Memories... Like Mom Made!

Memories... Like Mom Made!
Out of dark moments, flowers grow.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Southern Comfort Food: Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Roasted Corn

I am just going to admit it: I don't post as many healthy recipes as I should.

I apologize...

I *really* will try to do better.

But seriously, I can't keep this recipe from you. It is just to easy and too ridiculously good, and if you are missing cooking like mom made, this is the way to get that home-cooking satisfaction.

What I did:

Chicken Fried Steak

2 good sized cubed steaks

cup or so of flour
black pepper
season salt

1/3-1/2 c milk
1-2 tsp vinegar
1 egg

enough shortening/vegetable oil to make about 1/4-1/2 inch deep in a frying pan

Add the vinegar to the milk and let sit for about 5 minutes. If you have buttermilk, skip this step and just use buttermilk - no vinegar. If you are like me and don't have it, then do this to make your own buttermilk.

Meanwhile, mix your flour and seasoning in a pie pan or big plate or bowl. Beat the egg and mix with the buttermilk in a separate pie pan or shallow bowl.

Cover your cubed steaks with the flour mixture, being sure to pat it into all the crevices. Dip into the buttermilk and egg mixture, then back into the flour mixture. Make sure it is very well coated with flour, then lay on a piece of waxed paper to rest while moving on to the next.

While steaks are resting for about 5 minutes, heat your oil in your frying pan to medium hi - hi heat. Carefully add the cubed steaks and fry until each side is golden brown.

Remove to a plate and cover with foil or transfer on a baking sheet to warm oven to keep warm while making your gravy.

Add about 1/4 c or less of flour to the pan and whisk vigorously to make a smooth paste, heating over medium heat. Add about a cup of milk to the mixture, stirring as you add, until you reach your desired thickness. I used a bit of half and half, and the rest milk.

Add plenty of salt and pepper and pour on top of your chicken fried steak and homemade mashed potatoes.

Mashed Potatoes

I have found that my favorite technique for making mashed potatoes is steaming the potato chunks in the microwave until tender, then mashing with chicken broth, sour cream, and butter. You may ask why steaming them? This is because I always hate how watery the potato chunks get in a pot of boiling water, and with this microwave method the chunks don't retain water, so I can use more yummy liquid to thin it, like milk and chicken broth, instead of already having watered down mashed potatoes.

You can steam any veggie in the microwave with Ziploc steamer bags, or if you have a freshsaver vacuum system, they have steamer bags too. I wash, peel, and cut my potato chunks into halves or quarters, depending on the size of potato. Chuck them into the bag, then seal it in my freshsaver. Then I microwave for about 7 minutes, dump into a bowl and whip with a splash or two of milk, about 1/4 or so chicken broth, and 1/4 c butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve with chicken fried steak gravy.

Roasted Corn

This is now my all time favorite way to eat corn! And it should probably be called char-grilled corn, but I am going to say roasted because it evokes a more sophisticated image... whatever that means!

Have your hubby turn on the grill. Donovan said he grilled them on medium heat. Leave your corn in the husks, have hubby toss them on the grill and close the lid. Leave until the husks are all burnt and charred.

Using gloves or some sort of towel to protect your hands, strip the husks off and reveal your delicious corn. Slather in butter and parmesan cheese (if you desire... we ate it with butter and sea salt and fresh ground pepper).