Monday, January 07, 2008

Switched-Up Schnitzel

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
My buddy Tambri gave me some cubed venison loins. My other buddy Sarah told me about a dish her mom made for her every year on her birthday. Mom would dredge the loins in milk, then egg, then a
mixture of saltines, Parmesan cheese, oregano, basil, pepper and thyme. Then she would fry them in butter. Serve with lemon wedges.

Well. This sounds like schnitzel to me, with the exception of the Parmesan. Austrians do not put Parmesan in the breading. And of course it's usually veal or pork.

Time to play with the food.

First, I decided I wanted to use Panko instead of cracker crumbs. Big fan of the Panko. Love the Panko. I also decided to raise the smoke point of the butter by adding some olive oil. Less chance of burnage that way.

Since I was using Panko mixed with Parmesan rather than saltines, I thought maybe I should not use milk as my first dip. That would add more liquid to the eggs and I really wanted more of a sticking effect, to hold onto that Parmesan and Panko. Panko being much coarser than saltine crumbs would be.

Also? At the very last moment I noticed I did not have LEMON! That, my dear foodie, is a mortal sin in the schnitzel world! I could not send someone to get lemon...Nate is down with flu and Mensa Boy was working hard at home on a big project.

So? Lemon pepper became one of the seasonings in the Panko mixture.

Here is an approximate list of ingredients:

1 # cubed venison loin

First coating:
3/4 cup flour

Second coating:
2 whole eggs

2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan (I used Parmigiano Reggiano, which was what I had, but I think it'd be better to go with something CHEAPER!)
2/3 cup Panko crumbs
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon thyme

Fry over medium-high heat in 1 stick of unsalted butter cut with about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. (Turn to second side when the blood rises to the top) Check for doneness by prodding with your finger. Should firm up, but not become hard.

I think if the heat in the skillet were too high, and the crumbs were in danger of burning, it would be a good idea to just fry to a golden brown and then finish in the oven. Especially if you have an electric oven. A gas oven will lend moisture and keep it from being quite as crisp.

Oh. The lemon in the photo...Neighbor Mary to the rescue!

Now this was an exciting meal! The guys became more and more animated as the schnitzel cooked, although Mensa Boy was sad that the meat wasn't actually cube-shaped. uh yuh.

1 comment:

Steve said...

That does really look good in the photo.