Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pretty Much Sums It Up

Thanks to my MIL, Rita, for sending me this (slightly too) appropriate comic! ha ha!
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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Best Dishes

Several months ago, my aunt gave me a set of dishes that had been my grandmother's.  I couldn't wait to use them!  They have some lighter colors in them, so I wanted to wait until spring to set them out on my table.  Although it's not officially spring, it's close and I'm ready to start using them.

I couldn't really see making anything besides chicken fried steak for these dishes debut dinner in my house.  My MaMa was famous for her chicken fried steak!

I attempted to make chicken fried steak once in college and it didn't go well- at all.  It was way too greasy, barely done and the gravy was lumpy and flour tasting.  Really, I didn't even eat much of it.

I was pretty nervous about giving it another go, but I knew that nothing else would do these dishes justice.

I emailed my aunts and asked for their advice.  They told me how they do it and explained a few differences.  Butttermilk v. milk.  Cracker crumbs v. only flour.  And double dipping is a must!

I read a couple of other recipes online, just to see how other people do it and I felt ready for the challenge!

It turned out pretty darn good.  Now, it's definitely not my MaMa's, but I think if I made it a few more times, I could get there!

Here is my Aunt Tina's recipe:

Chicken Fried Steak

Round steak or cubed steak or tenderized round steak – 1 ½ to two pounds
1 “sleeve” of saltine crackers, crushed
2 cups flour
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ cups milk
Salt, pepper, fajita seasoning
Oil for frying

Beat the steak with a meat mallet (or the edge of a saucer). Trim off fat and cut meat into serving-sized portions. Sprinkle meat pieces with salt, pepper, and fajita seasoning – set aside.

On wax paper make cracker crumbs by rolling over crackers with rolling pin or just squeeze the ends together while they are still in the “sleeve”…then used a rolling pin to make the crumbs very fine (You can also buy cracker crumbs.) Mix cracker crumbs with flour on the large sheet of wax paper. In a shallow bowl, mix milk with the beaten egg.

Coat each tenderized, seasoned meat piece with flour mixture. Then dip in milk and dip for a second time in flour/cracker crumbs. Cook meat in a skillet of hot oil, turning when browned on one side.

My Aunt Polly said she just uses flour and buttermilk.  So, I pretty much followed Aunt Tina's recipe, but I used buttermilk.  I used my food processor to grind up the crackers. And I fried my steaks in canola oil. 

The gravy is made by using a few tablespoons of the oil and whisking in some flour and then, add a cup or so of milk.  You'll also want to use lots of black pepper!!!

Good enough to eat!