Jackie and I needed this. 10 days and counting till our Caribbean adventure comes to an end. Doom, despair, sadness abounds. Time for a little homespun comfort food...
Country fried steak and an amazing onion gravy, recipes courtesy of ...
Delicious and Suspicious, first in the new Memphis BBQ series by Riley Adams. And her book is so much fun, no one can be in a funk for long.
First, a little bit about Riley Adams. Adams is a pen name for Elizabeth Spann Craig. Miss Elizabeth is a southern gal, born and bred in the Carolinas. While Delicious and Suspicious is the first book written under her new pen name, she is a published author under her real name. Many of you may know her as one of the six Merry Murderesses from the Mystery Lover's Kitchen. The MLK is a blog with six published mystery authors, all with characters associated with food. They rotate a different author each day of the week, with a guest author filling in on Sunday... LOVE EM!
But Liz (can I call her Liz??? Nah, not yet), Miss Elizabeth has earned a special place in my heart. She also publishes a daily blog of tips, hints and contacts for writers in general, and mystery authors in specific at... http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com/. Mystery Writing is Murder is addictive. Once you start reading it, you will spend an hour. And then set aside another couple hours for your next visit. She's been at this for awhile. She just passed the 500 post mark on her writing tips site. Worth a look, even if you only want to improve your blog writing. And wait till you see her sidebar contact list. On a full stomach of Lulu's comfort food, and an hour of reading Miss Elizabeth's tips, you will gently fall asleep dreaming of Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle personally welcoming you into the club.
And there are some great recipes in the back of Delicious and Suspicious. Red Beans and Rice, Corn Muffins, BBQ Sauce and many more prove Miss Elizabeth can not only
The diner is set in Memphis (Hopefully Lulu will have an adventure soon in Kansas City, site of the true championship of BBQ, the American Royal, but I digress). A wonderful cast of characters, including my favorites, the Graces are regulars. The Graces are docents at Graceland. Not because they were hired,, as much because they just kept going back everyday and just were absorbed into the Elvis fun (and Graceland is fun, don't be a snob).
I may be prejudice, but I thoroughly enjoyed every page of Delicious and Suspicious. Lots of great references to BBQ, but also just a fun setting, fun cast of regulars, well defined main character and the possibility that the ghost of Elvis may pop up in a future offering in the series. What's not to love!
Oh yeah, did I mention the recipes...
Like this INCREDIBLE recipe for Country Fried Steak, along with a wonderful onion gravy (that I just had to make one suggestion/change)...
Here we go...
BUDDY's COUNTRY FRIED STEAK
1 cup Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 package of Cube Steaks
1 diced Onion
And, Miss Elizabeth, forgive me, but I changed your recommended 1 cup of water to
1 cup of Buttermilk, but did need
1/2 a cup of water to thin the gravy a bit... sorry, the Lulu in my mind would insist on a true milk gravy for her "best BBQ" in Memphis (in my humble opinion).
- Mix together dry ingredients and put them in a plastic zip bag with the cube steak and shake vigorously until they are well coated
- Heat oil in a heavy pan until hot (about 2 minutes). Add the coated cube steaks and fry over medium-high heat for half a minute.then flip to cook for another half a minute. Continue cooking and flipping frequently until the meat is brown and the inside isn't pink (about 4 minutes).
- Remove the steak from the heat and drain on a paper towel.
- LEAVE 3 teaspoons of grease in the pan, as well as all drippings.
- Add the onions and 5 tablespoons of the leftover flour mixture from the zip bag.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly as the flour browns and the onions cook.
- Add one cup of buttermilk, whisking the gravy until all the lumps are gone. Add water if it needs to be thinned.
- Add the steaks to soak in the gravy for 10 minutes and serve!
I plated this with some and a simple special peas recipe that would be right at home on Lulu's table... with one exception...
A can of peas,
1/2 of a sautéed onion,
4 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced and sautéed
one slice of Mango Glazed Bacon.
And just mix and heat
A great recipe. Fun to cook, better to eat and certainly was comforting.
Delicious and Suspicious was a great read. Perfect for fans of BBQ, Mysteries, Elvis (I am sure he will pop up in the series soon) and more. Beyond Highly Recommended!