Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Country Fried Steak

The sizzling sound of tenderized cube steaks immersed in a deep fryer. SSssss! The water slowly vaporizing through the vent as classic Southern cuisine takes over. Careful, this dish comes with a warning: to be eaten until full. Country Fried Steak (aka Chicken Fried Steak, Pan-Fried Steakwas a shoe-in when I considered a few choices for my deep fried splurges. In my household, I'm more accustomed to the dish being pan-fried, served simmering in brown gravy, but when one has a deep fryer, he uses it! As demonstrated in my Chicken Fried Turkey 'Steak' recipe, the prep process can vary, but it remains just as easy to put together for that reliable and relatable Southern flavor.

Prep Time: ~35 min
Servings: 6 steaks

3 4oz Cube Steaks, halved
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
Salt and Pepper, to taste
[Optional: 2 Teaspoons Sriracha]
Vegetable Oil, for frying

Nutritional Notes 
on absorption in total servings

Buttermilk: ~1/8 Cup Buttermilk
Flour: ~3 Tablespoons Flour
Oil: ~2.5 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Salt + 1 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper used here

Place steaks in an air-tight container with buttermilk (and Sriracha), seal, and shake. Check for an even coat, and place in fridge to soak for 20 minutes. Can also stop here and continue the next day for a better soak. Note: there will be excess buttermilk, but for an even soak, the extra is a good idea.

Preheat oil to 338 degrees.

In another airtight container, blend flour, salt and pepper. Place one steak in the container, seal, and shake until evenly coated and set aside. Repeat the process for the remaining steaks. Note: there will be excess flour which can be used when making the white or brown gravy.

Depending on the size of the deep fryer (or pan), drop in steaks 2 or 3 at a time for approximately 6-7 minutes until golden brown. Set aside on a towel to absorb any excess oil before plating. If NOT using a deep fryer, fill a medium saucepan with oil to allow for 1/4 inch in depth, heat oil to 340 degrees and cook for 3-3.5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. The "is the oil ready?" Test: sprinkle a little flour into the pan or dip the tip of a wooden spoon, if the oil bubble around either the oil is ready.

For my steak, I made a basic pan gravy with beef stock, flour, chopped onions and minced garlic, a variation of the gravy I used in Chorizo Dressing with Gravy. If milk (white) gravy is preferred, see the recipe I used for my Chicken Fried Turkey 'Steak'. Note: For these servings, I prepared only 1 cup of gravy, adjust the recipe accordingly.

Nutritional Info (1 Steak):
Calories 179, Total Fat: 8.3g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 51.4mg, Sodium: 239.4mg, Carb: 3.5g, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugars: 0.3g, Protein: 21g 

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