The kids have been asking for a German dinner, and I got a good price on veal cutlets the other day, a package of two large cutlets which I'd cut in two for more reasonable portion size. Since there are three of us, instead of cooking up four of the small cutlets and then having all three of us fight to the death for the last schnitzel, I cooked one up for my lunch yesterday. Win-win.
Since the cutlet is pounded so thin - technically this is called a "paillard," escalope," or "scallop" - the schnitzel cooks really quickly, so it's a good idea to have everything else ready to go in serving bowls and even already set on the table before you fry the schnitzels. Then all you have to do is just stick them on a plate and run into the dining room and eat them while they're hot. The crispy, hot breading encases the tender meat and the little bit of lemon juice and parsley add a brightness that simply makes your tongue sing. :)
- veal cutlets, pounded to at least 1/4 inch thickness
- 1 egg, beaten
- unseasoned, soft breadcrumbs
- peanut oil for frying
- lemon slices
- chopped parsley
- Set up three shallow bowls (I use pie pans) with flour in one, beaten egg in the next, and breadcrumbs in the third.
- Make sure your cutlets are pounded very thin- at least 1/4 inch thick, thinner if you can manage it without tearing holes in the meat. Pat the cutlets dry.
- Working one cutlet at a time, dredge it in flour very well so that it is completely coated. Shake off the excess flour and dip the cutlet in the beaten egg and then pass through the bread crumbs. Don't press the crumbs down into the egg, but make sure that the entire cutlet is totally covered. Repeat with other cutlets and let them rest on a plate.
- Heat a good 1/4 inch of peanut oil in a large skillet to medium-high - it seems like a lot of oil, but I've found that it is the key to keeping the breading from sticking and burning. It also gives you a lovely puffed-up crust.
- Once the oil starts to shimmer, carefully put the cutlets into the oil. Don't crowd the pan, though. You can do this in batches of 2 cutlets at a time if you have to.
- Cook for 2 - 4 minutes until the breading is golden brown on the bottom and then carefully flip over (I use tongs for this) and cook until the other side is also golden brown.
- You're done. The thinner cutlets cook really fast. Garnish with lemon slices and chopped parsley and serve.