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.


  • 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


  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.


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


Chorizo-Pork Meatballs

Chorizo-Meatballs_s4x3I do love appetizers. In fact to me it’s a great way to enjoy a lazy Sunday, grazing while watching some football. Also works for Saturday too.

Anyway, I make regular meatballs for spaghetti and then there are Swedish ones for a hot dish which is nice, but then there are SPICY ones!

I worked this one up myself, mostly because it wasn’t too hard to figure out–just put in the usual stuff with some hot stuff and voilá it pretty much works.


  • 1/2 lb chorizo, casing removed
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/3 c finely minced onion
  • 1 large jalapeño finely minced
  • 1 tbsp flax seed meal (use breadcrumbs as an alternative and then use about 1/4 c)
  • 1 tsp garlic granulated
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce


  1. Mix it all together with your hands until well blended but do not over handle as the meat becomes tough.
  2. Using a melon scoop, place by scoops onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 400° for about 20 minutes.
  3. Please note that the grease in the chorizo will bleed out of the meatballs and will caramelize around so kind of break those bits off when you remove from the pan.

SERVES: About 30 meatballs

NOTES: You can serve this with any number of dips from a ranch, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, or pepper jack. Also BBQ sauce. Fairly infinitely versatile in that respect.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Authentically Tasty Pork Carnitas

Carnitas 500 6487Like so much of Mexican cooking, every family has its own recipe. Nobody has “the” recipe. The one ingredient in all of course is pork.

In most of the authentic ones I’ve found, lard is another basic.

Now I know what you are going to say. Ewwww, no lard for me.

But if you will listen, we can get past this problem.

So scientifically, as I understand it, the lard is not absorbed. A chemically thing happens here. The meat has “juice” in it, aka, water. It also have some fat. If you keep the temperature fairly mild, the fat and collagen “render” out of the meat, but the lard acts as a barrier and prevents the water from escaping.

Thus at the end, you have a crispy (I’ll explain that too) outside, and an amazingly succulent, moist, literally melt-in-your-mouth interior.

Let me repeat again, the lard is not absorbed. You are using raw meat. You are not breading it like chicken. When you do that, the breading (flour and egg) do absorb the fat. That’s why the crust on fried chicken is greasy.

So if you have the nerve to give this a try, you will have the most amazing food experience ever. It literally makes your eyes bug out in pleasure.

So, are you game?


  • 2½ – 3 pound pork butt or shoulder, cut into large pieces at least 2×2 inches in size (do not skimp on the size, trust me)
  • 1 pound lard (if you cannot find lard at your local market, use suet)
  • ½ orange, skin on, quartered
  • 1 lime, skin on, quartered
  • 4 medium garlic cloves skinned and left whole, slightly smashed
  • 1 jalapeno stemmed and sliced into ½ inch rings, seeds left in
  • 1 medium onion, skinned and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup bacon fat


  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  2. In a dutch oven, or similar volume oven-proof vessel, place all ingredients. Cover with parchment and foil and bake for five hours.
  3. Remove from oven and scoop out meat with a hand strainer or spider strainer. Dispose of remaining liquids and solids.
  4. Place cooked pork on a foil-lined sheet pan, place under broiler for five minutes. If the bottoms seem too wet, flip the pork and broil the other side for another minute or two. This step needs to be watched – you want the meat to caramelize without burning it or drying it out.
  5. Serve simply in a warmed flour tortilla with chopped onion and cilantro.


NOTES: You can add sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, or anything else that makes you happy. This meat simply melts. If you cut up the meat into smaller chunks, it tends to disintegrate so keep them quite large. The tenderness is shocking actually. And there is no greasy taste or feel. You might well remove them from the original pan onto some paper towel first before transferring to the sheet for the broiler. Do not skip the broiler part. It adds significantly to the full mouth pleasure and taste. Anyone who tells you to substitute broth or other liquid for the lard is not giving you good advice. You meat will not be anywhere near as moist and tender. It will be dry and chewy.

SOURCE: A Family Feast

Medallions of Succulent Pork

baconwrappedporkThis is one of those really simple but so satisfying recipes. I like pork tenderloin well enough, but it can seem rather dry and unappealing sometimes no matter how much you season it outside.

