Snazzy summer schnitzels
In the 70s, Wiener schnitzel was a popular meal-in-a-minute — paper-thin veal dipped in seasoned flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs, then quickly fried on each side and served with wedges of lemon and sometimes tartare sauce. It has fallen out of favour but a good Wiener schnitzel is a true delight.
The recipe originated in Milan (scaloppine alla Milanese) and was so relished and praised by an Austrian general during the 1857 military campaign in Italy, it was finally claimed by the Austrians as their own.
Schnitzel is the German word for ‘cutlet’. The French call them escalopes, the Italians scallopini and the Americans scallops. Whatever the name, schnitzels are a fast fix requiring only 1-2 minutes of pan-frying each side. If overdone, they dry out and become quite tough. The exception to this rule is when they are casseroled as traditional veal or beef olives.
Many butchers cut the very lean and thin schnitzels to order because they dry out quickly in the display case. They are often pounded to make them even thinner.
Fresh schnitzels should be used within 24 hours of purchase. However, they are ideal freezer items. Store them with a double layer of baking paper between each schnitzel. Cook from the frozen state.