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Along with sauerbraten and sausages, schnitzels are Germany's most famous food specialty. A schnitzel is literally a slice or cutlet from a veal leg. Flattened fried chicken breasts and pork cutlets, although tasty, are not true schnitzel. Known in Italy as Scallopini and in France as Escalope, it is cut with the long grain or more exactly at a slight diagonal to it so that it will not fall apart when pounded. It is this pounding with a wooden mallet that gives schnitzel its tenderness and delicacy. After being cut the slice of veal is placed between several thicknesses of waxed paper and then pounded to about 1/16" to ⅛" thickness.
General rules for preparing schnitzels: -1- The breaded cutlets should be rested at room temp for 15-30 min before frying. -2- The fat should be hot enough so that the breading does not fall off. -3- A schnitzel should be golden brown on both sides and thoroughly cooked in 8-12 min. It should only be turned once. Otherwise it is too thick. -4- Keep finished schnitzels in a low oven [250-275] while the others are frying. never cover them or they will steam and the breading will get soggy. -5- Although schnitzels are often fried in butter, shortenings or lard can be used. Lard gives the crispiest, driest crust.
Wienerschnitzel: Marinate 6 pounded cutlets in lemon juice for 30 min; sprinkle with salt. Place a cup of flour on a plate or a piece of waxed paper; beat 2 eggs in 2 tbsp cold water and optionally beat in 2 tbsp salad oil for a more secure and crispier breading. Have a cup of fine dry breadcrumbs ready in a plate or on a piece of waxed paper. Dip the cutlets lightly into flour, then the egg mix. Let the excess egg drip off, then dredge in the crumbs. Let stand 15-30 min.
Heat enough fat in a large skillet for the cutlets to swim. do not crowd them. Put schnitzels in the pan only when the fat is very hot.
fry on the first side until golden brown. Turn with a spatula; do not pierce with a fork. Fry another 4-6 min until golden brown. Hold in a 250-275 oven until the rest are done.
Schnitzel a la Holstein: Garnish wienerschnitzel with a fried egg, two anchovy fillets and a sprinkling of well drained capers. [Or use a barely set poached egg and finish under the broiler.- JW] Cheese schnitzel: Use ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese and ½ cup crumbs instead of 1 cup crumbs. Garnish the finished schnitzels with paprika and a paper thin slice of lemon.
Naturschnitzel: Take pounded cutlets ¼" thick, salt and dredge one side only with flour. Brown unfloured side first, then the floured side. Make a sauce as follows: stir 2 tbsp butter into the pan juices; when bubbling add ½ cup beef or veal stock- simmer and scrape pan residues into the sauce with a wooden spoon. Flavor with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Pour the reduced sauce over the schnitzels.
Almond schnitzel: Dip cutlets into sour cream, then flour, then egg wash, then grated blanched almonds instead of breadcrumbs.
Hunter's schnitzel: Cut schnitzels in half after pounding, sprinkle with salt and pepper and sautee in bacon fat. Remove meat and saute chopped carrot, onion and parsley [and optionally celery and mushrooms as well] until soft. Return veal to the pan, add a tbsp butter and when it bubbles stir in 2 tbsp flour. Stir and cook 5 min.
Pour 1 cup white wine into the pan, cover and simmer 15 min or until veal is tender. Season sauce to taste; place schnitzels on serving platter and top with vegetables and sauce.
Cream schnitzel: Cut salted and peppered pounded cutlets into 2"x3" pieces. Brown both sides in butter and remove from pan. pour ½ cup water into pan, scraping pan residues into it with a wooden spoon.
Blend 1 tbsp flour into ½ cup sour cream and stir that into the water. Return schnitzels to the sauce, cover and simmer 5-10 min until meat is tender. Season sauce with beef extract and lemon juice.
Swabian schnitzel: Make cream schnitzel with twice the sauce and serve over a mound of hot noodles or Spatzle.
Paprikaschnitzel: Follow recipe for cream schnitzel but sprinkle cutlets with paprika before browning and stir 1-2 tsp paprika into the sour cream sauce. Mince a small onion and saute it in a little butter until soft and add to the fried veal before cooking it again in the sour cream sauce.
From: The German Cookbook by Mimi Sheraton, 1965 Posted by: Jim Weller Submitted By JIM WELLER On 12-19-95