Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Gluten-Free Chicken Fried Steak

Not Missing Out

Going out to dinner used to be a easy, fun, and interesting. Now things are a bit different.

Going out is not so easy, not so fun, and usually a lot less interesting.

As I have come to look over these restaurant gluten-free menus, a couple of things stand out.

One, there are usually some salads to pick from. Two, the most interesting salads are not there because of something yummy on them that apparently have gluten in it. Three, the remaining items are pretty standard and are likely to reoccur, time and time again, in many restaurants. Things like grilled chicken, broiled salmon, baked fish.

And be sure to "request no special season" in order to make it gluten-free.

No seasoning? Really? I guess it is down to just salt and pepper for me.

Thank you very much for offering these things, but after you see them again and again on the very brief and limited gluten-free menus, they get boring.

B. O. R. I. N. G.

Where's the gluten-free lasagna? or meatballs? or breaded fish? or soups?! Why aren't these things being made gluten-free and put on those gluten-free menus?

I know it can be done. I have evidence that it can be done. I'm doing it. In my own home.

Now do you see how eating out is not as easy, not as fun and not as interesting as it used to be?

"But, wait!" you may be saying. "You can get some really good, interesting food at health food restaurants." These are the few and far-between restaurants that cater to those with special food needs. Vegan. Allergens. Gluten.

And I would respond that you are right, I can go to the health food restaurants, when I find them. But they usually offer hoity-toity food. Ingredients I can't pronounce. Quantities that fit inside my left pinkie. And I've never seen one of these restaurants offer the common/comfort foods my family members like to order at restaurants and that I have to see and smell with them at the table. I have to endure those smells.

So, I've had to adjust. One of these adjustments is realizing that I may never eat certain things again... unless I make them myself.

Enter Chicken Fried Steak.

Not some fancy, schmancy cut of meat, lightly seared on each side, presented with a delicately arranged shaving of vegetable across one side and a minuscule drizzle of some exquisite sauce on the plate.

No. I'm talking about a tough cut of meat, beaten to oblivion to tenderize it, slathered with some gluten-free flour and milk and egg and fried, babe. Fried.

Health food this isn't.

Gluten-Free Chicken Fried Steak

I based this version off of The Pioneer Woman's recipe for Chicken Fried Steak, but hers isn't gluten-free. So, I converted it and scaled it down to my family size.

Instead of wheat flour, I used white rice flour. And I used the milk we had on hand, which is almost always 1% or lowfat milk.

First, start with cube steak...

prepare the different parts to dip and coat the meat...

slap them in a hot pan...

watch, and you will know you are on the right track when half done....

See the blood just starting to ooze out of the unturned piece? Nudge the edge of the meat and if the edge seems a little solid, then you are ready to flip it.

And then, before you know it, they are done!

It is so hard to wait for these to finish cooking, but it is so worth it. They are so good!

So not health food. But oh so tasty!

I found that I needed to be what felt heavy-handed with the seasoned salt. I tended to go a little lightly and then wanted more after they were cooked. Just add a bit more to begin with and you won't regret it.

I can't eat this way all the time. It makes my gallbladder scream at me. But, once in a long while... yeah, it sure does taste good.

This is my way of not missing out.

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