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I am out in Orange County this past weekend visiting my grandmother inlaw. “Ma” is what her family calls and is how she is best known within her geneological tree. She is a sweet soul whose rooted from Arkansas (I dont hold that against her…They can have lying Mike Anderson) We have been out here for 3 days got to take Ms. Hollie to Disneyland for an afternoon and have had a good time. Ma gets the Orange County version of Meals on wheels. While nutritous,economical and convienient the pre-cooked high volume meals don’t satisfy Ma’s wish for a taste of the south. She mentioned how she would like a home cooked meal.   Heidi suggested I make her something for dinner on our last night in town and would remind her of where she grew up and spent the first 45 years of her life, Russelville Arkansas. I decided I would make my one of my all time favorites Chicken Fried Steak aka Country fried steak. I think it is called Chicken Fried steak mostly in Texas and Country Fried steak everywhere else.  Here is GQues version of Country Fried Steak and a little taste of what she left behind 45 years ago when she moved out west to Costa Mesa,  Califiornia. I used top round steak, CFS along with BBQ is all about taking the least desirable meat and preparing it so that it tastes great. I dont subscribe to that train of thought if there is a way to make something taste great regardless of tradition then I am all for that. Even though I used top round steak tonight for $1.99 a pound I would sugest taking a ribeye and slicing it in half length wise to start with, the ribeye is my favorite cut of a cow. Here is what I started with:

What you need:                                                                                                                                             Cooking time:35 minutes                    Prep time:15 mintues

2.5 Cups of Whole Milk – I suggest using butter milk
2 Cups Self rising flour
3 Eggs
1 Cup Vegetable or Peanut oil
3 top round steaks – pounded out with a tenderizer – I would use ribeye
4 Russet potatoes
4 Tablespoons of your favortie steak rub – You could use a blend of garlic or onion powder or whatever you like to put on steak to perk it up
3 Sticks of butter
1 C of Sour Cream
Salt and Pepper

The starting lineup

The Gravy is my favorite part of this meal and it’s super simple to make if you follow my steps. Drain off the oil so that you have about 2 TBL left keep all of the remaining bits in the pan add about 2 TBL of seasoned flour to the pan blend with a whisk or wooden spoon scraping up and incoporating all the bits from the cooking of the steaks – at this time the steaks are resting off to the side and not in the pan. Over med/high heat slowy add about a half to 3/4 cup milk slowy stirring constantly. Gravy should thicken cook for about 4 mintues add more flour to thicken or more milk to loosen stirring to pick up and breaking the bits up so that it is incoporated into gravy creating a brown yummy nectar of the gods. When done salt and pepper to taste ( I add lots of pepper)

There is only one way to tell if this meal is better than Meals on wheels and that is to get MA’s seal of approval and see if I indeed did put some south in her mouth, so having said that – Ma how was it?


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