Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Labor Day pt 2!

Over Labor Day Weekend I celebrated my birthday with my family and in the Barnes' household the birthday girls pick their birthday dinner. I typically choose my Mom's fajitas but I wanted something I haven't had in probably 10 years. We also get to use the "Special Plate". Damn right I'll celebrate, its MYYYY day!!!

I chose Chicken Fried Steak, my mom used to make it for my Uncle when he would visit from abroad. Since its not healthy AT ALL, she rarely makes it! Most people make Chicken Fried Steak in a cast iron skillet but my Mom (just like her mom) makes it in an electric skillet. I also found the cracker crumbs to be to be an interesting addition.

Mom's (and Grandma Elaine's) Chicken Fried Steak
3 lbs round steak, cut into 6 portions. (You can purchase pre tenderized steak, make sure that it has been machine tenderized, not chemically tenderized.)
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 packages saltine crackers, broken down to crumbs 

1/2 cup grease
2 heaping tbsp flour
2 cups potato water
2-3 cups milk
Salt and Pepper

Heat about 1 inch of crisco in electric skillet. Whisk together milk and eggs and place in shallow dish. Place crumbled crackers in another shallow dish. Dredge meat in milk and egg mixture and then dredge in cracker crumbs. Fry meat in skillet and flip once the first side is browned. You will need to do this in batches as to not overcrowd skillet. You can keep steaks warm in a 200 degree oven until serving. While meat is cooking prepare your favorite mashed potatoe recipe and save 2 cups of the potato water. 

Once all steaks have been fried, remove excess grease from pan, leaving only 1/2 cup. Add two heaping tbsp of flour to grease and whisk to make a roux. Once brown and bubbly, add the 2 cups of potato water (say whaaatt?! Trust me, it seams crazy but it works!) Whisk in 2-3 cups of milk and continue to boil until thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with lots of gravy and fall into a deep food coma!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sesame Glazed Salmon

So if you remember a post from last summer, I had a family of caterpillars who enjoyed eating my cilantro and parsley and somehow they found my new place! I felt so guilty to move them, so I cut what I needed and let them enjoy their parsley in peace.

This is a spin on a previous recipe I posted last summer Here. These noodles are so light their great for a summer day (especially when your air conditioning isn't working!!) The salmon is quick to prepare so you can have dinner in minutes!
Cold Sesame Noodles
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 bunch parsley
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 head broccoli, cut and blanched
1 lb whole wheat spaghetti (I have also used Somen noodles, and they are excellent too.)

-For the Sauce-
1/2 cup sesame oil
2/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp black vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp samba olek

Cook noodles, rinse and drain. Mix up sauce and save 4 tbsp for salmon. Combine 1/2 of sauce with noodles and veggies and pop in the fridge to cool. Toss remaining sauce with noodles before serving. Top with salmon and enjoy!

Obviously this is a big batch of noodles, but now I have lunch all week! Sometimes I top with grilled steak or shrimp.

Sesame Glazed Salmon
4 oz salmon filet
4 tbsp of sesame vinaigrette 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush salmon with 2 tbsp of sauce and bake for 8 minutes, brushing with sauce half way through. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day Weekend pt 1

I spent the weekend in Hutch, celebrating a friend's birthday and kicking off my birthday week with the family. The weekend started off with my friend's birthday party in which I supplied the cupcakes. I will say that her dad's pulled pork was the favorite in my book! 
Cupcakes for Marla's party! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARLA!!!
Since I was sooooo good last week I decided to fall off the wagon! I had lunch with Seth, Kristin and her mom Shelly at Roy's Hickory Pit BBQ. I have not been to Roy's in probably 10 years. (OMG I can't believe I'm old enough to say something like that!)
 When I was little, I remember going with my dad and while I didn't remember the food, I remembered the smell. Oh yes, the smell of barbeque, its the kind of smell that sticks with you. This smell of hickory lingers with you, and  when you are out in public, people know where you've been! The line was already at the door when we arrived, so we hopped in it.  Roy's is a simple BBQ joint, but they mean business, they have 3, maybe 4 employees. They have all the usual suspects, ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and sausage They do go conservative on the sides, with each meal you get beans and their "salad" bar which has an assortment of pickled items and slaw. 

Since I couldn't decide, I ordered the pulled pork sandwich with hot sausage. 

 Their sauce is smoky with a little spice and it is one of my favorites! Oh yeah, did I mention that your meat is cut to order and all 3 employees are in the same room as you? I {almost} love that I can see them prepare my meal! I say almost because as I waited in line, I watched them toast the bread and lets just say they don't skimp on the butter.....

Whoa, back to reality, sorry I was drooling over that photo! 

Part 2 will follow with Nancy's Chicken Fried Steak!!