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David Ross

eG Cook-Off 76: Consider the Schnitzel

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@SmithyBeautiful! I suspect that the reason you didn't get air pockets was because of the double dipping in the flour. Letting them set and dipping them again might have caused too hard a crust. The second dip in the flour really isn't necessary, nor is it necessary to let it set that first time.

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Well, I've been in the schnitzel dungeon for nearly two weeks.  I was watching an episode of Andrew Zimmern on Delicious Destinations--Milan and it got me thinking I'd love to replicate the Veal Milanese they showed in one segment.  It was a bone-in veal chop, pounded thin, then coated in of all things American Corn Flakes.  It was served with spinach and some really creamy mashed potatoes. 

 

I can't get veal chops where I live, or at least rarely.  I can ask a local butcher to order them, but it would cost a lot of money to order say two veal chops.  There are good online sources, but as I always say, when you buy fresh meats or seafood online you pay more than the veal chop for the cost of overnight shipping.  And right now I don't really want to splurge and pay upwards of $60 bucks for two veal chops.  At least not yet.

 

I found what looked like some possibilities with two large, thick, bone-in pork chops.  I knew the flavor wouldn't be close to veal, but I wanted to try the pounded thin on bone corn flake technique.  Well, when I went to French the end of the bone, I found it was cut like a lot of pork chops.  They run the pork through a saw because it's not intended to be the same as cutting a thick chop off a whole loin, think like a chop from a rack of lamb.  So the bone was cut in pieces and would have made a sorry looking frenched chop.

 

So I'll keep searching this week for the elusive local veal chop or a decent rack of pork I can butcher myself.

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2 hours ago, David Ross said:

Well, I've been in the schnitzel dungeon for nearly two weeks.  I was watching an episode of Andrew Zimmern on Delicious Destinations--Milan and it got me thinking I'd love to replicate the Veal Milanese they showed in one segment.  It was a bone-in veal chop, pounded thin, then coated in of all things American Corn Flakes...

Corn Flake crumbs were what my mom used to coat round steak (pounded out) when she'd make her Chicken Fried Steak. The Corn Flake coating has a slightly sweet taste to it when compared to a flour mixture/coating.

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No photos, so use your imagination. Chicken schnitzel, panko breading, no sous vide, served over leftover spaghetti with lemon and Hungarian style mushrooms. The mushrooms are just sauteed up with a little onion and garlic with a butt-load of paprika. Add shiraz and reduce.

 

One schnitzel was just right, one overdone - thus my usual preference for sous vide. The bright taste of the chicken and lemon went well with the deeper flavour of the paprika and shrooms.

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Finally participating.  I didn't even realize that I was until halfway through dinner prep last night.  :laugh:  I'm kinda/sorta cooking through some of the mountain of food magazines I have.  When I get a magazine, I look through and mark the recipes that I want to make.  Typically, they go into a pile and are never opened again 9_9.  But since they all got moved during the recent painting, I sorted through them and got rid of ones that I knew I wouldn't ever cook.  I still have a mountain, but at least there are fewer.  Anyway, this was from an old Martha Stewart “Everyday Food” magazine recipe.  This is her version of Tonkatsu.  It was good – nothing terribly new about it, except for serving a lightly dressed Napa salad beside it.  Too lightly in my opinion.  It is only supposed to be dressed with salt, pepper, and rice vinegar.  I found it too sharp and drizzled in a tiny bit of oil.  In looking at pictures online, I’ve discovered that the cabbage salad is almost always served with the tonkatsu.  Other cabbage salad recipes that I’ve found DO include some kind of oil and lots of other seasonings, too.  I also found the sauce a little wanting – just catsup, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar.  I added some soy sauce and allspice.  Pork:

DSCN8089.JPG.0a1c1da3108a97713df08bb239c9a64d.JPG

 

With Napa, sauce and rice (topped with leftover sauce from the short rib dinner – too good to waste):

image.png.70ac20e7ca59ce35b975b8d0a28b60de.png

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I'm sneaking in at the tail end of this party. I've been visiting a friend who was initially resistant to the entire schnitzel concept. Interestingly, his objections were based on his understanding and experience of schnitzel being a clump of mince, breaded and fried (which he loathed). This barrier overcome, I had to convince him that he'd almost certainly like schitzel, although he might find it only 'acceptable'. Next, we had to sort how the schnitzel would be fried, since he does not accept any staining of his beloved steel pans; I finally suggested he do the actual cooking. Then we sampled a bunch of whiskies, to decompress from this complicated and extended negotiation.

