by NAA

Life is quiet these days, but a whole heckuvalot happened in the past few weeks. For example, we got married. When we returned home from our honeymoon, the Institute surprised us with a congratulatory dinner at a lovely little Buschenshank here in town. The gesture meant a lot to us, but it did not end with the excellent food and drink. Everyone had pitched in for a wedding gift — an at-home deep fryer!

Our New Deepfryer

I feel pretty darn local when I order Schweinsbraten and veggies in dialect from our farmer’s market, but this takes our Austrian lifestyle to a whole new level. Hello, Pommes,  hello Schnitzel!

Speaking of Schnitzel, I whipped up a couple of yummy cutlets geschnitzeled Styrian style and thought I might share the recipe. You don’t even need an at-home deep fryer (although I do intend to try Schnitzel in the fryer and will let you know how it compares).

Styrian Pumpkinseed Schnitzel

4 pork Schnitzel (about a pound). Order this from your butcher. If they don’t know what you mean, ask for ‘butterflied’ pork (usually cut from the pork loin), or very thinly cut pork chops (about 5 or 6). Chicken also works well. Just ask David’s brother, Jeff, the Schnitzel Master. He has geschnitzeled just about everything geschnitzelable.

1 cup plain bread crumbs.

1/2 cup flour.

1 egg.

1 cup pumpkin seeds. Get the good, dark green ones. I like the roasted ones.

2 TBSP butter and 4 TBSP olive oil, or whatever crazy substitute suits your fancy.

Spread flour over one plate and set aside. Whisk the egg into a smooth consistency and set aside. Chop the pumpkin seeds into smaller bits. (These can act like Tiddlywinks and fly all over the kitchen; if this happens, put them in a bag and smash them with something heavy and blunt. You’ll get the desired effect without pumpkin seed schrapnel.) Mix the chopped pumpkin seeds with your bread crumbs and spread on a large plate, set aside.

Now, flatten the Schnitzel. If cut properly, it should already be relatively thin. Pound it with a mallet until it’s about 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch thick. If you don’t have a mallet, the blunt end of a beer bottle works, too.

Coat the flattened pork in the flour mixture, then in the egg, then in the bread crumb and pumpkin seed mixture, covering every bit of the cutlet.

At this point, I’d recommend you prepare all of your cutlets this way and set them aside. Prepare any other side dishes you plan to serve, as the Schnitzel should be served last, straight out of the pan.

When you’re ready, heat the oil and butter over medium heat until it bubbles (but don’t let it brown). Toss your cutlet onto the pan and fry for about 2 min on each side, or until golden brown. Remember, this is a very thin cutlet, so won’t need long to cook through.

Serve with a garnish of fresh parsley and lemon slices. Squeeze the lemon over the Schnitzel before you eat it.

Around here, Schnitzel is usually served with thick fries and a side of lingonberry sauce. If you can swing it, I’d highly recommend it.