Life is a balance. We all feel ourselves spiraling some way or another, at some point in time; either in our joy, or sometimes in our sorrow, but the choice is our own, even when it feels like it’s not, and that in itself is empowering. This elaborate plate of food is a balance. I love chicken fried steak, but sometimes I feel like the gravy may be just too much, the biscuits just a little too heavy, and the mashed potatoes, just a second thought. As you’ve seen from my cooking, I love to throw a pile of vegetables together, but I’m known to have a decadent side as well. This meal, I would say, is a sweet and luscious balance of flavors–it’s a bit of chaos and a bit of serenity. I hope you can find this balance in your favorite things as well.
Chicken Fried Steak
4 pieces cube steak, tenderized
1 1/2 cups flour
2 – 2 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
Place steaks on a large surface and season both sides with salt and pepper.
Make an assembly line with three large plates, big enough to accommodate your steaks. Fill the first plate with cracked and beaten eggs, which have ¼ cup of milk added to them and stirred vigorously. Fill the second plate with flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper. Lastly, fill the third plate with panko bread crumbs. Place the meat in the eggs, then in the flour, and lastly in the bread crumbs, until all four are coated and covered on both sides.
In a large skillet, place ½ cup of vegetables oil and heat till oil begins to shimmer. Place two steaks in the pan and cook about 4 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of your steaks, till they are golden brown. If your pan is not large enough, place ¼ cup of oil to start and cook one steak at a time.
On paper towels or a wire rack, let the meat rest and season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper.
Serve with gravy and your choice of side dishes.
Sage Sausage Milk Gravy
1 cup breakfast sausage bulk, crumbled (or links, taken out of the casing and crumbled)
4 sage leaves, minced
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup flour (use leftover flour from chicken fried steaks)
Place butter in medium sauce pan over medium-high heat and whisk in flour. Cook about 4 minutes, till lightly golden. Take out of the pot and set aside.
Over high heat, cook sausage till completely brown, add sage and cook with small sprinkle of garlic powder.
Reserve about ¼ cup of sausage on the side.
Add milk to remaining sausage and simmer on low, till bubbles arise on the sides of the pot.
In a large blender, place sausage milk mixture.
Over low, blend gravy and slowly add in butter flour mixture, till the gravy becomes thickened.
Return gravy to the pot and simmer, till mixture begins to thicken more. Add remaining sausage and taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Honey Glazed Grilled Yams
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup water
2 large yams, cut into large oblique slices
Large pot of water
In large pot, boil yams till fork tender and reserve ½ cup of water.
In a large bowl, pour ½ cup of water and add honey and olive oil.
Place yams inside mixture and toss till covered.
Put yams on a hot grill for about 4 minutes per side, covered to get smoky flavor and grill marks.
Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and serve.
Grilled Artichokes with White Balsamic
For this recipe, please see this lovely entry here where I show you the steps of cleaning and cooking an artichoke.
Follow these simple grilling instructions instead of roasting in the oven.
Place artichokes in a bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil, about ¼ cup of white balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and 1 tablespoon parsley till completely coated.
Place on heated grill for about 5 minutes per side until crisp and covered with grill marks.