Schnitzel is definitely a favorite in our house. As I mentioned in last weeks Friday Favorites you can never have enough schnitzel in your life 😉
One of our dearest friends recently finished school so to celebrate his accomplishment this past weekend I hosted a little dinner party in his honor. I served pork schnitzel with roasted brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes for dinner and our other favorite brown sugar pudding for dessert.
I’ve been recently thinking about how to host a “successful” dinner party – for reasons I will hopefully be able to share soon. And as my dear friend pointed out I’ve hosted some successful and some not so successful dinner parties… I’d like to think I’m improving, but like with everything in life there are stumbles along the way. It’s how you learn from those stumbles that counts.
This past weekend I did commit a major foul, probably the most serious of dinner party offenses – ignoring my guests. So while the thought of schnitzel was very enticing and it was warmly welcomed at the table. It did not excuse that I spent most of the night cooking in the kitchen, and not spending time with my guests or my husband who had just returned home.
Finding the balance in cooking a delicious meal and being an attentive host to your guests is a challenge. Not finding that balance is probably how most battles in the world of dinner parties are lost. Your guests are there to spend time to together and with you, and if this happens then a less than perfect meal is most likely forgotten and forgiven. However a lack of face time with you is not so easily forgotten or forgiven by your guests.
So how do you tackle this problem and keep yourself out of the kitchen?PLAN. Plan a meal by picking recipes that are low maintenance. Schnitzel is not low maintenance. Schnitzel is high maintenance. Avoid high maintenance. Trust me. Braised, stew, roast or a quick BBQ. Low maintenance. Don’t stand over your dutch oven cooking one cutlet at a time… No matter how golden and good they are!
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 ½ cups unseasoned bread crumbs (grind stale french bread)
- 1 ¼ pounds boneless pork cutlets, pounded to 1/8-inch thick (1 per person)
- Coarse salt and ground black pepper
- Safflower or peanut oil, for frying
- Pickles, sliced for serving
- Lingonberry jam, for serving
- Mix flour with chili powder, parsley, salt and pepper. Place flour mixture in one shallow dish, place eggs in a second dish, and place bread crumbs in a third dish.
- Heat oil in a large, deep skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. While oil heats, dip cutlets one by one into flour (shake off any excess), then into eggs and finally into the bread crumbs.
- 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. Repeat with remaining pork.
- Serve pork accompanied by the pickles and the lingonberry jam.
I served the schnitzel with mashed potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts.
Since it was a celebration I paired the schnitzel with champagne – Bollinger Special Cuvee and a few German beers.
Do you have any dinner party tips or learned lessons? I’d love to hear them!