Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Krissi's Country Fried Steak and Milk Gravy

I am so ridiculously excited to post this recipe!!  You have no idea.  This has to be one of my all time favorite dishes in the history of food.

As many of you know, I am an Italian-American from South Philly.  I'm the typical cliche in that regard.  Loud, mouthy, opinionated, great cook, etc.  What you may not know is that my grandfather on my mother's side was actually raised on a farm at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, in a little town called Swoope.

When I was in Los Angeles filming MasterChef, in between days, we would have some free time in the kitchen.  Well, one day I decided to make My Famous Fried Chicken.  I remember getting snickered at by some of my cast mates that hailed from the South.  They thought I was a one trick pony that could only cook Italian-American classics. That was until they tasted my fried chicken and their eyes rolled back in their head with a ridiculous foodgasm.  BUT, I digress.

See, my grandfather was an AMAZING cook.  I learned so much from him.  I incorporate so much of those southern comfort techniques into my Italian cuisine.  It's what makes my food so well seasoned, rich and delicious.

At the end of the day though, I am a complete sucker for some down home cooking.  Things like corn fritters, green beans cooked all day with a ham hock, bread pudding, fried chicken, and of course this recipe.

I have my mother make it every year for me for my birthday.  I order it EVERY time I go to the Cracker Barrel (which is probably one of my favorite chain restaurant guilty pleasures).  I'd eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day with buttermilk mashed potatoes and cucumber salad til you rolled me into Fat Camp.  It's amazing.  And it seriously warms your soul.  It will yours too.

Country Fried Steak 
with Milk Gravy

Ingredients: 

6 cube steaks (round steak run through the cuber – ask your butcher)
Vegetable oil
1 ¾ cups flour
1 tsp adobo
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
¾ tsp black pepper
½ tsp cumin
1 cup of milk (for batter)
2 eggs
1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
2 tablespoons butter, along with 4 TBSP of pan drippings
Reserved 1/4 cup of seasoned flour
1-1/2 to 2 cups of milk

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 200 degrees to keep fried steaks warm.  

Using a 12 inch skillet, place enough vegetable oil in the pan so that it fills it about 1/4 of the way up, and heat to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mix flour, adobo, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and cumin.  Scoop out a ¼ cup of the mixture and set aside.  In another bowl, whisk together 1 cup of milk, 2 eggs and hot sauce. 

Place your steaks, one at a time, in a gallon sized ziplock bag and pound to ¼ inch thick with a heavy rolling pin or the flat side of a tenderizer. 

Place each pounded steak in the seasoned flour, then directly into the egg mixture and right back into the seasoned flour.  Repeat this until all of your steaks are coated.

Fry your steaks on each side, about 3 minutes, or until golden brown.  (this varies depending on thickness).  Place the fried steaks on a oven safe platter and place in pre-heated oven to keep warm while you finish your gravy.  

Over medium heat, add 4 TBSP of pan drippings with 2 TBSP of butter.  Melt down and then sprinkle the 1/4 cup of reserved seasoned flour into the skillet and work through with a wooden spoon, cooking the flour to a dark blonde color.

Slowly whisk in 1 ½ cups of the milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  If your gravy becomes to thick, add a little of the ½ cup of reserved milk until it thins out to your liking.  (Remember, this is supposed to be a thick and hearty milk gravy). 

Season with salt and plenty of black pepper (it goes REALLY well for this dish).

Remove warmed steaks from the oven and pour milk gravy generously all ove the steaks and for God's sake, ENJOY!!

Krissi Biasiello is a native of South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Cooking since she was a little girl with her large Italian family, she decided to leave her paralegal job and shoot for the stars on FOX’s cooking competition show, MasterChef.  She beat out 33,000 homecooks across America and came in 4th place.  Under the scrutiny of Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich, Krissi has made her mark in the culinary world.  She now shares her recipes with all of you!  Her rustic, homestyle take on everything will win you over and will definitely “get your asses in the kitchen”. 

To contact Krissi for appearances, in-home demonstrations, catering and more, you can find her below.  

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