Recipe Blog

Hot Little Suppers

Mrs. Burns and Amy's Country Fried Steak

Posted by Callies Biscuits on

Amy Burns is one of my best friends. We became instant friends when we met playing basketball against each other in high school. She was like a sister to me right from the start. We lived across town from each other—“across the bridge”—which in those days felt like a great distance. I’d often spend the night at her house, even on weeknights. Amy’s mother, Madeline, is an incredible cook, and their family has always been so close. Every night the whole family sat down to eat supper together. Living with my father and stepmother who both worked, I was accustomed to sitting down to a family meal on Sundays only. So the whole concept of a nightly sit-down meal with the family was foreign to me.

Not only that, but Mrs. Burns had a calendar with every meal planned for every night of the whole month. Our friend Krysten and I thought this calendar was the craziest thing we’d ever seen, and we loved to laugh about it. And yet . . . Krysten and I would regularly check the calendar on the Burns’ refrigerator for our favorite meals so we would know which days we wanted to ask if we could come over. The meal I always searched for was Mrs. Burns’s country fried steak. I will never forget the way the Burnses welcomed me to their family table. And I will never forget how out-of-this-world good Mrs. Burns’s country fried steak was. Now Amy makes it for her young family. She even has her own monthly food calendar. Her children’s friends will love her for it!

Mrs. Burns and Amy serve this with mashed potatoes or rice, but that might just put me over the edge of indulgence! I usually serve it sprinkled with chopped green onions and with an arugula salad on the side.

Mrs. Burns and Amy's Country Fried Steak

Ingredients

    - 1 cup all purpose flour - Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper - 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard - 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme - 6 thin cube steaks - 1 cup vegetable oil - 1 cup beef stock - 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions

    1. Combine the flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons pep- per, the cayenne, mustard, and thyme. Dredge the steaks in the seasoned flour. Place the steaks on a cooling rack and allow to set about 30 minutes. Save 1/4 cup of the seasoned flour for the gravy. 1. In a cast iron skillet, heat the oil to 350°F. Cook the steaks for 2 minutes per side. Remove the steaks to a paper bag to drain. Keep warm while you make the gravy. 1. Spoon out all but 1/4 cup of the dripping from the pan. (Be sure to leave the good browned bits.) Whisk in the reserved flour and cook on medium/high heat for about 5 minutes, until crispy. 1. Whisk in the beef stock and cook until bubbling and thickened. Melt in the butter. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. 1. Serve the steaks with the gravy.

      "... I will never forget how out-of-this-world good Mrs. Burns’s country fried steak was." - Carrie Morey

      Krysten's Collards & Brussels Sprout Salad

      Posted by Callies Biscuits on

      My childhood friend Krysten lived in California for fifteen years. That distance did not caused our friendship to fade one bit. Talking on the phone about cooking is how we stay connected. Cooking is also how we connect in person. When we get together, food and drinks are always part of our agenda!

      As a Southern transplant in California, Krysten is always introducing her West Coast friends to Southern cooking. In this recipe, she takes collards, a Southern staple, and prepares it in a fresh California salad rather than cooking it slowly as we would in the South. Krysten is a super-talented cook, and I love the way this recipe represents her bicoastal sensibility and our friendship that’s been able to thrive cross country, as well.

      Ingredients

        - 1 cup pecan pieces - 6 to 8 slices thick cut bacon, diced (about 1 cup) - 1 1/2 pounds collard greens, stems removed - 12 ounces Brussels sprouts, shaved or sliced paper thin - 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese - Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing - Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

      Instructions

        1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool. 1. Cook the bacon in a skillet until browned and crispy. Remove to a paper bag to drain and cool. (Save the drippings for another use.) 1. Cut the collards into very thin strips with a very sharp knife or pulse in a food processor until finely chopped. Remove to a large bowl. Add the Brussels sprouts, pecans, bacon, and Parmesan. Toss with the dressing. 1. Let the salad rest in the fridge for about 3 minutes taste and season with salt and pepper before serving.

      Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing

        - 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard - 3/4 teaspoon honey - 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice - 1/4 cup sherry vinegar - 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil - 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt - Freshly ground black pepper

        "In this recipe, she takes collards, a Southern staple, and prepares it in a fresh California salad rather than cooking it slowly as we would in the South."

