While researching Texas Eats Robb Walsh set out on a journey of Chicken-Fried Steak discovery. He ate his way around rural Texas, seeking out the best versions of this big Texan standard. Some where memorable, and some not so much, but if you've ever experienced the weighty dish known as the CFS, you've got to hand it to Walsh, his search for the best steak was a stomach stretching exercise to say the least.
'Texas Eats' on Serious Eats
In Texas, the ubiquitous chicken fried steak is often plated with fries and a buttermilk ranch dressed salad on the same plate, making the ranch the dip of choice for the fries. Robb Walsh, author of Texas Eats, speculates that the popularity of ranch as a dip comes from Texas's cowboy culture, where those gruff dudes used the creamy-tangy dressing to compliment everything from fries to onion rings and even chicken fried steak. And now we know that we have Texas to thank for those little tubs of ranch meant for pizza crust dippage.
Robb Walsh, author of Texas Eats keeps his
Fresh Field Peas simple with a soul food inspired recipe that begins (as many good things do) with bacon. Onions are sweated in the bacon fat, and the peas are added and simmered with chicken broth, a few pods of okra as a thickener, and a lone chile for heat. Fresh peas don't need too much stove top, just simmer until tender and serve.
Texas Eats is full of plenty of wonderful recipes for the seasonal specialty that are Texas shrimp, and one of our perennial favorites is Shrimp and Grits, otherwise known as breakfast shrimp. You can't really go wrong with sweet shrimp served over smooth grits, but Walsh steps up the recipe by sautéing the shrimp in bacon fat along with mushrooms, scallions, and garlic, creating a pan sauce that's pretty over the top. And those grits? Well, let's just say that those are the grits of Southern breakfast dreams.