Chicken Fried or Country Fried…what’s the difference? Well, Country Fried Steak is cube steak breaded in flour, fried, then slathered with a brown gravy made from onions and the drippings. Chicken Fried Steak is cube steak breaded with bread crumbs, fried, then served along side fried eggs or mashed potatoes with a white cream gravy. This recipe is Chicken Fried Steak…very thin and fork tender.

So what is cube steak? It’s usually made from sirloin or top round, sliced thin then pounded and tenderized. The way I made this is with thin New York steak that I sliced thin, very thin, then pounded and tenderized. I breaded it the usual 3-station method: flour, egg, and bread crumbs. I used half panko and half regular bread crumbs. One of the keys is to season the meat (salt and pepper), the flour (a southwest or Cajun seasoning), and the egg (Frank’s Hot sauce.

These are so thin, they only take a minute or so per side in olive oil and butter. And, they cut with a fork! With mashed Yukon Gold next to it, I try not to slather too much gravy on the steak so as to keep it crispy.


  • 1 (12 ounce) New York strip steak, cut in half then each piece butterflied
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Flour
  • Southwest seasoning
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp Frank’s hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Chopped parsley
  • Chopped chives

For the cream gravy:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 tsp chicken bouillion
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • Pinch of paprika


For the gravy:

  • Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer as it thickens. Add the cream and continue whisking. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chicken bouillon, and salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat down and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring. Cover and keep warm.
  • Cut the steak in half. Then butterfly each piece so you have 4 pieces. Place between some plastic wrap and pound using the tenderizer side of the mallet until they are about 1/8 inch thick.
  • Set up a 3-bowl breading station: seasoned flour, seasoned beaten egg, and the bread crumbs. Dust the meat with four, then into the egg, then into the bread crumbs, pressing down to make sure it is thoroughly breaded and the breading has stuck. Place on a small sheet pan in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, place the steaks in the oil without crowding and cook for about 1 minute or so (depending on the thickness of the steak) per side. Place on a wire rack over a sheet pan in the oven until all the steak are done and your are ready to plate.
  • Plate some mashed potatoes then a steak leaning against them. Spoon on your desired amount of gravy then garnish with chopped parsley, chopped chives, and a sprinkle of paprika.


O.K., so you did the rotisserie chicken thing last night. Please tell me you didn’t throw away all those incredible roasted bones! Assuming, you did not, let’s make a quick, easy chicken stock. Also, I suggest you try to reserve all the other bones as well after all the meat has been dispensed with.

You also will need about 1 cup of the cooked chicken meat, preferably breast meat, for the soup. I also used some leftover cooked white rice, but you can add egg noodles or other pasta like orzo, or nothing.

What you put in your stock is open to interpretation. I used onions, celery, a carrot, and, since I had one in the fridge I needed to use for something. Also, turnips and turnips work well for stock. Keep in mind this is a very small batch of stock, you’ll get about 4 cups, you adjust the amount of ingredients for more than one chicken.

What’s so great about making your own stock? You control everything, especially the sodium content. It will need seasoning when it’s done.


For the stock:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken carcass and bones
  • 1 medium carrot, rough chop
  • 1 celery rib, rough chop
  • 1/2 onion, peeled, rough chop
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, rough chop
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
  • 2-3 sprigs of parsley
  • 1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 whole pepper corns

For the chicken soup:

  • 3-4 cups of stock
  • 1/2 cup onions, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup carrots, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup celery, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 inch piece off fresh ginger, sliced into 3 pieces
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • Kosher salt and white or black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breast meat, diced
  • 1 cup cooked white rice or cooked pasta of choice
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 1 tbsp sliced green onions


  • Place all the bones in a large pot. Add the rough chop carrot, onion, celery, leek, garlic, thyme, parsley, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Cover with cold water by about 1 inch, about 8 cups. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Do not add salt at this point. Using a ladle, skim some of the foam if desired, it just makes for a more refined stock.
  • When done cooking, strain the stock through a fine metal sieve. You should get about 4 cups. Transfer the stock to a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the diced onions, carrots, celery, thyme, ginger, and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the ginger and the thyme. Season to taste with Kosher salt and white or black pepper.
  • Add the cooked chicken and cooked rice and heat through for about 2 minutes. Taste and reseason if necessary. Serve with chopped cilantro and sliced green onions. I added a few drop of sesame oil and cholula or Tabasco.