        Slow Cooker Grits

        Posted by Callies Biscuits on

        This is a Christmas tradition for our family, but it’s so delicious, you aren’t going to want to limit yourself to one night a year. We put grits in the slow cooker on Christmas Eve right before setting out cookies for Santa. When we wake up, the grits are done! I serve them with chopped bacon, chopped green onions, and grated cheese. Since we have guests coming and going all day, this serves as a one-pot meal we can eat at our leisure without requiring any to-do.

        Shop our grits online or at an eatery near you!

        Slow Cooker Grits

        Ingredients

          - 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter - 2 cups coarse-grind grits (not instant or quick-cooking!) - 10 cups water or stock - Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper - Optional: 1 cup milk, warmed

        Instructions

          1. Use 2 tablespoons of the butter to coat the inside of the slow cooker, coming halfway up the sides. 1. Add the grits, the remaining butter, and the water or stock, and give it a good stir. Cover. Set on low for 8 to 10 hours. 1. When the grits are cooked, stir in salt and pepper to taste. Loosen with the milk if too thick. 1. If you wish, serve with one or more of the toppings.

        Toppings

          - Chopped cooked bacon - Chopped green onions - Shredded sharp cheddar cheese

          "This serves as a one-pot meal we can eat at our leisure without requiring any to-do."

          Alex's Chocolate Chess Pie

          Posted by Callies Biscuits on

           Chocolate Chess Pie by Carrie Morey

          I love this pie, and I love this story. Alex and I were friends in college and then roommates in New York when I met my husband, John. I give Alex and her pie a good bit of credit for John’s and my whirlwind romance. After only two weeks of dating I was ready for John to meet my friends. None of my friends in New York ever had any- body over to their apartments for supper, since we were all single and living in tiny cubbyholes—but I was determined to host a dinner party. I made roast chicken, rice and gravy, and fried okra. Alex said she would make a chess pie. (There are many theories as to the origin of the name “chess pie,” but my favorite is that it evolved from people call- ing it “jes pie,” as in “just” a simple pie.)

          As we sat finishing up the meal around the grandly set coffee table, Alex went and got the chess pie. When she asked John if he’d like a piece of pie, John said, “No thank you.” Well, I wasted no time in kicking him pretty hard under the table. Alex had gone out of her way to make this pie for his visit, and he was being rude not accepting a piece! Later, John told me, “That’s the day I knew you were going to be my wife.” Apparently he didn’t mind and in fact was delighted by a strong minded woman who would put him in his place when necessary. And he does the same thing to me. Chess pie is now a family tradition John wouldn’t dare pass up. And we continue to kick each other under the table—when necessary.

          Alex's Chocolate Chess Pie

          Ingredients

            - 1 recipe Mama's Butter Piecrust, prepared and placed in a 9 inch, 2 inch deep, pie dish - 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter - 2 cups sugar - 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted - 1/2 cup all purpose flour - 4 large eggs, well beaten - 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract - Serving suggestion: whipped cream or ice cream

          Instructions

            1. Fit the dough into a 9 inch deep dish pie dish. Trim and crimp the edges. 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 1. Melt the butter and pour into a bowl. Add the sugar and mix well. Stir in the cocoa and flour. Add the eggs, mixing well. Stir in the vanilla. Pour into the piecrust. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 45 minutes. 1. Remove the foil and bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until the top stops jiggling and the surface barely moves. 1. Let cool completely on a rack before serving with whipped cream or ice cream.


              "Chess pie is now a family tradition John wouldn’t dare pass up." – Carrie Morey

              Savory Roasted Pecans

              Posted by Callies Biscuits on

              We at Callie's Hot Little Biscuit consider these pecans an entertaining essential - a cocktail nut with just the right mix of salt and spice. Nuts can be very expensive, but they last forever in the freezer, so I buy them less expensively in bulk during the harvest season and pull them out when I need them. 

              Let us do the work. Shop them pre-made here

              Savory Roasted Pecans

              Ingredients

                - 16 ounces pecan halves - 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, melted - 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt - 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper - 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes - 1/2 teaspoon chili powder - 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika - 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

              Instructions

                1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 1. Coat the pecans in the butter. Combine the salt, pepper, red pepper, chili powder, paprika, and cumin in a heavy paper bag. Add the pecans and shake to coat well. 1. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. 1. Let cool and store in an air tight container.

              Note:

                For a smoky flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika to the seasonings. You can also use the same process and substitute different spices to fit the theme of your party or the rest of your menu. For example, use grated lemon zest and thyme leaves instead of the spicy ingredients, or use coriander instead of cumin and substitute pistachios for the pecans.

                In the South, pecans are certainly a staple!