Sunday, December 4, 2011

Back to my roots Schnitzel

I did grow up eating the stuff and to this day, I love it. But more importantly, whenever I serve it, everybody loves it, adults and children alike. The beauty of this entree is in its simpicity. One thing I always do in my household is make extras. No matter how much I make, there is always barely enough for the kids to grab a piece to save for their school lunch the next day, 'cause in case you don't know, these make for a killer sandwich! I also use this recipe as the base for many other meals, chicken parmigiana being one of them. I use different meats depending on what is available and what I am in the mood for, chicken, turkey, pork, veal and beef in a pinch. Traditionally, "Weiner Schnitzel" is made from veal, hence its buttery soft texture, but I generally make it with chicken, turkey or pork.

Weiner Schnitzel

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk (if you don't like milk, you can use water)
4 cups bread crumbs, fine ground
1/4 teaspoon each of garlic powder, sweet Hungarian Paprika
salt & pepper, to taste
6-8 slices of pork scallopini (or whatever meat you choose)
2 cups vegetable or sunflower oil (or a light frying oil)
2 lemons, cut into wedges

To start your schnitzel, you need to set up a small assembly line which will include 3 dishes (2 large plates and 1 bowl) and then your large fry pan. You may also want to preheat your oven to 200F and put in a baking sheet with a rack so you can keep you schnitzel warm until you are ready to serve. Now, let's get started!
  1. Your first plate will hold your flour, then you will have your bowl which will include your eggs and milk whisked together and then your last plate will include your bread crumbs along with your spices mixed in.
  2. Using a meat tenderizer, hammer you meat on both sides so that it is nice and thin, be careful not to tear the meat.
  3. Pour your oil into your pan so that you have approx. 1/4" in the pan and heat it on medium until it reaches 350F.
  4. First dip your meat, 1 piece at a time, into the flour and lightly coat it, followed by your egg wash and then the bread crumbs ensuring that your meat is completely coated in the breadcrumbs. Then lay it onto your platter and continue this process until your oil is heated to 350F.
  5. When your oil is ready immerse your meat and cook it until it is lightly browned on each side (3-5 mins/side depending on size and thickness of the meat). Be sure not to overcrowd the meat in the pan when you are cooking it.
  6. When it is ready, place them on your warming tray in the oven until you are ready serve.

The traditional way of serving schnitzel is with a wedge a lemon and each individual squeezes it on themselves.

As I mentioned previously, this is a great start for many other meals, for example, with Chicken Parmigiana, use my tomato sauce recipe from the fall and you are ready to go! Simply place your chicken into an oven friendly dish, pour on the tomato sauce and grate some mozzeralla cheese and parmigiana and bake at 350F for approx. 20 mins and you are done! This also makes an awesome sandwich!

Hope you enjoy!

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