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eG Foodblog: tupac17616 - Barbecue & Foie Gras


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Chicken fried steak - breakfast/lunch/dinner & midnight snack of champions. By me, Oft purchased, never prepared at home. Hooray for your blog, Tupac!

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Well, since you hail from one of the country's other barbecue capitals, I would like to engage you on the relative merits of Texas brisket vs., say, Kansas City burnt ends or ribs.

(That was a delish-looking photo you put up as a teaser!)

And maybe you could indulge me with a little historical background by way of answering this question:

In most of America's other barbecue hotbeds, it's the descendants of slaves or the Scots/Irish Southerners who owned them who mastered the technique, passed on the traditions and continue to spread the Gospel of 'Cue.  How is it that in Texas, it's the descendants of German immigrants who are the keepers of the flame?

(I don't think I need to poll you on your opinions about banning foie gras.)

Blog on...

To me, great barbecue is great barbecue, regardless of the region. While I love pulled pork (definitely NOT a Texas thing, but I sure wish it were), for example, there are so many styles of 'cue I am pretty ignorant about. I need to do some traveling!

In fact, I didn't even know that burnt ends were a KC thing. They are undoubtedly my favorite type of BBQ, no question about it. Any time I'm at a BBQ place here in TX (where the presence of beef brisket is, of course, a certainty), I ask specifically for the burnt ends of the brisket. Sure, sometimes I'll get a funny look. But I always end up with those beautifully blackened chunks of BBQ heaven.

As for your question about why it is that the Germans are the ones who have carried the BBQ tradition in Texas, I would be curious to know as well. Whatever the reasons, I feel as though we should all thank them for carrying on a mission so beneficial to humanity. :wink:

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While awaiting a more authoritative answer from Tupac, I will note that as I have seen "chicken fried chicken" on the menu of at least one restaurant that specializes in this type of "down home" cooking, the answer may well be, Both.

(I suspect the logic behind "chicken fried chicken" is the same as that underlying the chicken cheesesteak.)

Your comparision to the chicken cheesesteak is dead-on. That's a great way to put it. Chicken-fried chicken just implies that one should expect a similar presentation to a chicken-fried steak. That is, a breaded cutlet of chicken, pan-fried (usually, although deep-fry), and topped with cream gravy. Anytime there is a deep-fried leg or thigh involved, it ceases to be chicken-fried chicken and is simply fried chicken.

And sure, chicken-fried chicken is tasty, don't get me wrong. But it's not the same. Just like chicken cheesesteaks, blueberry bagels, and veggie burgers, it is an culinary outcast whose only ambition is the bask in the greatness of the real thing.

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Yay!  I love fruit, too!  Especially berries, grapes, watermelon and apples.

But, wait!  You don't like melon at all?  Not canteloupe?  Not honeydew?  Not watermelon?

Guess there are exceptions to every rule. I actually do like watermelon. Honeydew is bearable. Melon and canteloupe I don't enjoy at all (even when wrapped in prosciutto di parma). When something can be wrapped in pork and I still won't eat it, you know something is up. :cool:

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ok - a couple questions - what are those horsepills?

what's with the 3s and 7s?

The horsepills are just some multi-vitamins I take daily. I'm not usually a big dietary supplement kinda guy, but these seem to keep my immune system pretty in line. Hard to argue with not getting sick.

As for the 3s and 7s, I will let you in on a little secret.... I am weird. :biggrin: The choice of 3 and 7 is completely arbitrary, much like my choice to wake up at 5:55 this morning to go running before work. I am just a random dude, what can I say.

P.S. Can somebody tell me how the heck to quote multiple people in one post? I love answering all these questions, but I don't wanna make you guys read 50,000 posts of mine in the process!

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In most of America's other barbecue hotbeds, it's the descendants of slaves or the Scots/Irish Southerners who owned them who mastered the technique, passed on the traditions and continue to spread the Gospel of 'Cue.  How is it that in Texas, it's the descendants of German immigrants who are the keepers of the flame?

