Chicken Fried Steak

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Chicken Fried Steak, a dish so American, you’d think it came from Germany.

With a milky gravy.

Here’s something to do with those steaks you have no idea what to do with.  With the “Gite a la noix” cut, which translated by google is “Cottage has nuts” … now my new favorite nickname for the Gite / Noix cut … you can do one of two things:

1) warm, fry and rest.  The flavor is there, but a bit chewy.  Perhaps with a nice sauce.

2) Pound the crap out of it – a la Chicken Fried Steak.

At a glance:

–  pound flour into beef with salt and pepper

– start some rice

–  chop onion

–  fry beef in hot duck fat

– while beef rests, gently cook onions

–  add flour for gravy

– add milk, make magic gravy

–  grab wine and serve

 

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Behold the Cottage Nuts cut:

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Pound in the flour.

I’ve pounded then floured many times.  This is the first time I’ve pounded the flour in.  I highly recommend this method.  It serves you well when you fry.

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My Ikea countertops can’t handle a pounding, so I use a step stool and a sturdy chopping board.

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Pound the flour into the meat.

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Salt and pepper after.

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Prepare the onions for the milky gravy.

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Take a moment to snap a photo of a cute three-year-old.

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Fry those babies hot hot.  Get the pan hot before the steak goes in.  Otherwise, it will get all melty man.

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After the steak has been fried, dump out most of the fat.  Add a lump of butter and add the onions.

When the onions go all soft, add some flour to make a roux.  Then add a cup and a bit of milk.

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Stir and thicken.

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Serve in strips or cubes or whole. Just don’t forget the gravy!

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When Life Gives You Eggs

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Make mousse.  I actually had to google, “how long do fresh eggs last?”  We’ve never had this backlog.  I love to make mousse because it uses the entire egg.  Yolks go with the chocolate, sweet bit.  The whites are whipped and give it texture.  Ice cream is wonderful, but you must make merengues.   It goes a little something like this :

 

1 bar of chocolate, cooking, noir, we used praline

80g of butter

— melty that

separate 4 eggs

whip the whites, add some sugar.  not much as your bar of chocolate is sweeter than you think

add the yolks to chocolate nirvana

foldy foldy

scoop into fancy mousse bowls

there it will set in the fridge until dinner

 

 

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we tasted after three

Stir Fried Rice

stir fried rice

I try hard to get the buffet look with my stir fried rice. In this guy, we have in this order

ground beef browned and set aside

load of duck fat with butter nub in the pan
onions

when the onions are looking sexy

garlic
carrots
celery

then the pre-cooked rice, Uncle Ben’s style yo.
then the ground beef back in

fish sauce
soy sauce
salt
pep

after it’s all cooky cooky, push it to the side

scramble two eggs in the gap

add the eggs to the rest

yell, ” dinner is ready!!”

heat some more and serve

oh merde! don’t forget to add some frozen peas!

The Sound of Vanilla Ice Cream

ice cream maker

The chickens are laying well these days. We now have a few spare eggs to make some ice cream. I made a vanilla custard, extra sweet. Ice cream needs to be sweet. You should let the custard sit overnight before you spin it in the machine.

I rushed it and stuck it in the big freezer for a spell, then put it in my fancy Snoopy Sno-cone Machine. Otto heard the noise, rushed downstairs and said, “I hear the sound of vanilla ice cream!” Yes sir. You are correct.

6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
4 cups of cream and milk, fix your ratio
dash of Armagnac

egg yolks and sugar whipped together
milk heated on the hob
slowly make them friends
back on the hob, stir and thicken over low heat
let it cool
add the Armagnac

put the mix in the fridge overnight and then let ‘er go in the ice cream maker

vanilla ice cream

You Got Your Electrons, Your Protons and Your Fritons

searching for fritons

Making Fritons today.  These are lovely, crunchy ducky bits.  They are the Gascon version of Chicharrón.  Duck skin and fat leftover from your gorgeous duck butchering boiled in fat.
hot vat of duck fat

I’ve not done Fritons before.  I asked our local duck farmer extraordinaire how to cook them.   She said, “just cook the shit out of them.” … but it was in French and I’m sure she said something more elegant and less American.
ducky bits

 

Once these little crunchies become crunchy, I’ll slot them out with a spoon and salt.  Fritons are a great snack that will keep you going until dinner.

WKRP electron, proton, neutron ref:

Bodie. It’s Alive!

kitchen benchtop

After much pressure from my husband, I finally created life with him other than human.  This is Bodie.  He is our sourdough starter.  Below, you can see he has just been fed.  He will bubble and froth soon.

Bodie, our sourdough starter

A ladle of this fermented beast mixed with flour, salt, duck fat and warm water will bring sourdough joy to serve with many things.

Zélie did the advanced dry pour, I added water.  We stretched and kneaded for five minutes or so.  After, we did some loaves.

she likes to whisk

It runs something like this:

  • A kilo of flour
  • 25 g of salt
  • A big scoop of duck fat
  • 600ml of water
  • A ladle of Bodie ( or your Bodie equivalent )

Mix it in and do the stretchy knead thing.  Things will be sticky.  This was a rye loaf so only needs one rising.  From here, make your loaves.  After a few hours, bake ’em.  Let ’em cool.  Stop calling them ’em and add a big butter pat.  It’s fun to say, “butter pat.”  More importantly a good butter pat will make you healthy.

Bodie has serverd us with two loaves of bread thus far.  To honor his namesake I offer you this tribute.  R.I.P. real Bodie, May 1946 – November 2013.

My First Beef Sausage!

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I made some beef sausage last night.  I should have asked or read or followed somebody.  I had beef.  I had casings.  I had the drive.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the casings.  Brent passed by on his way to pick up Lucy, “Brent,” I say, “what do I do with this shit?”  “You soak them,” he says, like he has made sausage.  I actually don’t know.  Maybe he has made sausage.  Hopefully this won’t come up when we’re on The Newlywed Game ( T.V. game show ).

