Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Guess It’s a Southern Thing!

I spent lots of time watching cooking shows and QVC while I was sick.  Two different shows did Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy. Some called it Country Fried Steak.  Not something I am that familiar with, I did some research and decided to give it a go.

Picture 816 Lots of different takes on it, that’s for sure.  One guy Bobby Flay had on for a throw down, did it with a white gravy.

Then Bobby challenged Paula Dean to a throw down, and she scoffed at white gravy.  Hers was  brown with onions in it.  She said Southerners don’t do white gravy, yet the first guy was very Southern!

Picture 815

Bobby made his crisp, Paula floated hers in the gravy for a bit.  I don’t see the point of getting it crisp if you are going to soak it in gravy?

So I did it my own way.

First, you get some round steak and beat the cwap out of it.  They said to have the butcher put it through the machine twice.  Years ago here in NY, we used to be able to buy what was called “minute steaks”  or cubed steak.  I haven’t seen it in ages!

Picture 819

I pounded it, dipped in buttermilk, then in seasoned flour, repeat twice. 

Got the oil good and hot and fried them, placed them on a cookie rack to drain, (Bobby says that keeps both sides crisp).

Drained the oil off and deglazed the pan.  Browned some chopped onion, and then made a pan gravy.

I did some onions in another pan for the top.

Picture 817

Plated it, put some gravy on the top, served with mashed potatoes and a veggie.

The verdict…time consuming and lots to clean up. DH was thrilled to do that for me!  :)

Good flavor, but give me a NY Strip Steak any day!

But I do love Southern Fried Chicken, so all you Southern girls, forgive this Yankee, but I don’t think I will make it again!   Red Velvet Cake is getting very big up here!  And it took awhile for Pulled Pork to catch on too, so you never know!

One of my Favorite Things is decorating for Christmas.

Every year I say I will do less, and then end up doing it all.

I remember when my mom decided not to decorate anymore.  But the older I get, I can see why! 

Anyway, I do a 3 foot  lit tree in a basket on my kitchen island, and I decorate it with kitchen/food related things.

I have a lot of copper mini pot and pans and gingerbread ornies from WSonoma outlet.

Picture 810

I found these at Walmart, and thought they would be good for the tree.

Do you do a kitchen tree?

I am joining Gollum for Foodie Friday and Laurie at Bargain Hunting with Laurie  for Favorite Things. 

Thanks for visiting, and have a wonderful weekend!


  1. My current kitchen is too small but I do a small on my hutch in the dining room.

    CFS is something very Midwestern as well as Southern. I've eaten it with both an onion, brown gravy and the milk based white and I prefer the white. We can get cube steaks here in beef country but I'd rather have a NY Strip too :)


  2. Oh I saw those ornaments too, so cute! I have a small lit tree in a galvanized tub I put in the kitchen (actually I've been itching to bring it out!).
    Have to laugh, I haven't seen cubed steak in ages either-forgot all about it! Glad to hear you're feeling better:@)

  3. I have never tried to make it but have had it in little out of the way diners...with white gravy if I recall. Yours looks good...too bad you didn't like it.

    I bought a feather tree after the holidays last is in the box. I was going to put it in the kitchen but haven't a clue how to decorate it. We'll see.

    So glad you are feeling better, Kathleen!


  4. Hi Kathleen! Speaking as someone from Georgia, Miss Paula's home state...I don't know what she is talking about...I ALWAYS have it with white gravy and so does everyone I know! If I ever go to a restaurant that has southern food, that's what I order! lol I've never had it with onins, although it sounds good! I love brown gravy on my mashed potatoes, though. However, you've gotta have some fried okra with it...yummy! Then you have to wait a month or two to let all of that clear out of your arteries before you can eat it again! lol I love it that you decided to try it! I hope you are having a great week!...hugs...Debbie

  5. I love chicken fried steak but it is a lot of work. Glad you tried it, yep very southern. I do a Christmas tree, last year was my first, so I'm still looking for cute ornaments for it. Looks like I will have to visit wal mart!
    Kathleen glad you are feeling better!

  6. Kathleen,
    I'm not a big fan of chicken friend steak either. I remember my mother used to make it every once in a while.

    Gee, I'd forgotten about about minute steak. Nope. It hasn't been in the market out here either.

