Smothered Steak and Grits

Sometimes, experiments go really badly for me.  But sometimes, magic happens and whatever it was that I invented on a whim goes strangely well.

It’s shocking, the luck of it all, and I still haven’t figured out why or how it happens.

This, my dears, was a super success.  This dish was scarfed down by Luke and me, and we picked at the leftovers for the rest of the night while watching Boston Legal on DVD. (Does anyone want to be our friend?)

There’s nothing traditional about it.  It’s not REALLY steak.  It’s also not grits in the soupy, slimy sense in which you think of them.  It’s all crisp and flavor, and heavens-to-gravy is it delicious.  I’m kind of still day dreaming about it right now.

I also really feel like this is MAN FOOD.  The fact that I pictured it on a pink rosy tea towel is almost a joke, but it was the prettiest thing I had at arm’s reach, and goodness knows I wasn’t feeling patient.

Smothered Turkey Steaks and Panko Crusted Grits Patties
(how’s that for a name?)
Recipe serves 8

For the Parmesan Panko Crusted Grits Patties:
(recipe swiped and adapted from Southern Living Magazine)

1 cup uncooked stone-ground grits
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Bring grits, salt, and 3 cups water to a boil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring frequently, 20-25 minutes or until the grits are very thick.  Remove from heat; stir in Parmesan cheese until melted.

Spoon grits into a 13×9 inch rectangle baking dish lined with plastic wrap; spread in an even layer.  Cool 15 minutes.  Place a dry paper towel over grits, cover, and chill 2 hours until very firm.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Turn chilled grits out onto a cutting board; remove plastic wrap and paper towel, and cut grits into 8 squares.

Whisk together egg and 2 Tbsp. water in a shallow bowl, such as a pie pan.  Combine panko and red pepper in a separate shallow dish.  Dip grits patties into egg wash; dredge in panko, and place patties on a greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle any leftover panko on top of the patties.

Bake for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through baking time, until golden brown and crispy.

For the Smothered Turkey “Steaks”:

2 pounds ground turkey (93/7 fat content– not all white meat)
2/3 cup onion, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup olive oil
a few dashes black pepper
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup flour, plus more as necessary

Mix together turkey, onion, garlic, panko, olive oil, and black pepper. Form the mixture into 8 large patties, 1/2 inch thick. Scoop out about 1/4 cup flour into a shallow dish, and dredge each patty in the flour on both sides.

Heat a large skillet on high until it starts to smoke. Brown each patty on the dry skillet for just 1 minute on each side, so that they are seared but not cooked through. Remove patties from pan, and add 1/2 cup chicken broth to the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and use a whisk to scrape up any seared juice that got stuck to the pan. Return 4 patties to the pan, cook for about 5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Repeat with the rest of the patties.

Once the turkey steaks are fully cooked, remove them to a plate and place in your oven on its lowest heat setting to keep them warm. Add the rest of the broth to the pan, and bring to a boil. Whisk in flour, one tablespoon at a time, letting the mixture boil down in between additions, until it reaches the consistency of gravy.

To Assemble:

Place one Panko Grits Patty on a plate. Place a Turkey Steak on top, and smother the whole thing with gravy. We ate these by themselves because we were feeling a little white trash (plus I’ve been avoiding the grocery store since the Christmas Rush scarred me), but these would be awesome with fries smothered in gravy. Oh yum.

So much for New Year’s Resolutions, right?

Love, Kels

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