I was born on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. My mom, Izetta, was born in Tennessee and raised in Waterford, Virginia. My dad, Charles Irving, was born in a small town outside of Leesburg, Virginia. Most of my aunts and uncles remained in Virginia. We would drive to the country every Sunday and had wonderful Sunday dinners with relatives. My mom would help cook in their big country kitchens. Nothing says comfort like southern food and. . .good ole' hospitality is truly a southern tradition.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
CHICKEN-FRIED STEAKS WITH COUNTRY GRAVY
All Southerners love Chicken-Fried Steak or
Country Fried Steak (CFS). It is believed that it was created in Texas by
Austrian and German immigrants in the mid 1800s. A common main course for the
immigrants in their old country was Weiner Schnitzel (veal) or Schnitzel
(pork). I imagine the gravy came later and then it was called CFS. Serve this
with mashed potatoes and collard greens. Lee's Kitchen Tips: Have your butcher tenderize your steaks, if they are not already tenderized. Butchers do a much better job than trying to do this at home.
4 pieces of butcher-tenderized cube steak or hip steak
¾ cup cornstarch
½ cup buttermilk
3 to 4 dashes of hot sauce (optional)
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup corn flour or finely ground corn meal
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t baking powder
2 t paprika
1 t sea salt
1 t finely ground black pepper
Peanut or grape seed oil, for
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 T pan drippings
2 T unsalted butter
2 cups whole milk
Sea salt and finely ground black pepper
Pat steaks dry with paper towels.
In a shallow bowl, add the cornstarch.
In another shallow bowl, whisk together the
eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce.
In a third shallow bowl, add flour, corn flour,
garlic powder, onion powder, baking powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper.
Working with one steak at a time, coat each
side with the cornstarch.
Shake off excess and dip in the egg mixture.
Next dredge in the seasoned flour mixture.
Transfer to a tray or baking sheet.
Repeat with the remaining steaks.
Pour about 1 inch of oil in a large cast iron
Heat oil to about 375 degrees F or test oil
with a wooden spoon to see if bubbles appear around the spoon. The moisture of
the wooden spoon creates bubbles in hot oil.
Fry 2 steaks at a time for about 3 to 4 minutes
on each side.
Transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a wire
rack and keep warm in a 225 degree F oven while frying the remaining steaks.
Spoon out about ¼ cup of the hot frying oil to
a medium saucepan.
Over medium heat, add the flour and whisk
constantly until mixtures turns a very light brown, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the butter and slowly whisk in the milk.
Season with salt and finely ground black
Reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly
thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes.