Friday, August 21, 2015

Jager Schnitzel Southern Fried

Jager Schnitzel with Rice casserole.

I was introduced to schnitzel when I was in the Army. I was stationed in Hohenfels, Bavaria, Germany back in the 90’s and really fell in love with the food. The brotchen, the currywurst, the schnitzels, were all so tasty.
It wasn’t until I got back to the states and really started cooking on my own that I learned how easy it was to make schnitzel. A schnitzel is just a cut of meat, pounded flat, and fried. The Germanic equivalent of chicken fried steak. Some people insist that it has to be coated, others say that all you need is the meat and seasoning. All the places that I had schnitzel breaded theirs, so that is what I am used to.
We had some boneless chops laid out for supper and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them. Then I remembered The Husband had bought some mushrooms and figured what the hell. It’s been a while so why not indulge in some jager schnitzel.
I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand to make it a TRUE jager schnitzel, but I could get a close, South Alabama style.

2 boneless pork chops, pounded about ¼ inch thick.
McCormick brand Montreal Steak Seasoning
¼ cup Tomato wine (or dry white wine)
1 cup milk for breading
½ cup milk for sauce
¼ cup chicken broth
1 cup vidalia onion, diced (about half of an onion)
1 cup portobello mushrooms, diced
½ sleeve of Ritz crackers (or bread crumbs, or panko)
3 or 4 Tablespoons of flour
1 whole egg
3-4 TBS butter, divided.

Mise en Place: (Fancy term for prep work)
-If you have a hand grater, grate your Ritz crackers.
-Dice the onion.
-With a damp cloth, wipe off any organic matter off the mushrooms and dice them.
-Lay your chops on a cutting board and cover them with plastic wrap then use a meat mallet to pound them thin.
*When I was growing up in rural Alabama, mom didn’t have a meat mallet to tenderize meat. Instead she had a Coke bottle that was specifically saved for that purpose. This was in the olden times when most cola bottles were made of glass. *
-Measure out all the wet ingredients. 1 cup of milk is for the breading and the ½ cup is for the mushroom sauce to go with the schnitzel.
*Honestly, I don’t usually measure when I’m cooking. I prefer to use the “That looks about right method” but since I knew I was gonna write about this one, I measured everything out. I’m glad I did too, cause I usually end up cooking too much.

Time to start cooking… almost:
The thing about breading meat, if you want that breading to stick and make a nice crust, you have to let it rest for a few minutes. Sure you can go thru your breading station and throw the meat right on the pan but odds are most of your breading will come off when you try to turn the meat over.
So lets set up a breading station. You want to have three shallow dishes, big enough to hold the meat.
In the first dish, put your flour.
In the second dish mix the milk and 1 beaten egg.
In the third dish put your Ritz crackers (or panko, or breadcrumbs)
Now, season both sides of your chops with your seasoning of choice. Just salt and pepper is fine, but for this dish I used McCormick brand Montreal Steak Seasoning because I pretty much put it on everything. Place the chop in the flour bowl and shake it around to make sure its coated with flour, shake off any excess and then dip it in the milk bath, the put it in the crumb dish and shake to coat. Shake off any excess crumbs and set the chop aside to rest. Repeat with the second chop. Let them rest for a few minutes.

Now we can cook:
We are going to start with the sauce.
In a skillet on medium heat, add about a tablespoon of butter. When the butter is melted, add the onions and stir until they become translucent, then add the mushrooms.
Stir the onions and mushrooms together, reduce the heat to medium-low, then walk away from the stove for about 10 minutes. YOU MUST RESIST THE URGE TO STIR. You want the mush-onion mix to slowly caramelize and to do that it has to sit. Check on it regularly to make sure its not burning, but DO NOT STIR UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. This should take about 30 minutes. 

You will know you are getting there when the mushrooms start to turn a nice golden brown and you will start to see lovely brown bits developing on the bottom of the pan.
When the Mush-Onion mixture is ready, it’s time to make the sauce.
Start by deglazing the pan with the wine. Stir it around to make sure you get all that delicious brown flavor that has developed on the bottom of the pan.
Next, add the broth.
Finally, add the milk and stir until everything is combined.
To thicken the sauce, mix some cornstarch in some warm water and add to the sauce.

Now, we can cook the schnitzel.
In a separate pan, on medium low heat, melt a pat of butter. Put the schnitzel in the pan and cook for a couple of minutes and then flip. Repeat with the second schnitzel.
Plate the schnitzel then smother it with the mushroom sauce.

2 boneless pork chops, pounded about ¼ inch thick.
McCormick brand Montreal Steak Seasoning.
¼ cup Tomato wine (or dry white wine).
½ to 1 cup milk for breading (eyeball it. you just need enough to coat the meat).
½ cup milk for sauce.
¼ cup chicken broth.
1 cup vidalia onion, diced (about half of an onion).
1 cup portobello mushrooms, diced.
½ sleeve of grated Ritz crackers (or bread crumbs, or panko).
3 or 4 Tablespoons of flour.
1 whole egg.
3-4 TBS butter, divided.

Cooking instructions:
  1. Pound the chops between plastic wrap until they are about ¼ inch thick
  2. Bread the chops:
    1. coat with flour, shake off excess.
    2. coat with milk/egg mixture.
    3. coat with cracker crumbs.
  3. Set the schnitzel aside to rest
  4. Melt 1 TBS of butter in a pan over medium heat.
    1. add onions and stir until translucent.
    2. add the mushrooms and stir. Let sit for 10 minutes then stir again. Repeat every 10 minutes until the mushrooms reach a nice golden brown.
  5. Add the white wine and stir.
  6. Add the broth and stir.
  7. Add the milk and stir.
  8. Let the sauce simmer for a minute.
    1. To thicken, make a cornstarch slurry with ½ tsp cornstarch and ¼ cup of hot water.
    2. Add to sauce and stir til thickened.
  9. Melt butter in a separate pan and cook the schnitzel for a couple of minutes on each side until the crust is a nice golden brown, turning gently to make sure the cracker coating stays in place.
  10. Spoon the mushroom sauce over the schnitzel. Serve with potatoes, egg noodles, or rice.



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Updated: Easy Peach Cobbler

So, the other day I was craving peach cobbler. I really love peach cobbler. I really love peaches. This is one of my favorite times of year just because peaches are fresh. As much as I love making cobbler with fresh peaches, sometimes you just don't have the time or the ingredients to do so. That's where canned pie filling comes in handy.

I found a recipe online that I adapted because I just wanted to make enough cobbler for my husband and me. The original recipe was for a 13 by 9 inch pan, but I wanted to use my 10 Vision Corning Ware frying pan.

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
ground cinnamon to taste
1 can peach pie filling
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Melt butter in a 10 round pan or 8x8 square baking dish.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Add milk, stirring until moist.
Pour the batter into the pan with the butter. 
Pour the can of pie filling over the batter
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the cobbler starts to turn brown
Realistically you should be able to get 8 slices of cobbler, but Charles and I only got 4 deliciously large slices. 

Edit: I made this again today but instead of canned pie filling I used fresh peaches. Here's what you will need to make your filling.
Peach filling:
3 large firm peaches peeled and sliced into large chunks
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs bourbon
Peel and slice the peaches into a bowl.
Add sugar, cinnamon, and bourbon. Toss together until peaches are coated.

Let the peaches macerate in the sugar mix while you mix together the topping.