Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Grunge Cookbook Holiday Special! The Mustache's Slap Me Upside The Head Chicken Fried Steak

I don't think The Mustache likes his new 
pet name... oh well, c'est la vie! 

Back in "the old days" when things were less complicated, Chris, Andy, Susan and I had some really nice meals together. Mostly I cooked every night for everyone. Chris loved my cooking and commented when Andy and I moved out of his house and got our own apartment, he said " I'm really going to miss your cooking " when I said " Will you miss me ? "  

 I remember once around the holidays, he and his girlfriend and me and Andy went to this new place in downtown Seattle. This was probably the last time we all sat down and ate out together. We were all dressed up and the holiday spirit had us in a great mood. I gave Susan his girlfriend some red garnet earrings, and I gave Chris a necklace with a cross. Chris ordered this plate of chicken fried steak that was bigger than his head, believe it or not! The dish was called "Slap Me Upside the Head Chicken Fried Steak." I remember Andy got a "Gringo Burger" and was joking , "Why don't they have a Beaner Burger," always the joker that one!  

I will never forget that meal. It can only be described as a really special memory and moment in time where everything seemed perfect. There was not stress that we feel now as adults about money or physical pain or worry about what we can or should not eat like adults have. We are and drank what we wanted when we wanted, including pieces of meat bigger than our heads! These days I can't even finish a Beth's omelet by myself! 

I think I found what would be the closest recipe. Enjoy! And remember the way to a man's heart is definitely through the stomach! 

Happy Holidays, Mustache, wherever you are. I hope your holidays are as full of hope and excitement as that night!

The Recipe: 

Get some oil going in a skillet - you'll want about a half cup, depending on the size skillet you're using, plus I like to add in some of that glorious bacon fat for flavor. While the oil is heating, set up a dipping station - just two bowls will do. In one of them put 2 eggs, 1 cup of milk, and a few dashes of hot sauce. In the other, whisk together 2 cups of flour - I like to use self rising flour but you can substitute plain all purpose. Add 1-1/2 teaspoons of seasoning salt, some freshly cracked black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder. Once you mix up the flour, scoop out 1/4 cup of the seasoned flour and set aside to use later for the gravy.

Sprinkle cube steaks with Cajun seasoning and use a meat mallet to pound that in. Try to pound the steaks very thin as they do tend to swell a bit as they cook. Season and pound on both sides. Cut the cube steaks into smaller serving sized pieces if you like.

Dredge the cube steaks in the seasoned flour.

Then dip them into the milk and egg wash.

Then back into the flour.

Set aside on a platter while the oil is heating.

Carefully slide the meat into the hot oil, immediately moving it around to make sure it does not stick.

Cook the cube steaks in batches - you don't want to overcrowd the skillet, so I usually do three steaks at a time. Cook over a medium to medium high heat until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side - how long will depend on the thickness of the steaks.

Place the cooked steaks on a rack and keep warm in the oven, or tent very loosely with foil.

For the gravy, you'll want about 1/4 cup of oil, so remove or add to the oil as needed. For extra richness, add a pat or two of butter. Sprinkle in the reserved 1/4 cup of seasoned flour.

Use a wooden spoon, scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet and cook until mixture is blended in and a very light blond color.

Begin whisking in 1-1/2 cups of milk very quickly.

Until it is incorporated well.

Bring mixture to a boil and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Adjust consistency as needed by adding more milk.

Season gravy with salt and pepper; taste and adjust.

Retrieve the steaks from the oven, place one or two on each plate and spoon a bit of the gravy across the center of the steak.

Cooking music: 

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