Friday, August 11, 2006

"Just smear it on your hips and save time."

That's what my grandmother used to say about anything that was tasty and fattening. Bless her heart.

I love talking about food. I grew up in Texas where the food is as big and bold as the population. For some reason, fried foods are big in Texas. Really big. One of the most popular and indigenous food items there is Chicken-Fried Steak. There's no chicken in it, but rather, it's a style of frying. You take a cheap, tough cutlet of beef, pound it so it's tender, bread it and fry it the same way you would fried chicken. If that wasn't enough, you take the "drippins", make a roux, and add evaporated milk to make a fatty, creamy gravy to pour over it. "Whaat gravy" as they say in Texas. It was developed in order to turn cheap pieces of beef into a tummy-filling dinner. It works. (see pic)

I have to say, it's not bad. In addition to the gravy, I put ketchup on mine.

After chicken-fried steak caught on, Texans began chicken-frying everything. And I mean everything.

One of the most popular food stands at the Texas State Fair serves chicken-fried cheesecake. Wow. Many restaurants serve a chicken breast that is cooked liked chicken-fried steak (pounded flat, etc) and voila, "chicken-fried chicken" is now a popular menu item.

My dad was at a brunch recently and you won't believe what was on the buffet: Chicken-fried bacon!! Complete with "whaat gravy". (see pic) Makes your hear just want to stop.

There is also chicken-fried venison (very popular) quails, dill pickles, green tomatoes, candy bars, squash, broccoli, corn-on-the-cob, you name it, they'll chicken-fry it.

I wonder if anyone's every tried chicken-frying an enchilada or a burrito? You probably can't more Texan than that.


At 2:59 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

I was going to leave a comment but then my heart stopped. I have to have quadruple bypass surgery now. Thanks for that.

At 6:41 PM , Anonymous Mike said...

The idea of "chicken-fried cheesecake" sounds like a bad joke. But then, the idea of putting a wooden stick into a cream filled snack food (I think it was "Twinkys"), freezing it, dipping it into batter and deep fat frying it also sounds horrible.

I lived in Texas the first part of the 10th grade (summer and fall 1965). OK, it was basically an Air Force community in a civilian neighborhood but we weren't into chicken fried anything. We did bar-b-que.

Thanks for the amusing ideas...

At 7:29 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Hmmm. Mike, you just gave me a great idea that would be the epitome of Texan cuisine: Chicken-fried barbecue!


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