Shame the Germans went out of Euro 2012 the other night. Clutching at straws from an English POV, we did better than they did against Italy, since we conceded no goals throughout the whole game and only went out on penalties. And Italy’s goals were both scored by honorary Englishman(!) Mario Balotelli (left).
I love the Germans. Working in Germany for a few months will cure you of all the crap prejudices that we in England are brought up with.
The people, the football team, the sense of humour – oh yes, English dullards, they have a very dry sense of humour which isn’t the same as ours, but it doesn’t mean they don’t have one.
And they love the English. So you can take your stereotypes and shove them.
That said, they do like a sausage, do the Germans.
And they do like a schnitzel also. Trouble is, schnitzel is traditionally made from veal.
“Do you know how they make veal? They get a little baby calf, and they hang him upside down, and then they slit his throat, and then all the blood drains out. That’s an interesting fact” (from the film “Gregory’s Girl”)
I have a bit of a moral objection to eating veal. Even though I did eat it once, in Germany, without actually knowing that it was veal. I was mortified when I found out afterwards, but I have to admit it was lovely.
That’s the thing about veal, lobster, pate de foie gras and so on. They’re so exquisitely tasty that people find a way to justify the cruelty involved.
But there are other ways to enjoy schnitzel. The word refers not so much to the veal but to the method of cooking. And I found a recipe for chicken schnitzel. Hoorah!
You take the chicken breasts and give them a good pounding. I put them in a plastic food bag and beat them to within an inch of their life with a rolling pin, in the absence of a meat hammer. It felt good.
For the coating, beat a couple of eggs and mix in garlic, thyme, salt and black pepper. Variations on this theme are legion.
Dip each chicken cutlet in the mixture and coat it all over – this is what is going to allegedly make the breadcrumb mixture stick to the meat. Get each cutlet as sopping with liquid as you can, then roll it in the breadcrumb / cheese mixture. I used cheddar instead of parmesan, for the superior texture and flavour.
We can’t really claim too many gold medals in the food word, we British. But we do have more varieties of cheese than any other country. And I never met one I didn’t like.
Fry the chicken cutlets in a shallow frying pan – and this is the hard bit – making sure the coating doesn’t completely come to pieces.
I failed (see final picture below)
Served this with German style oven-baked chipped potatoes, a very rich accompaniment consisting of sliced potatoes in melted butter and oil in an oven dish, with shallots fried in butter and chicken stock poured over them, then topped with grated cheddar and cooked until the cheese melts.
Not the healthiest of dishes but what the heck, life’s too short.
Well, it would be if you ate that every day, that’s for sure.
The dish has taken longer to cook than I thought it would. I serve it up to a very hungry Sal. She is salivating. Heh heh. I made a funny.
Salivating? Tough internet…
The meal is good, the chicken is cooked (just about) but there are no vegetables because someone who shall remain nameless forgot to get any. She knows who she is…
Next up – Spain. What could I possibly cook from the myriad delights that country’s cuisine has to offer? Difficult choice…
OK, I admit it. Its paella.