Thursday, February 21, 2013

Country Fried Steak with Creamy Mashed Potatoes!

Last night I did not cook dinner, instead Danny and I went with his brother and some friends to check out a new "wing night" spot (new to us, not them.) 

We had a wing place that we frequented almost every week with his parents but it ended up closing down. That place had wings for $.45 a piece every Wednesday and the new place we went to last night was $.55. I of course get plain wings and then dip it in ranch because I have such a sensitive palette to anything spicy that even mild is to much for me sometimes (I know I am a wuss, can't help it!) Danny on the other hand gets Molten Lava Hot Spicy Garlic that smells SO spicy that when it comes to the table its like my nostrils are on fire...true story. 

BUT, the night before I cooked and it was de-li-cious!! The previous week when I was at the supermarket I noticed they had cube steak on sale and I though to myself "we haven't had country fried steak in FOREVER" So I picked us up a couple packages. This is hands down one of my favorite meals and its not hard to make it just makes a HUGE mess in my kitchen. By the time I am done cooking there is flour all over the kitchen from dredging the steaks plus grease splatter that ends up all over my stove after frying them in my cast iron skillet. But in the end taking that perfect bite of fried steak with creamy country gravy is SO worth the mess....

I have made several different recipes through the years but its the Pioneer Woman's recipe for country fried steak that I love. When Ree's show first aired on the food network I wasn't really sure what to make of her (and honestly thought she was kind of annoying) but after making a couple of her recipes, this one being one of the first I came to the conclusion that she is an absolute miracle worker in the kitchen! The following two recipes one for Country Fried Steak and the other for Creamy Mashed Potatoes both came from Ree's cookbook "The Pioneer Woman: Recipes From An Accidental Country Girl"

Lets get to it shall we.....

Country Fried Steak...aka Chicken Fried Steak by Ree
  1. 3 pounds Cube Steak (tenderized Round Steak That's Been Extra Tenderized)
  2. 1-1/2 cups Whole Milk
  3. 2 whole Large Eggs
  4. 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  5. 2 teaspoons Seasoned Salt
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons Freshly ground black pepper
  7. 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I honestly used only 1/8 tsp but we already discussed me being a wimp)
  9. 1/2 cup Canola Oil, For Frying
  10. Salt and Pepper
  11. 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Begin with setting up an assembly line of dishes. Mix the milk with the eggs in one; the flour mixed with the seasoned salt, black pepper, paprika and cayenne in another. Then have one clean plate at the end to receive the breaded meat.
  2. Work with one piece of meat at a time. Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and black pepper, then place it in the flour mixture. Turn to coat. Place the meat into the milk/egg mixture, turning to coat. Finally, place it back in the flour and turn to coat (dry mixture/wet mixture/dry mixture). Place the breaded meat on the clean plate, then repeat with the remaining meat.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter. Drop in a few sprinkles of flour to make sure it's sufficiently hot. Cook the meat, 3 pieces at a time, until the edges start to look golden brown, about 2 minutes each side. Remove the meat to a paper towel-lined plate and keep them warm by covering lightly with another plate or a sheet of foil. Repeat until all the meat is cooked.

Now, if you have Ree's cookbook you will see she also has a recipe for country gravy. I will hang my head in shame and say that my gravy actually came from a packet...I know, I know but it was STILL delicious! :) 

We had creamy mashed potatoes that I kind of adapted from another recipe by The Pioneer Woman. In her recipe you make the mashed potatoes and then put them in a baking dish and finish them off in the oven. I skipped the last step and just served them after mashing them.

    2 1/2 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes
  1. 1/2 stick Butter, Softened
  2. 1/2 package (4 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
  3. 1/2 cup (to 3/4 Cups) Half-and-Half (i just used whole milk cause that's what I had)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Drain the potatoes in a large colander. Place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape before adding in all the other ingredients.
  3. Turn off the heat and add butter, the cream cheese, half-and-half (or milk), seasoned salt, kosher salt and pepper. Mash to combine.
**I served them at this point but if you want to go ahead with the original recipe you can find it here

And here is my final plate! I served them with buttered green beans and a side salad... still trying to decide/learn how to use my new camera. Im not 100% sure if I am gonna keep it yet or get a new one. We shall see.