Low-Carb Lesson #52: Low Carb Chicken Fried Steak With Cream Gravy

Low Carb Cooking 101

By Di Bauer, CarbSmart Editor

We’re in the process of moving from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Deltona, Florida. I say “process of moving” because while my husband, daughter, cat, and dog are down here in Deltona along with our most crucial belongings, the house we are building is not done and we’re living in a rented duplex until it is. In addition, I am still fixing up the house in Cincinnati for resale (we’re tough on houses), and am making frequent trips up to Cincinnati to continue packing things up, paint, replace curtains, etc., etc., etc. This is NOT fun.

I took my daughter, Judy, to a restaurant down here, Lee’s Diner. It’s a wonderful down-home place – the kind with regulars who stop by almost every day and where everyone talks to everyone else. Lee’s Diner is my kind of place.

The owner, Jerri (there is no Lee, evidently) talked Judy into trying the country fried steak, and Judy fell head-over-heels in love with it. We now have to go there at least once a week so that Judy can get her “fix,” so I decided I’d better learn to make a low carb country fried steak here at home before I go broke. Tonight’s dinner features the resulting recipe.

As a side note, I’ve noticed several restaurants here in Central Florida that are specifically catering to low carbers. Over in Daytona there’s a restaurant called Booth’s, and in Deland there’s a place called Graham’s Diner. I haven’t had a chance to visit either restaurant yet, but I certainly plan to – soon!

Other national chains are starting to advertise low carb options as well. I guess low carbing is finally being accepted by the main stream. This is a good thing, don’t you think? Having more restaurant options makes things so much easier for us!

Here’s this evening’s menu:

  • Chicken Fried Steak With Cream Gravy
  • Smashed Cauliflower (Faux Mashed Potatoes)
  • Down Home Green Beans

Here’s the shopping list for the meal. You may very well already have some of these things on hand:

  • 4 cube steaks, about 5 ounces each, or 4 pieces of round steak of the same size, pounded
  • 2 ounces Canadian bacon
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 onion
  • frozen cut green beans
  • 1 egg
  • heavy cream
  • cream cheese
  • sour cream
  • grated or shredded cheddar cheese
  • canned chicken broth
  • low carb bake mix (any brand)
  • vegetable oil or olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • cayenne pepper (optional)
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Here’s the game plan:

Take the cube steaks out of the freezer and put them in the refrigerator to thaw the night before.

About an hour and 15 minutes before you plan to serve the meal, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the Smashed Cauliflower and put it in the oven to bake.

Set the table.

Prepare the onions and bacon for the Down Home Green Beans and set aside.

Prepare the Country Fried Steaks according to the recipe instructions. Put them in the oven with the Smashed Cauliflower to keep them warm.

When the steaks are in the oven keeping warm, add the green beans to the skillet you sauteed the onions and Canadian bacon in and cook them according to the recipe instructions.

Make the cream gravy while the beans are cooking.

Serve everything immediately while it is nice and hot and sit down to a well-deserved, relaxing meal.

And, finally, here’s the recipes:

Chicken Fried Steak

  • 4 cube steaks, about 5 oz. each, or 4 pieces of round steak, of the same size, pounded
  • 1 cup low carb bake mix
  • salt (to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • cayenne pepper (to taste and optional)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 vegetable oil or olive oil

If you are using using round steak, pound the meat with a wooden or metal meat tenderizer until it is nicely whacked up and a uniform thickness.

Season the low carb bake mix with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper (if desired). Dredge the meat in the seasoned bake mix. Set aside.

Place the 1/4 cup of the heavy cream, 1/4 cup of the water, and the egg in a pie plate or shallow dish. Whisk to combine them thoroughly. Dip the dredged meat into the cream mixture and then back into the seasoned bake mix again.

Put the vegetable or olive oil in a large cast iron frying pan or any other large, heavy pan or skillet and heat it over medium-high heat. Place the steaks in the frying pan or skillet and pan-fry the meat until it is cooked through, turning once.

Remove the meat from the frying pan or skillet and drain on paper towels. When drained, put the meat on an ovenproof plate or in a large baking dish and put it in the preheated oven to keep warm.

Drain all but 2 tablespoons the remaining fat from the pan. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the seasoned bake mix and scrape the bottom of the pan carefully so that you remove the all brown, crusty bits left over from the frying.

Using a whisk, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup water. Stir over medium heat until the gravy thickens. (If the gravy becomes too thick, you can add some additional cream.)

Check the cream gravy and season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if you choose. Serve the gravy over the meat.

Smashed Cauliflower (Faux Mashed Potatoes)

  • 1 head fresh cauliflower, steamed until tender and mashed
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced sauteed onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Mash all the ingredients together and place them in a buttered 2-quart casserole or a large baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted and the casserole is heated through.

Recipe can be doubled. Reheats well.

Serves 8.

***Make Ahead Tip: The entire casserole can be made up to two days ahead of time and baked in a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes.

Down Home Green Beans

  • 3 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1/2-inch length
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 ounces Canadian bacon, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute

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