Friday, February 21, 2014

Chicken Schnitzel with a Mushroom/Cheese Sauce

One of my favorite holidays growing up was our trip to Europe. Because of rules with the Mission Board back then, returning to the USA was not allowed but traveling to other countries was. So our family decided to take a trip to Europe and travel around and see all the places Jesse(my brother) was learning about in his school. It was AWESOME!! We rented a small popup van, where literally the roof popped up and became a sleeping area where Jesse and I slept. Then the bench/ couch in the back became a fold out bed where Mom and Dad slept. The van had a small little kitchen, VERY SMALL but it was perfect. We got to travel through many countries looking at Castles, Cathedrals, Museums, Art, beautiful landscapes and of course the Sound of Music tour. The sites were amazing! Castles filled with treasures that we dreamed about and gardens and flowers that made you think you were a princess. We climbed the mountains like the Von Trapp family did and learned many things about the movie that changed our whole point of view. We got to see the Swiss Alps, the Black Forest, many famous rivers, Windmills,  and so many tulips. It was a trip of a life time.

But along with the sites, we got to try amazing food! Swiss and German chocolate, Crepe houses where every plate was some sort of yummy crepe, German sausages, amazing cheeses and Schnitzel. We would eat breakfast and lunch in the van while traveling to our next destination. Most of the time it was a combination of yummy sausages and yummy bread and cheese. Though my mom might tell you differently but from what I remember there was no complaining with those options! At dinner we would eat at a restaurant. Because none of us spoke German, Dutch or any other European languages, ordering food was quite interesting. With none of the menus in English and very few people speaking English, it was a challenge.  But after a few guesses and learning what certain words meant, Schnitzel and Bratwurst became a constant. We would order at least one of those and then be adventurous and order an "unknown" meal and see what we ended up. Most of the time we got delicious plates of food, unless you count the sauerkraut that Dad always ordered. I don't know how anyone eats that, but for some reason Dad loves it! During that trip Schnitzel became one of my favorites dishes. You could change up the meat between pork and chicken and then the cream sauce on top. Mushroom or cheese or any other sauce that they would make could be switched too. OH SO YUMMY!!

When I have pork or chicken breast available this is one of the dishes I like to make. I made this for Keith a few nights ago and he didn't want to share. I take that as a good sign. Though my boys didn't like the mushrooms in the sauce I made they did like the chicken. Oh how I hope to be able to travel to Europe when my boys are bigger and let them have as much fun there as I did as a child. But until then we will enjoy the Schnitzel at home.

Chicken Schnitzel
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (4 large breasts)
1 cup flour for dredging
2 eggs
1 cup breadcrumbs, matzo meal, or panko
2 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying
Fresh lemon wedges for garnish
Pound the Chicken to about 1/4 inch thick.  Set up 3 bowls for the ingredients. In the first add the flour. In the second bowl, beat the eggs. In your third bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, paprika, 1 tsp salt and Sesame seeds(I don't use these) mix well. Pour oil into a skillet deep enough to fry. About 1/2 inch. Heat over medium heat. Dip each chicken breast in Flour, then the egg, then the panko mixture. Place in hot oil. Fry on each side 3-4 minutes till golden. Remove to a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt for flavor and serve warm with a lemon slice.

You can totally eat this all by itself but I like to add a white sauce

 White sauce
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp Flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
Sauteed mushrooms

Melt butter in heavy sauce pan. Blend in flour and salt cooking and stirring till bubbly. Using a whisk to prevent lumps, stir in milk. Cook till smooth and thickened. I then add some chopped sauteed mushrooms and some cheese and stir till the cheese is melted.  Serve over Schnitzel.

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