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Wiener schnitzel from Alpine Cooking.
Alpine Cooking by Meredith Erickson.
Our cookbook of the week is Alpine Cooking by Meredith Erickson, co-author of the Joe Beef cookbooks, among others. Over the next two days, we’ll feature another recipe from the book and an interview with its author.
To try another recipe from the book, check out: Spiced cheese spread (liptauer).
“When it doubt, eat a schnitzel,” says Meredith Erickson, who estimates she ate more than 200 of the pounded, breaded and deep-fried veal cutlets while researching and writing Alpine Cooking .
Set on including a recipe for “the definitive Wiener schnitzel” in the book — with just the right amount of souffléing — Erickson founded Team Schnitzel: A group of friends, including her recipe developer and tester Kendra McKnight, dedicated to the cause.
“(Team Schnitzel) was friends constantly coming over and cooking them,” she says. “Sometimes doing them in all (clarified) butter, sometimes in all oil, then doing a mix, and bringing the temperature up and bringing it down because we wanted to achieve that perfect puff: That air pocket between meat and the breading.”
Erickson landed on using exclusively oil for a crispy coating, and calls for cooking the cutlets lower and slower for optimal souffléing. Her recipe — the result of Team Schnitzel’s rigorous testing — is a fitting tribute to an Alpine classic.
You will need:
Deep-frying thermometer or probe
Meat mallet (or ask your butcher to pound the meat)
6 veal escalopes, 5 to 6 oz (140 to 170 g) each
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups (220 g) fine dried bread crumbs
4 cups (950 mL) peanut oil or canola oil
1/4 cup (5 g) minced fresh at-leaf parsley
3 tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter, melted
3 lemons, halved
Cranberry jam, parsley potatoes, or cucumber salad for serving
If your butcher hasn’t pounded the meat for you, cover a chopping board with plastic wrap. Lay the veal down, then cover with another sheet of plastic. Use a meat mallet to pound the meat slices to a thickness of
1/4 inch (6cmm). Transfer the meat to a large tray. Season both sides of each slice with salt and pepper.
Set up a breading station by placing the flour on one plate, add the eggs to a shallow bowl and put the bread crumbs on a second plate. Place a clean platter at the end to hold the breaded slices.
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Line a baking sheet with a layer of paper towels.
Pour the peanut oil into a large Dutch oven or cast-iron pan. The oil level should be about 3/4 inch (2 cm) deep (if you’re using a very large pan, increase the amount of oil accordingly). Slowly warm the oil over low heat to 265°F (130°C) on a deep-frying thermometer.
Meanwhile, working with one slice at a time, dredge the veal in flour to coat completely, then shake off any excess. Next, dip the meat through the egg until well coated, then, with a fork, lift, allowing any excess egg
wash to drip back into the bowl. Transfer to the bread crumbs, flipping to coat well on both sides, then shake off any extra crumbs. Place the breaded slice on the platter. Repeat with the remaining slices.
Working with tongs, slip one piece of veal into the hot oil and cook until pale golden brown, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Keep an eye on the oil temperature, adjusting the heat regularly to keep the oil around 265°F (130°C). While the meat is frying, if you notice parts of the meat surfacing above the oil, gently lift your Dutch oven or pan by the handle, back and forth, to encourage the oil to wash gently over the meat. (If you are not a nervous fryer, you can instead baste the meat using a spoon, as needed.) Otherwise, leave the meat untouched and unflipped, to avoid puncturing the coating and releasing the valuable steam that creates the souffléed effect. Transfer the finished schnitzel to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Adjust your oil temperature before frying each new slice.
When you are finished frying all of the meat, drop the chopped parsley in the hot oil and fry for 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the oil and transfer to a paper towel.
Transfer the schnitzels to individual plates, then drizzle 1/2 tablespoon (7 mL) butter across each and garnish with a sprinkle of fried parsley. Serve with the lemon halves for squeezing, and your choice of a side of cranberry jam, parsley potatoes, or a cucumber salad.
Makes: 6 schnitzel (4 for dinner, plus 2 for sandwiches the next day — no one has ever complained about a schnitzel sandwich)
Reprinted with permission from Alpine Cooking , by Meredith Erickson, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Christina Holmes.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019