    Say, I wanted to ask you about the green pumpkin candle in your header picture. Is it a candle or an oil lamp?

  7. Fun reading about your chicken fried steak :)It does look good!

    For the past few years I have had a small Christmas Tree on my kitchen counter. I try to lessen the decorations too, but some how it still seem like a lot.

  8. Alls I can say about that food is it looks quite comforting! :0) And I said alls on purpose. I can't put out like that everyday but once in a while it's fun. I don't do a Christmas tree in the kitchen :0) Oh and I'm pretty sure I bought some cubed steak in the past year but I can't remember if it was in Southern Cal. or here in Washington :0)

  9. This looks like comfort food at its finest. I have never had a chicken fried steak, but this is very appealing. Thanks for this recipe.

  10. You know I am a northern girl and we grew up having this steak but no gravy. Served with fried potatoes and onions. I haven't had it for 20+ years though :)

    Cute little cupcake ornaments - I bought a small tree for the kitchen counter last year so am just starting my ornament collection. I bought some faux cookies & cupcakes too.

  11. Kathleen, don't know about Georgia, but in TX we each chicken fried steak with white gravy and french fries. My husband would rather have the mashed potatoes! Usually the steak is huge and covers the entire plate. Not something I eat very often. LOL
    The cupcake ornaments are cute. I don't put up a tree in the kitchen, but I do put up my "rooster" tree on the sun porch. Last year I added a skinny tree in my dining room decorated with MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check theme. Not sure what I'll do this year. Like you, the older I get the less energy I have for all this decorating. LOL
    ~ Sarah

  12. I'm with you the give me the NY strip any day! I don't need my beef floating in gravy. I will take some caramelized onions on the side, though ;)

  13. Kathleen, I'm glad you are feeling well enough to cook again and for sure, give M. the clean up job! I've never had Chicken Fried Steak (or heard of it!) but sometimes make something similar which my son always called "Fuzzy Steak". It is round or sirloin steak cut in strips, put in seasoned flour and fried in oil. But that's it, no gravy or onions but that sounds good too!

    No kitchen tree for me but I'm getting overwhelmed at the thought of Christmas decorating with all the stuff I have too and I don't even have Thanksgiving to go through like you do!


  14. Hi Kathleen,
    This yankee has never cared for it either!
    I had to chuckle thinking of you watching QVC.
    Did you buy anything?
    I have done a small tree in the dining room but I am starting to think its overkill for me.
    Our living room tree is really large and thats probably enough!
    Hugs FRiend,

  15. Looks good - but not a monthly item! We can still get minute and cubed steak out here in the boonies!! The onions to me are the STARS!!

    Don't do a Kitchen tree - but you never know....
    Cute ornaments!

  16. We like our chicken fried done with a pork cutlet and we do the white gravy with it. Yummy! I could eat it once a week, but make it about every 2-3 months.

    I don't have a tree in my kitchen, my kitties would be climbing it, like they do the family room tree! They aren't quite as bad as when they were kittens, though.

    Hope you get to feeling better, soon!

  17. I've never had chicken fried steak, but yours looks great, Kathleen! You are a Southern girl though, South Fork?

    Is minute and cubed steak the kind with the marks on it? Looks like it got run over? We have that here, out West of you, LOLOL!

  18. Country fried steak is delicious - total comfort food. But I admit, I prefer mine with white gravy. It is very popular in the South. Yours looks delicious.

  19. Kathleen, Chicken fried steak migrated into New Mexico via our Texas neighbors and it always was served with a white milk gravy. No onions, though. Lots of potatoes... Talk about the fat and the carbs!!! LOL I can still get "cubed steak" here in Ohio. It costs a lot more than I remember paying for it back when we were newlyweds and seniors in college. Those little steaks were 4 for $1.00. Talk about a cheap but yummy meal!!!
    I always put up a gingerbread tree in my kitchen. It's a slim 5 ft. tree decorated with faux gingerbread cookies- many of them in a kitchen theme.

  20. I think I will have it at the restaurant then, only it does sound delish.

    I don't do a tree but I do hang ornaments from the ceiling. It is very festive.

