Monday, June 29, 2015

Southern Folk


I am a true Texas girl.  I love Texas, I have lived here all my life, and I won't ever leave.  I'm very proud of my state.  I love the people, the food, the diversity of the land and the people. I have traveled some and been to three islands and Mexico. I love our neighboring states.  I love the heritage here.  I also love the food!  

One such food that Southern folk love is Chicken Fried Steak.  Supposedly Lamesa, Texas is the birthplace of this delicacy and they hold a "Chicken Fried Steak Festival" every year.  There is a lot of German heritage in Texas, and this dish came about as a version of Wiener Schnitzel, which is a German fried piece of veal or beef, just like the steak.  Here in Texas, Chicken Fried Steak isn't complete without cream gravy.  And most of the time mashed potatoes and fried okra go along with it.  I just adore fried okra!

Anywho, the trick to getting a very tender Chicken Fried Steak is to use cube steak, which is round steak that the butcher has tenderized in a machine that punches a lot of holes in it and then tenderizes it again.  Then the steak gets double dredged and fried in peanut oil.  The result?  A darn tasty dinner.  Enjoy!

CHICKEN FRIED STEAK
2 lbs cube steak (cut into 4 pieces)
2 C flour
1 T seasoned salt (like Lawry's)
1 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper
1 T onion pepper
2 eggs
Peanut oil

FOR THE GRAVY:
1/4 C bacon grease, shortening or lard
1/4 C flour
2 C milk
Salt & pepper, to taste

NOTE:  I bought two cube steaks and just fried them as is and then we cut them both in half for our family of four.  Also, you can use this same method and recipe for chicken fried chicken.  You will just need to put the chicken into the oven at 200 degrees and let the chicken finish cooking to 165 degrees internally. 

Mix together the flour, seasoned salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Set it aside.  Mix the eggs with a splash of water and set it aside.  Preheat about an inch of peanut oil in a large skillet on medium high heat.  Dip the steaks into the flour mixture, into the egg mixture, and then back into the flour mixture, pressing to coat.  Fry the steaks until they are golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.  You can keep them warm in a 200 degree oven if you need to.  

In a separate skillet, melt the bacon grease (or shortening or lard).  Whisk in the flour until it is smooth.  Add the milk in and cook and whisk until the gravy is thickened and bubbly. Season the gravy with salt and pepper.  Serve the gravy over the steaks.

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