Because, well, that's who was there.

My husband's from San Antonio, mother's family from Round Top, where you can still hear German used by some of the older locals. When my sister-in-law visits us in Atlanta she can barely get over the fact that we bbq pork.

BBQ in that part of Texas (the only part I'm at all familiar with) often features sausage in addition to whatever else you've ordered. It may not even be mentioned in the description, just show up as part of the usual side dishes.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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woo! a texas foodblog! tupac, that fruit looks amazing. where did you find it?

any chance you'll do lockhart during your time blogging? i think i'm just excited you're blogging in an area i know well (i live in san marcos, but my family is mostly in SA). i look forward to your posts!

"i dream of cherry pies, candy bars and chocolate chip cookies." -talking heads

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What do you guys mean by "melon"? To me thats a category like "stone fruit" - pretty large and encompassing of a wide variety.

Thus, to me "melon" includes watermelon, honeydew, cantalope, crenshaw, musk, and many others.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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The horsepills are just some multi-vitamins I take daily.  I'm not usually a big dietary supplement kinda guy, but these seem to keep my immune system pretty in line.  Hard to argue with not getting sick.

ok - i like a healthy immune system - are they jsut standard GNC type ultra-mega super duper multivitamins, or a particular formula?

As for the 3s and 7s, I will let you in on a little secret.... I am weird.  :biggrin: The choice of 3 and 7 is completely arbitrary, much like my choice to wake up at 5:55 this morning to go running before work.  I am just a random dude, what can I say.

I must be even weirder, because things like that aren't arbitrary to me. my personal favorite number is 6. if i have multiples of anything it's usually 6. 6 lychee fruit, 6 m&ms, 6 strawberries, etc.

if it's 2-bite brownies, it's 3 tho. ;-)

Edited by tryska (log)
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  I am just a random dude, what can I say.

no, you are a future engineer! the OCD does kick in.

tupac - just hike a bit north to new braunfels for german food including bbq and smoked meats.. i don't remember sausages when we lived in Hooks but oh, my goodness - open pit beef, catfish, chicken fried steak with gravy, frogs legs. if you like i remember a book where i work that talked about the history of bbq in texas. i have to go in tomorrow for in-service training and i can research it.

oh- and i WILL fight you for the burnt ends.

since you are a PROUD son of the GREAT STATE of TEXAS have you tried any of the bbq joints in the city and, if so, what are your thoughts on them?

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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...

P.S. Can somebody tell me how the heck to quote multiple people in one post?  I love answering all these questions, but I don't wanna make you guys read 50,000 posts of mine in the process!

For each post you want to cite from click the " add"" " button on the lower right hand side of the post. The button will be highlighted after you select it. When you have selected all the posts you want to quote, scroll down to the bottom of the page and select the "add reply" button. A reply box will appear with all the posts you selected. You can then trim down the quotes; remove photos, etc and reply.

I can't wait for the chicken fried steak tonight. Your mention of it means it is going to be on my menu soon; it's been too long.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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By the way I think I've found my fruit soul-mate...love pretty much all of it except melon and cantaloupe.  My Mom tells me I even rejected them as an infant

So there are two of us out there. Awesome.

Make it three. Melonhaters unite!

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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My husband's from San Antonio, mother's family from Round Top...

Interesting. I've had pie in Round Top, at Royer's Round Top Cafe. Later I'll upload a pic of the pie sampler that we had there.

woo!  a texas foodblog!  tupac, that fruit looks amazing. where did you find it? 

any chance you'll do lockhart during your time blogging?  i think i'm just excited you're blogging in an area i know well (i live in san marcos, but my family is mostly in SA).  i look forward to your posts!

The fruit is just from my local HEB. I'm glad nectarine time has rolled around again. Those things are delicious!

Speaking of Lockhart, I am hoping we'll get a chance to go there (and maybe Luling, too) at some point during the blog.

It's cool to get some feedback from a local eG member. Hope you enjoy the Texas blog!

