Sizzling Schnitzels

These schnitzels are easy enough to make, though a bit messy - the main problem is finding beef, veal, or chicken cut thinly enough… Oh well, I'm trying to educate our local supermarket and butcher on how to cut meat for schnitzel, but they keep telling me that their machines are automated and that they can't set them to cut meat any thinner (bull-you-know-what! Of course they can, they just don't want to go to the effort of re-setting the machine twice)

You will need:

  • Beef, veal or chicken schnitzels*
  • Two large eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • A roll of grease proof paper
  • Dried, fine (commercial) breadcrumbs
  • Brown paper bags
  • A lemon (or two), cut into quarters
  • A good quality metal meat mallet with both a flat side and a ridged side

** Allow at least three schnitzels per person - and one slice of beef, chicken, or veal will (usually) yield two schnitzels.

And this is what you do:

If necessary, cut the schnitzel in half, then start bashing away at it with the ridged side of your meat mallet. Start at the edges and bash towards the centre, and you'll really need to get your back into it - we need these schnitzels to be no more than half a centimetre (a fifth of an inch?) thick. In fact slightly thinner, if possible.… Once all the schnitzels are flattened, beat the eggs in a shallow bowl with salt and pepper to taste. Spread out about two to two and a half feet of grease proof paper on the bench and place a reasonably large pile of dried fine breadcrumbs on it. Flatten it out a little with your hand so that the pile is a little wider than your largest schnitzel. Dip a schnitzel in the beaten egg so that it's well coated on each side, then gently shake off the excess egg. Lay the schnitzel on the breadcrumbs and shake a few more breadcrumbs on top. (It's a good idea to have a sink or a bowl of warm water and a towel handy so that you can rinse the egg off your hands and perform the next part of the procedure with dry hands!) Press the schnitzel firmly into the breadcrumbs, turn it over and press firmly into the breadcrumbs again. Make sure the schnitzel is well coated all over in breadcrumbs, then lay aside on a plate. Repeat this procedure for each schnitzel. Place the plate of prepared schnitzels into the refrigerator for at least an hour. When ready to cook (i.e. vegetables and side dishes ready to cook too), place about a ˝ cm (1/4") of good quality olive oil (NOT Extra Virgin olive oil! It's too strongly flavoured!) in a large frying pan and heat until you can see "wave marks" on the bottom of the pan, or until a crumb of bread tossed into the oil frizzles. Gently place one or two schnitzels into the hot oil, being very careful not to overcrowd them - the schnitzels must lie flat! Cook for a few minutes on each side or until the breadcrumbs look golden brown. Remove from the frying pan with a slotted egg slice or spatula and place them on a warm dish covered with a couple of brown paper bags which will absorb any excess oil quite nicely, but won't leave those horrible little fibres on the schnitzels the way kitchen towelling does. Keep the plate warm while you repeat the process with the rest of the schnitzels, and finish cooking your vegetables.

To serve:

Serve the schnitzels on warm plates with accompanying vegetables and a wedge or two of lemon.



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