 

Next day, I wandered out in search of schnitzel meat and acceptable sides. I found this (pork),

IMG_6003.jpg

 

and came across some black chickpeas and some broccolini, which struck me as good sides. My friend was going to stick to chips and remoulade.

 

I started the chickpeas beforehand, and left them simmering throughout the remainder of the prep and cooking. The chickpeas got a bit of toasted sesame oil, some miso, and some fresh thyme.

 

I began my traditional appraoch by pounding the schnitzel to paper thinness with a meat hammer. Actually, that is a lie: there was no meat hammer, and no pan that would accommodate any of the pieces had they been pounded  much flatter than they already were. I used a small sauce pan to kind of even out the thickness, and break down the fibres a bit.

IMG_6005.jpg

 

I kept the seasoning simple, as my friend prefers that things 'not get too weird', and given my experimental proclivities, I kind of see his point of view. I did add nutmeg to the wash and crumbs (yes, that's panko, and I'm trying to feel contrite about that), but did not add miso, malt syrup, harrissa, or ras el hanout, which I'd considered. I did include black pepper, thyme, celery seed, and paprika, mostly to the wash, since I'm not a fan of the smell of burning spices.

IMG_6009.jpg

 

I've no idea how these were cooked, because, as previously agreed, I left the kitchen while my friend carried out whatever secret rites accompanied the frying of the schnitzels (I returned briefly to steam the broccolini).

 

The combination was quite good, although I'd have loved for the schnitzel to be more evenly golden brown.

IMG_6010.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It has been my belief that "schnitzel" should be very thin; 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Much of what I see in the photos is much thicker. Am I wrong?

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1 hour ago, Mjx said:

I'm sneaking in at the tail end of this party. I've been visiting a friend who was initially resistant to the entire schnitzel concept. Interestingly, his objections were based on his understanding and experience of schnitzel being a clump of mince, breaded and fried (which he loathed). This barrier overcome, I had to convince him that he'd almost certainly like schitzel, although he might find it only 'acceptable'. Next, we had to sort how the schnitzel would be fried, since he does not accept any staining of his beloved steel pans; I finally suggested he do the actual cooking. Then we sampled a bunch of whiskies, to decompress from this complicated and extended negotiation.

 

Next day, I wandered out in search of schnitzel meat and acceptable sides. I found this (pork),

IMG_6003.jpg

 

and came across some black chickpeas and some broccolini, which struck me as good sides. My friend was going to stick to chips and remoulade.

 

I started the chickpeas beforehand, and left them simmering throughout the remainder of the prep and cooking. The chickpeas got a bit of toasted sesame oil, some miso, and some fresh thyme.

 

I began my traditional appraoch by pounding the schnitzel to paper thinness with a meat hammer. Actually, that is a lie: there was no meat hammer, and no pan that would accommodate any of the pieces had they been pounded  much flatter than they already were. I used a small sauce pan to kind of even out the thickness, and break down the fibres a bit.

 

So, did he like it?

 

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5 hours ago, boudin noir said:

It has been my belief that "schnitzel" should be very thin; 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Much of what I see in the photos is much thicker. Am I wrong?

No, I think you are probably right.  I beat mine as thin as I could, but I don't have a good "pounder".  Off to add one to my Amazon wishlist!

 

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1 hour ago, Kim Shook said:

No, I think you are probably right.  I beat mine as thin as I could, but I don't have a good "pounder".  Off to add one to my Amazon wishlist!

 

 

FWIW, I use the back side of my heavy cleaver. Works like a charm.

 

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2 minutes ago, kayb said:

 

FWIW, I use the back side of my heavy cleaver. Works like a charm.

