Friday, November 11, 2016

Ivanka's Vienna Schnitzel (serves 4)

Ivanka's Vienna Schnitzel
My Czech-American friend Ivanka shared with me another wonderful dish...this time it is Vienna Schnitzel. It is similar to the Japanese chicken or pork katsu that is often served with tonkatsu sauce typically found on a Japanese restaurant menu across the United States. Perhaps the Japanese were inspired by the European schnitzel. Ivanka tells me in Czech Republic they use more pork than chicken or veal. She pounds the meat flat. Once I saw her improvised this technique using a hammer because she did not have a meat mallet or meat tenderizer. Well, it worked and they came out delicious! She would dredge the pounded meat in flour, next dip it in an egg batter and then lastly coat with breadcrumbs. Most Europeans serve the fried meat simply with lemon slices. However, sometimes she uses a brown sauce on the side which is not typical. Other side dishes for the schnitzel may include potato salad or boiled potatoes, cucumber salad, dumplings, sauteed sauerkraut or red cabbage in bacon, caraway seeds and fresh garlic. She buys her sauerkraut in a jar, drains it, washes it in water, and cooks it. At the end of cooking the sauerkraut she adds a little sugar so it is not sour. Sometimes I prefer schnitzel with steamed vegetables, steamed rice and a combination of light soy and lemon juice sauce. However you decide how to serve it I am sure it will turn out tasty. My husband tells me this is the best schnitzel he has ever tasted...perhaps he is a little biased?! Thank you Ivanka for your friendship and for sharing your recipes!


meat, flour, egg, and breadcrumbs
breaded meat
Ivanka's Vienna Schnitzel (serves 4)

Ingredients:

4 thin pieces of pork slices (about 1 pound)
About 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 Tbsp milk
A pinch of salt
A pinch of pepper
About 3/4 cup store-bought breadcrumbs (Italian style)
1 lemon, washed, cut in wedges

Method:

1) Place a slice of pork in plastic and pound it (using a mallet, meat tenderizer or even a hammer) as flat as you can get it. Put it aside. Repeat with the other pieces.
2) Spread all-purpose flour on one plate.
3) Break an egg in a bowl. Use a fork and lightly whisk in milk, salt and pepper.
4) Spread the breadcrumbs on the another plate.
5) Dredge the pork slice in flour first and shake off excess flour. Next dip it in the egg batter and let some of the egg mixture drips off. Then lastly drop it into the breadcrumbs. Shovel the breadcrumbs with your fingers to coat both sides of the meat. Repeat for the other pieces of meat.
6) Fry the coated meat in hot pan with a little oil. Avoid overcrowding the meat in the pan. I use medium high heat. You may turn the heat down a little if the pan gets too hot. Fry until both sides are golden brown. You may have to wipe the pan with a paper towel clean before frying the next batch. Do this carefully so you do not burn your fingers. Frying time takes about 6-8 minutes depending on how thin your meat is and your heat source. Serve with lemon wedges.

*For this recipe I used thin cut pork sirloin cutlets.

This salad is inspired by my Czech-American friend Ivanka. I added tomatoes, red onion and mint leaves for colors, texture, and extra nutrients. This salad is simple but very tasty.

Ivanka's Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Ivanka's Cucumber and Tomato Salad (about 4 servings)

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp freshly ground black or white pepper
1 European cucumber, sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
A few thin slices of red onion
A few mint leaves, hand torn or sliced

Method:

Mix the vinegar, sugar and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl add cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, mint leaves and drizzle the vinegar-sugar-pepper mixture over everything. Toss everything well and serve.

Boiled Potatoes

Boil potatoes with the skin intact until you can pierce a fork into the middle. Avoid cooking too long or the potatoes will become too mushy. Peel the skin and roughly cut each potato into bite size. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt if interested.

*I used Idaho potatoes but you may use another type. The potatoes were large so I used one for 2 servings.

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