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eG Cook-Off 76: Consider the Schnitzel


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Well, my saga for the perfect schnitzel has finally culminated in success. My first attempt was with a tenderized sirloin. Although it tasted great,  camera wise, it was a dismal failure. I also melted Swiss cheese on the top which was a big mistake. It added to the sandwich but it destroyed the crispy crust.

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My second attempt was a chicken piccata which also tasted great. Unfortunately, my tablet battery was too low and we would have starved to death before I got a picture of it. So I tried again. Yesterday I started with some pork milanesa. This one I can actually show off with a little bit of pride. This is the cutlet after I pounded it.

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Years ago, I worked pantry in a large restaurant and my station and the butcher’ station were in a room together. In my spare time he would put me to work pounding cutlets. I learned a lot. First, handle the meat gently. You don't have to pound it to death, it's already dead.

Use the points on the mallet first first to tenderize the meat. You don't have to beat  with a lot of force, let the mallet do the work for you. For this you need a good, heavy mallet. A BIG mallet.

20180216_102427(2).thumb.jpg.45ecd58d184dafa2a766808426ebea2d.jpg

Then starting in the middle and using a rolling motion, spread the meat to the sides until you have a thin, even cutlet. For this, use the flat side of the mallet. The reason for using a pounded cutlet instead of a thin slice of meat is that the pounding breaks up fibers and gives you that buttery tenderness that you associate with a good schnitzel.

For bread crumbs I made some homemade panko. I found that using my homemade bread and not grinding it completely fine in the food processor gives me the texture of panko. I then toasted it a bit. I can get panko down here but sometimes they charge more for the panko then I paid for the meat.

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I breaded them first in flour, then in egg mixed with mayonnaise and milk, then in the bread crumbs. Then I let them set for an hour in the refrigerator before I fried them. They turned out perfectly with that little puff in the middle. I served them on homemade rolls with  mayonnaise made with lemon juice and capers, sliced Gouda cheese, slice tomatoes, and garnished with homemade dill pickles.

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My camera finally cooperated and I was a happy camper.

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7 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

Well, my saga for the perfect schnitzel has finally culminated in success. My first attempt was with a tenderized sirloin. Although it tasted great,  camera wise, it was a dismal failure. I also melted Swiss cheese on the top which was a big mistake. It added to the sandwich but it destroyed the crispy crust.

20180212_180006(1).thumb.jpg.e1d6def4859ab6ed956f90ba58ce138d.jpg

My second attempt was a chicken piccata which also tasted great. Unfortunately, my tablet battery was too low and we would have starved to death before I got a picture of it. So I tried again. Yesterday I started with some pork milanesa. This one I can actually show off with a little bit of pride. This is the cutlet after I pounded it.

20180216_095652(1).thumb.jpg.72e975ac37ca970fa4305b17e4f19386.jpg

Years ago, I worked pantry in a large restaurant and my station and the butcher’ station were in a room together. In my spare time he would put me to work pounding cutlets. I learned a lot. First, handle the meat gently. You don't have to pound it to death, it's already dead.

Use the points on the mallet first first to tenderize the meat. You don't have to beat  with a lot of force, let the mallet do the work for you. For this you need a good, heavy mallet. A BIG mallet.

20180216_102427(2).thumb.jpg.45ecd58d184dafa2a766808426ebea2d.jpg

Then starting in the middle and using a rolling motion, spread the meat to the sides until you have a thin, even cutlet. For this, use the flat side of the mallet. The reason for using a pounded cutlet instead of a thin slice of meat is that the pounding breaks up fibers and gives you that buttery tenderness that you associate with a good schnitzel.

For bread crumbs I made some homemade panko. I found that using my homemade bread and not grinding it completely fine in the food processor gives me the texture of panko. I then toasted it a bit. I can get panko down here but sometimes they charge more for the panko then I paid for the meat.

20180216_092512(1).thumb.jpg.27cc785f60e9cc1295debf36e9333ec0.jpg

I breaded them first in flour, then in egg mixed with mayonnaise and milk, then in the bread crumbs. Then I let them set for an hour in the refrigerator before I fried them. They turned out perfectly with that little puff in the middle. I served them on homemade rolls with  mayonnaise made with lemon juice and capers, sliced Gouda cheese, slice tomatoes, and garnished with homemade dill pickles.

