Schnitzel with Spaetzle or with German Potato Salad
I found the recipes below on the website www.DaringGourmet.com and I believe that website is loaded with what I call first class recipes for different/various cuisines. I plan to return to it often for recipes, cooking techniques and ideas that will improve Food Nirvana.
Do note that the high level of professionalism in the Daring Gourmet recipes is obvious. In short, people looking for fast convenience meals (yuck!) should either improve their lifestyle or look elsewhere for something to make for dinner.
My objective in this particular recipe collection is to help the serious cook make a traditional and delicious German meal. It is a three course meal with meat, starch and salad components. I recommend serving a great white wine with this meal, like a clean, crisp French white burgundy like Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuisse, or a Pinot Grigio like Santa Margherita, perhaps a nice Chardonnay like Kendall Jackson Reserve, or even a German Reisling (sweet) wine, in all cases chilled. I also suggest serving a light red raspberry gelato with crisp cookies on the side and freshly made hot coffee for a dessert course.
Schweine Schnitzel: (This means pork schnitzel as opposed to Weiner Schnitzel which is made with veal.)
4 boneless pork chops (to make Wienerschnitzel use thin veal cutlets)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup all-purpose flour combined with 1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup plain breadcrumbs
Oil for frying (I recommend fresh peanut oil but soybean or corn oil will be okay too.)
Place the pork chops between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound them until just ¼ inch thick with the flat side of a meat tenderizer. Lightly season both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place the flour mixture, egg, and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Dip the chops in the flour, the egg, and the breadcrumbs, coating both sides and all edges at each stage. Be careful not to press the breadcrumbs into the meat. Gently shake off the excess crumbs. Don't let the schnitzel sit in the coating or they will not be as crispy once fried - fry immediately.
Make sure the cooking oil is hot enough at this point (about 330 degrees F) as you don't want the Schnitzel to sit around in the coating before frying. Use enough oil so that the Schnitzels "swim" in it.
Fry the Schnitzel for about 2-3 minutes on both sides until a deep golden brown. Transfer briefly to a plate lined with paper towels.
Serve immediately with slices of fresh lemon and parsley sprigs or with your choice of sauce. Serve with German Spaetzle or German potato salad, and with a fresh leafy green salad.
4 cups all-purpose flour (you can also use whole wheat flour)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
4 large eggs
1¼ cup milk or water (milk produces a richer Spaetzle) (add more flour if the dough is too runny, add more milk or water if it's too stiff)
This recipe calls for using a special tool to press the dough through holes to form the pieces of raw spaetzle ... kind of like the old potato ricers used by our grandmothers. Note that you can cut the dough, or, attempt (as I will do) to use a pasta maker attachment for a stand mixer ... specifically the one to make linguine. You can also press the dough with a hard spatula,through a steel steamer pan insert/top section that has holes in the bottom.
Add the flour, salt and nutmeg to the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir to combine.
Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk them.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the eggs in it.
Add the milk.
Attach a dough hook to the stand mixer and "knead" the dough for 16-20 minutes, or until bubbles appear. After 15 minutes or less of beating, use a wooden spoon to scoop and pull the dough. If bubbles/holes appear, the dough is done.
Bring at least 2 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Using a Spätzle maker of your choice, press the noodles into the simmering water and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the noodles float to the top.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the noodles to a colander, and then dump the noodles into a large bowl of ice water.
Drain the noodles again and toss with a little vegetable oil or melted butter.
The spaetzle can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a couple of days and then heated to serve.
To heat before serving, melt some butter in a large skillet and toss the Späetzle in it to heat through.
Geschnetzletes: (This is an extra optional step to make an authentic German gravy/sauce for the spaetzle.)
This is a recipe for making a gravy/sauce to serve over spaetzle. As shown it is a complete pork dish. Omit the pork to simply make the gravy/sauce to pour over spaetzle.
1 lb lean pork, cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
8 oz fresh white button mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sweet paprika powder
2 beef bouillon cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
Spaetzle, homemade or purchased and cooked according to package directions.
Heat the oil in a stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat and brown the pork on all sides. Transfer the pork to a plate and set aside.
Add the onions to the skillet, adding more oil if necessary, and saute until translucent and beginning to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion mushroom mixture to pork and set aside.
Melt the butter in the skillet and whisk in the flour, continuing to whisk until the mixture is a rich caramel brown. Add the milk and heavy cream, whisking continually, until the mixture is smooth and thickened.
