A hundred years ago, the most popular restaurants in New York City were German. German beer halls were dotted throughout the city and German cuisine was ubiquitous. What happened? Immigration slowed, the next generations married and moved away, and there were those two wars. The net effect is, if tonight you want to go to a German or Austrian restaurant, you might have difficulty.
It’s a shame because many of the dishes are sumptuous. I love veal, so Wiener schnitzel is a favorite treat for me. I think of it as a sophisticated comfort food. You probably have your own comfort foods: a baked potato with loads of butter, meat loaf, potato salad…
Often with comfort foods, it’s the adornments that make it personal. That potato with butter, perhaps with chives or sour cream on top. Meat loaf is transformed if you top it with ketchup which then caramelizes in the oven. And that Wiener schnitzel? Well, topping it with capers and anchovies and drenching it in lemon juice creates a very lively dish. With the capers and anchovies, you won’t need a salt shaker!
This version of schnitzel comes from The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book, a thoroughly detailed volume you can trust for flawless recipes.
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Wiener SchnitzelYield: 4-6 servings
6 veal cutlets [about 1 ½ pounds]
2 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 ½ cups plain dried bread crumbs
4 tablespoons butter
6 anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 lemons, each cut into 6 wedges
With a meat mallet, or between two sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper with a rolling pin, pound cutlets to 1/8-inch thickness. [Or just buy veal scallops from your market.]
In a pie plate, beat the eggs. On a sheet of waxed paper combine flour, salt, and pepper. Place the bread crumbs on a separate sheet of waxed paper. Coat cutlets in the seasoned flour, dip into the eggs, and then coat evenly with bread crumbs.
In a nonstick 12-inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the cutlets, a few at a time, and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter as needed. With a slotted spatula, transfer the cutlets to a warm platter as they are browned.
To serve, top the cutlets with anchovies and capers. Sprinkle with the parsley and garnish with lemon wedges.
Source: The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book