Monday, November 16, 2009

Wiener Schnitzel

Though our "German week" is officially done now that Jim has returned home (yay!) I'm finally getting some time back to write about what we ate while he was in country. One food that we both ate last week was wiener schnitzel. Just saying these two words is fun. The kids were rolling with laughter when I told them what we would be eating for dinner that night. Plus, we had two additional kids joining us that night as well. The gang repeated the words over and over, with escalated giggling each time.

Yes, if you show up for dinner during a theme week, you get the theme food. In my world, this IS kid food. It was served with spaetzle made the day before, and green beans just to add some color to the meal. Guess what? Not only did all four kids love saying the words, they all cleaned their plates and asked for more. Seriously.

While I've never served wiener schnitzel before, I've made Italian style piccata dishes plenty of times. So this really wasn't very different. In poking around for recipes to try and ensure authenticity, I stumbled upon one, authored by a German, which instructed to let the meat sit in some fresh lemon juice before proceeding with applying the coating. This was sooo excellent! Due in no small part to the fresh lemons that Katie gave to us from the lemon tree in her yard. I am definitely applying this technique for all future piccata recipes. Yum!

Wiener Schnitzel
Adapted from Hans Rockenwagner

3/4 pound veal cutlets, pounded thin
juice from 1 lemon
salt & pepper
1 Cup all purpose flour
1 egg, beaten with 1 1/2 Tablespoons water
1 pkg seasoned croutons, food processed into fine crumbs
3 Tablespoons butter
1 lemon, cut in wedges (optional)

Places pounded veal cutlets in lemon juice and set aside, at room temperature, for 30 minutes. Prepare stations for coating: flour, eggs wash, bread crumbs, and clean plates at the end of the line. One cutlet at a time, season with salt & pepper then dredge in flour and shake off excess. Place floured cutlet in egg wash, turning over carefully with a fork. After allowing excess egg to drain off, dredge in bread crumbs to cover both sides. Transfer to a clean plate and repeat process with remaining cutlets. Allow them to rest (on separate plates, do not stack) for additional 20 minutes to help the coating adhere to the meat.

Heat butter on medium heat in a large, flat skillet or griddle. When foaming has stopped, place cutlets in pan and cook for 4-6 minutes until golden brown. Flip to the other side, using spatula or something else that will not tear the coating, and cook for additional 4-6 minutes. Serve warm, with additional lemon wedges if desired.

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