Saturday, September 7, 2013

Country Fried Steak & Spicy Cheddar Grits

Day 46

My grandparents on my mother’s side, I called Nanny and Papa. Although Papa died well over ten years ago, Nanny is still alive and kicking, surely as feisty as ever. I haven’t seen her in a few years, actually, but I am as certain as I can be that she still fries most of her food and she probably still curses and smokes with reckless abandon.
Copyright, Doug Kapustin Photography, 2013
Albeit disconcerting at her ripe old age, it’s also endearing in some ways I can’t quite explain.

Whenever I’d visit Nanny and Papa as a child, I would eagerly anticipate the next meal. They were both outstanding cooks in a very basic, Southern Country sort of way. One of the most memorable meals we enjoyed at their table was country-fried steak. Sometimes, it was served with mashed potatoes or fried potatoes and onions. At other times though, they would make salted grits seasoned with black pepper. The simplicity of the fried steak and grits or potatoes was so comforting. Sliced tomatoes, string beans, broccoli, and biscuits were the usual sides.

For today’s blog recipe, I decided to revisit grits. Months ago, I shared a recipe that was easy and delicious, but this time, I’m going to recommend the quick cooking grits for a fast and easy weeknight alternative. So many people lament over their busy evenings during which they have no time for quality home-cooked meals. Preparing something like country-fried steak and quick cooking grits is a way to combine a slightly more complicated meat prep with a delectable and fast side. If, of course, you’d rather make the slow cooking grits, please refer back to Day 7 of my blog.


Spicy Cheddar Grits
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half and half
1 cup “Quick-5 Minute” grits
½ tsp. salt
3 cups grated sharp cheddar
½ tsp. crushed red pepper
½ tsp. hot sauce

Bring broth, crushed red pepper, and half and half to a boil. Slowly stir grits and salt into boiling broth mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover. Cook four minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. During last minute, add cheddar cheese and hot sauce, and stir. Remove from heat. Serve immediately with country-fried steak.

Country-Fried Steak
8 cube steaks
4 eggs, beaten
2 tbs. heavy cream
2 cups self-rising flour
1 tbs. sea salt
1 tbs. black pepper
1 tbs. garlic powder
1 tbs. onion powder
2 tsp. paprika
1½ cups canola oil

In a deep skillet, pour 1½ cups of canola oil, and heat on medium-high. When a drop of water dances on the oil, it is ready for the steaks.

In a large bowl, mix eggs and heavy cream. In another large bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Dip each steak in the egg mixture to coat on each side, then dredge in the flour mixture.

Place each steak in the hot oil, being sure not to crowd them. Cook 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. When steak no longer runs pink and when the crust is thick and crispy in appearance, the steaks are done. Place on paper towels to drain.  Serve immediately. 

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