20180216_121108(1).thumb.jpg.661ab2d7c7e3d4850a5477e77a57abcf.jpg

20180216_180429(1).thumb.jpg.b9703bedd522ad1daaddcd9a4bdc6acc.jpg

My camera finally cooperated and I was a happy camper.

20180216_181951(1).thumb.jpg.ededc32ce5666265061666f9c171ea7e.jpg

 

My word, that looks good.

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11 minutes ago, pep. said:

 

I would suggest clarified butter to prevent the solids from burning.

By adding the butter to the oil, I've never had a problem with it burning. However, I'm a notorious skillet sitter having lost my favorite skillet a couple years back from a senior moment lack of attention.

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@David Ross I'm so thankful that you chose schnitzel as a cook-off topic.  

 

Last night I made it using pheasant.  This will definitely go in to our meal rotation and I will probably make it next time our hunter is here.  I don't know why it's never crossed my mind to use pheasant in this way.....I make pheasant strips (like chicken strips) all the time.

 

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I seasoned the flour and the bread crumbs with salt, pepper and garlic (that might be schnitzel heresy, I'm not sure, but it tastes good).  Dredged the pounded breasts in the seasoned flour, then dipped in two beaten eggs and then into the seasoned bread crumb mix.

 

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These rested in the fridge for an hour or so.

 

I heated up some oil first and then threw in the butter to fry the schnitzel.  Worked like a charm.

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Came across a recipe for mushroom gravy that is sometimes put over schnitzel ...so I decided to make it.  Good stuff.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoon unsalted butter

½ onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, minced

8 oz. cremeni mushrooms, sliced

¼ cup of all-purpose flour

½ cup of white wine

2 & ½ cups of beef stock

1 tablespoon of whole grain mustard

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste (about ¼ teaspoon each)

 

Add the onion to the oil and butter in skillet.  Cook for about 4-5 mins.  Add garlic and mushrooms.  Cook for about 4 mins.  Add flour.  Add the wine, then reduce it down.  Add the stock.  It will start to thicken up  then stir in the mustard and worcestershire sauce and the salt and pepper.

 

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Tried one with sauce and one with just lemon.  Loved them both.

 

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That looks very delicious and I'm really impressed with the pheasant meat and the beautiful color of it raw.  I'm sure it sounds odd to remark on a piece of raw meat but the color just tells me it is wild and tasty.

 

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IMG_20180218_190859788.thumb.jpg.1880a500934c3120e4226fa6eeb7d98c.jpg

 

"Mexi-Schnitzel"

 

This dish is no doubt blasphemy in serious schnitzel circles, but we've been making it for years and really enjoy it. Pork as the protein, with a breading of panko with cumin, powdered chile,  and Mexican oregano. Lime squeezed over instead of lemon, and served with pico de gallo and black beans.

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Food Blog: Menu In Progress

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3 hours ago, menuinprogress said:

IMG_20180218_190859788.thumb.jpg.1880a500934c3120e4226fa6eeb7d98c.jpg

 

"Mexi-Schnitzel"

 

This dish is no doubt blasphemy in serious schnitzel circles, but we've been making it for years and really enjoy it. Pork as the protein, with a breading of panko with cumin, powdered chile,  and Mexican oregano. Lime squeezed over instead of lemon, and served with pico de gallo and black beans.

 

It's actually quite a legitimate dish and is called milanesa. :) Yours looks delicious.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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I think it's quite relevant to our discussion.  I'm finding that while the term schnitzel may hail from Austria, it really is a dish that transcends boundaries, (which I never realized until this eG Cook-Off).  In a few minutes I'll post my latest derivation of the schnitzel that I made for dinner last night, and it could be said this one is thousands of miles from Vienna.

 

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For years when I worked in an office at SEA-TAC airport we would go up to a small café in the terminal, "Waji's." I think it was owned and run by the same company that owns the Uwajimaya groceries in Portland and Seattle.  They had the most delicious chicken katsu that was served with rice, salad and two potstickers.  It wasn't until our Cook-Off that I realized that would be a dish that would be an Asian twist on the European schnitzel.  I remember their chicken katsu was thin, but in the range of about 1/2", so I thought I'd pound it down to about 1/4" thickness.  Dredged in flour, then egg, then panko and fried in canola oil.  In this recipe you cut the "schnitzel" into strips to dip into the katsu sauce.

