So this isn’t necessarily the most beautiful of dishes… but trust me, this is truly a delicious meal. In Austria there is Schnitzel, in Argentina and Italy there is Milanese and here in the South, there is Chicken-Fried Steak.
Sometimes called Country-Fried Steak, Chicken-Fried Steak is a pounded out and tenderized piece of steak that’s breaded (as you would fried chicken), then pan-fried (sometimes deep-fried) and served with a peppered-white gravy, although some make it with a brown gravy. It is an extremely heavy dish, (clearly), and I can’t remember the last time I’ve eaten it the down-home, traditional way. But when I first started working on cutting our grocery budget in half, I saw that I could buy a truck load of ‘cube steak’ for next to nothing. So I set out to make Country-Fried Steak a my own way…because that’s what I do. And ever since then, this meal has been in our rotation. The whole family loves it and we affectionally call it Uptown Fried Steak 😉
U P T O W N F R I E D S T E A K
W / T W I C E B A K E D P O T A T O E S
Heat or a drizzle or so of olive oil in a large skillet, on medium-high heat while you…
-Season your cube steaks liberally with salt and pepper, then lightly dredge them in flour on both sides.
Shake off the excess flour on each piece of meat before carefully placing them in the hot skillet.
Brown on both sides.
Remove the steaks and let them rest on a plate while you make the ‘gravy’…
Reduce the heat to medium.
If the pan is completely dry, add another drizzle of olive oil (or a small pat of butter for extra flavor)
Add a cup or so of sliced, fresh button mushrooms in the pan and let them brown, then season with fresh, minced thyme leaves, and kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
Sprinkle a bit more flour over the mushrooms and toss to coat.
Pour enough milk (or half&half) in the pan to coat the bottom, then scrape up all the yummy bits.
Season with a good amount of fresh nutmeg and allow the milk to simmer and thicken a bit. Add more milk if yours reduced too much, but you’re looking for gravy consistency here.
Taste and adjust your seasoning if necessary, and when it looks done pour it over your crispy steaks.
Garnish with more fresh thyme and/or a bit of chopped, fresh parsley.
And I highly recommend serving this with my mom’s recipe for Twice Baked Potatoes…
Bake (or microwave) 1 1/2 lbs potatoes. I prefer the white and more waxy potato over the starchier russet or Idaho, but you use whatever you’d like! This amount should equal around 4 of the larger sized white potatoes.
Once cooked completely and still hot, place in a mixing bowl, cut open a bit to reveal the flesh and add the following ingredients…
3 oz american style processed cheese product (…such as ‘Velveeta’ brand. Yes, I said that, and it’s just the way you have to make these. There’s no other way.)
lots of pinches of kosher salt (you will taste to adjust to your liking)
1 green onion, minced or a small handful of chives, minced
1/3-1/2 cup PLAIN, FAT FREE regular yogurt. (Not greek style, not low or full fat… it has to be the normal, inexpensive fat free plain yogurt. I know it sounds unusual but this adds an amazing tang to these potatoes that when paired with the creamy ‘Velveeta’, creates potato perfection.) And the amount depends on the moisture content of the potatoes themselves, just add as much as you need to create a creamy consistency.
While the potatoes are still hot, mash until fully mixed and cheese melted. Taste to check the salt and add more if necessary.
Place the potato mixture into greased individual oven-safe ramekins or a casserole dish.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.