Saturday, October 18, 2014

Schnitzel




Tis the heart of October. And in Germany, it is one of the most important months of the year. Known in Germany as Wiesn, the rest of the world simply calls it Oktoberfest. It's a chance to celebrate all things German, especially beer and food. But before we get to the German food, I would like to call your attention to this German dude.


This October, he just became the highest paid athlete in the world. By a very significant margin. As of last September, the highest paid athlete was soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, who pulled in a whopping annual salary of $52,000,000. If you look at American sports, Kobe Bryant is the highest paid athlete with an annual salary of $30,500,000.

My dude has got them all beat. Meet four-time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel. He's won four world championships for Red Bull Racing. But he has a clause in his contract that allows him to opt out if his team does not field a competitive car. And that's what happened this year...Sebastian is languishing in 5th place because his car sucks.

So he opted out and Ferrari snatched him up. His three-year contract is worth $240,000,000....a mind-boggling $80,000,000 annual salary. So let's take a little look at how that works out per hour. Kobe will play in 82 games this year and will earn $464,939 per hour. Sebastian will participate in 19 races and earn $2,105,263 for every hour he drives. Mommas, take away that basketball and get your kids to the go-kart track!

Schnitzel is a beloved dish in Bavaria. While it is most commonly made with veal, you can find all kinds of variations using chicken and pork. I prefer the latter, as it is cheaper than veal and easier to cook. It's also got a lot more flavor. This Melissa Clark recipe serves four. Deutschland über alles!


Ingredients
½ cup flour
teaspoon cayenne
teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups panko or other unseasoned bread crumbs
1 ¼ pounds boneless pork cutlets, pounded to 1/8-inch thick
 Coarse kosher salt and ground black pepper
Safflower, peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
1 scallion, thinly sliced, including greens


Directions

  1. Mix flour with cayenne and nutmeg. Place flour mixture in one shallow dish, place eggs in a second dish, and place bread crumbs in a third dish. Season pork cutlets generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 1/8 inch oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. While oil heats, dip cutlets one by one into flour (shake off any excess), then into eggs (ditto) and finally into the bread crumbs, taking care not to handle pork more than necessary (hold meat by ends).
  3. When oil sizzles when a pinch of bread crumbs is thrown in, add as many cutlets as comfortably fit in one layer, leaving plenty of room around them. Swirl and tilt pan so oil cascades over top of cutlet in waves. When bottom is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes, flip and brown the other side, swirling pan (swirling helps create air pockets, giving you lighter schnitzel). Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking platter or baking tray and sprinkle with more salt. Repeat with remaining pork.
  4. Serve schnitzel sprinkled with sliced scallion.



Pairing: I would opt for a Märzen beer, the most popular beer at Oktoberfest. If you prefer wine, pair it with an unoaked Chardonnay. If you are Sebastian Vettel, a nice chilled bottle of Dom Perignon should do quite nicely.