Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wiener schnitzel

Wiener schnitzel, wiener schnitzel, jah jah jah!!! I swear, it is so much fun to announce you've got plans to cook wiener schnitzel. I kept saying it, over and over, to people who I normally don't keep in the loop about my dinner plans. "I think I'll make wiener schnitzel tonight," I tell my boss/intern/guy at Whole Foods, as if it's the first time it's occurred to me. Why so chatty about the schnitz? Because a.) it's fun to say, and b.) it sounds complicated and sort of old-fashioned, Euro-sophisticated (maybe something the Countess from Sound of Music would pick at on the veranda while making eyes at Christopher Plummer and pretending to like the children). While the former is definitely true, the latter is not. Wiener schnitzel is easy to make and completely for the people. And this dish--or something like it--really occurs all over the world. From an Italian perspective, it is an Viennese/Austrian version of chicken milanese, which we've covered in the past. Traditionally it is made with veal cutlet, but I use pork instead. I also decided to serve it on a nest of german egg noodles, for visual appeal.

I used boneless pork loin chops. Like I said, this isn't necessarily traditional, so you can use veal for verisimilitude, if you want. By the way, doesn't "Veal for Verisimilitude" totally sound like something Big Edie would sing from her bed in Grey Gardens? Anyway, you need to flatten out your chops. Cover them in parchment or waxed paper and beat the hell out them with a heavy saucepan or a real meat pounder.I just got the OXO meat pounder and it's pretty awesome. Get your meat all flat--about 1/2" thick.Set up 3 stations for breading the now-flat chops. In your first bowl, put 1/2 cup flour, and in your second bowl goes two beaten eggs. Your third bowl gets 1 cup breadcrumbs mixed with 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Dip your flattened chops first into the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.Heat up 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan and brown the breaded cutlets on each side until nicely golden--about 4 minutes per side.Meanwhile, bring a big pot of salted water to boil and add in a package of egg noodles. I used very thin, bird's nest style ones, but you can use thicker if you like that better.When the noodles are cooked al dente (time will depend on what style you used--mine took only a few minutes because they were quite thin), drain them and quickly stir in at least 1 tablespoon butter to keep it from sticking, then stir in 3 tablespoons poppy seeds.When the cutlets are browned on both sides, place them on top of a tangle of egg noodles with poppy seeds and serve with lemon wedges.

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