Monday, October 1, 2012

Schnitzel a la Oskar

Ahhh, Oktoberfest, the wonderful time of the year from mid-September till early October when is is not only not frowned upon to eat 3-4 brats, a big smoked pork chop, a Knackwurst, a bockwurst and a pretzel along with a helping of potato cakes, sauerkraut, red cabbage and wash it all down with an impossibly large glass of is encouraged! Celebrated! It's OKTOBERFEST, so surely it's ok, right? Right!

In my house, we celebrate Oktoberfest a few different ways. Usually, it starts with multiple trips to our local German restaurant's Beer Garden, where we will try the newest fresh brewed Oktoberfest and fall beers; these include some of my favorite beers of the year. We call this "Beer Season".

Then I will start cooking some of our favorite fall foods, which just so happen to be heavy on the sausages, potatoes (sweet potatoes are in? woohoo!) and cabbage. It's the end of the summer cooking season and I bring things indoors more. Lots more roasting, frying, poaching, and so on.

Then we cap it all off by hosting a Beer Fest for all our friends and family. One of our local beer stores (I live in PA, so you can't just get beer at the grocery store like the rest of you lucky, lucky people) will help us with this by keeping a running list of beers that have been purchased for the big day. Basically, we supply all the food, and we will start off with 5 or 6 beers that we HAVE to have, then everyone else fills in by bringing a 6-pack of a beer they feel the need to share...our beer store keeps the list on file, so we don't have any dupes. We set them all up at sampling stations around the yard, light a big bon fire and let everyone eat drink and be merry!

Well, this year is a little different, what with my delicate condition and all, there is only one decent N.A. beer out my utter disappointment. So that may have dampened my enthusiasm for the beer gardening and the beer festing...but you know what else you can do in a beer garden? YOU CAN EAT!

Let's face it, eating is what pregnant women do best, so I opened up the menu and worked my way through the Schnitzels, and the Sauerbratens, and the smoked ham hocks and pork chops, then I tried the best of the Wurst (Knack, bock, brat, weiss) and washed it all down with potato pancakes, and some truly fantastic braised red cabbage. When it was all said and done and the debris lay all around me, I realized that I really, really, like REALLY loved schnitzel. Good old Wiener Schnitzel...a super thin breaded veal cutlet, fried and topped with a simple squeeze of fresh lemon was simplicity itself. I also had schnitzel topped with anchovy, capers and a fried egg, talk about a flavor explosion! And also, a gorgeous schnitzel topped with a fresh sliced tomato, sour cream and red and black caviar...FANCY SCHNITZEL! So armed with my newest inspirations for all things schnitzel I went home to figure out a way to make my own...because that's how we, 37 cooks, roll!

Schnitzel a la Oskar

by Carrie Mason

1 pound thin sliced veal cutlet (also called scallopine)
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard or whole grain mustard
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs
8 ounces lump crab meat
One bunch asparagus, trimmed and blanched
1 Tablespoon salted butter
prepared Hollandaise sauce (recipe follows)
1 cup of olive oil

Rub the veal cutlets with mustard on all sides and set aside. Combine the bread crumbs and flour. Whisk the eggs together in separate bowl. Dip the mustard coated veal in the egg. then in the bread crumb mixture and set aside.

In a skillet, heat the oil until hot and shimmery (drop in a bit of the breading from the veal, when it sizzles it is good to go). Pan fry the veal in batches until golden brown on both sides, usually about 3 minutes per side. Do not over crowd the pan, you want your schnitzel to be crispy and oil that is too cool, is not gonna get you there. Once all the veal is fried, you can place the schnitzels on a rack and put in a warm oven to keep warm.

Prepare the Hollandaise:
1 1/2 sticks butter
3 egg yolks
juice of one lemon
big pinch of paprika
big pinch of Marx Foods Dill Pollen (optional)

In a skillet, melt the butter until foamy. Add the lemon juice. In a blender, at a low speed, whiz your 3 egg yolks. While they are being blended, drizzle in your hot lemon butter, until thick and fabulous. Add a pinch of paprika and dill pollen if you like.

In small skillet, over medium-high heat, add a pat of butter and swirl around until foamy. Add in the blanched asparagus and toss around to coat and re-warm. Remove the asparagus to a warm plate and add the crab meat to skillet to warm through, being careful not to stir too much as you don't want to break up the lump crab meat.

Lay the veal schnitzels on a serving platter, top with half the Hollandaise, then the crab meat, then asparagus, then the rest of the Hollandaise. Serve!

No comments:

Post a Comment