Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Chicken Fried Steak
I'm a Southern girl, and perhaps a bit of a redneck, but I love a nice fried steak with cream gravy. Add some whipped potatoes and fried okra, and you have a meal good enough for even the pickiest eaters.
Imagine my dismay, when the only interest in hiring my husband is coming from New England. What does that have to do with a nice fried steak? They don't know how to make them. In fact they turn up their noses at it. And okra? I'm not sure they'd know what to do with a bushel of okra if you handed it to them. Know what kind of people don't fry their steaks? Yankees, that's who.
I have nothing against our Northern countrymen, not personally. I am sure that they are fine individuals. They just don't know how to cook. They just don't understand that everything from steaks, to pickles to moon pies taste better once you've battered and fried them. They don't understand that a stick of butter is not something to be used sparingly, you dump the whole thing in, it makes stuff taste better.
They also live their lives at full speed. I guess no one ever told them to slow down a bit and enjoy the view. I don't think they get that girls are called sweetie and darlin' and don't take offense, but would be offended if you didn't sweet talk 'em a bit. My grandma once told me that the best way to get a man was "to chase him until he catches you." Look! The southern girls are nodding and the northern ones are confused. It's just a different approach to life. Yankee gals like to live their lives straight forward with no games, and we know that a world where men are allowed to be men and have their vanities stroked a bit is bound to be a nice place for a woman to live.
Could you imagine me in the frozen North? Me either. I would show up in the land of Martha Stewart looking like something a 5 year old painted, not at all tasteful or restrained, and I don't know that the neighbors would survive the shock.
Nope, I have nothing against Yankees. I'm sure they're fine folks. I just don't want to be one. If you want to know why, come on down and I'll explain it to you. You can sit with me on the back porch in the evening and watch the lightning bugs dance in the summer twilight while the hoot owls call their lonesome tidings to each other. We'll sip our ice cold Dr Peppers as the citronella candle burns and the dogs and children romp in the yard and tell lies to each other about the "good old days" as we snack on our moon pies.
I know y'all need the recipe, so here it is!
The Mom's Chicken Fried Steak and Cream Gravy
3 cups all purpose flour
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 large egg beaten
1 tsp baking powder
table salt and ground black pepper
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk (or soured milk if you're in a pinch)
6 cube steaks pounded to 1/3 inch thickness
4-5 cups peanut oil (you can use another kind if you can't find peanut, but peanut is the best.)
1 med onion diced
1/8 tsp dried thyme
2 med cloves garlic minced
3 tbsp flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups milk (whole is better)
3/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
For the Steaks
1. Mix flour, 5 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, and cayenne into a shallow dish.
2. In 2nd dish, mix egg, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in Buttermilk. It will foam.
3. Pat steaks dry with paper towels. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Heat oil in skillet to 375 degrees
5. Dredge steaks in flour, then dip in buttermilk mixture, then back into the flour.
6. Put steak into oil and fry until golden brown. Turn it once. Fry until golden on other side.
7. Put on plate lined with paper towels to drain.
For the Gravy
1. Take browned bits from frying pan along with 2 tbsp of frying oil ans begin browning onions and thyme in pan.
2. Add garlic and cook about 30 sec.
3. Add flour and stir about 1 minute. Whisk in broth.
4. Add milk, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Simmer over medium-high until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Put steak on plate, and smother with a generous helping of gravy. Take a bite and kiss the cook! Yes sir, it's that good!