  21. This Georgian says Paula is full of hooey about the white gravy.

    Looks to me like you did a great job! I very much agree that it's a lot of work and mess, especially for something that my conscience just won't let me enjoy anyway. I'm not a fried food fan.

    I haven't decorated the kitchen that much in previous years but plan to this year because some new neutral wall color will be a better blank slate.

  22. I have a 4 foot red tree, with mini red lights, for the kitchen area. I am always on the look out for more foodie ornaments that match the red, and I love your cupcake ornaments that you found at Walmart.

  23. Hi Crazy Lady!
    I'm glad you're feeling well enough to cook & decorate. :D
    I made the Pioneer Woman's recipe for fried cube steaks just last week & thought they were awful. Yuck! We don't "do" fried foods very often around this house since DH's ♥ attack. I sure don't need the extra calories either.

    Cute little cupcake ornaments you found. I have a tiny little tree on the backers rack between the kitchen & the sunroom. That's my favorite spot for seasonal decorations.

    BTW, go into your profile & make it visible for people to click on your blog through it? I'm getting message:

    "Profile Not Available

    The Blogger Profile you requested cannot be displayed. Many Blogger users have not yet elected to publicly share their Profile.

    If you're a Blogger user, we encourage you to enable access to your Profile."
    Go here: /edit-profile.g

  24. I know it as both, served with both types of gravy, although personally, I prefer the white on white meat, the dark on dark meat. This looks delish and those ornaments are adorable!

  25. I think it's definitely a southern thing. I've never had it before either, but I have seen it in restaurants in the south. And red velvet cake. Oh, yum! I've been making for ages and it is getting very popular up here now. My kids have grown up on it, so it's funny for them to see others not know what it is.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  26. I have never cooked or eaten that dish but it looks good. I was waiting for my meds at Walmart and I breezed on by the ornaments and saw those cute cupcake ornaments and they are cuter then cute. I picked up2 packages to tie on my gifts as I bought everyone the new Ina cookbook that just came last week for Christmas presents. I pre-ordered them ages ago and just in time for the holidays. Waiting for the Cake Boss recipe books to arrive so I can wrap up my gifts. Glad to see you are up and cooking so you must thankfully be feeling better. Take it easy.

  27. I am a native Tennesseean and grew up on fried chicken. I hate Chicken Fried Steak or whatever it's called on a menu. You can find cube/minute steak easily here. The way my mother cooked it was a super simple, little clean up recipe. Use a piece of aluminum foil for each person's meal. Spray the foil, place a piece of meat, chunks of potatoes, carrots, slice of onion and seasonings. I use Worcestershire or steak sauce, pepper. The top with a pat of butter. Seal each foil packet securely. Bake for 45-60 minutes at 350˚. Each packet can be customized to the family member's taste. It is so easy. You can slide the food into the plate or just place the packet on the plate. That will keep all the juices under control!
    Beckie in Brentwood, TN

  28. OMLord, are old enuf to be retired and have never had southern chicken fried steak? Why, we eat it for breakfast around here, girl. It is indeed A SOUTHERN THANG....
    Here, we do CREAM GRAVY..never brown. Some like it ON the steak, I, however, like it "on the side". I want mine thin and crisp...and there is NUTHIN' better than a GOOD Chicken Fry and nuthin' any worse than a poor one. I am very, VERY selective when ordering one at a restaurant. There's only a very few places here that make a good one. Most use the frozen, pre-breaded steaks that are awful..We use the best steak, dipping twice (as you did) so that there's a lot of crusty goodness. Wow..I'm so dang hungry for one now that I'm pretty sure that's what we'll have for dinner really soon.:)
    I never read other comments until AFTER I write mine..I can't wait to read yours here to see what everyone thinks of Chicken Fried Steak..:))
    (gosh, I am so easily entertained...)

    Ok, all that being said...I can't click on your name when left in a comment and get to your blog..PROFILE NOT SHOWN or something like that. I can get here by typing your address...very strange, indeed.

    I didn't do a kitchen tree until I saw YOURS and then I got one. I don't have the cute things to put on it but I can add them as I can.

  29. I'm back...just can't get over that there's people in this country that have never heard or tried (or liked) CFS. :))

    Just to say our markets here alll have cubed of my favorites. I use it to make steak fingers, another favorite of ours. It seems so strange that other parts of the country can't get it. hmmm...