These flavorful, Asian-inspired chicken thighs cook in about 30 minutes in the Instantpot. You can braise them on the stove or in the oven in about 1 1/2 hours.

Also, use boneless thighs if you want…I think the skin on bone in thighs give out much more flavor.


  • 4-6 bone in skin on bone in chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and white or black pepper
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil + more for sauce
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 6 ounce can of pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sliced green onions


  • Dry the thighs with paper towels. Season with Kosher salt and white pepper. Heat your Instantpot on Saute and add canola oil. When the oil is hot, brown the thighs about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
  • Add the garlic and ginger to the pot and stir for 30 seconds. Add the pineapple juice, stock, sesame oil, soy sauce, and honey and bring to a simmer. Return the thighs back to the pot. Cancel Saute and press Pressure for 30 minutes. Let it release naturally.
  • Remove the thighs to a plate and keep warm.
  • Strain the liquid into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Mix 2 tbsp cornstarch in 1/4 cup cold water and stir into the simmering liquid. Let it simmer and start to thicken. Add the brown sugar and 1 tsp of sesame oil and simmer another 5 minutes. Taste and reseason if necessary.
  • Serve the thighs over steamed white rice and garnish with sesame seeds, green onions, and chopped parsley.


Despite my wife’s exclamation, “I don’t like hot tuna!” (wasn’t that a rock group in the 70’s?)…I still make Tuna and Noodle Casserole from time to time. She politely eats a little and I have a lot of leftovers.

This version is from scratch, not using my Mom’s recipe that uses cream of mushroom soup. Although my Mom’s was always good, I strived over the years to come up with a scratch recipe. This one works nicely.

I only have 1 (5 ounce) can of solid white albacore tuna in water in the recipe, but adding another can would ramp up the tuna flavor. Please only use albacore, not that oily, dark meat cat food stuff.


  • 3 ounces of white or cremini mushrooms, stems cut, halved, thin sliced
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup minced celery
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1 (5 ounce) can of solid white albacore tuna in water
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 ounces wide egg noodles
  • 1/2 cup crush potato chips
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (opt.)
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan


  • Cook the egg noodles in salted water according to package directions.
  • Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat then add the celery and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, for about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the flour and cook for another minute. Whisk in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer let it start to thicken. Add the cream, sour cream, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low for about 7 minutes. Add the shredded cheddar and allow to melt.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Drain the tuna well and crumble in the sauce. Place the sauce in a mixing bowl then fold in the cooked egg noodles. Place the mixture in a butter 9×9 baking dish. Sprinkle with the potato chips and grated parmesan. Bake for 35 minutes until starting to get golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  • You can make it ahead of time without cooking, just cover and place in the refrigerator. Then bake for 45 minutes until the internal temperature is 155 degrees and the top is golden brown.


Back in the 70’s, sometimes this was called a Monterey Chicken Sandwich (with Monterey Jack cheese). This has Swiss cheese and is just as good. We used a marinated and grilled boneless breast with some great grill pan marks. The marinade hack? A good bottled Italian great! Besides a grilled chicken breast, bacon, and sliced Swiss or Jack cheese…the condiments are up to you. Today, we had some chopped Romaine, sliced avocado, and a garlic mayonnaise. If you can’t grill the chicken on a BBQ, use a hot grill pan on the stove like we did. Just get some good char marks on it.


