I have come to realize that in my life, for every success I achieve, there is a failure I must suffer..
Case in point: I really outdid myself making dinner last week. I prepared chicken fried steak, buttermilk mashed potatoes, cream gravy, and braised greens with bacon. J and the posse loved it.
And were still talking about it two days later.
Impressive, considering it was the first time I’ve ever attempted southern style cooking before. But it was one of those dinners that was well worth the time investment – and believe me, there was a serious amount of time involved.
And let’s not even get started on the mess……
Anyway, it’s a good thing that dinner was so good, because the next evening, I attempted a new recipe for cheese enchiladas. Another big time/mess investment.
Aaaaaannnnd suffice to say, I won’t be making them again.
Per the family’s request.
Chicken Fried Steak – adapted from Homesick Texan
Note: I found out the hard way that you really can’t coat the meat too far in advance – the flour gets gummy and then falls off while the steak is cooking.
- 1 1/2 pounds top-round steak
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Vegetable oil, for frying
Cut the top-round steak into four pieces. Pound the steak with a meat tenderizer until flattened and almost doubled in size. Season the squashed steak on both sides with black pepper to taste.
Place the flour in a large bowl and add the black pepper and cayenne. In another large bowl, mix the eggs with the buttermilk.
Take a piece of the tenderized steak and dredge it in the flour mixture, turning it to coat. Then dip the coated steak in the egg mixture, allowing any excess to drip off. Dip it back into the flour again. Place on a wire rack and repeat with the remaining steak.
Pour enough oil in a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, to reach a depth of 1/2-inch. Heat it to 300°F (149°C). Line a rack with paper towels. Take the coated steak and gently place them in the skillet, being careful not to crowd the skillet. You may need to work in batches. Be careful, as there will be a lot of popping and hissing when you add the steaks to the hot oil. After about 3 or 4 minutes, gently turn the steaks with tongs and cook for 5 more minutes.
Remove the steaks from the skillet and drain on a paper-towel-lined plate. (If cooking the steaks in batches, you can opt to keep the cooked steaks warm in an oven set at 200°F (93°C) while you cook the remaining steaks.) Serve the steaks smothered in cream gravy.
Cream Gravy – adapted from Homesick Texas
- 2 tbs. vegetable oil
- 2 tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- Black pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat until warm. Stir in the flour and cook, continuously stirring, for a couple of minutes until a dark roux forms.
Slowly add the milk to the skillet, stirring with a whisk to mix it with the roux. Be sure to press out any lumps. Turn the heat down to low and continue stirring until the mixture has thickened, a couple more minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste. If the gravy is too thick for your tastes, you can thin it by adding more milk, a tablespoon at a time.