    I noticed someone else said they got the same message when clicking on your name..

  30. Sounds tasty but a lot of work. Give me the steak too.
    I too have a small kitchen. My Santa collection numbers over 100 so I have to stick with them or there won't be room for all of them.

  31. I have never had this (being an upstate new yorker), but my mom made cube steak (or swiss steak, as she called it). I make it for my husband, but rarely, since his heart attack. But HE would love your steak...he's from England and a real BEEF and potatoes guy-though he is getting used to chicken just as long as the potatoes and peas are included!! Oh, and a NY strip would make him ecstatic!!

    Glad you are feeling good and back to doing what you love.

    I don't have a tree in my's too small for anything!!!!!!!!! Your ornaments are so cute!

  32. Your steak looks very appetizing Kathleen. Wish I could cook like you but I am lazy when it comes to cooking....Christine

  33. I'm a brown gravy girl all the way...pure total comfort food! I'm amazed that you can't find cubed steak. This is a staple in our home. In the past, I've put up a 4 ft tree in the kitchen, but since remodeling, I don't have a place to put the tree anymore. It was one of my favorites too! It was full of candy and cookie ornaments.

  34. We do a kitchen tree each year. I hang cookie cutters all over it...with the star at the top!

  35. I've had chicken fried steak when I've traveled in the South, and loved it, but I think it's too many calories to eat it frequently.

    I drool over those pretty copper ornaments in the WS catalog every year, and I do wish I had a spot for a kitchen Christmas tree, but I barely have room for myself in my kitchen, so no tree for me.

  36. Your Chicken Fried Steak was beautiful! I know what it is, but I guess it never really appealed to me. Yours looks fantastic.
    I have a tree right outside the kitchen in the foyer, but the kitchen is too small for a tree..

  37. I grew up in Texas and now live in TN. Here, they have NO idea what "cream gravy" is (ie white gravy). Cream gravy is definitely a Texas "thing". There is no way to have chicken fried steak, fried chicken or biscuits for breakfast without having cream gravy. I LOVE it :)
    Debbie - Admin for

  38. Yep, darlin' fixed it. Good deal.
    Now..gotta go see about that virus..

    (I thought of you this morning when we had creamed gravy for breakfast..thought to tell Mr. Sweet that you fixed BROWN gravy with your Chicken Fry. He thought that was so cute...
    Paula Deen has NO idea what she is talking about if she says make brown gravy and ONIONS for your chicken fry..where did the woman grow up??) :))

  39. Ok, I'll weigh in on the CFS too. I love it - especially if someone else is preparing it, because it does make a mess. I love mine with white gravy on the side. But since I can eat me some browned onions all by themselves, so they did look good on the CFS. CFS w white gravy on the side is my standard order at any Cracker B. Those cupcakes ornaments are so pretty. I'm going to see if our WM has any,because I also do a kitchen tree (surprised?) Thank you for linking to Favorite Things. Glad you are feeling well enough to do some cooking. I just wish I could enjoy eating it with you. laurie

  40. I came looking for this week's tablescape, found CFS instead! It looks delicious! My mother used to make it and it was wonderful!

    How are you feeling?

    P.S. - I had real green roses in my TT this week!

  41. That looks so good! I have had CFS made with white and brown gravy. I have not made it or fried chicken in years. Not only because of the mess, but I also don't need the temptation to eat it very often. :)
    No kitchen tree here.
    Have a great week.

  42. Although I've never made the fried steak, I have tried it. I'm with you, I'd rather a New York strip steak any day.

    - The Tablescaper

  43. Greetings! Oh, I have so many comments! Well, first of all, the way you made that looks DELICIOUS. Second, I saw that Throwdown show with Bobby and Paula too. And you know what? In one of her own shows, I saw her make that with the white gravy!!! So she's a liar! And I used to always buy the cubed steak in Brooklyn too! But you won't believe it, I saw it here in CT and got it, but it wasn't as good as when my Mom used to get it in NY when I was younger. Oh, and no, I don't do a Kitchen Christmas Tree because my kitchen is so small. I could fit even a teeny tiny tree! LOL!

  44. I love me some chicken fried steak but have never had it with brown gravy only cream gravy! Yummy!
    Thanks for popping in to see me,
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)


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