Jan. 14, 2010

14 Jan

10 am

3 Oreo cookies

1 cup skim milk

12:30 pm

chicken-fried steak

side spinach salad with craisins and feta

3 bottles of Newcastle beer

My mom gave me a pack of cheap, thinly-sliced rib-eyes last week. “I’m not going to use this. You take it.” Geez, thanks mom. Normally, this calls for cheesesteaks. But for some strange reason, I craved chicken-fried steaks, something that’s surprising hard to find in Los Angeles. This is what happens when there are no Cracker Barrels in the area. So even though rib-eye of meat is not conducive to a proper chicken-fried steak (a tougher cut like round, flank or skirt steak is used), I decide to go ahead and fry these suckers up. Also, I didn’t have to go out and buy any additional ingredients, which is always a plus for a poor, lazy soul like myself. I also invited my friend Ryan over, and he was kind enough to bring over the salad. Anyway, it’s recipe time!

Chicken-fried steak recipe

– Place the meat between sheets of plastic wrap and pound them out into paillards. Since I don’t own a mallet, I used my fantasy football trophy, which is a giant beer stein:

I also won in 2008, but I haven’t gotten that engraved yet.

– Set up a dredging station with flour for the dry ingredient and a can of evaporated milk for the wet ingredient. Egg wash is more common, but I evaporated milk is used often enough in Texas, and I was curious about how that’d turn out. Also, season the flour with salt and pepper. I added some chili powder as well, and I think paprika might work too.

– Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a metal skillet over medium heat. Peanut oil is traditionally used but I used canola, because that’s the only cooking oil I had at home. Also, I used a bit too much oil and heated it a bit too high. That explains the dark-brown color of the steaks in the picture. Although evaporated milk will naturally look darker than an egg wash because the sugar and milk fat will caramelized.

– When the oil’s hot enough (to check, dip a corner of the meat in the oil. You should see it sizzle. Mine almost exploded because it was too hot), place the dredged piece of meat in the pan. Oh, I forgot to mention, dredge the meat in flour than liquid. The flour ensures that the batter will stick to the meat. Moisture is the reason why batter often falls off. I also double-battered. The giant cuts of meat in a traditional chicken-fried steak takes about 4 minutes a side. My smaller pieces only too 2 minutes or so.

– Remove meat from the pan and drain. After you cook all the pieces, pour out most of the oil, reserving a tablespoon or so. Sprinkle some of the dredging flour over the bottom, just enough to coat. Stir quickly with a whisk until you form a paste (or roux, as the French and Cajuns call it). Pour some milk and a bit of the remaining evaporated milk in the pan, season and whisk until it reduces down to the consistency of your liking. And voila, gravy!

Despite the burnt look, it turned out pretty good. Quite tasty, actually. Next time, I’ll get the traditional round steaks and cook ones up as big as hub caps. Los Angeles Fire Department, be on call for that!

7 pm

Rigatoni with tomato sauce

1 can of Diet Coke

I cooked dinner too. This was much simpler. Boil water, throw in pasta, drain after 10 minutes, add sauce, stir, eat. There’s your second recipe of the day.

9 pm

Hotel Cafe

3 bottles of Stella Artois

It’s time to plug a friend’s band! Today’s band, Golden State.


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