Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wiener Schnitzel is not a chain of hot dog fast food joints!

All three recipes are below in printable version:

In California, we have a lot of Der Wienerschnitzel Chains.

It makes me chuckle, because there is no connection between hot dogs and Wiener Schnitzel that is a popular dish found on most restaurant menus in Germany and Austria.

"Wien" is the Europea spelling of "Vienna" and that is where this dish is said to have originated.

A true Wiener Schnitzel is made with thinly pounded veal, breaded and cooked in oil. If cooked correctly, it's golden and crispy on the outside (never greasy) and garnished with a lemon wedge. This is what I'm used to having served to me when I visit my family in Bavaria:

I recently saw someone had posted their version of Wienerschnitzel, breaded in panko crumbs. Brilliant! While that isn't authentic, I liked the idea of the crunch it must've given the meat.

I love veal. I especially love milk fed veal. Or, I should say-- I used to eat milk fed veal, until I learned how they are raised-- these adorable babies live a very cruel an inhumane short life. I am a carnivore, but I have my boundaries on how animals are treated. If the source of my veal comes range-free, then I'll buy it. But it is expensive.

I've, since, switched to making my schnitzel with either chicken breasts or pork. Pork is my favorite way.

Schnitzel is really quite simple to make.

You will want to buy either chicken breasts, pork or veal. I buy pork tenderloin because schnitzel cooks fast. You don't want tough meat, or it will be chewy and that's not very pleasant.
The night that I made this schnitzel, I was in a hurry and I wanted a short cut. I saw that my butcher had some pork that had been tenderized. I hesitated... at $4.99 a pound I wasn't so sure I should go for it. I just didn't feel like cutting a pork tenderloin and pounding it, and these were cut just right. It turned out great!

You'll need a pan of flour, seasoned with kosher salt & fresh ground pepper.
2-3 eggs, whisked in separate pan
Bread crumbs (I make my own)
Olive oil
A heavy bottomed pan that can take high heat

I don't buy bread crumbs anymore. We eat bread, but I don't eat a lot of it (not by choice, trust me). I just toss stale bread slices into my Cuisinart (which is now 30 years old and still going strong!) This is actually whole wheat bread, and it works out great.

My oven is preheated to 250F, and I spread the crumbs on parchment paper onto a baking sheet for about an hour. Then I cool the crumbs so that they don't get soggy from the egg bath. I store any unused bread crumbs in an air tight container. Why buy it?

To prepare your meat, cover it with saran wrap and pound till thin (again, these cuts of meats are thicker than I'd normally use, but I was lazy and hungry).

Dip the meat, first, in flour, then in the egg, then coat with bread crumbs (or panko crumbs)

Allow the prepared meat to dry-- seriously, I get better browning when it's not so wet.

Heat your oil, until shimmering and cook for just 2-3 minutes per side. You want them golden brown.

Depending on how thin your cutlets are (these are thicker than usual) cook them for 3-5 minutes per side on medium high heat:

Lawsy, this makes my mouth water!

Garnish with a lemon wedge and parsley.
Pardon me, but I have to take a bite full. Dee-lish!

That's it!

Great side dishes are mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes (any kind of potatoe), spaetzle or buttered noodles. In my kitchen, red cabbage is a "given" when I make this dish. We love it!
By the way, I refrigerated a few of the uncooked, prepared pork schnitzel and it cooked up beautifully the next day.

This is far better than a hot dog and impressive for company, too.

Thank you for allowing me to share my love of German food, handed down to me from my mother. I can hardly wait to return to her Homeland so that I can enjoy all the wonderful food, scenery, beer and wonderful Bavarian sense of humor.

All three recipes are below in printable version:

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Culinarywannabe said...

Yummy! Why is that something so simple is SO good?! I could really use a big German meal made of all your latest posts, any time you feel like stopping by. :) And can't wait to hear your 10 things!!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I've met so many wonderful Foodies from the New York area... it sure tempts me to head East so we can all get together to nosh and have a community meal of our signature dishes.

Cheryl said...

This whole meal looks divine! I have to put Schn itzel on my list of things to make! thanks for sharing!

Valerie Jupe said...


I know this is a rather old post on your super-amazing blog (which I was very lucky enough to run across last week) - but it really helped to inspire me and walk me through making dinner with my husband.

We just recently returned from a trip to Europe which included Vienna as well as Munich, and your recipes were a great gift to find!

I mentioned your blog in my own blog post, which I just finished. I thought you might find it entertaining:)

"A new Cooking with Us podcast and blog post: Wienerschnitzel and German potato salad!!!!


Thanks so much!

Valerie Jupe

Debby Foodiewife said...

Hi Valerie, and thanks for the positive feedback. Goodness, these are some of my oldest photos, taken with my old point-and-shoot. I was just learning how to blog, when I posted this. I should take new and updated photos! Glad you found me, and I do have a lot of German recipes posted. Malzeit!

Anonymous said...

Hi Debby. This may be an older post, but FoodieWife has become my first search option when I need a a refresher - and I always learn something new. Notes: drying the breaded bits is brilliant and IMHO improves the product. Sometimes I use my own bread crumbs and sometimes panko. With panko, I usually give it a quick whizz to make it finer, but this is not essential. (Press it in a little bit?) For some frying I've migrated to a combination of Olive, Canola and Coconut oils. Why limit to just one? (A discussion for another time.) I quit using veal years ago for your reasons and others. (It can be tasty and tender, but the price offends me.) Mostly pork tenderloin, trimmed, pounded etc., and the odd chicken piece. Boneless thigh meat is tasty as less likely to dry out. Pork, even tenderloin is usually a bargain and very tasty. With some crisp, grated veggies over butter lettuce leaves and a light, semi-sweet dressing, boiled yellow potato with green specks and a bit of lemon, this is a Comfort Food class meal that (I) can serve in <an hour. Want it a bit fancier? After cooking the schnitz, keep warm in a low oven, deglaze the pan with white wine (or apple juice?) and make a fast pan sauce. Your blog/archive offers a wealth of brilliant ideas. Most are adaptable for personal taste and yes'm!! Those pictures are world-class. Thank you and Happy New Year. -Craig (The other one.)