This recipe seems to just make the most succulent, juicy tenderloin with plenty of flavor as well. It takes almost no time, and is adaptable to grill or stove top.

This is just the way I like it. You may vary the seasonings as you wish.


  • 1/2 of a pork tenderloin, sliced in 1 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
  • A rub of your choice: I used salt, pepper, lemon pepper, oregano, a pinch of finely chopped rosemary, cayenne, paprika, granulated garlic.
  • a slice of bacon for each tenderloin piece


  1. Dry all your meat well with paper towelling.
  2. Mix up your spice mix–mixing it first allows for a more even distribution.
  3. Press the meat into the seasonings and around sides.
  4. Wrap a piece of bacon around each piece and secure with a toothpick.
  5. Place in fridge uncovered  for about thirty minutes to further dry the surface.
  6. Place on the cool side of the grill (off direct heat) and cook until about 140°, or until nearly done.
  7. Then place directly over the heat and sear well on each side.
  8. Remove to a platter and cover lightly and let rest for 15 minutes.


NOTES: If you are doing indoors. Sear the meat first in a saute pan with a small bit of olive oil. Then transfer to a rack over a baking dish and roast at 425° for 20 minutes (check with a thermometer – 145° is your target. Take out at 140°) Let rest as usual.  You might also like to use a pat of garlic butter on the top of each to melt over.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton


Bountiful Braided Stromboli

braidedstromboliMy husband was very leery of this recipe. He eyed it suspiciously when I lowered it to the table.

He ate his salad, eyes darting now and then.

What was this thing called a Stromboli?

It’s history is murky but most seem to agree that whoever named it, did so after a movie. Never heard of it myself.

It is much like a calzone. A calzone is made with pizza dough, a stromboli is often made with bread dough, but plenty of folks make their strombolis using pizza dough. I modified my pizza dough recipe to make this, so I’m sitting the fence.

Anyway. The Husband ate it. He died. Went to heaven. He came back in the evening and ate it cold as a snack. Couldn’t decide which he liked best. Wants more.

It’s not as hard as you think.


  • One recipe of basic pizza dough.
  • 1/3 c good olives of you choice, chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
  • 1/3 c drained oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • various Italian meats, salami, ham, mortadella, Sopresstata (choose 2)
  • various Italian cheeses, provolone, fresh mozzarella, asaigio, (choose 2)
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds


  1. Follow the recipe for dough above through step 4. After that, add more flour until the dough is of handling consistency, meaning it is not so sticky. Continue through step 7. You can leave this for a couple of hours until ready to assemble. You will need at least an hour to rise, and I would do more rather than less. Just leave it alone. I made my dough about 9:30 am for putting in the oven at 12:30 pm.
  2. Once you are set to assemble, get all your fillings ready. I figured about 1/2 lb of each of the two meats, and about 4 oz of each cheese.
  3. Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a 16 x 24 rectangle. Stretch it by hand as you need. If it is resisting, throw a towel over and leave for five minutes. The gluten will let go.
  4. You want the 16 inch side vertical to you, the width across.
  5. Line the center 4 inches down the middle with a layer of the olives and capers, spread with a spatula. Make sure to leave an inch or so top and bottom to fold over. It will stretch.
  6. Then add the first meat, the first cheese, the tomatoes, a second meat and a second cheese. Place the basil over the top of all.
  7. With a sharp knife, cut strips from the filling out to the edge at a diagonal. You can make them at least an inch wide. Then pull the top over the filling and start draping first one strip and then another from the other side, braiding. Tuck the ends which are too long, along the sides inside as you go. Pull up the end and cover the bottom and drap the last two strips. Pull strips here and there to make sure that the filling is not showing. The dough will puff up and form a case around the filling as it bakes.
  8. Place on a cookie sheet on parchment. Beat the egg in a dish and brush over the dough and then sprinkle on the sesame seeds.
  9. Bake in a preheated 400° oven for 20-25 minutes. Rest for 15 before cutting and serving.


NOTES: You can do most any fillings you wish. You could do Philly cheese steak filling, a pizza filling, ham and cheese with spinach (cook and squeeze your spinach before hand), barbecued pulled pork with Mexican cheeses and hot chiles.  Be inventive!

