Vienerschnitzel – A Great Viennese Treat
(Not just a hot dog joint)
By Chef David Hall
I try to eat healthy most of the time. Well, some of the time. OK, I try to eat healthy when forced to do so by the bathroom scale. I do however, try to avoid fried foods unless they are Mexican food, southern fried chicken and waffles and of course my herbed wiener schnitzel (aka vienerschnitzel); and no I am not referring to overpriced hotdogs from some franchise in an A-framed building. I am referring to the crunchy and juicy delight from Austria.
Wiener schnitzel can be made or pork, veal and even chicken. My favorite is made of pork tenderloin. The final product is crunchy, juicy and savory and no “chicken tender” can compare to my schnitzel. Originally from Austrian Viennese cuisine, this dish is extremely adaptable to many different flavor profiles from bland to spicy. Adding few drops of fresh lemon juice, a side potato salad and garden salad makes for a satisfying culinary experience. I adapted the recipe for those who must adhere to a gluten-free diet.
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed and sliced into ½” slices
½ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups Rice Chex cereal finely ground in a food processor (as a bread crumb substitute)
1 teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Oil for frying (lard is traditional)
- Place the cutlets between sheets of plastic wrap with a few drops of water between the meat and the plastic. Using the flat side of a meat tenderizing mallet or the back of a pan, pound the meat evenly to ¼” thick.
- Set up a small assembly line of 3 shallow dishes. Place the flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the first one, well beaten eggs in the second and the breadcrumbs and herbs mixed in the third bowl.
- Working one at a time, dredge a flattened cutlet first in flour until the surface is completely dry. Dip in egg to coat, allowing the excess to drip off for a few seconds then toss in the breadcrumbs and coat both sides. Set aside on a sheet pan until all cutlets are done. Do not press breadcrumbs into the meat.
- Heat at least 1/4 inch of oil in the pan to 350°F.
- Place a few cutlets in the pan of hot oil. Fry the schnitzel for 3 minutes on one side, turning them over once and frying them until both sides are golden brown and crunchy.
- Remove from pan and allow excess oil to drain off. Plate with lemon slices and potato salad or green salad and serve.
Consider heavily seasoning the flour with spicy Cajun seasoning for a unique twist, served with waffle cut fries. Try either version and let me know what you think of it.
Be well and be blessed,
Chef David Hall