Ree Drummond: Welcome to her frontier

Ree Drummond shows the cowboys that she can hang. Yee-haw!

Ree Drummond ditched Los Angeles for life on a ranch in Oklahoma after falling for her cowboy husband, whom she lovingly refers to as Marlboro Man (not because he smokes but because he’s rugged and hot) on her immensely popular, award-winning food blog, The Pioneer Woman. But it turns out Hollywood wasn’t ready to say so long to Drummond. Starting Saturday, you can watch the best-selling cookbook author and mother of four in her very own show on Food Network.

Just like her blog, the show “The Pioneer Woman” offers a taste of Drummond’s unique, lo-fi- meets-high-tech domestic life — there are horses to wrangle, calves to wean and a blog to put out. Taking center stage are her spunky sense of humor and, of course, the down-home family recipes she prepares.

“I do [fun dishes like] chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes, but I also do a pizza with prosciutto and arugula piled on top,” says Drummond. “Of course, my husband doesn’t eat it. He would not touch a pizza like that with a 10-foot pole!

And what’s the busy mom’s go-to dish on days she just doesn’t feel like cooking?

“Ohhh, Cocoa Puffs?” says Drummond, laughing. “I’m only halfway kidding. What I would whip up for myself is different than what I’d whip up for my family. Tacos are a big whip-up dish because pico de gallo is a condiment [in this house], so I always have a big bowl of it.” As for herself: “My favorite is pasta with tomato-cream sauce. Just onion and garlic sauteed in a little butter and olive oil and then tomato sauce and heavy cream. Just let it bubble and shave parmigiana on top. It just — it feeds my soul.”

See why we love this woman? We’ll bring over a bottle of wine to accompany that dish any day.

Recipe: Chicken fried steak with gravy

Copyright 2011 Ree Drummond All Rights Reserved

Yield: 6 servings

Chicken fried Steak:
3 pounds cube steak (tenderized round steak that’s been extra tenderized)
1-½ cups whole milk,
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
¾ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoons cayenne
1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper
½ cup canola or vegetable oil, for frying
 1 tablespoon butter, for frying

Gravy:
¼ cup grease from the steaks
1/3 cup all- purpose flour
3 – 4 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
x   ground black pepper

Begin with setting up an assembly line of dishes for the meat: milk mixed with the two eggs in one; flour mixed with spices in one; meat in one; then have one clean plate at the end to receive the breaded meat.

Work one piece of meat at a time. Season both sides with salt and pepper, then place it in the flour mixture. Turn to coat. Place the meat into the milk/egg mixture, turning to coat. Finally, place it back in the flour and turn to coat. ?(So: dry mixture/wet mixture/dry mixture.) Place the breaded meat on the clean plate, then repeat with remaining meat.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter. Drop in a few sprinkles of flour to make sure it’s sufficiently hot. When the butter sizzles immediately, you know it’s ready. (It should not brown right away, though; if it does, the fire’s too hot.) Cook meat, three pieces at a time, until edges start to look golden brown for around 2 minutes each side. Remove the steaks to a paper towel-lined plate and keep them warm. Repeat until all meat is cooked.

After all the meat is fried, pour off the grease into a heatproof bowl. Without cleaning the pan, return it to the stove over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup of the grease back to the pan and allow it to heat up.

When the grease is hot, sprinkle 1/3 cup flour evenly over the grease. Using a whisk, mix the flour with the grease, creating a golden-brown paste. Add more flour if it looks overly greasy; add a little more grease if it becomes too pasty/clumpy. Keep cooking until the roux reaches a deep golden brown color.

Pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Add salt and pepper and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, whisking, until the gravy is smooth and thick. Be prepared to add more milk if it becomes overly thick. Be sure to taste to make sure gravy is sufficiently seasoned.

Serve the meat next to a big side of mashed potatoes. Pour gravy over the whole shebang!

Follow Tina Chadha on Twitter @TinaatMetro.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.