My first sausage:

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It was a bit fatter than I was expecting.  Things got a little heated and I had to stop.  I was doing it wrong.  Brent came back in from picking up Lucy from school.  “Here’s my sausage!” I say, “I think I did it wrong.”  “Stop.  I know where you went wrong,” he says in an even tone.  Evidently, I needed to roll the intestinal condom on the hoob-a-joob completely, then let the sausage unfold into slinky sausage magic.

I got the hang of it.  A bit tough juggling the raw meat, toddler, casing, sausage spooge and glass of wine, but I managed.  No toddler was used in the making of this sausage.  She screamed and cheered and wondered what the heck I was doing.

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We cooked it up for a taste.

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It was a bit crumbly at the fat end.  I might need to add an egg or something.  The skinny end ( we have a nickname for this, but I’ll hold it in ) was not as crumbly.

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A little Dijon and it tasted not bad.  There is a lot of work ahead arriving at the perfect beef sausage, but this one was edible and almost enjoyable.

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Two out of four Curtis children approved.  Zélie loved it and wanted more.  Though, maybe she would do anything to avoid going to bed.  A sausage good enough to delay bedtime.

Lucy:

  • Lucy: Mom, I need to give you …. Dad? what’s the friendly word for criticism?
  • Brent: Feedback
  • Lucy: Mom, I need to give you feedback.  It needs sauce.

Otto detested it.  He’s sick, so perhaps another go.

Minty:

  • Minty: Mom, I don’t like this sausage.
  • Me: Okay, Mint Mint.  Don’t eat it.  No worries.
  • [ sigh ] [ pause ] [ sigh ]
  • Mom, what’s for dinner?
  • Me: [ inner growl ]

Beef Curry

DSC_1319 I made four kilos of beef curry.  It took most of the day to cook, but a little part of the day to prepare.  It warmed the kitchen while cozying you up inside with a fantastic aroma.  I used a recipe given to me by a friend and fellow beef eater.  It’s Peter Kuruvita’s Sri Lankan Beef Curry.  I’ve made it so many times that I have a few variations to reduce labor, pots, pans and availability of ingredients.

First, some beef.  I used the “beef bourguignon” cuts from our meat box.  I cut the chunks a bit smaller as I have young kids with cute, little teeth.  It’s easier for them this way.

DSC_1104 I marinate over night in all the spices and the ginger.  For a 1 kilo batch, the spices are:

  • Sri Lankan Curry powder, 5 tsp
  • ground cumin, 2 tsp
  • ground coriander, 2tsp
  • chili powder
  • cloves, 8
  • fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp
  • cardamom pods, 4
  • cinnamon sticks – crumbled, 2
  • tumeric powder, 1tsp

Everyone gets acquainted in the fridge.

DSC_1152 When I’m ready to cook, I chop a pile of onions and a load of garlic.  That goes in “Big Red,” our big pot that rules them all.  The onions and garlic bubble gently in butter waiting for the meat.

DSC_1150 In a butter-lard fat mix, the beef gets colored.

DSC_1154 I don’t brown it.  There will be enough flavor with everything else joining the beef curry party.

DSC_1158 The meat goes in Big Red with the onions and garlic.

DSC_1159Then the tomato paste, a little can ( not the little, little can. The tall, little can ).  Add some pepper.

DSC_1162 Then some water.  It looks watery, but don’t worry.  After some patience, it will turn all curry like.

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On this day, award winning food blogger Anneli Faiers from Delicieux was around picking up some beef and met Big Red.  She gave him a stir and a sniff.

DSC_1175 This is her “hungry face.”  I think the curry was progressing nicely.

DSC_1169 A few hours later, beef curry magic.  I cooled it down and stuck it in the fridge for further infusion.  Curry the next day always seems to taste better.

DSC_1199 Some chutney, some Substance P perhaps some creme fraiche … lovely.  I thought my four kilo beef blast would last and I could pull some out of the freezer when I felt like an easy “chuck it in the pot” day.  It went.  All of it.  I managed to freeze a bit for later, but later came so soon.  It’s beef day today, maybe I’ll pull out Big Red and do it all again.

Rose Veal Tendron

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It’s veal day today.  Our boxes are locked and loaded for customers.  When we return from the butcher with a carcass freshly packaged that we’ve carefully raised on the farm, the fry pan goes on and we taste.  We tasted the T-Bone first because … well … it’s a perk of tuning our product.  And because T-bone tastes good.  Veal tastes good.

All I captured of the T-Bone was this empty plate.  We ate the meat.  The dog got the bone.

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Next up was the Tendron A Griller.  Tendron is veal poitrine.  Pointrine is belly or chest.  Tendron is called “Tenderoni” in this household.  Mostly, okay all-ly, by me.  Call it my eighties upbringing.  Call my enthusiastic dedication to the hot boy band New Edition.  Whatever it is, the word “Tendron” is written and all I see is “Tenderoni.”  She’s my only love.

I fry it in a moderate pan loaded with lard.
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It looks like a chunk of meat in the package, but when you take it out, you see it is more of a strip.

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After a fry, I pepper it then cooks me some eggs.  Great for breakfast or lunch.  I had some local Saint Mont that rounded everything out.  … I had it for lunch, though in the country, red wine in coffee for breakfast is not unheard of.  I’ve not quite earned my stripes for that.

 

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The usual suspects were right by my side helping me along with the taste test.  Nothing motivates our fluffy sedentary animals like some fresh veal fried in a pan.

 

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And if you find a tenderoni that is right for you, make it official, give her your love.  Once you had a ‘roni you will never give it up.