Wednesday, November 13, 2013

chicken fried steak fingers

As Ed was eating this meal, he said "You can put this meal under Ed Approved Meals, if you would like". A verbal seal of approval. That's always a good thing. I was fairly impressed myself. These were awesome!
Ed is terrible about asking me what we are having for dinner. So, a few years ago I made this board so that he can just look at know what we are having. Well, he still doesn't look at it, but at least it helps me keep track of what I'm making. It's pretty easy- just a square shaped frame with a sheet of scrapbook paper behind and stickers on the front. A dry erase marker wipes off easily, too.
Start with regular old cube steak...
Slice into strips! In some parts of the country, they even sell cube steak this way in the grocery store.
Nothing fancy here. Just regular all purpose flour, all seasons salt, cayenne pepper and lots of salt and pepper. Whisk this together.
This meal uses a whole lot of milk. But that's okay. Three eggs and a cup of milk for the wash. Whisk this together.
This is a wet, dry, wet method. It's the best method for ensuring that batter sticks to the meat- plus it makes it even more crispy.
Let these guys hang out in the fridge as the oil heat. A spell in the fridge will also help to ensure that the coating will stick in the oil.
These are not deep fried, so you don't need a bunch of oil. About a quarter of an inch up the side of the skillet is more than enough.
 Nora was fairly unimpressed. Which is nothing for her. She's usually unimpressed with us. She's too good for us.
Once the tenders are cooked through and browned on either side, drain them on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the other tenders and cover them with foil and keep warm as you make the gravy.
You'll need to drain off most of the oil, but try to keep the little crispy bits that are in the bottom of the oil in the pan. Add in 3 pats of butter and sprinkle in a quarter cup of flour.
If you kept those crispy bits from the bottom of the oil in the pan, your rue will be brown from the get go. Keep cooking the rue, though, for about a minute or two to flavor that rue a little more.
Pour in the milk, and whisking constantly, cook this over medium low heat and let it thicken. This should take about 3 minutes- not very long at all.
Once the gravy is the thickness you want, all that's left is to add in black pepper and salt and to dip those little steak fingers in the gravy and die from happiness.
Chicken Fried Steak Fingers
2 lbs cube steak, cut into strips
1 cup all purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup flour divided
1 Tablespoon all seasons salt
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large eggs
3 cups milk, divided
3 Tablespoons butter
Vegetable oil, for frying
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a shallow bowl, combine together 1 cup of flour, all seasons salt, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Whisk to combine. In a different shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and 1 cup of milk. Dredge each strip of cube steak through seasoned flour, then through milk and then back into seasoned flour. Place on a sheet pan and repeat with all strips. Place sheet pan in fridge. Meanwhile, heat about 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Once oil is up to temperature, place strips in oil in a single layer and fry on either side for about 3-5 minutes, or until crispy and golden. Repeat on other side, then remove from oil and drain on a paper towel. Immediately season with salt and repeat with all strips. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Drain most of the oil from the pan while reserving the browned bits of meat and flour in the bottom of the pan. Add in butter and let melt. Lower heat to low, then sprinkle in quarter cup of flour and whisk to combine. While whisking, cook rue for 2 minutes over low heat then pour in 2 cups of milk. Whisking constantly, cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes until gravy is thickened. Season with salt and pepper and serve with steak fingers and enjoy!