Sadly, I have to admit I didn’t watch much of the super bowl this year. We were traveling all day in order to see my younger sister’s basketball game Sunday afternoon. However, I did listen to it on the radio in our truck as we rolled down the interstate. I have to say it doesn’t feel like the super bowl over the radio – personally, I am all about the party! Who doesn’t love a Sunday with family and friends gathered in the living room with an endless supply of cream based dips, beer, and hot wings!?! Now, that is the super bowl! And it’s never the same if you miss all the commercials!
I did some catching up this week with a little help from YouTube. Among the commercials I viewed, one in particular stuck with me. “God Made a Farmer” narrated by Paul Harvey for Dodge really caught my attention and gave me chills as I thought about the farmer’s in my life. I am so proud of all of the farmers out there, in particular, the one that raised me. Many parts of the video remind me of my father. Most of all, the photo of the farmer’s hands – hard-working, cracked, dirty and strong – look exactly like my father’s hands!
In my eyes, farming is not merely an occupation, but a tradition and a way of life passed down through the generations. Farming is not easy or predictable. Farming is endless hours in the field, a late night with a newborn calf, a prayer for rain, a tired body, but a happy, thankful and loving soul. A simple life.
Thank the Lord above for the day he sent us the “care takers”. That day… “God made a Farmer.”
In honor of the farmers this week, I thought I’d share a favorite, country supper. Chicken fried steak and taters… making my mouth water already… creamy,fried, savory goodness! Share this with the hard-working folks in your life!
Chicken Fried Steak with Mashed Taters and Gravy
For the Steak:
- 4 cube steaks (extra-tender round steak)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 c. milk
- 1 c. flour
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne (ground red pepper)
- Ground black pepper and salt
- Vegetable oil (enough to cover bottom of the pan)
- 1 tbsp. butter
For the Taters:
- 4-5 medium russet potatoes
- 1/4 c. milk
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
- 1 tbsp. butter or margarine
For the Gravy:
- 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
- 1/4 c. flour (I use the left over seasoned flour from coating)
- 1 1/2 to 2 c. milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
1) Cut the potatoes into 1/2” pieces and drop into boiling water. Can leave skins intact if you choose.
2) Create an assembly line for the chicken fried steak. A shallow bowl for the eggs and milk (whisked together), another shallow bowl for the seasoned flour mixture (including flour, paprika, cayenne, garlic and onion powders and salt and pepper), and finally a plate for the steak itself.
3) Heat the vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat and drop in the butter.
4) Season the steak with salt and pepper and then drudge in the flour mixture. Then onto the egg/milk bath and then back to the seasoned flour mixture for a good coating. Set aside.
5) Sprinkle flour into the oil to test the heat. If the flour sizzles immediately, the heat level is ready. If the flour browns too quickly it is too hot. Heat level is very important for a crisp coating. Add the steak to the hot oil and cook two at a time (about two to three minutes per side – the edges will become golden brown when ready to turn).
6) When cooked through and gold brown, remove the chicken fried steak from the hot oil and place on a plate lined with a few paper towels. Cover to keep warm until all the steaks are done.
7) Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool while preparing the potatoes.
Finishing up the Mashed Taters:
1) Drain the potatoes once they are tender. Return to the pan.
2) Add the butter, milk and garlic salt to the pan and mash the mixture together.
3) Note: I used an immersion blender to create whipped and creamy potatoes.
Now, for the Star of the Show – The Gravy:
1) After the oil has cooled slightly, carefully drain all but 1/8 c. oil from the pan into a heat proof dish.
2) Return the pan to the burner without cleaning or scraping. Add the butter and return the pan to medium heat.
3) Once the oil and butter is heated, add the flour and whisk continuously to create a golden brown roux.
4) Add the milk slowly, whisking continuously to combine to create the chicken fried gravy.
5) Season with salt and pepper to taste and add more milk if the gravy becomes too thick.
6) Serve the Chicken Fried Steak and Mashed Taters smothered in the in the creamy gravy! YUM!
Now, that is a down-home, country meal worth sharing with the farmer in your life.
– Rustic Honey
P.S. Best served with a tall glass of milk and a smile!