Monday, July 21, 2014

Five Dollar Dinner: How to Make Country Fried Steak with Parmesan Zucchini

 The restaurant I worked at as a waitress served Oklahoma and Texas Southern food, including a dish called "chicken fried steak." In North Carolina, we call it "country fried steak"-- cube steak fried with a gravy on top. My mom has always made it and even gave me the recipe when I married, with the advice that men love gravy. She wasn't lying.

 After I was unable to replicate my mom's exact dish with her recipe and found myself just missing her cooking, I tucked away the recipe in a pending file. Until I started working as a waitress and serving "chicken fried steak." This restaurant differed only from my mom's recipe in that they served a more cream-based gravy on top of the steak. Since I make a mean cream gravy, I knew that this was the key to make my mom's recipe with my own little twist that would allow me to remember her without missing her... or at least, not enough to spoil my meal.

 This Five Dollar Dinner will feed two adults and two toddlers for $5.98.

 How to Make Country Fried Steak with Parmesan Zucchini

- 0.73 lb beef cube steak ($3.42)
- 1/2 serving of beef gravy ($0.36)
- 1/2 c milk ($0.32)
- 1 egg ($0.08)
- 3/4 c white flour ($0.07)
- 2 tbsp garlic
- 1/4 c cheddar cheese ($0.50)
- 1 oz pickled jalapeno slices ($0.31)
- 1 zucchini ($0.65)
- 1 oz Parmesan cheese ($0.19)
- 1 tbsp butter ($0.08)
- 1 tsp salt

1. In one bowl, whisk together egg and milk. In second bowl, combine flour and 1 tbsp garlic. After heating pan of oil, batter cube steaks and place in fryer.

2. Prepare cream of beef gravy.

3. Cut zucchini into thin slices. Add to pan with butter. Cook until done.

4. Place crispy steaks on plates. Cover with dollops of gravy.

5. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on gravy. Usually, the cheese will melt from the heat, but you can also cover with  the lid of a pot to make the melting happen quicker. After the cheese has melted, place jalapenos on top, according to your spiciness abilities.

6. Sprinkle Parmesan, 1 tbsp garlic, and salt on zucchini. Wait for cheese to melt.

 And enjoy.

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