SOURCE: Serious Eats


Short Ribs Provencale

short-ribs2This is a wonderful rich dish. It’s a bit like Boeuf Bourguignon without nearly the amount of work.

I have sort of looked at several recipes and brought together the ingredients I especially like. I make no attempts at authenticity here. It’s French in spirit at least.

It think this is a very dressed up dish perfect for company as well as the family.

Enjoy it.

Adapted from Epicurious, and the MessyBakerBlog.


  • 6 – 8 short ribs
  • EVOO
  • 4 carrots, divided
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 lg onion
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp herbs de Provence
  • 1 c red wine (a burgundy or Merlot would be perfect)
  • 2 c beef stock (unsalted preferred)
  • 1/8 c flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 regular can of diced tomatoes (or equivalent diced fresh–about a 1 1/2 c)
  • 1 bay leaf, sprig of fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried
  • salt and pepper


  1. In an oven ready pan, saute the ribs on all sides, browning well in a couple tbsp of olive oil.
  2. Remove the ribs to a plate.
  3. Finely dice the ribs of celery and one carrot. add to the saute pan and saute until just starting to give up a little liquid.
  4. Slice the onion into fairly thin slices and add to the celery and carrot. Continue sauteing until the onion is softened but not yet done.
  5. Add the garlic, microplaned, stir in well. Continue until you can smell it.
  6. Add the flour and stir in thoroughly.
  7. Add all the herbs.
  8. Add the wine and stock, stirring up all the bits from the bottom.
  9. Add the tomatoes and paste, stirring in well.
  10. Bring to a low boil and add the meat back and any juices from the plate.
  11. Cover and place in a 300° oven for 2 – 2 1/2 hours or until meat is falling off the bone.
  12. In the last 20 minutes, add the remaining carrots.


OVEN: 300

TIME: 2 – 2 1/2 hours

NOTES: Serves over mashed potatoes, rice, or noodles. If you grow your own herbs, by all means use them…I’d say keep the proportions the same but use about 2 tbsp fresh. It’s okay to mix dried with fresh if you don’t grow all that is needed.

Lamb By the Leg

barbecue-butterflied-leg-of-lambI confess I’m not a great lover of lamb. I do enjoy the occasional lamb chop but I’ve pretty much avoided the leg. Nothing against legs mind you, it just seemed like a very large piece of meat.

But on a holiday, it does seem to be the thing to do, so this Easter I secured a leg and decided to give it a try.

There is nothing much to cooking a leg of lamb actually. It turned out quite simple. We liked it fine, and I have plenty in the freezer to make ragu’s of varying kinds in the up-coming months.

So when the right holiday comes along, do give it a try. Like many recipes, one should make it at least once in a life time. And if you find it grand, well, you have found a new friend!


  • 1 6-8 lb leg of lamb
  • 1 c white wine
  • 1/2 c orange juice (or substitute 1/4 c of lemon juice)
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. If you leg is bone in, place in a plastic bag. If boneless, tie it up with twine before placing it in the plastic bag.
  2. Mix the balance of the ingredients together and then pour into the bag, massaging the marinade so that the leg is well covered.
  3. Refrigerate for a good six hours, or longer up to about 12 or so. Turn the bag over when you think of it.
  4. Remove the bag from the refrigerator about two hours before cooking to bring it to room temperature.
  5. Preheat the oven to 475-500°.
  6. Place the leg on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. (Line with foil to help the cleanup)
  7. Place in the oven and roast for 10 minutes, turn over and roast another 10 minutes.
  8. Reduce the temperature to 325°.
  9. Roast until you get an internal temperature of 135° which is the high side of medium rare. Do not overcook or it will be dry.
  10. You should figure about 10-15 minutes per pound. Start checking after the first hour, but remember, that once it starts to move up, the temperature will usually move up fast, so do pay attention.
  11. When it is at the temperature you wish, (125° would be rare), remove the roast and allow to sit tented with foil for about 20-30 minutes before carving.

Serves: 10

NOTES: You can vary the herbs a bit if you wish. And plenty of people don’t care for the citrus marinade so you can omit it if you wish. If you do I would make small slits in the meat and insert the slivers of garlic and herbs that way. Or mince your garlic and make a light paste of olive oil and the herbs and garlic and spread that on the meat before placing in the oven.