 

I am currently using a small iron skillet, but the tiny little rim tends to tear the meat.  

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, boudin noir said:

It has been my belief that "schnitzel" should be very thin; 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Much of what I see in the photos is much thicker. Am I wrong?

 

I pounded mine to ~ 1/8" thick, although they look thicker in the photo I posted.


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)

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6 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

No, I think you are probably right.  I beat mine as thin as I could, but I don't have a good "pounder".  Off to add one to my Amazon wishlist!

 

I have a meat mallet now, but for years I just used a wine bottle. Works pretty well. 

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On 3/9/2018 at 2:32 PM, kayb said:

 

So, did he like it?

 

 

He thought it was 'fine', but a bit dull. Next time, I'm not going to listen to any concerns about my making things too weird ;)

 

 

On 3/9/2018 at 2:14 PM, boudin noir said:

It has been my belief that "schnitzel" should be very thin; 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Much of what I see in the photos is much thicker. Am I wrong?

 

I'm fairly certain that is correct. My original plan involved a nearly paper thin sheet of meat within a crisp golden crust, but circumstances dictated the hasty improvisation of a plan B.

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This is the mallet we use. It is quite heavy. Only ID is DIX

IMG_0603.JPG

IMG_0604.JPG

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I have or ' had ' a SS tenderizer Tool [ that's what they are called if not mallets ]  that was quite heavy

 

not go to the Gym heavy , but Weighty

 

a bit like this one , but less Froo-Froo-ish  Plain

 

https://www.amazon.com/Leifheit-23014-Tenderizer-Reversible-Stainless/dp/B000A387PM/ref=sr_1_28?ie=UTF8&qid=1520705813&sr=8-28&keywords=mallet+for+food

 

like an espresso tamper

 

as I do not know where that is

 

i too use an empty wine bottle

 

there are always 

 

several lying around

 

looking for something to do

 

before the go into the reCyle bin.

 

 

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I'll have to find the photo, but a friend of mine in the UK posted a photo about a week ago of a mackerel schnitzel.  I think it was served with some sort of beet salad.  It sounded, and looked, terribly unappetizing to me.

 

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On 3/10/2018 at 7:43 PM, David Ross said:

I'll have to find the photo, but a friend of mine in the UK posted a photo about a week ago of a mackerel schnitzel.  I think it was served with some sort of beet salad.  It sounded, and looked, terribly unappetizing to me.

 

 

Doesn't sound appealing, but it's amazing what breading and frying will do to improve things.

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Something a bit different last night for the schnitzelling - Hong Kong Pork Chop Rice. It's  kind of like a cutlet parma. It's not something I usually make at home, but it's one of two dishes I often order at the Hong Kong-style cafes here (the other is Portuguese/Macau Baked Chicken Rice :wub:)

 

Breaded pork cutlet being sliced & placed on top of fried rice. Pork cutlets were tenderized with the pointy side of the mallet & marinated. Didn't do a good job with the frying this time. Too impatient for the oil to get sufficiently hot, so the first couple cutlets were too greasy. Fried rice is frozen mixed veg & Maggi Sauce.

IMG_1782.thumb.JPG.c77589ca66ad1eb2bdad70aca0623ade.JPG

 

Tomato sauce (canned whole tomatoes, ketchup, soy, oyster sauce), bell peppers, onions on top, and cheese. Baked for about 15 mins, with broiling at the end.

IMG_1784.thumb.JPG.80d11d6b20eca99f84f08698e8c5f1ed.JPG

 

Unappetizing mess on a plate made worse with hideous lighting. Tasted great. DH super happy.

IMG_1785.thumb.JPG.bb5b6b737dd5249d862578620d006bb2.JPG

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"My" Wiener Schnitzel. I got air pockets and I got golden brown!

XGqPcio.jpg

 

It's actually 2 pieces.

G1Qfg1y.jpg

 

Check out this short clip (1.5min long) to learn how to make a proper Wiener Schnitzel.

