Once upon a time, I left the cozy embrace of my parents’ home and went to college, and on the very first day I met this girl who was crazy hot and all the awesome.  I’ve never been a soppy romantic, and I’m still skeptical about the idea of love at first sight, but I can safely say that the instant I saw her from across that crowded LGBT Alliance meeting, I was smitten.  After a few casual path crossings on campus and subsequent Alliance meetings, we walked back to her dorm one night, and spent hours in the lounge talking about webcomics, tabletop RP, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, the wackiness of being a queer teen in the Bible belt, and other points of commonality.

10 years later, I have the privilege of being married to that crazy hot awesome girl.  And one day, a few months ago, she made me a dinner that I had grown to love during my stint in the midwest.  In the vein of long overdue and not quite seasonally appropriate posts, I give unto you: “Chicken Fried Steak”.

I love starch. Starchy, starch, starch. Here it goes down, down into my belly...

I love starch. Starchy, starch, starch. Here it goes down, down into my belly…

INGREDIENTS:
2 lb cheap steak, very tenderized or “cubed
about 3 c. milk
2 eggs
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. Lawry’s seasoning salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. cumin
ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • in a wide, shallow dish, scramble eggs with 1/2 c. milk
  • in a different wide, shallow dish, mix flour with Lawry’s, paprika, thyme, cumin, and black pepper
  • dredge steaks one at a time in egg rinse, then flour mix, then egg, then flour, and set aside.  DO NOT discard the flour mix.
  • put oil into cast iron skillet set on medium high.  When oil begins to shimmer, lay in steaks one at a time, making sure not to crowd the pan.  Oil should be “spitting” hot, so be careful.  Cook until golden brown on both sides.
Time to make the gravy!

Time to make the gravy!

  • in leftover oil, add enough of the flour mix to create a roux consistency (thicker than pictured, think “wet sand”).  Cook about three minutes.
  • add about 3 c. milk, cook to desired consistency
  • taste, adding salt and pepper as needed
Bonus points if you do the whole thing wearing Pikachu slippers.

Bonus points if you do the whole thing wearing Pikachu slippers.

Traditionally, chicken fried steak is served with mashed potatos, but I’m not ready to give the world my Dad’s mashed potato recipe yet, so y’all are just going to have do make do with either a baked potato, or whatever has been passing for mashed potatos in your life to date.  Also, the spell checker is insisting that the plural of potato is “potatoes”, and so, upon inspection, does the Oxford English Dictionary, and here all my life I’ve been spelling it wrong.  So we all learned something today.  Hooray!

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