German settlers gave Texans the gift of schnitzel
Enclaves of German settlements around Central Texas have given us a rewarding culinary experience.
Think Oktoberfest, with its brats, sauerkraut, strudel, ales and more.
Schnitzel is the German equivalent of chicken-fried steak, albeit older, coming over with the original settlers from Germany and Austria. Made from tenderized cutlets of veal, (wienerschnitzel), pork (schnitzel) or with a mushroom gravy, (jägerschnitzel), the dish is usually served with a side of potatoes. Most people think the ubiquitous chicken-fried steak with cream gravy is just a variant of this dish and made with beef. Their ancestry has no common history, however.
4 boneless pork chops (For Austrian wienerschnitzel, use thin veal cutlets.)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour combined with 1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3⁄4 cup plain breadcrumbs or panko
Oil for frying (Use a neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke point.)
Place the pork chops between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound them with the flat side of a meat tenderizer. Lightly season both sides with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Place the flour mixture, egg and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Dip the chops in flour, the egg and the breadcrumbs, coating both sides and all the edges at each stage. Be careful not to press the breadcrumbs into the meat. Gently shake off the excess crumbs. Don’t let the schnitzel sit in the coating or it won’t be as crispy once fried.
Make sure the cooking oil is hot enough at this point (about 330 F) because you don’t want the schnitzel to sit around in the coating before frying. Use enough oil so the schnitzels “swim” in it. Fry immediately.
Fry the schnitzel for about 2-3 minutes on both sides until a deep golden brown. Transfer briefly to a plate lined with paper towels.
Serve immediately with slices of fresh lemon and parsley sprigs or mushroom gravy.