoes until soft and skin peels away; remove, let cool and chop.
  2. Saute the beef until no longer pink. If using steak, chop into fairly fine dice before you cook (it helps to freeze the meat for about 20 minutes or so in order to make the dicing easier)
  3. Saute onions and jalapenos in a little oil in a skillet; set aside.
  4. In saucepan, add oil, heat, and flour to create a roux.
  5. Slowly add in warmed chicken broth until it begins to thicken.
  6. Add tomato sauce, garlic, cumin, black pepper, tomatoes, peppers, and onion.
  7. Simmer for 30-40 minutes.
  8. Add a layer of sauce in a lightly coated 10×14 baking dish.
  9. To prepare enchiladas:
  10. Oil the baking dish and place a cup or so of the sauce on the bottom to help with sticking
  11. Spray with a bit of cooking oil or brush some on each tortilla,  and heat lightly in skillet (spraying helps prevent sogginess).
  12. Stack on a plate and keep covered until ready to fill.
  13. Layer in beef strips (or shredded beef or ground beef), along with the chunky sauce pieces (use a slotted spoon), and a sprinkling of shredded cheeses.
  14. Roll up each tortilla and add to the baking dish, packing in tightly.
  15. Pour remaining sauce over tops and around sides.
  16. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  17. Bake about 30-40 minutes in a 350-degree oven or until top is bubbly and browning.
  18. Serve immediately with sides and freeze remainder if desired.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: Vary the chiles as you desire. You can also add your favorite hot sauce if you want it hot, as much as 1/4 c actually. You can vary the cheese and include other Mexican cheeses such as Queso Fresco. Also substitute chicken, or beans instead of the beef.

SOURCE: Hispanic Kitchen