As the colder months creep into the valley, I thought we'd be facing the usual snow-of-death that Utah seems to embrace come early December. However, this year has been the best ever! The usual frigid Utah weather has taken a step back and decided to embrace the Fall-like temperatures a bit longer. So instead of scraping an inch of ice off my windshield, and basically risking my life every time we get into the car (facing the ice-rink roads and really dangerous drivers), we're wearing light jackets, visiting the park, and everyone in the neighborhood seems to have had zero excuses to not put up their beautiful Christmas lights. I've lived in Utah my entire life, and should probably embrace the "greatest snow on Earth," but I'm here to say, that I CAN DEFINITELY GET USED TO THIS. Winter this year has been heavenly so far, and I've loved every second of the non-snow surroundings it had gifted us.
Doesn't mean I'm still not crossing my fingers for some Christmas Eve & Christmas Day snow. :)
My favorite food to serve up in the kitchen in the winter season (snow or not) is definitely any kind of comfort food. And it doesn't get any more comfort food-tastic than Chicken Fried Steak.
I'm fully-used to breading chicken. After over hundreds of batches of breaded chicken in whatever form or another, I thought it would be fun to try my hand at breading chicken-fried steak. After all, it's almost the same thing, right? haha
I learned quickly that the breading is much more temperamental when trying to stick to beef versus chicken! It wasn't perfect the first time, but I think it was because I was trying to flip the steak over too quickly. These little pieces of steak need a little more love, and a bit more cooking time before flipping to the other side. The breading also uses something I'm not used to using when breading my meats - and that's cornmeal! It completely changed the texture, and kind of in a really fun and tasty way. The gravy came together so beautifully - it used up all those gorgeous flavors from the steak and created a thick and dreamy gravy. I wanted to smother it on everything. Thankfully we had some leftover mashed potatoes and a few biscuits! I served up some quickly-sauteed green beans for some crisp freshness on the plate and comfort food was overflowing our plates at dinnertime. Yum!
Chicken Fried Steak with Pan Gravy
makes 4 servings
1 1/2 lb round steak (half inch thick)
1 C flour + 2 T, divided
1/3 C cornmeal
1 t paprika
1 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 T water
4 T vegetable oil, divided
1 1/4 C beef broth or stock
1/4 C half-and-half
1. Preheat a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Prep steaks by folding them on a wax paper-lined work surface. Pound steaks to 1/4 inch thick. Prep breading by lining up three bowls. One bowl for 1/4 C flour, one bowl for 1/4 C flour plus cornmeal, paprika, salt and pepper, and the third bowl for the eggs and water (beat eggs and water together).
2. Cut steaks into four portions (serving sizes) and the coat first (using one hand for dry ingredients, and one hand for wet ingredients) in the flour, then the eggs, and then the seasoned flour/cornmeal.
3. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the warmed/hot pan and brown steaks, 2 at a time, until cooked through (about 2-3 minutes on each side). Remove from the pan. Add 2 tablespoons more to the pan and repeat with the remaining two steaks. Remove steaks when cooked through and crusted on the outside. Keep 3 T of the drippings in the pan.
4. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the drippings, and cook 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly whisk in the broth and season with salt and pepper. Whisk in half-and-half and bring to a light boil (until it bubbles slightly). Serve the gravy on cooked chicken-fried-steak over a bed of hot mashed potatoes, or crispy warm biscuits.
Recipe adapted from: Rachael Ray