What do you guys mean by "melon"? To me thats a category like "stone fruit" - pretty large and encompassing of a wide variety.

Thus, to me "melon" includes watermelon, honeydew, cantalope, crenshaw, musk, and many others.

I guess I don't really know what I mean. :biggrin: I don't even have a clue what crenshaw or musk melons are. And actually now that I do a quick Google search, I find cucumber (which I like) is a melon, too. Guess my blanket statement was a bit flawed, then. Ah, well. :cool:

ok - i like a healthy immune system - are they jsut standard GNC type ultra-mega super duper multivitamins, or a particular formula?

SuperDuperUltraMegaUber-Multivitamins, to be exact. Don't ask me. I don't buy 'em, I just take 'em. :raz:

tupac - just hike a bit north to new braunfels for german food including bbq and smoked meats..  i don't remember sausages  when we lived in Hooks but oh, my goodness - open pit beef, catfish, chicken fried steak with gravy, frogs legs.  if you like i remember a book where i work that talked about the history of bbq in texas.  i have to go in tomorrow for in-service training and i can research it.

We go through New Braunfels occasionally, usually either on our way to Lockhart for BBQ or to San Marcos to shop at the outlet malls. I may have been missing out on the German experience in New Braunfels. Only good food I have had there is from an old bakery in their kinda historic downtown-ish area. Any particular places in New Braunfels that you would recommend? I'm sure good German food would be worth traveling for.

since you are a PROUD son of the GREAT  STATE of TEXAS have you tried any of the bbq joints in the city and, if so, what are your thoughts on them?

Have tried a few in San Antonio. Not many. There are too many chains here (Bill Miller's, Rudy's, etc), and those places are never the same as the real small-town joints. In general, I've been much more pleased with the places that are just a short car trip away -- Kreuz and Smitty's in Lockhart, City Market in Luling, and Salt Lick in Driftwood. There are still some in the San Antonio area I'd like to try though. Harmon's BBQ, Texas Pride BBQ, and a Willard's Jamaican Jerk BBQ to name a few.

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P.S. Can somebody tell me how the heck to quote multiple people in one post?  I love answering all these questions, but I don't wanna make you guys read 50,000 posts of mine in the process!

See the little Add "" button under each post? p_mq_add.gif Just click that button for each post you want to quote, then add your reply - all of the posts will be there, ready to edit. :smile: I think there's a limit to how many you can add at once, but it's more than enough.

Fun blog!

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tupac - just hike a bit north to new braunfels for german food including bbq and smoked meats..  i don't remember sausages  when we lived in Hooks but oh, my goodness - open pit beef, catfish, chicken fried steak with gravy, frogs legs.  if you like i remember a book where i work that talked about the history of bbq in texas.  i have to go in tomorrow for in-service training and i can research it.

We go through New Braunfels occasionally, usually either on our way to Lockhart for BBQ or to San Marcos to shop at the outlet malls. I may have been missing out on the German experience in New Braunfels. Only good food I have had there is from an old bakery in their kinda historic downtown-ish area. Any particular places in New Braunfels that you would recommend? I'm sure good German food would be worth traveling for.

Whatever she recommends, if you get up that way during this blog, maybe you can pay a visit to the company that makes those smokers with the offset fireboxes and the chimneys that make them look like locomotives? If it's not in New Braunfels, it should change its name.

There are still some in the San Antonio area I'd like to try though.  Harmon's BBQ, Texas Pride BBQ, and a Willard's Jamaican Jerk BBQ to name a few. (emphasis added)

Cool! Caribbean fusion barbecue!

You must report on this place.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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I figured before I show the details of our chicken-fried steak dinner tonight, I should give a quick tour of the casa:

Kitchen, Stove, and Refrigerator/Freezer -- As you can see, stainless steel is everywhere: everthing from the spice rack, to the Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer, Dacor stove, Bosch dishwasher, Cuisinart toaster and Griddler, KitchenAid Mixer. Kinda crazy. What would be our produce/fruit drawers in the fridge are used for sodas/beer/etc, which I don't drink. But it's very convenient having that space for drinks when guests are over.

