Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Gringo Cravings—Satisfied

Life here in beautiful Michoacán, México has many benefits, not the least of which is the interesting regional cuisine. But sometimes, we gringos crave foods from "down home".

We are going to have a new neighbor, who comes from Houston, Texas, so when we invited him over for dinner (served at the traditional hour of 2:30 PM) he was pleased to enjoy a Texas-Southern style meal.

We had: Chicken Fried Steak, with creamed gravy; mashed potatoes, creamed small baby onions, (yes, two creamed dishes in one meal, but quite distinctive in seasoning) and fresh green beans. (But I drew the line at overcooking the green beans with salt pork.
 Instead, they were cooked tender-crisp, with no sauce nor seasoning other than salt.) We also ate sparingly of a few slices of whole grain No-Knead Bread. It was gloriously satisfying and indulgent.
We didn't have room left for dessert, and that was ok, as we hadn't prepared any.

The Chicken Fried Steak was amazingly tasty and tender, considering that it came from unaged, very lean Mexican beef. But I had spent sometime beating the steak with a cubing hammer. I wanted also to apply some meat tenderizer, but we didn't have any. I remembered a trick in Chinese cooking in which baking soda is applied to the meat as a tenderizer.
After the pounded steaks sat awhile, I seasoned them with a bit of Worcestershire Sauce. They were then dipped in seasoned flour, thence in egg-milk mixture, then in biscuit baking mix. (Lacking Bisquick™, I made up a small amount of biscuit mix, but without the liquid.)

I then fried two CFS' at a time in hot veg oil in a large cast iron skillet. About 4-5 minutes per side. These were then placed on paper toweling and kept warm in a low oven, along with the creamy mashed potatoes and baby onions. The outer breading was dark in color, and without the covering gravy, perhaps unattractive. But in all, it was a good eating experience, not all all burnt, and at best, tender and succulent.

It was SO good; and the best part is that there is one CFS leftover, a good portion of mashed pots, and plenty of creamed baby onions. I might have half a portion for breakfast.
Although the local meat has to be tamed into tenderness, we can always rely on wonderfully fresh, tasty vegetables.

Tomorrow—Holiday Bake-a-Thon

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