I remember the last time I made a recipe like this - it was years ago and while tasty, it was also deep fried and not too healthy. While it is always nice to indulge in the true fried version, this lightens the dish up enough, but not so much that you end up with something that is unrecognizable.
So the crunchy coating has something to grab onto, cube steaks are first dusted with flour and go for a quick bath in a couple of beaten egg whites. The steaks are then dragged through a combination of cornmeal, white whole-wheat flour, cornstarch and paprika. Rather than drowning them in hot oil, the coated steaks are browned on each side in just enough oil to give them a golden crust. They will not be entirely cooked through at this point, so to finish them off and keep the crust crisp, they are placed in the oven for just a few minutes.
This gave us just enough time to create the wicked gravy we served on top. Into the skillet, with all those caramelized bits stuck to the bottom, beef broth is poured in and brought to a boil - this will loosen those flavorful bits and begin reducing the amount of liquid to concentrate the broth's flavor. To tighten the gravy, a slurry of cornstarch and water is whisked in - after given a minute to thicken, a couple shots of half-and-half are swirled in for a silky body. For a lighter take, we were quite content with this twist on chicken-fried steak - I served this with basic smashed Yukon gold potatoes on the side to enjoy the extra gravy... talk about comfort food heaven without feeling as guilty afterwards!
Chicken-Fried Steak and Gravy