Now we come to the food portion of our Welcome to Texas (WTT) series. I must tell you upfront this section will have multiple entries as we have several "Texan" foods. But to start us off, I thought I would begin with our German/Austrian roots. Did you know that Texas had a lot of German immigrants back in the day?
Yep, primarily in Central Texas, also known as the Hill Country, you will find quite a bit of German influence - with towns like Fredricksburg, New Braunfels, Boerne, well, how could you not? And so of course with this migration, came the comfort foods of home BUT now with a Texas twist. So with no futher ado, I give you -
Lesson #2 - Chicken Fried Steak (aka, delicious goodness)
Chicken fried what you ask? Is it chicken? is it steak? well my friend it can be both! But traditionally it is steak. This has become a very southern food but according to Wikipedia, it originated in Texas. All because of our German settlers. In Germany (and Austria) they eat what is called Weiner Schnitzel. which is very good and traditionally made with tenderized veal. Well, beef is something Texas has a lot of and thus our chicken fried steak was born.
Normally, this dish is made out of cheaper cuts of beef which are then tenderized, battered and fried (like chicken). It is usually about the size of a big plate, served with mashed potatoes and covered with cream gravy. additional sides are beans (my favorite and the most common in my opinion is green beans) and a roll to sop up the unused gravy. I THINK in other parts of the south, they may use brown gravy, which is delicious in its own right, but here - its cream gravy with specks of pepper. YUM!
As you can see by the picture, I rebelled against the norm by ordering these fried potatoes, just because I wasn't in the mood for mashed. It's ok my friends - it can be done. and believe me those fries were GOOD. Other variations are chicken fried chicken or the CFS in sandwich form (yes, really. a sandwich). They are good as well and the chicken looks pretty much like the steak but it is not original. hehe
Now a word of caution - not all chicken fried steak is created equal. You must, I repeat MUST, purchase your first CFS by a reputable restaurant or a good home cook. There are some nasty CFS's out there and I would hate for you to miss this deliciousness by coming across them. So ask the locals or check things out on the internet cuz a bad, gristley CFS can scar you for life.
Beverage of choice with this dish - Beer. Wine? come on, really? look at that grease and gravy - beer, iced tea or coke (soda, for non-Texas speakers) are best.
Don't forget to sop up the gravy with the roll (which I didn't get, but whatever) and chase it down with some good pecan pie or cobbler. hehehe
Buon appetito ya'll