Monday, March 1, 2010

Schnitzel; Royal Ranch Style

Once again, I forgot to take pictures while I was making dinner (Ha! thank goodness for clipart), but my family enjoyed it so much that I thought I'd share my recipe with you all real quick.  Plus, I know I have been a bad girl about my blog over the weekend, so this may make up for it.  Actually if you try this, it will more than make up for it!
Schnitzel has quite a history, and when I went to do a little research for this post I was shocked at how worldly it is!  Wikipedia has an entire page dedicated to schnitzel and it's various origins and ways to be made.  I was actually quite relieved to read that many heritages have a claim to fame on this great food source, and that hopefully I will not be corrected by my German exchange sister on this one (just kidding, Irina).  We of course, are closer related to the German one, because that is what Tom was raised with and loves.
What I have learned is that you can "schnitzelize" (my spell check is having a heck of a time with this word, so it must be a Judy original!) just about anything, which is partially why I love it so much.  The fantastic part is that you can take an inexpensive cut (like cube steak) of meat, tenderize it and turn it into a wonderful meal for your family.  It is also great to take boneless skinless breasts and fillet them (cut them in half sideways to double the amount of breasts you have) and then tenderize them and you have twice the amount of food for the same amount of money.  Last night I used this recipe on elk steak, so it is even good on game meat!

To prepare the meat I lay it out on a cutting board (no plastic or wood to hold in meat bacteria remember!) and let the kids go to town with the meat hammer, they absolutely love this job!  If it gets too messy you can cover it with plastic wrap, which I never do because I prefer to clean up the mess than use plastic, but it is a good tip for those of you who can't handle the juices.  Turn the meat over and do the same to the other side and clean all surfaces of your children, cutting board, counters and kitchen with an antibacterial cleaner of some kind, preferably eco-friendly!
Mix bread crumbs, flour, seasoned salt, garlic powder, chili powder, and pepper in a shallow dish.  Amounts are a little tricky on this one as it depends on how much you are making and your tastes.  I am guessing that for 6-8 pieces (I always make a much bigger batch and never measure, so I am guessing here) you will need a total of 1 cup dry ingredients with about 1tsp. each of the spices.  Then you can adjust to your own tastes from there.  In another shallow dish scramble two eggs and add a dash of milk and really mix well.  Dredge meat pieces in egg/milk mixture and then in crumb mixture, place in a hot skillet with a little bit of olive oil in the bottom on medium high heat.  I use olive oil because it is much healthier.  Leave the burner pretty hot until the pieces are browned on the first side and ready to turn over.  After turning, turn down the heat, and let the meat cook through and the second side continue browning.

As I mentioned, this is a very versatile main course, it can be served with just about any side dish.  You can also mix Parmesan cheese and Italian spices into the dry ingredients and you have "Parmigiana" to serve over pasta with sauce.  Get creative, and if you do, don't forget to come back here and tell us all about it!

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