Wiener Schnitzel

I recently spent two weeks on a mission trip in Vienna, Austria working with students who are studying in a theologian degree program with TCMI International Institute. These students come from mostly Eastern European countries to spend some much needed rest time in the Vienna Woods while attending classes towards their degree. We, as short-term workers, are there to take care of their everyday needs such as meals, housekeeping and maintenance of the campus so they may concentrate on their studies.

This year we had 57 students from 11 different countries. One of my greatest joys is to meet these students and learn about their family and their ministries. They are always willing to share traditions and especially food dishes from their native homeland. As I sat at meals with the students, I made a point to ask them which of their country’s traditional dishes they would like me to spotlight on my food blog. It’s a blessing to see their faces light up when they talk about their favorite dish and reminisce about a family member who makes the best one.

So, for the next 11 days I will be spotlighting each of these countries and a traditional dish in honor of these students and their love for their homeland. I encourage you to try some of these dishes and if you like them, do further research on that particular country’s cuisine. You may find a new favorite recipe or two for your family!

Spotlight: Austria

Dish: Wiener Schnitzel

Wiener Schnitzel is a type of schnitzel made of a thin, breaded, pan-fried veal cutlet. It is one of the best known specialities of Viennese cuisine, and one of the national dishes of Austria.

This dish is probably the one Americans have heard of the most. Remember, in German w’s are pronounced as v’s so this dish is pronounced “viener schnitzel”. Traditionally this is a veal cutlet but even in Austria you will see offerings of chicken and pork schnitzel. All options are yummy! In America, we see this dish served with spaetzle most times but the traditional Austrian way is with parsley potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless veal or pork chops (or chicken breast)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • lemon slices, for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Trim meat of any unwanted fat (if desired). Lay the pork or veal chops out on a countertop between two layers of plastic wrap. Pound out chops until ¼ inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Spread flour out into a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, whisk eggs together with lemon juice. In a third shallow dish, spread out bread crumbs.
  3. Pour about ¼ inch of vegetable oil into a large deep skillet. Bring oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Dredge chops into flour to coat, then immediately dip into eggs to coat, followed by bread crumbs to coat.
  5. Place chops into the hot oil and fry 3 to 4 minutes. Work in batches if needed based on size of pan. Chops shouldn’t be crowded.
  6. Gently flip over and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes on the other side until chop reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 F and is browned and crisp.
  7. Serve hot with lemon slices.

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