  • 1 boneless chicken breast, butterflied in half
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Italian dressing
  • Canola oil
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked
  • 2 slices of Swiss or Monterey Jack cheese
  • Shredded iceberg
  • Slice tomatoes
  • Sliced avocado
  • 2 brioche buns

For the garlic mayo:

  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • Kosher and black pepper


  • Place your butterflied breast halves between some plastic wrap and pound to 1/4 inch thick. Place in a sealable freezer bag and add 1/4 cup of Italian dressing. Massage it around to coat all the chicken. Seal, place on a plate and in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • For the garlic mayonnaise, place all the mayo ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and with plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • When ready to cook, remove the breasts from the marinade (discard the marinade), remove most of the marinade from the chicken, place on a plate, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium high heat. Coat lightly with canola oil. When the pan is screaming hot, place the breasts on the pan, top with a press, and let cook about 2 minutes without moving. Turn over, and cook another 1 minutes. Lay a slice of cheese on the chicken and let cook another 1 minute or so, until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
  • Lightly butter the bun halves and place on a flat griddle until golden brown.
  • Spread some garlic mayo on all the bun sides.
  • Lay some shredded lettuce on the bottom bun. Place a chicken breast on the lettuce. Lay a couple tomato slices on the cheese then the top bun. You can place the avocado slices on the sandwich or serve on the side.


It’s a chili…it’s a soup…it’s Papa Jim’s Chili Bean Soup!

My Dad, Papa Jim, made his Chili Bean Soup quite often when I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. He liked chili, but loved making this “soupy” version better.

It comes together quickly and is great for a weeknight full-meal soup. The recipe here is a small batch (for just Loretta and I), but it would be easy to make bigger batches. It is super the next day and freezes well.


  • 1 1/2 cups cooked red kidney beans
  • 2 thick slices (2 ounces) of bacon, diced
  • 10 ounces of ground beef, 80/20, pressed into a large patty
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1-2 tbsp chile powder
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1-2 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1 tsp veal demi glace or 1 bullion cube
  • Sliced green onions
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream or Sriracha crema (recipe below)
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Tortillas chips or Fritos


  • Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat and add the canola oil. When the pan is screaming hot, add the ground beef patty and let it sit for 3-4 minutes without touching it. Season with salt and pepper. Turn and cook on the other side, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Add the diced bacon and spread it around the beef patty. Using a spoon or potato masher, smash the beef to a crumble. Add the garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and chili powder and stir to season the meat. Add the tomato paste and stir in. Add 1 cup of water and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan letting it come to a simmer to deglaze the pan. Add the diced tomatoes and juice and smash with the spoon. Add the brown sugar, stocks, Worcestershire, and demi glace. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add the cooked kidney beans and cook another 15 minutes. Taste and reseason with salt and pepper if necessary. Add some tabasco for more heat.
  • To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with shredded cheese, green onions, sour cream or Sriracha crema, chopped cilantro, and tortilla chips or Fritos.
  • For the Sriracha crema, combine 1/2 cup sour cream. 2 tbsp buttermilk, 1 tbsp Sriracha, 1 tsp lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.


Ditch the big old fried tortilla bowl…besides, how do you make those at home?

Got Fritos? Or, corn tortilla chips? It’s Taco Tuesday today!

This recipe is enough for 2-3 big salads.


For the taco salad dressing:

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2-3 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1-2 tsp Sriracha sauce
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • 2-3 cups chopped romaine and iceberg lettuce
  • 8-10 ounces of lean ground beef
  • Taco seasoning
  • 1 cup cooked red kidney beans
  • 1 cup chopped ripe tomato
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 1 cup diced ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 cups Fritos


  • For the dressing, mix all the dressing ingredients in a bowl thoroughly. Then, if possible, put it in a small squeeze bottle. Not necessary if you don’t have one.
  • For the ground beef, brown the beef in a small skillet then use your own taco seasoning like I did, or one of those packets. Cover and simmer until well cooked. Drain well.
  • For the salad, assemble all of your salad ingredients like a buffet and have at it!


So easy, so simple, and so good! Apple Crisp is a quick trip to apple pie tastes without messing with a crust.


