Oktoberfest: Schnitzel 101 (and the Giveaway winner!)

Who won, who won??? I'll let you know at the bottom of this post.

Our city population has begun to swell beyond capacity. Kitchener hosts the second largest Oktoberfest in the world running this year from October 9 - 17th. It starts the Friday of our Thanksgiving weekend. Opening day is time to make Schnitzel. It's easy to make, really easy.

Cast of Characters, also known as the Ingredients:

Wiener Schnitzel, flour, eggs, bread crumbs, season salt, salt, pepper and Canola oil. That's it, don't need anything fancy, although a slice of lemon is usually served with each piece and a nice touch to squeeze it fresh on the meat. I'm not keen on the lemon myself, but most everyone else is. Just imagine that the flour is in this picture too, the canister is sitting on the counter just outside of this picture. Had a blond moment ~ what can I say?

Our butcher has a machine that tenderizes the pork. If yours doesn't a good smacking with a tenderizing mallet will do the job or even the flat side of a cleaver and then poke them up with a fork or meat prongs. My dad jokes you can drive over them with a steamroller in the parking lot yet too. Once they're tenderized and we put some weight into them they'll flatten out plenty.

Traditional Wiener Schnitzel is prepared in restaurants in a deep fryer that's shallower than most and has rolled pipes a few inch down in the oil to let the bread crumbs that separate float down into the basin of the fryer, keeping the oil cleaner where the meat is cooking. It used to only be fried in beef fat, but now Canola oil is the accepted healthier substitute. At home a fry pan with just enough oil to cook in and then turning them over works well too, that's how I do it. If I'm making a lot and the oil is starting to darken I'll start with a fresh pan and new oil. Use medium high heat. You want the oil good and hot so it isn't soaked up too much during cooking, but not so hot that it's smoking. I get a good rolling bubble going on in the pan.

Pay attention from here in out ~ because the real way to your loved one's heart is with Schnitzel. Men will be putty in your hands. I wouldn't kid about something like that. The trick to great Schnitzel is a double dip into the flour and eggs and super fine bread crumbs. Double dipping is allowed here. It's a must. This is a traditional flour, egg and bread crumb crust... just a little particular about how it's applied. Get ready to get your hands messy. I keep a big bowl of warm water in my sink and a plastic scrubby to give my hands a quick clean off between each piece. I use a bowl so that I can dump it outside instead of putting that down the drain to avoid any clogging issues. These fried babies will do enough harm to your arteries, don't need to call a plumber too. We don't eat fried food often, but seriously - it's Schnitzel and Oktoberfest ~ some times we need to live a little.

Use plain white bread crumbs available from the grocery store or baker. Now this is a biggy point: if they're a bit coarse, give them a few good rounds in the food processor to make them as fine as flour. There is a big difference in the texture of the crumbs and the texture of the finished Schnitzel breading. The crumbs on the left are straight out of the container and the crumbs on the right have been processed. You can see how the colour has changed too after the darker crust bits got pulverized in the food processor.

Let me apologize right now if you're on dial up... there's plenty of pics coming up next.
Set yourself up a little assembly line: flour, eggs, bread crumbs and your preheated frying pan, as well as a plate or pan on the other side with racks and paper towel to drain the schnitzel on when it's just out of the pan. Ok, here we go.

Start by seasoning the meat. I do this on both sides, unless I'm in a big hurry. To taste use Season Salt, fresh ground pepper and salt. I like to use Kosher or freshly ground sea salt. Tasty.

Press the meat into the flour. Bury it and give it a really good press. Both sides. Then give it a little jiggly-shake to drop off the loose excess flour.

Dip it into the beaten eggs.

Back into the flour. Don't skip this part. They need the double dose of flour and egg bath. Don't be shy, press it in well again on both sides, then shake off the loose flour.

Back into the beaten eggs for dip #2.

Now the fine bread crumbs. Press and cover it well. Turn it over and press it in again. Shake and jiggle off any loose bread crumbs. At this point you can either keep assembly lining the schnitzel and stack them up to cook, or keep it rolling and cook as you go. I start cooking right away. My family is starving the instant they smell the first one start to sizzle.

Into the hot oil.

Turn them over when they're a nice golden brown underneath.

As they're done you can put them on your waiting rack. I put a jelly roll sheet under the wire racks and paper towel on top. See those bubbles? The oil is nice and hot, but not smoking.

I did 3 layers of these. See how they're a little darker on the edges... that's what happens when your camera battery dies and you start rushing around looking for a new battery as the schnitzel keeps cooking. No worries, they're fine. They smell good. Mmm...

Ryan likes his plain on a bun. He's got 2 on there. See that smile, he learned that from his daddy. His mouth is full right now and he's making Mmm, mmm sounds.

Wiener Schnitzel 101. Enjoy!!

* * *

Thank you so very much everyone for the kind get well wishes. I love hearing from you all. I admit it, I adore comments. Love them. I'm happy to report that we're all feeling better. Thank you also for entering my First Blogaversary giveaway. I really enjoy having Giveaways and will do lots more.

By drawing from my favourite mixing bowl the winner of the books is: Celtic Cast On. Congratulations! If you could email me your address to rycole at hotmail dot com I'll mail them off as soon as the Post Office opens again on Tuesday morning. I enjoyed this Giveaway so much that I pulled a second name as well!! Second prize goes to Dandy. If you can send me your address at the email I just mentioned I'll ship a copy of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Knitting Rules your way.

Have a terrific weekend everyone! Enjoy Oktoberfest and to all my fellow Canadians Happy Thanksgiving. Happy Columbus day to our American neighbours as well. :)



Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

Those look fabulous! By the end of your tutorial I was positively drooling and I wouldn't be surprised if you could hear my tummy growling all the way up there in Canada - LOL

Let the festivities begin ~ thanks for sharing a traditional treat for Canadians.

t does wool said...

Happy Thanksgiving...thanks for sharing...
and congrats to the winners!

Journeying Five said...

your son does look pretty contented with his schnitzel! thanks for the tutorial!

Turtle said...

happy octoberfest! looks good!

congrats lucky winners!

CelticCastOn said...

I thought the first picture was a plate of coookies until I started reading :)
Looks delic!

kim said...

Oh, those look delicious! I'm about to make chicken cutlets, and I'm dreading it. I keep giving myself 15 more minutes. Congrats to the lucky winner!

Alison said...

Haha! I didn't even know that's what schnitzel was, LOL! Looks kind of like how my parents pan fry fish... right down to the lemon... interesting.
congrats to givewawy winners!

Anita said...

Yum! Thanks for all the tips. We made chicken schnitzel the other night, but I didn't know about the double dipping. We'll have to try it again!

Dandy said...

I can't wait!

Nicole said...

Happy Octoberfest! And oh my, they look delicious..going to give it a try soon....

Darcys Knotty Knitter said...

I love a blog that has a little of everything a joy to read and great pictures I'm following your blog.Hugs Darcy

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