Baked Summer Ratatouille
One of the first local recipes we made for the Oregon Food Bank's Eat Local Challenge!
What a weekend! Dave and I just saw his parents and sister off for the airport. It has been a really fun and decadent couple of days. We’ve been out to many delicious meals, made a few at home as well, tasted wine, shopped aplenty and been to see lovely Multnomah Falls. But all good things must come to an end and this morning they are on a plane back to Chicago. It also means that we’ll probably stick to simpler food for the next few days to balance out all the richness from the weekend.
That has me thinking about comfort foods, and this one is one of my favorite things to eat – chicken fried steak simply breaded and fried in a skillet. I am definitely a fan of the batter-dipped variety as well, but that’s a little more difficult to do at home, especially on a weeknight. And definitely higher-calorie.
Nicely simple. Maybe not on the healthiest end of the spectrum, but oh well! We could do a lot worse.
Here’s what you need:
Set up your dredging station by putting your egg in one wide, flat bowl or pie tin and your flour, salt and pepper (plenty) in another. Tenderize each steal with a few pounds from a meat tenderizer.
Dip each steak in the egg first, then in the flour. Immediately put in a skillet on medium heat and cook through, turning about five minutes in. This shouldn’t take more than ten minutes total (and might take less – you will be able to see when they are done). Remove from heat.
The gravy will take more time, so you may want to keep the steaks warm in a toaster oven or low oven.
In the same pan, with all of the meat drippings still in it, add your 3 Tbsp. flour and 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, and use a whisk to gently blend them with the meat drippings, until the bottom of the pan is clean and the flour has absorbed all the fat and drippings. Add the milk and gently reduce (still on medium, here) until the gravy coats the back of a spoon – that is to say, it’s thick enough that it doesn’t all run off at once. Season with several shakes of freshly ground pepper (and add salt, to taste).
We served this with some steamed broccoli and some french fries. Not bad for a weeknight meal!
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