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Refrigerated Drawers -- In the island. One of my favorite features of the kitchen.

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Pantries

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Edited by tupac17616 (log)
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Wow, Tupac, whose beautiful kitchen is that? Are you renting that house, staying with your parents? I must have missed something.

I don't know which is weirder, the fact that you count out your fruit, or the fact that Tryska counts your fruit!

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TEXAS CUISINE 101: Chicken-Fried Steak

Surprisingly, one cannot live on chicken-fried steak alone. Or so I hear. Anyway, we decided to make two side dishes to go with the meat.

Applewood Smoked Bacon Cornbread -- Based on the basic recipe from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice, which can be found here for those who are interested. I play around with the recipe a bit, but that recipe provides a good foundation for a moist and tasty cornbread. I'll let the pictures do some of the talking...

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Oven-Roasted Okra & Homegrown Tomatoes -- Not one to waste some perfectly good bacon fat, my mom had the brilliant idea to toss the okra and tomatoes in the bacon drippings before we roasted them in the oven for around 20 minutes. Only the red beefsteak tomatoes pictured are homegrown. The yellow teardrop shaped ones were storebought, but quite tasty. By the way, the fourth picture is a representation of how a certain eG'er named snowangel might have seen it (frequent readers of the Dinner! thread will know what I am talking about).

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And of course you can't have chicken-fried steak without some

Cream Gravy -- Made with butter, flour, buttermilk, salt and plenty of pepper. This time I tried buttermilk instead of milk, which I normally use. That substitution made it too tangy for my tastes, but the family enjoyed it, so I was happy. Next time, back to milk/cream as usual.

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While the okra and tomatoes and the cornbread were in the oven, and the cream gravy was working on the stove top, it was time for the main event...

Chicken-Fried Steak -- Top round steaks, already tenderized, but not pounded thin. This is not wiener schnitzel, scallopine, milanesa, or whatever you prefer to call a thin cutlet. This steak is tender yet still thick and meaty once finished. Some just do a dip in flour, but I prefer the flour-egg-flour method, just making sure to always season the flour (very important). I added a bit of buttermillk to the beaten eggs. Some deep-fry their chicken-fried steak, but I am a pan-fryer. Cast iron works the best I think, but the pan I used today is much larger than our biggest cast iron pan, so it was just easier. Fill it with some oil (preferably lard, or bacon grease), fry until golden, keep finished ones done in a warm oven while cooking the rest. That's all there is to this Lone Star delicacy.

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Now we come to another one of my eating habits:

I always have dessert. Always.

Regardless of how full I might get (and that doesn't really happen often... I have kind of a hollow leg), I always have something sweet after dinner. To me, a meal is just not complete without it. So after a pretty heavy meal like tonight, I just wanted something simple.

Fresh Ricotta with Golden Reserve Mexican Honey, Summer Berries & Pine Nuts -- This honey is the real deal. I highly recommend anyone in the NYC area stop by Blue Ribbon Bakery Market and pick up a jar. It's really amazing stuff.

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All of this food was enjoyed outside on the patio. Usually all four spots are set, but my younger brother went out with friends to the movies tonight. Instead of chicken-fried steak and cornbread! :shock:

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And finally, we have come to probably my biggest culinary pet peeve:

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I hate leftovers.

Even so, enjoying a nice relaxing meal at home on the patio is not a bad way to spend a summer evening. Hard to beat that.

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TEXAS CUISINE 101: Chicken-Fried Steak

And finally, we have come to probably my biggest culinary pet peeve:

I hate leftovers.

You HATE leftovers! I am rendered speechless. Aren't they the main reason for cooking?? What do you have for breakfast? lunch?

I am so stunned I am rendered speechless, or writer-less - which is why I had to edit this post - I was so stunned I posted it as soon as I had edited the quote, before I even added anything.

Are there any other leftover lovers out there?

Edited by The Old Foodie (log)

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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