In Germany there are Schnitzels and then there are Schnitzels, where one of the many traditional sauces or variations have given an extra dimension to a breaded cutlet. Whether it is a Chicken cutlet, Turkey, Pork, Veal or a vegetarian recipe with Tofu they respond beautifully to the addition of any of these sauces, or as one of the popular specialties. All of which are easy to make and delicious.
Schnitzel in Kapernsauce is a simple sauce of lightly seasoned cream, vegetable broth and capers.
Jägerschnitzel, Hunter's Schnitzel, has a "Jäger Sauce" of spiced mushrooms and cream. A large quantity of sliced mushrooms, often a mixture of different varieties, are cooked in butter together with finely chopped onions and garlic. Stock and often a little red or white wine are added, then the sauce reduced until it is the right consistency.
Zigeunerschnitzel, Gypsy Schnitzel, is served with the breaded cutlet covered in a sauce of braised sliced red peppers, mushrooms and onions with tomato-paste and red wine added. Zigeuner Schnitzel was traditionally made from pork but now the sauce accompanies any type of cutlet.
While as paprika is the favorite spice in Germany there is always Paprika Schnitzel. Sauteed chopped onion, dusted with flour to thicken the sauce, sweet Hungarian paprika added, combined with some broth to make a sauce, cooked until thickened and finished with sour cream.
And there are many other alternatives.
One specialty is Schnitzel a la Holstein, named for Baron Friedrich von Holstein,1837-1909, an influential German diplomat whose idea of heaven was a mixture of different types of food on one plate.
It is a standard breaded cutlet topped with a fried egg, anchovy fillets and capers. And if there is a celebration taking place the "Holsteiner Schnitzel" is often surrounded by small portions of smoked salmon, lumpfish eggs or caviar, small shrimp, craw fish tails and sauteed mushrooms.
This is a specialty of Germany's northernmost state, Schleswig-Holstein, which borders Denmark to the north, the North Sea to the west, the Baltic Sea to the east, and where almost every menu features locally caught fish.
You can leave out the anchovies if you are not a fan, (small shrimps can be substituted) but although it sounds a little bizarre it's really worth trying the cutlet with them. The meat cutlet can be Pork, Veal, Turkey, or Chicken, or of course Tofu.
RECIPE HOLSTEINER SCHNITZEL
Prepare your breaded cutlet as usual.
Ingredients for the sauce for four portions
Four large eggs
1 tin Anchovies in Oil
(or 100 gram, 4 oz, small shrimp)
1 tablespoon of capers.
Rinse the anchovies and the capers to remove any excess salt, and put the aside.
Cook the cutlet, drain on paper towel.
Fry the four eggs in a lightly oiled skillet. Sunny side up and leaving the yolks runny.
Top each schnitzel with a fried egg
Arrange 2 or 3 anchovies, or a quantity of shrimp, around each of the yolks.
Sprinkle the capers over the four cutlets together with a tiny pinch of paprika or chili powder.
Serve with whatever accompaniment you choose, French Fries, Hot Potato Salad, Rice, Spaetzle, Mixed or Green Salad, it fits to just about anything.
Schnitzel Cordon Bleu, means Blue Ribbon Schnitzel when translated literally from the French. The Cordon Bleu, or Blue Ribbon, was the highest order of chivalry under the Bourbon kings, but began to be used for other first-class things, including "First Rate" or "High Quality" in cooking.
Cordon Bleu Schnitzel is a cutlet filled with ham and cheese, which didn't originate in Germany but in neighboring Belgium, however as a German favorite it's enjoyed throughout the country, and a fixture on most menus.
RECIPE FOR SCHNITZEL CORDON BLEU
Prepare the cutlet as usual
Ingredients for four portions:
4 slices ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
Wrap one slice of ham around a slice of Swiss cheese and place in center of the flattened pork, chicken or turkey cutlets.
Fold the meat over and secure open ends with toothpicks.
Continue to handle as with a plain Schnitzel. Season the meat and coat with flour on both sides, dip in beaten egg mixture turning meat to cover both sides, lastly place into the bread crumbs, pressing in firmly and ensuring the cutlet is well covered.
Fry Cordon Bleu uncovered until golden brown, turning once.
Remove toothpicks, garnish with lemon slices and parsley, and serve with Hot Potato Salad, French Fries, Rice, Spaetzle , Mixed or Green Salad, even with asparagus during the season. Just whatever you feel like on the day.
Guten Appetit!.....And enjoy your Schnitzels