Salisbury steak is one of those old-fashioned entrees that simply doesn't get the credit it deserves. It's easy to make, taking the stress out of the age-old question: What's for dinner? And it uses pretty much all the ingredients you have in your pantry.
Nonetheless, it's dismissed by many as plain, perhaps too ordinary for today's cooks who want something that goes beyond grandma's Sunday suppers. For starters, many recipes use canned soup — oh no! And when you think about it, Salisbury steak is really nothing more than a ground meat patty with gravy. But what's wrong with that? It's the ultimate comfort food after a busy day at work or entertaining the kids on a long summer day.
Of course, you can jazz up the dish by combining meats, such as ground beef and veal, and make a fancy mushroom bechamel sauce rather than gravy. That's how chefs Matt Danzer and Ann Redding do it at their swanky Manhattan restaurant, Mr. Donahue's. But that really changes things.
Salisbury steak has been around since the late 1800s when American doctor James Salisbury recommended it for the treatment of digestive problems, according to the physician's "Relation of Alimentation and Disease." He suggested using the muscle pulp of lean beef made into cakes and broiled and served with mustard, lemon juice or horseradish.
OK, history lesson over. Thankfully we no longer make it according to his recipe, but this recipe is almost as simple. Serve it with some mashed potatoes or a baked potato and a salad, and dinner's ready to go.
Simple Salisbury Steak
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 large egg
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup water
1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
In a small bowl, combine the soup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and horseradish. Set aside. In another bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add the bread crumbs, onion, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup of the soup mixture. Crumble beef over mixture, and mix well. Shape into six patties.
In a large skillet, brown the patties in oil; drain. Combine remaining soup mixture with water and mushrooms; pour over patties. Cover and cook over low heat until meat is no longer pink and a thermometer reads 160 degrees, 10-15 minutes. Remove patties to a serving platter; serve sauce with meat. Sprinkle with parsley.
LOVE THEIR ROLLS? TRY THEIR BUNS!
Shortly after Hamilton Place opened in the 1990s, the first Logan's Roadhouse opened its doors here, followed by the Hixson/Northgate location in 2002. The restaurant became known for several things, especially its hand-cut steaks, peanuts with shells that you could throw on the floor and those wonderful yeast rolls that come with every meal.
Now, the chain has rolled out its new hamburger buns made with the same dough used in its yeast rolls, and my what a difference it makes. The yeasty flavor combined with the mouthwatering taste of the charbroiled burger is a match made in heaven. There are four choices: a Fried Cheese & Bacon Burger with a big slice of fried cheese that oozes as you bite into it; the Bayside Burger with fried shrimp, crispy onions and remoulade sauce; the Roadhouse Deluxe Burger with bacon, barbecue sauce, fried onions and mushrooms; and a basic cheeseburger with your choice of cheese. All come with a massive pile of Logan's new waffle fries.
One thing in particular I like about these buns — made and baked in-house, by the way — is that they're smaller than many burger buns. There's nothing worse that a burger with a bun that's as big as the burger, making the entire production far too bready. These new buns are just the right size and are also used on Logan's chicken sandwiches, if you're not a beef eater.
The buns were test-marketed in several other cities before being introduced to the Chattanooga market. Mario Asencio, the Northgate store's assistant manager, says they have been well-received at the Hixson location, as well as the other three locations in our area — Lookout Valley, Cleveland and Fort Oglethorpe. The Hamilton Place restaurant closed several years back.
Also new, Logan's has reintroduced catfish to its menu. You can have it on the special Roadhouse Menu from 3 to 6 p.m. every day for $8.99 (one filet plus sides) or on the regular menu at any other time for $14.49 (two filets plus sides).
National Cheesecake Day happens Friday, and The Cheesecake Factory is celebrating with a special new flavor — Coconut Cream Pie Cheesecake made with coconut cheesecake, vanilla custard and a layer of chocolate layered on a yummy coconut macaroon crust.
As a special gift, $1 from each slice of any cheesecake will be donated to Feeding America, with an extra 25 cents donated for every slice of Coconut Cream Pie Cheesecake sold Saturday through next July 29, 2022.
The Cheesecake Factory has one location in Chattanooga, at 2084 Hamilton Place Blvd.
CELEBRATE ICE CREAM
To celebrate National Ice Cream Month, Mayfield Dairy Farm is giving away free scoops Thursday at the Mayfield Visitor Center, 4 Mayfield Lane in Athens, Tennessee. The giveaway lasts from noon to 5 p.m., and all of Mayfield's flavors will be available, everything from Moose Tracks and Butter Pecan to Smoky Mountain Fudge and Strawberry Cheesecake.
"We love being a part of this community, so this is just a small thank-you for all of our ice cream fans," says Mary Williams, the plant's general manager. "We look forward to bringing Tennessee ice cream lovers our delicious flavors fresh from the farm for many years to come."
Mayfield Dairy has been producing dairy products for more than 110 years. In May 2020, it became a farmer-owned brand of Dairy Farmers of America, a national dairy cooperative owned by more than 12,500 family farmers.
Other activities Thursday will include games, face painting and photos with Maggie the Mayfield cow from 1 to 3 p.m. Find out more on Mayfield's Facebook page.
Contact Anne Braly at email@example.com or at annebraly.com.