Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Food to Sink Your Fangs into....

     So, for my Birthday Dinner I came up with this True Blood inspired menu from my True Blood: Eats, Drinks, and Bites from Bon Temps cookbook.  

Chicken-Fried Love with Gravy

What you need:

Chicken-Fried Steak

Four 6 oz cubed steaks
Cayenne pepper (optional)
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups vegetable oil

Cream Gravy

5 TBsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
Cayenne pepper (optional)

How to make it:

Chicken-fried steak
Generously season the meat with salt, black pepper, and cayenne (optional).
Put the flour in a shallow dish and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne (optional).
Put the eggs and buttermilk in another shallow bowl and whisk well to blend.
In a large, heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, heat the vegetable oil until it registers 350˚F on a deep-fry thermometer.
Dredge two pieces of meat first in the season flour, then in the egg mixture, then again in the flour, coating them evenly and pressing the flour into the meat with the heel of your hand.
Fry in the hot oil until crisp and golden brown, about 5 minutes per side.
Drain the meat on paper towels and keep warm while you repeat the process with the remaining two pieces of meat.

While the steak is frying, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring slowing and constantly, until the mixture is smooth and light brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly whisk in the milk.
Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is smooth and thick, 8 to 10 minutes.
Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne (optional).
Serve the chicken-fried star smother with the gravy then ENJOY!

Bean There, Done That

What you need:

6 slices of bacon
2 TBsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup yellow onion (chopped)
1 lb fresh green beans (trimmed)
2 cups chicken broth
8 oz smoked ham (chopped)

How to make it:

In a large skillet, fry the bacon over medium heat until crisp.
Transfer to paper towels to drain, and set aside.
Add the butter to the skillet with the bacon drippings, still over medium heat.
When the butter has melted, add the onion, and cook, stirring until the onion is soft and golden, about 10 minutes.
Add the green beans, water, and smoked ham, season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to medium-low.
Cover the skillet and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are completely tender, about 45 minutes.
Uncover and continue simmering until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 45 minutes.
Adjust the seasoning.
Crumble the reserved bacon and sprinkle it over the beans.
Serve hot and ENJOY!

Mashed Potatoes
Recipe modified from Pocket Change Gourmet

What you need:

6-8 large white potatoes (peeled and cut into chunks about 1/2 inch in size)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup salted butter
1/4 cup sour cream
Extra butter to serve on top (optional)

How to make them:

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover them.
Boil until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Drain and place in a large bowl, mash with a potato masher until large chucks are broken down.
In a microwavable bowl, add the cream, butter, and sour cream.
Heat in the microwave for 1 minute.
Beat potatoes with an electric mixer, gradually adding the cream mixture, until smooth and desired consistency.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add additional butter if desired, then ENJOY!

Corn Bread of Life

What you need:

2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 TBsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar (but I used 1 Tbsp, I like it sweeter)
1 large egg (beaten)
1 1/2 cup whole milk
3 TBsp lard or vegetable shortening

How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
Add the egg and milk, mix well, but do not beat.
Heat the lard/vegetable oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat until almost smoking. 
Pour in the batter and cook until the edges begin to turn golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the corn bread is golden brown, about 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before cutting into wedges to serve.
Smear on some butter and ENJOY!

     And for dessert...we enjoyed my friend's favorite dessert!  I made a Key Lime Pie to celebrate her belated birthday.  It was AMAZE-BALLS!

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