Was it Aliens, Divine Intervention, a Singularity Event in the Cosmos … or a Short Order Cook in Lamesa TX? I think that long before Lamesa, there was the Alamo! Its Defender’s had intestinal strength and fortitude, was it derived from East, Central or West Texas inspiration? The “Grassy Knoll Shooter Conspiracy” palls in contrast to the abundant Theories speculated by Conspiring Historians. Check your guns at the door and don your foil hat, before entering the Conspiracy Theory Arena of… “Who Created the Chicken Fried Steak”.
What do I “Occasionally” have in common with politicians, lawyers and drunkards? They all firmly believe, that you should never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
Read more about Chicken Fried Steak History online at Texas State Historical Association
This Instructable is going to adapt the Recipe for an East Texas Delicacy into a hearty Sandwich.
If you can't eat them all at one sitting, whip up some Cracked Pepper Gravy, serve with eggs over medium and hash browns for breakfast. Or serve with mashed potatoes and green beans for dinner.
This recipe makes four single steak servings, but there’s enough dry breading mix to coat twice as many steaks. Though after breading four steaks, lumps of egg/milk/flour will begin to accumulate in the dry mix.
Baking Soda and Powder are added to make the cooked breading crunchier.
Round-up Your Ingredients
Flour = 2 cups
Kosher or Sea Salt = 3 teaspoons
Fresh Ground Pepper = 3 teaspoons
Paprika = 2 tablespoons
Garlic Powder 1/2 teaspoon
Cayenne Powder = 1/2 teaspoon
Baking Soda = 1/4 teaspoon
Baking Powder = 1/4 teaspoon
Eggs = 2 - 3
Buttermilk or Whole Milk = 1/2 cup
Shiner Bock? = 1/2 cup
Peanut, Olive or Vegetable Oil = enough to cover 1/2 of steak.
Round, Ribeye, Tenderloin or tenderized cube steaks = 2 pounds (1/2 lb. each).
Tomato = 1 large
Pepper Jack Cheese = 4 thick slices
Hamburger Buns = 4 large
Butter or Margarine = enough for 4 Sandwich Buns
Rustle up Four 1/2-pound (2 pounds total) Round, Ribeye, Tenderloin or Tenderized Cube Steaks. Corral one steak at a time inside a heavy plastic bag. Use a mallet and beat your Steaks until they're about 1/4” thick. Skip this step, if you’re using Tenderized Cube Steaks.
Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees. Place a double layer of paper towels on a cookie sheet or in a pan and place inside the oven.
Dry the outside of each steak with a paper towel. Surface moisture causes the batter to fall off while cooking.
After drying, mix 1 teaspoon of Salt with 1 teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper, in a dish. Rub the Salt/Pepper combo onto each steak’s surface and place the steaks on the 175-degree oven’s cookie sheet to dry for about three minutes (photo 1).
While oven drying, mix the dry batter ingredients (including any left-over salt/pepper from Step 4) in a bowl suitable for coating one steak at a time (photo 2).
Adjust the Pre-heated oven to 225 degrees. Remove the surface dried, un-cooked steaks and replace the oven paper towels with clean ones, to wick away extra oil after the steaks are cooked later. Each steak will be prepped and cooked one at a time and kept hot in the oven until all four are completely cooked.
Whisk the Eggs and Milk in a bowl large enough to drench each steak, with the Egg/Milk solution (photo 3).
Bock Beer has been known to make its way into this Step. Warning: In Texas, YOU MUST USE “SHINER”, substitute with another Bock and you’ll be publicly labeled a Communist.
Pour enough oil into a deep heavy skillet, to create a 1/8” deep cooking pool (half the width of the steaks) and set the stove burner to medium high (photo 4).
350 degrees is the perfect temperature for cooking the Steaks. The oil will shimmer or glisten at this temperature and water will pop rapidly if flicked onto the oil. Slow popping means the oil isn’t hot enough yet.
If oil begins to smoke dial back the burner because it’s too hot and the smoke alarm is going to announce its presence.
If you have a thermometer, tilt the skillet on its edge to create a pool of oil deep enough to get an accurate temperature reading.
Place the Dry Mix and Egg Bath next to the Skillet (photo 5).
Firmly push a steak into the Dry Batter mixture and use your fingers to rub the coating evenly. Lightly shake off the excess (photo 6).
Dredge the floured steak through the Egg/Milk solution (photo 7).
Then into the Flour Mixture again. Evenly coat the Double Battered Steak until it is dry on the outside (photo 8).
Use metal tongs and slide the freshly Battered Steak into the 350-degree oil. Cook until the edges turn golden brown, about 3 minutes (photo 9). Carefully turn the steak over in the pan and cook another 3 minutes (photo 10). When both sides are golden brown use metal tongs to hold the steak vertical to allow excess oil to drain back into the skillet.
Place the steak on the paper towels in the 225-degree oven to keep it hot until all the steaks are cooked.
Skillet grill a Buttered Hamburger Bun, add Steak, Pepper Jack Cheese, sliced Tomato, and Mustard (is my preference). Photos 11, 12, 13 and 14.
Don’t follow the Herd though, be Independent. Add or remove condiments/veggies to your liking, to heck with convention and what other people think.
Hire someone to clean up the Kitchen.
Bone Appetite from Texas :)