Add the paprika and crumble in the beef bouillon and whisk until smooth.
Return the meat mixture to the sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more milk if the sauce is too thick, or add a flour slurry to thicken.
Serve immediately with hot spaetzle and a fresh green salad.
Swabian Potato Salad:
This particular potato salad is known as Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat (Swabian Potato Salad). It is not the hot variety and it does not contain bacon. Make it the day before you plan to serve it for the best flavor. Be careful to use Yukon gold potatoes, not Russet or Maine or other common varieties found in the USA.
3 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes of similar size, skins scrubbed and peels left on
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1½ cups water mixed with 4 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
½ cup white vinegar (add a few dashes of Essig Essenz if you have it)
¾ tablespoon salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons mild German mustard (I recommend Düsseldorf Style German Mustard. If you can't get it, use regular yellow mustard)
⅓ cup vegetable oil
Fresh chopped chives for garnish
Boil the potatoes in their skins in lightly salted water until tender. Allow the potatoes to cool until you can handle them. Peel the potatoes and slice them into ¼ inch slices. Put the sliced potatoes in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Add onions, beef broth, vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, and mustard in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, remove from heat and pour the mixture over the potatoes. Cover the bowl of potatoes and let sit for at least one hour.
After at least one hour, gently stir in the vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. If too much liquid remains, use a slotted spoon to serve. Serve garnished with fresh chopped chives.
Serve at room temperature.
Note: This potato salad is best the next day (remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving).
Create a Leafy Green Salad to accompany the schnitzel and spaetzle/potato salad:
Make a Leafy Green Salad of your choice. This could be a simple tossed salad, a hot spinach salad with bacon or a lettuce wedge with bleu cheese and bacon or the Food Nirvana salad with sweet and sour dressing. You might even make the Wilted Lettuce Salad, which sounds very appropriate for this meal from my point of view and is also easy to make. I have included the Wilted Lettuce Salad recipe here.
This salad is best served either very warm or hot. In a sense it serves as both a pungent appetizer and as a salad. It is enjoyed best during cold weather, and it certainly does stimulate your appetite. It is a delicious combination of a cooked sweet and sour dressing with bacon. Sometimes it is a thin dressing. At other times people use a small amount of cornstarch to thicken it so that it sticks better to the lettuce.
It is called a wilted salad because hot dressing is poured over room temperature chopped iceberg lettuce, and the hot liquid when mixed with the lettuce causes the lettuce to turn partially translucent and to wilt. Thus, the lettuce in this salad is not crisp, nor is it intended to be crisp.
1 head of iceberg lettuce at room temperature, chopped into 1 ½"x1 ½" pieces
6 strips of bacon
1/3 cup of diced onion
1/3 cup of white or rice vinegar
¼ cup of sugar (or less, depending on whether you want it more tart or more sweet)
1 cup of water
2 tsp. of cornstarch (optional)
Warm a glass bowl large enough to hold the chopped lettuce in a 200ºF oven. Also pre-warm the number of small salad or side dishes you plan to use for your guests.
Fry the bacon in a skillet on medium heat until the bacon is fairly crisp without large fatty spots, but not burned. Drain the bacon on a paper towel. When it is cool break it into very small pieces. Set the pieces aside.
Pour the hot bacon grease into a cup. Clean the skillet and return about 2 to 3 tbsp. of the bacon grease to the skillet. Then saute the diced onion in the bacon grease on low heat until it is translucent.
Add the vinegar to the bacon grease and onion mixture and mix well. Then add the sugar and mix well. If you plan to use the optional cornstarch then mix it with the cup of water. Gradually add the water (with/without cornstarch mixed in it) while continuing to mix the skillet contents. Add the small bacon pieces and mix. Heat the mixture to a simmering temperature around 200 degrees F and then remove the skillet from the heat.
Put the chopped lettuce into the warmed glass bowl. Then pour all of the skillet contents over the lettuce and mix everything thoroughly with two large forks, so that the lettuce all gets coated and wilts.
Return the bowl to the 200ºF oven briefly to keep the salad warm.
Serve the salad warm in the pre-warmed small salad or side dishes as your guests sit down to eat.
Enjoy … the bacon and sweet and sour dressing served warm on the warm wilted lettuce is quite tasty.
Note that no salt was used because the bacon contributed plenty of salt. Some guests might choose to sprinkle a small amount of black pepper on their salad serving.