I love schnitzel. Thinly sliced pork, chicken or veal that’s pounded thin, coated in flour, egg and bread crumbs, fried golden and crispy. Served hot with a squeeze of lemon or room temperature on a sandwich, I can’t decide which is better. I always make too much so the leftover schnitzel can be enjoyed in a sandwich.
It’s fairly easy to prepare but at times seems labour intensive. I prefer pork loin for my schnitzel since it’s fairly cheap and has more taste than chicken breast. Get a piece of pork loin and trim all fat and silver skin. Cut inch thick pieces and then pound them out very thin without tearing the meat: I use a cutting board as the base with a towel underneath to deaden the noise, a large Ziplock bag over the meat to prevent tearing and a round heavy pounder I picked up at Williams Sonoma. It helps get out your anxiety and frustration for week if you pound out a dozen or so pieces. Season the meat with salt and pepper, both sides.
Prepare your breading station with one shallow bowl or plate of each: flour, egg and bread crumbs. For the flour I don’t bother seasoning since I already seasoned the meat. For each egg I add one tablespoon of oil and beat it together: it really helps the bind. Any style of bread crumbs will work: panko give you really crunchy schnitzel while regular or home-made give a tighter coating but less crunch. If you want crunchy schnitzel sandwiches later use panko bread crumbs. Dip each piece of pork into flour, egg and bread crumbs and lay out on a sheet pan with a rack, then put the whole thing in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the breading set. This helps but not so much that you need to worry about it if time is short.
Cooking can be done in either a dutch oven with a few inches or oil at 375F or in a medium high skillet with butter and oil. Again if crispy is your thing then go the deep-frying method. I always used to pan fry in butter and oil but found things became a little greasy. I have whole heartedly converted to panko and deep-frying as the schnitzel sandwich is all important.
A few hours after dinner I craft the sandwich: a soft bun or white sandwich bread, two pieces of schnitzel, lettuce, onion, cheese (Edam, Gouda, Emmenthal) and mayonnaise. Soft bread, crunch from the schnitzel, fatty sweet mayonnaise goodness, mild and buttery cheese. Wonderful!