This one is made at 1 of Vienna's Schnitzel specialists. Watch to learn the proper technique, even if you don't under stand German.

 

Basically...

- Pound the meat paper thin. (My long rolling pin works find)

- Remove all sinew, membrane, fat etc.

- Do not press the breading.

- Do not leave the breaded meat sitting around anywhere. Cook in hot oil straight away.

- Shake the pan a little to encourage forming of air pockets. Also spoon some fat all over the meat.

- Snip the edges a few times to discourage buckling (meat curls up when comes into contact with hot oil).

 

It's like reading about something that doesn't interest me so much but I still read it anyway because there's nothing I like more than learning (and reading).

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Yes, @Duvel it is always best to begin with bread.  But eGullet ate my Schnitzel.  Twice.  Hope we make it further this time but I may have to break my post up into parts:

 

Boule03092018.png

 

 

Let's start with last week's boule.

 

DriedBread03112018.png

 

 

Crusts removed and oven dried.  Pangrattato recipe from Bugialli, The Fine Art of Italian Cooking (p58).  As we all know Schnitzel came from Italy.

 

Heavy03112018.png

 

 

Next the cutlets were persuaded.  The stainless rolling pin is ancient, the Paderno pounder is brand new.

 

For explanation please see:

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/156367-are-you-generally-a-“one-of-cook”-or-a-“repeater”/?do=findComment&comment=2144610

 

 

Stay tuned for part two...

 

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Continuing from

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/156204-eg-cook-off-76-consider-the-schnitzel/?do=findComment&comment=2144873

 

This Schnitzel is the most difficult recipe I have posted.  Here is part two:

 

The cutlets were thin-cut pork loin chops on sale.  The ones which have been my nemesis in the past:

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/147256-too-thin-porkchops/

 

Breading03112018.png

 

 

Flour and crumbs, mixed 4:1 with EverCrisp.  Why do I keep wanting to write EverClear?

 

I read a tip somewhere to beat the egg only lightly so not to form bubbles.  I did that.

 

Cutlets03112018.png

 

 

Coated cutlets on the rack.  Stay tuned!

 

 

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Schnitzel part three, continued from

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/156204-eg-cook-off-76-consider-the-schnitzel/?do=findComment&comment=2144914

 

Frying03112018.png

 

 

Cutlet deep fried in organic butter.  Or would have been deep fried had not the cutlet sprung up like an aggrieved Portuguese man o' war.*  I suspect deep frying is not possible for Schnitzel.

 

One minute on each side.

 

Kartoffelsalat03112018.png

 

 

I've read potato salad is traditional with Schnitzel, and here is my take on Kartoffelsalat.  Finger scorching yellow new potatoes dressed with shallot, parsley, minced anchovies, white wine vinegar, sunflower oil, salt and pepper.

 

Dinner03112018.png

 

 

Finally, the dinner!  Served with lime (why lime, you may well ask, but of course a mai tai) and much methode rotus.  I did not test the claims of EverCrisp, though I suspect this Schnitzel would be crispy till the end of time.

 

Ice cream, because I can.

 

 

*or, if you will, a rubber duckie.

 

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15 hours ago, BonVivant said:

"My" Wiener Schnitzel. I got air pockets and I got golden brown!

XGqPcio.jpg

 

It's actually 2 pieces.

G1Qfg1y.jpg

 

Check out this short clip (1.5min long) to learn how to make a proper Wiener Schnitzel.

This one is made at 1 of Vienna's Schnitzel specialists. Watch to learn the proper technique, even if you don't under stand German.

 

Basically...

- Pound the meat paper thin. (My long rolling pin works find)

- Remove all sinew, membrane, fat etc.

- Do not press the breading.

- Do not leave the breaded meat sitting around anywhere. Cook in hot oil straight away.

- Shake the pan a little to encourage forming of air pockets. Also spoon some fat all over the meat.

- Snip the edges a few times to discourage buckling (meat curls up when comes into contact with hot oil).

 

It's like reading about something that doesn't interest me so much but I still read it anyway because there's nothing I like more than learning (and reading).

That looks like the kind of schnitzel I want to make.

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