Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chicken Fried Steak with Country Gravy

My goodness, how long has it been?! Way too long that's for sure. What a crazy but fun couple of weeks it has been. We celebrated my birthday one week and then we had my baby boy's first birthday party just a few days later. We also made a trip to the zoo and visited some relatives that we haven't seen in awhile.

(My little one at his first birthday party.)

It was great fun, but I am definitely ready to get back into my normal routine, part of which involves cooking. We've been living of sandwiches and frozen foods alot this month, but I finally got back in the kitchen today to try a new recipe - Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy. I cut the recipe in half for just two people, but you can easily double or triple for however many people you are feeding. Of course it's not chicken fried steak without mashed potatoes, so be sure to whip up some of those as well. And if you would like to balance out all of the "comfort" in this dish, you can add something green on the side, too. Enjoy!

Chicken Fried Steak with Country Gravy (for two)
Adapted from: Simply Delicious and The Pioneer Woman

2 tenderised steaks
1 large egg mixed with 3tbs milk
2 cups flour seasoned with 2tsp salt and 2tsp paprika
oil, for frying

2- 2.5 cups milk
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat a large frying pan/skillet to medium-high heat and add 2-3 tbsn oil.
2. Place the eggs and the flour in two separate shallow bowls/plates. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. Place the steak first in the flour, then dredge in egg and then again in flour.
3. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side until crisp and golden. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
4. Prepare gravy: Reduce heat to medium. Sprinkle 2-3 tbsn of flour in the leftover cooking oil. Whisk continuously for 1-2 minutes until paste-like. Begin adding milk about a 1/2 cup at a time, whisking continuously. Let cook over medium heat until desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve (generously) over steaks and mashed potatoes.

Mashed Potatoes

3 medium russet potatoes, large diced
2 tbs butter
1/2 cup greek yogurt or light sour cream
1/4-1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil diced potatoes in water for 20-30 minutes, or until soft. Drain and move to a clean bowl.
2. While still hot, add butter to potatoes and mash everything together with a potato masher or fork.
3. Add yogurt or sour cream and milk and mix until creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with gravy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Crab Cakes

I think I've mentioned before that I'm not a huge seafood fan. Crab cakes, however, are my go to meal whenever the husband and I go out to a seafood restaurant. Unfortunately going out for seafood gets pretty pricey, so we usually reserve it for special occasions. Luckily, making crab cakes at home is easy! To make them more budget-friendly, I use canned crab meat, but if you're feeling spendy go ahead and splurge on the fresh stuff. Either way they are great with a fresh garden salad.

Crab Cakes

2 6oz cans crabmeat, drained, (or 12oz fresh)
3 tbs butter, divided
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 sleeve reduced-fat Ritz crackers, crushed
1 egg
1/2 cup low-fat mayo
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tbs seafood seasoning
few drops of hot sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add red bell pepper, green onions, and celery to the pan and saute for a few minutes until soft. Set aside to cool.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together egg, mayo, and all seasonings. Mix well together. Add the crushed Ritz crackers and mix well. Add in the cooled veggies and fold into the mix. Add the crab meat and fold in.
3. Shape the filling into 12 even portions. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat( I used a large electric skillet to save time). Add crab cakes to the pan and cook on each side for 2-4 minutes until crisp and cooked through. Remove from pan and serve alone or with a garden salad.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

French Dip Sliders

Wow! Where I have I been all week! To be honest it hasn't been much of a cooking week for me. We have been having leftovers and old recipes, nothing new or fancy. My little guy's birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks so I have been preoccupied trying to plan his party. I'm a big planner, I don't like to wait until the last minute to do things (that is unless you count housework....) so this party has been in the works for awhile. Now it's almost here and my baby boy will be one-year old! So stay tuned for some pics of the big cake smash! But until then, I do have a recipe for you. French Dip Sliders in your crock pot. I adapted the recipe from Our Best Bites that calls for a 2.5 lb roast; I have the tiniest crockpot ever so I scaled down the recipe to fit my pot, but you can always double my recipe if you have a normal sized crock pot. I also made some homemade french bread to use with these, but a store bough baguette cut into slider size would work just as well.

French Dip Sliders
Adapted from: Our Best Bites

1 lb eye of round beef steaks
1 medium onion, sliced
1 package dry onion soup mix
1 can beef broth
1 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste
french bread
sliced provolone or swiss cheese

1. Place beef steaks in the bottom of the crock pot. Add the sliced onions. Sprinkle dry soup mix over beef and onions. Add beef broth, water, and salt and pepper. Mix everything together. Cook in crock pot for 8-10 hours on low. ( You could also cook it 4-5 hours on high and then 3-4 on low.)
2. When meat shreds easily, remove the steaks from the pot and shred all of them. Top french bread with some sliced onions, shredded beef, and a 1/2 slice of provolone or swiss cheese. Ladle soup into bowls for dipping. Serve warm.