Country Cooking Classics: Chicken Fried Steak and More

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Photo by Lori Dunn
Chicken Fried Steak dinner can conjure up many a childhood memory.

Comfort foods vary widely depending upon the part of the country in which you’re located. A family in the Midwest might cook up grilled grassfed beef burgers and thick-cut steak fries, while a plate of fried chicken and okra is more common in the South. All of these foods, though, have one thing in common: They are true comfort foods – that is, they evoke feelings of nostalgia and bring back memories of time spent with loved ones. 

 Beyond the simple nutrition of it, meals are, for many folks, a way to connect with family members and their heritage. Food stirs up memories of time spent with family, both past and present. By turning meals into quality time at the dinner table together, it becomes an opportunity to connect with not only each other, but also with the ingredients that nourish our bodies, rather than just fill them.

Think back to those summer days when the neighborhood hay-baling gang would gather at someone’s house at the end of a long, hot day. Plates were piled high with good food, and everyone was content to sit and talk after the meal was over, passing the evening hours. At some point, a deck of cards might appear, along with a few refreshing beverages.

What about Sunday afternoons, when the whole family would get together after church? Everyone would bring a delicious dish large enough to feed an army – hot, homemade rolls dripping with butter filled the bread basket, and Grandma’s famous pecan-cranberry Jell-O salad in the shape of a fish was served for dessert.

No matter the recipe or dish, these comfort foods have an important place at the table. It is with these sentiments of having fun in the kitchen and creating good memories with family and friends that I created this menu.

Country Cooking Classics

Bacon Mac and Cheese Recipe
Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy Recipe
Classic Homemade Collard Greens with Bacon Recipe
Fluffy Dinner Rolls Recipe
Homemade Cheesy Grits Recipe
Maple Chess Pie with Apple Topping