Schnitzel Secrets

So, I had planned this week to once again, find out what was going on sale tomorrow,
buying some (at full price, again….grrr..), finding some lovely recipe online to try,
and then document my afternoon in the kitchen, for you, all our Schinkels’ fans.

However, Greg threw a wrench into the plan, as this week, at Schinkels’, schnitzel is on sale.
Yes, the much-acclaimed, ever-delicious schnitzel.

50% off regular price.

The staff love it when schnitzel goes on sale. Really. I’m sure of it. Ask them next time you’re in.

Anyway, since schnitzel doesn’t really need a lot of prep time,
I wouldn’t have much to do in the kitchen this afternoon, so I decided to come into the
store and videotape the staff making schnitzel.
That way, you will see how much time and effort goes into schnitzel,
and you won’t ever want to try it at home on your own.
You’ll just come into Schinkels’ and buy it. This week.

At 50% off.

Seriously, why are you still reading this?

I’ve uploaded the video to YouTube, because if I load it directly to this page,
it takes a while to fully load on your screen, so I think this will be better.
Of course, this is where feedback would be wonderful.

link to YouTube Video Schnitzel Feb 2017 

But to give you a sum up, Luke the butcher takes a leg of pork, cuts and trims and fillets
the meat into pork cutlets. Then the cutlets are run through a tenderizer three times,
basically cutting the surface of the meat hundreds of times to make it tender.

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These tender cutlets are then soaked in a milk brine for at least 24 hours,
which also helps break down the meat fibres further.
Finally, they are hand-breaded with Schinkels’ own recipe bread crumbs.

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To prepare schnitzel, it is recommended that you fast-fry them.
Simply heat a layer of olive oil or butter to medium high in a fry pan (cast iron works best)
and brown each side just long enough to loose the “pink”.

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Tonight, I choose to serve them up with some riced cauliflower pilaf (my own special recipe)
and some sautéd veggies for myself and Greg.
However, knowing my kids, I also steamed some broccoli and carrots,
and some curly fries and applesauce on the side.
I don’t usually make two meals, but thought I’d just show you how versatile schnitzel can be.
You can use any sauce to accent it.
Greg prefers one of his Gourmet Village flavours – Vidalia Onion & Fig Sauce
My kids – good old Kraft Regular BBQ Sauce.
Myself? I don’t think schnitzel needs any sauce – it’s delicious on it’s own.

Riced Cauliflower Pilaf

So, as for my own special riced cauliflower recipe, I’ll throw that into this blog entry as a bonus.
Mainly because when I was making it, I was taking pictures, and figure I might as well use them.

Riced cauliflower is slowly gaining popularity.
Try You-Tube-ing it – your jaw will drop at all the videos already out there describing
how and why you might prepare it.
I personally don’t think carbs are evil or anything,
which is often the reason someone might possibly want to rice cauliflower,
to avoid rice or pasta.
But, as I’m getting used to my middle aged body,
I realizing that carbs are certainly not my best friends anymore.
I’m learning that by cutting back on the white carbs, and eating more veggies,
I can positively affect my overall health and well-being. And this actually tastes pretty good.

I start by cutting a head of cauliflower into tiny pieces and then running them through my
food processor until it actually looks like rice.
(Pretty sure that’s how this got it’s name, by the way.)
Drizzle a bit of olive oil over it and toss.
And I mean a bit, don’t over oil it, or it gets greasy.
I spread the cauliflower evenly over a cooking sheet and then bake at
about 200°C (375°F) for about 6 minutes, then stir it around, spread it evenly again,
and bake a further 6-8 minutes, or until it’s light golden brown around the edges.

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200°C

Don’t cook it at 200°F, because that’s what I did the first time,
and it took a really long time to brown. And was still kinda raw. Not nice at all. So don’t do that.

Anyway, while that’s baking, it’s a good idea to be chopping up other veggies to add to it.
I usually do an onion, a red pepper, some celery, then maybe some mushrooms and garlic if I have it in my house.
Chop it all very small, like you were going to do a regular rice pilaf.

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I always sauté the veggies in the same order – peppers and onions first, then after a bit, add the celery.
After all that is tender crisp, I throw in the mushrooms and garlic.
If you put the garlic in at the same time as the peppers and onions,
you end up with tiny little brown bits, and won’t find much garlic flavour left at all.
Don’t forget to smash the garlic first with the side of your dicing knife (the big one) before dicing it.
We covered that in the last blog post – I was under the impression that it releases flavour or something like that.
I did some further research and found this tidbit:

Garlic is primarily crushed to release its oils,
which in turn infuses subtly different flavours to the dish than if you didn’t crush.

And if you like science, this is the technical stuff:

“… within the garlic cells are alliin and alliinase, which, when combined, form allicin, which is the ‘strong’ flavour”

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At this point, you may consider adding your seasonings, as well.
Salt, pepper, pre-mixes, roasted red pepper seasoning, basil, fresh herbs, whatever you like.
Tonight I tried my lemony dill mix, and it added a nice little zing to it.
If I find that the mix is a little on the dry side, I’ve been known to add
some chicken broth* at this point and let that simmer a bit until the veggies are just the way I like them.
Still with a bit of crunch, not soggy.

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Finally, add the now roasted cauliflower rice and toss everything together.
If you made a huge amount (like I always do), now would be the best time to separate
some of it into smaller containers for the fridge or freezer.
These portions or the remainder can be heated up right before you are ready to serve,
just bring it back up to medium high heat and stir a few minutes until it’s hot.
You could also microwave them, if you like.
This will also make excellent and satisfying lunches if you decided to add
cooked chicken or real bacon bits. Or both. Mmmmm. Bacon.

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If you have kids, now you can bring them into the kitchen to do your cooking dishes,
set the table and bring the compost out while you bring it all to the table and
cut the schnitzel into little bits for the younger ones and pour the milk and open the applesauce.

Enjoy!

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 What Greg and I ate for dinner

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What the kids ate.

*Chicken broth* – also known as white wine in many of my recipes.

Schnitzel Outtake (I had to share)

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