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Monday, May 4, 2009

To long-time friendships: Recipe

When you're belly-laughing nearly all night long because of silly conversation, you know you are amongst real friends. Saturday night I got together with my two very best friends - two people who know me possible as well as my own two sisters do. We are all grown up now, of course, and have families of our own and other everyday lives with which to contend, but when we get together - times that are few and far between - we realize just how special those bonds are that tie us together. In our case, it's history as far back as nursery schools and the 2nd grade play.

During the course of the night we talked about everything, of course. But inevitably the conversation came around to food. We spoke of one friend's love of food from her German heritage and the subject turned to a perfectly cooked Wiener Schnitzel.

So in honor of our great night of memories and laughter, tonight's family dinner is...but of course, Wiener Schnitzel. My children think cutlets (pork and now veal) are chicken so it's no wonder they ate with gusto!

This recipe is adapted from Ruth Reichl's in Tender at the Bone. If you've never read this book about the Gourmet Mag's Editor in Chief, you simply must. It's a beautiful autobiography of her discovery of food amidst some real family drama.


Wiener Schnitzel

1 lb. very thin (paper thin) veal cutlets
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
5 grindings of fresh pepper
1 1/2 cup finely ground bread crumbs
8 Tbsp. butter
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup white wine
3 eggs, beaten

Pound each cutlet thin between two pieces of waxed paper.

Place flour in a shallow dish, mix in the salt and pepper. Beat eggs in a shallow dish and bread crumbs in a third dish.

First dredge cutlets in flour, then egg, then crumbs and repeat with each one. Place each one on waxed paper.

Melt 6 Tbsp. butter in a large pan over medium high heat and when it's foamy and bubbly, add as many cutlets in that will fit without crowding. Saute about 2 minutes on each side and remove to a clean plate and cover lightly with foil. Repeat until all cutlets are finished, adding 1-2 Tbsp. butter as needed. Once all cutlets are complete, raise the heat to high and add in the wine and allow it to come to a boil and scrape up the browned bits. Then add the lemon juice and allow it to bubble another minute and pour over cutlets. Serve.

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