 

The katsu sauce was a blend of Worcestershire, ketchup, soy sauce, and I added mirin, sugar and oyster sauce.  I think it was too heavy on the Worcestershire, so next time I'll bring that down and probably boost the oyster sauce.

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tbsp. soy sauce

white pepper

1 tbsp. Mirin

1 tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. oyster sauce

 

Then for the salad I did sliced cucumbers and carrots that I shredded with one of the gadgets I've acquired over the years at Asian markets.  The salad under the chicken katsu acted liked a rack to keep the fried katsu off the bottom of the plate and from getting soggy.  I dressed the lettuce with some orange juice, rice vinegar and sprinkled in a few sesamed seeds and green onions.  Mighty delicious this one.

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I'm enjoying this - @Shelby, I covet your pheasant and your sauce sounds great.

 

A question: several posters have  mentioned resting the breaded meat in the  fridge before cooking it. What's the reason for that? I've never done it; am I missing out on something?

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Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

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2 minutes ago, lesliec said:

resting the breaded meat in the  fridge

 I'm not Shelby but maybe I can help. The reason for resting the meat in the fridge is that it hardens the breading and it doesn't fall apart when you saute it. It also helps create that little puff between the breading and the meat. I rest mine in the refrigerator because I live in the tropics and I can't leave it on the counter.

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Thanks, @Tropicalsenior - I wondered if it was to do with firming up the coating. I've never had a problem with it falling apart, but I might give it a try to get some of that puff!

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Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

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I hesitate to post this in the schnitzel topic, as it isn't pounded nearly thin enough to be a real schnitzel, but Sunday was the long-awaited country fried steak.

 

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Round steak, pounded, salted and peppered. I would have preferred the already-jacquarded "minute steak," but I was digging in the freezer and this was what I came to first. It was cut thicker than I wanted, and I probably should have just butterflied it. From here, I bagged it and sous vided it at 150 degrees for about four and a half hours. I did a higher temp/shorter cook because I didn't get it started until Sunday morning.

 

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Out of the sous vide, ready for a second pounding. Still didn't get them as thin as I wanted them.

 

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Breading station. Seasoned flour, egg-and-milk, cracker crumbs (regular Saltines).

 

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Frying. After that, they went into the oven turned on warm, on a rack.

 

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Dinner. I like my gravy on my potatoes, but not on my steak. The cream gravy was the leftover seasoned flour from breading, the bag juices from the sous vide, and a healthy glug of milk, along with more salt and pepper. 

 

A leftover piece of steak made a quite nice breakfast this morning on a biscuit. Thanks, @Shelby, for making me think about getting frozen biscuits so I could cook just one at a time!

 

Dessert was "red hot apples," apples baked with butter and cinnamon imperials candy, topped with a bit of heavy cream. Haven't cooked that in ages.

 

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Air Fryer pork tenderloin schnitzel

 

Pounded flat, seasoned, breaded the usual way...using breadcrumbs that were pre-toasted...spritzed with Pam (not sure its needed)

Breville air fry 375 x 5 minutes.

 

Very good...not a hint of grease...still with some crunch.  This may be my new standard method.

 

Photos could be better...

0031.thumb.jpg.beaed26809166dff28c81b3d04d8f1a5.jpg

 

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31 minutes ago, gfweb said:

Air Fryer pork tenderloin schnitzel

 

Pounded flat, seasoned, breaded the usual way...using breadcrumbs that were pre-toasted...spritzed with Pam (not sure its needed)

Breville air fry 375 x 5 minutes.

 

Very good...not a hint of grease...still with some crunch.  This may be my new standard method.

 

Photos could be better...

0031.thumb.jpg.beaed26809166dff28c81b3d04d8f1a5.jpg

 

0041.thumb.jpg.b1dfbe8842e13249fe6440e70f0c2ae4.jpg

 

 

 

I have some chicken left from yesterday and was planning on doing a schnitzel in a salad, but I'm using your technique and I'll do it in my AirFryer.   Thanks for the tip.

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Just now, Shelby said:

ARRRRRGH.

 

I don't want to buy an air fryer.

 

You guys are making me maybe have to buy an air fryer.

 

 

I bought the Breville Air to replace a BSO that died.  Its pretty sweet. And it airfries.

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