If you're like me, you've probably been waiting patiently for October to roll around
before dusting off your lederhosen and striking up the oompah band in
celebration of Oktoberfest. Imagine my shock when I discovered that the
world-famous Bavarian beer fest started in mid-September and is long since
over. So much for German precision. Come to think of it, I never should have
taken anything for granted from a nation that thinks a light breakfast
consists of pumpernickel and knackwurst.
While the Germans nurse their hangovers, it's time for the rest of us more
literal types to pick up where they left off. So grab your favorite St.
Pauli girl (or boy) and your 48-ounce beer stein and roll out the barrel.
When you are ready for a little nourishment to soak up the alcohol, here's a
quick and easy traditional dish that will not suffer from an unsteady hand.
Just promise me you won't serve it before noon.
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WIENER SCHNITZEL WITH HOMEMADE BREAD CRUMBS
2 cups of stale French baguette or sourdough bread chunks
2 4- to 6-ounce veal cutlets
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 lemons (1 juiced and one sliced for garnish)
1. If your bread is not already stale, slice it and let sit it on the counter
for few hours. If you're not prepared to start drinking on an empty stomach, toss bread in
the oven at 200 degrees F for approximately 10 minutes -- until it becomes hard, but not
2. Place bread in a food processor and pulse until it is reduced to coarse crumbs.
If you only have a blender, crumble bread first, then pulse.
3. Rinse cutlets and pat dry.
4. Place cutlets on a sheet of wax paper. Using a mallet or any other blunt
object, pound cutlets until they are 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle generously with
salt, pepper and paprika.
5. Place flour in one bowl, egg in another and the bread crumbs in a third.
Line the three bowls in a row.
6. Roll the flattened cutlets in flour until completely coated, dip in egg
until well soaked, then roll in bread crumbs until they are entirely covered.
7. In a sauti pan over medium-high heat, melt butter and add oil. Add
breaded cutlets as butter starts to bubble. Cook until golden brown. Turn only once
(approximately 3 minutes per side depending on exact thickness).
8. Remove cutlets from pan and place on warmed plates.
9. Remove pan from heat and add lemon juice (and a tablespoon of butter if no
one is looking). Stir it around to collect the drippings (this is known in
cooking-speak as deglazing), then dribble over the veal. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Le Secret: The trick is to brown the outside of the veal, yet keep the meat
moist. Needless to say, it's all in the timing. Don't get involved in any
polkas while performing this delicate operation.
The Adventure Club: Make your own sauerkraut and serve it alongside the
Alternatives: Veal cutlets can be replaced with chicken breasts. Follow the
exact instructions, but insure that chicken is cooked throughout, with no
pink remaining before serving.
Wine: German beer!
Music To Cook By: Weird Al Yankovitch, "Polka Party"