  • 4 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, 1 inch dice
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, 1/4 inch cubes
  • Pinch of Kosher salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Butter an 8×8 baking dish or spray with cooking spray.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the chopped apples, granulated sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and the lemon juice. Mix well. Place into the baking dish and spread out evenly.
  • In a separate bowl, add the brown sugar, oats, flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, salt, and cold butter cubes. Using a pastry cutter or 2 forks, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles pea size crumbs. Spread topping over the apple mixture. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Let cool before serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


We love schnitzel…chicken or veal. But simple breaded chicken cutlets can be a little drab…my apologies to any Viennese reading this! So, I have ramped it up a bit, but retaining the schnitzel vibe…at least I think I did.

I served ours next to some steamed little red and white buttered potatoes with parsley. Also, instead of smothering the nice, crispy chicken cutlets with gravy, I plate them with the gravy under so it stay crisp on top. The cornflakes works well with the panko crumbs.


For the gravy:

  • 1 1/2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp flour
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

For the chicken cutlets:

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, butterflied then cut in half
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Canola oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cornflakes, smashed
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Lemon wedges
  • Chopped parsley
  • Buttered parsley potatoes (recipe below)


  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute until all the flour and butter are incorporated. Whisk in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, cream, sour cream and heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.
  • Place the butterflied breast halves between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound to about 1/4 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the crushed cornflakes, panko crumbs, and parmesan cheese.
  • Set up your breading station – Place the flour in a flat bowl or pie plate. Place the beaten eggs in another and the breading in another. Dust the cutlets thoroughly in the flour, shaking off the excess. Then dredge in the egg then the breading mix, pressing down on the cutlets so it get completely breaded. Place them on a parchment lined sheet pan or large plate.
  • Heat about 1 inch of canola oil in a large skillet to 350 degrees. When the oil is hot, place the cutlets into the skillet without crowding and spoon over some of the oil to set the breading on the top sides. Cook until golden brown then turn over for another minute until the internal temperature reaches 164 degrees. Place the cutlets on a wire rack over a sheet pan, season with salt, then place in a warm oven until ready to serve.
  • To serve, squeeze some lemon juice on the cutlets. Spoon some gravy on a plate and lay a cutlet on the gravy. Sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Serve with Buttered Parsley Potatoes.

For the Buttered Parsley Potatoes:

  • Using about 1 pound of small red or white potatoes, peel a small strip around each potato, leaving most of the skin. Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Add salt to the water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, but not mushy, about 9-10 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.
  • Drain the potatoes well and return to the saucepan. Add 3 tbsp of unsalted butter, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste, and 2 tbsp chopped parsley.


If you use ground sirloin, you’ve got Salisbury “Steak”. If you use ground chuck, do you just have Salisbury “Ground Beef’? No matter. Moving on.

In the early 1800’s, a physician named James Salisbury advocated a meat-centered diet, kind of an early Atkins-like plan? Anyway, it was loosely born from him.

Salisbury steak is simple ground beef with some seasoning mixed into the ground beef, shaped in ovals, browned, then finish in a mushroom/onion gravy. Always a diner favorite, it’s easy to make and the leftovers are superb! This recipe has 2 (8 ounce) patties and could feed 3-4 people.


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire, divided
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 ounces cremini or white mushrooms, thin sliced
  • 1/4 cup thin sliced onions
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium beef stock
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Chopped chives


For the mushroom.onion gravy:

  • Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Add the mushrooms and onions and cook for about 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms give up their liquid and the onions are soft and translucent. Add the fresh thyme leaves and cook another 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk 1 cup of the stock into the pan and bring to a simmer, lower the heat, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Add 1 tsp Worcestershire. Mix 2 tbsp of corn starch into 1/2 cup cold stock then stir into the gravy and simmer until thickened. Keep warm.

For the beef patties:

  • Place ground bee, garlic powder, onions powder, black pepper, bread crumbs, and 1 tsp Worcestershire in a mixing bowl. Mix together until well combined then form into 2 oval patties about 1/2 inch thick. Season with Kosher salt.
  • Heat a medium large skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tsp of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add your beef patties and brown well, about 3-4 minutes. Turn and brown on the other side. Add 1 cup of the gravy and coat the patties, turning once. Lower the heat, cover, and cook until the patties are 160 degrees.
  • Plate the patties next to some mashed potatoes then spoon over the gravy. Garnish with chopped parsley.