Today we are going to talk about Schnitzel. It’s not necessarily a specific recipe, it’s just things you do and put together. You know. Cooking.
At the most basic idea it is breaded and fried boneless pork chops.
Boneless pork chops of whatever kind you can find.
AP Flour – a couple of cups or so. If it looks like it is enough to do the job, then it probably will be. You can always add more.
-Eggs – I use around 2 per schnitzel.
Unseasoned, finely ground Bread Crumbs – a couple of cups or so.
Salt and Pepper to your taste
The main thing to begin with is pounding the meat thin. I’ve been told to use the flat side of a meat mallet, but I had already started with using the other side of it, with the little nubbly, fat teeth, and that worked for me. I tend to use the cheaper cuts of meat and that side helps to break up any connective tissue.
If you do not have a meat mallet, you can use the side of a good sturdy plate.
You do not want to beat it like a bar fight, or pound it into submission. Don’t use a dainty plate but don’t Hulk out.
Cover your meat with plastic wrap or waxed paper before you start pounding it thin.
Salt both sides of the pork chop once you get it thin. It will be noticeably bigger around and hopefully all the same thickness (approximately is good enough).
Set them aside until you are finished with all of them.
Put the flour on a plate and salt and pepper to taste. Do the same thing with the bread crumbs.
Stir all of your eggs together like you’re making scrambled eggs and season them to your taste. You can stir in some water or milk if you are low on eggs.
Note: If the only kind of Bread crumbs you can find are kinda chunky or you have to make them yourself , put them in a coffee grinder or a food processor, or just put them all in a zippy bag and roll over them a few times with something heavy.
Use a flavorless oil with a high heat tolerance, in a large pan or skillet. Olive oil tastes like olives and will burn at a relatively low heat. (So don’t use it for this.)
I have used metal pans and I have used non-stick. It doesn’t really matter. Pour in enough oil to be just a very little bit higher than the meat will be.
Heat your oil over medium high heat.
Dredge your flattened pork chop in the flour, then the eggs, then the breadcrumbs. Don’t press the bread crumbs into the meat. At the end, the crust is supposed to float on top of the meat, encasing it, but not sticking to it.
Don’t let it sit around with the coating on, put it straight into the pan after you coat it.
The oil should be shimmying against the Schnitzel, not popping or snapping.
Cook each side for at least 3 minutes. I usually go to 4, sometimes 5 minutes per side . Don’t do a lot of flipping it back and forth. Let it sit for 3 or 4 minutes and then flip it over. After another 3 or 4 minutes, take it out.
Until you get used to cooking it and getting your own rhythm, cut open the first one and try it. That will give you valuable information about cooking the others. Even if that valuable information is “Don’t change a thing! It’s perfect!”.
That’s pretty much it. There’s no big European secret to making Schnitzel, you can make it anywhere in the world, with practically any meat in the world. If you don’t like, or don’t eat pork, you can use Chicken or Turkey. I’ve had both and they are delicious too. I wouldn’t use beef. It’s not a strongly flavored crust , and it is perfect with mild flavored meat.
Now we go to the other half of the plate. Peter will not eat Schnitzel with any other side dish.
Small, waxy potatoes, like you would use in a potato salad.
Use enough small, waxy potatoes to feed everyone you are cooking for. You can use the little teensy tiny ones, the regular small ones, even the ones a little bit bigger, but not large potatoes like you would bake. It’s the wrong texture for these.
Wash them and put them on to boil with the skin still on, in a pot with enough salted water to cover them.
Don’t let the water come to a rolling boil. That will just overcook the most outer parts of the potato.
Cooking times will vary, depending on how many and what size of potatoes you are cooking.
Grab one out of the water with tongs and lightly squeeze it with your fingers. If it gives just a tiny bit, but still feels firm behind the skin, put it back in and let it cook just a little bit more. It’s almost there. If it gives a bit, but doesn’t smoosh at all, It’s perfect. Drain them and slip the skins off.
If they are the teensy potatoes, that will fit on the end of a fork, leave them intact. If they are any bigger, cut them in half or in fourths.
Use a pot or a pan and melt the butter. How much depends on how many people you are feeding. I’m feeding two or three adults and I use about 4 large pats of butter or approximately 1/4 cup.
Basically you are going to coat the potatoes with the butter.
When the butter has melted, add salt to your taste and bits of Parsley and stir. The Parsley in the pic above it too big and chunky, but I have zero knife skills. So yeah, make it smaller.
Add all of your potato pieces and swirl or stir to coat. Spoon them out with a slotted spoon, to keep any extra butter in the pan. (They can be over buttered. I have done it.)
That is Schnitzel with Parsley Potatoes. Peter could eat that every single weekend and be happy. It’s all very mellow flavors, and really perfect in the Fall and Winter. I think you would like it.