Classics, Dinner, Poultry, Savory

Almost Jägerschnitzel and Spaetzle

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Jägerschnitzel is a classic German dish where a thin pork cutlet is fried and bathed in a rich mushroom sauce.  It is usually accompanied by egg noodles or Spaetzle-a German egg noodle-like dumpling.  This is my husband’s favorite dish to order at the Munich Haus (Local German restaurant).  I call it “almost” because I make it at home with chicken–Perdue sells thinly sliced chicken breasts which are perfect for this recipe.  I have purchased thin-sliced pork cutlets, but then are often never thin enough and I always end up tearing the meat during the “pounding” process.  Therefore, I stick to using chicken.  Also, you can never have enough “chicken dinner” recipes.

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Ingredients–for the Mushroom Sauce:

2 Tbsp of olive oil (additional 1 Tbsp, if you are finishing the sauce another day)

1, 8oz package of sliced mushroom

1 medium shallot sliced

1/2 tsp of dried thyme

1/4 tsp of sweet paprika

1/2 tsp of Worchestershire sauce

3 turns of the pepper mill, about 1/2 tsp of fresh cracked black pepper

1 and 1/2 Tbsp flour

1/ 2 cup chicken stock

Salt to taste.

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and add the mushrooms and shallots.  Saute for a few minutes and once the mushrooms and shallots start to soften, add thyme and paprika.  The most important tip for this step is not to add salt.  Salt draws out liquid from the mushrooms, which will result in steamed mushrooms and not browned mushrooms!

 

Saute for 3-4 minutes on medium and then add the black pepper and the Worchestershire sauce.

Continue to saute till the mixture has reduced, and the mushrooms and shallots and soft and deep brown in color.

 

At this point, you can stop the cooking process and store the mushroom mixture.  I will sometimes do this if I see that the mushrooms are going bad in the fridge.  If you choose to stop at this step, empty the contents into a food storage bowl.  Add 2 tbsps of water to the hot pan and scrape off all the delicious bits and pieces. You don’t want to miss out on the flavor, just because you are prepping ahead of time.  Add the pan juices to the storage bowl, cool, and store in the fridge.

 

When you are ready to make the sauce, add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan and re-heat the  mixture.  If you are not re-heating the mushrooms, proceed to the next step.

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Add flour and stir continuously till the flour is incorporated and the mushroom mixture

img_20200424_174651looks very “dry”.  Add chicken stock and reduce to a simmer.

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Continue to simmer for 3-4 minutes on low heat, stirring frequently to ensure that nothing sticks to the bottom.   Taste for salt.  This is the first time you are adding salt.  I like to this at the very end becasue worhestershire sauce and chicken stock all bring in a little bit of salt. Continue this process for an addition 2-3 minutes till most of the liquid evaporates and it turns into a thick and rich gravy.

I forgot to taka picture, but if you look at the plated food, you will get an idea of what the consistency should look like

For the Schnitzel:

Super thin chicken cutlets–use pork cutlets for the real deal !

Bread the cutlet with egg and breadcrumbs.  I like to season the egg wash with salt and pepper and I use Italian breadcrumbs.

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Fry cutlets in a pan till golden.  If you are making the the sauce and the spaetzle at the same time, you might want to fry the cutlets and store them on a wire rack in the a 175F oven–this will keep the cutlets warm and the wire rack will prevent the cutlets from getting a soggy bottom.

 

Ingredients–for the Spaetzle (original recipe from Tyler Florence)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 large eggs

1/4 cup milk

1 Tbsp of butter

1/2 Tbsp of breadcrumbs

1/2 tsp of chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Method:

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. In another mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together.  The dough should be smooth, tacky, and thick. Let the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

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Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot, then reduce to a simmer. To form the spaetzle, pour the dough into a potato ricer.

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Hold the ricer over the simmering water and slowly push the dough through the holes. Do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pot. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the spaetzle floats to the surface, stirring gently to prevent sticking. Dump the spaetzle into a colander and give it a quick rinse with cool water.  It can stay in the colander for about 10-15 minutes, while to finish up on the sauce and fry the cutlets.

 

Once you are ready, heat butter in a pan (I usually, do this in same pan that I used to fry the cutlets) and add the dumplings and the breadcrumbs.  Toss in the butter, on high heat for a quick 2-3 minutes, till the spaetzle is light golden and crispy.

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Garnish with parsley and they spaetzle is ready.

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To serve:

Plate up a huge pile fo the spaetzle, with a schnitzel on the side and drench the two with the mushroom sauce.

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Quick Dinner

Cumin-Spiced Chicken and Egg Salad

Just because the warm days have left us does not mean that we can’t enjoy summer staples.  This is an egg salad with a protein boost and spice kick.  I thank my mother for this recipe.  She would make this with potatoes and hard boiled eggs and put it in pita bread to make warm sandwiches for lunch.  I left out the carbs and added more protein with the chicken.  Also, this really is figure friendly because it has no mayo that normally lathers typical egg salads.  The cumin adds a comforting warmth and stuffed into a toasted pita pocket, this will be your next go to weeknight dinner this fall !

Ingredients:

1lb chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces

4 hard boiled eggs chopped

1 medium onion, diced

1 tbsp of whole cumin seeds

1 tbsp of olive oil

1tsp of chilli powder

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Hard boil 4 medium sized eggs and while that boils away, chop the onions and cut the chicken.

In a pot, heat the oil and then add all cumin seeds and stir for a few seconds till fragrant.

Add the onions and saute till pale yellow and then add the chicken.

While the chicken cooks through, chop the eggs.

Once the chicken cooked through, add the eggs and season with salt, chilli powder and black pepper.

Stir till everything is well combined, the egg yolks will melt and create a creamy coating, much like a mayo binder, but better !

Serve warm with pita pockets !

Comfort food, Dinner, Indian

Chicken Belvedere

This is a family recipe which I have actually never had.  So, this is how the story goes.  My great great grandfather was a Bramhin Bengali Doctor living in Calcutta during the heights of the British Rule.  He went away to England, married an English lady, found a preventative medication for Malaria and long story short, minted boat-loads of dough.  He ended up buying property in the poshest part of Calcutta, Alipore.  From the stories that I hear,  Dr. Shirish Biswas purchsed 13 bungalows that extended from Judges Court Road all the way to Belvedere Road–a neighbourhood where only the English Officers and Nobility lived.  So why wax family history on a public forum? Well, I think its cool and also this recipe really shows the influence of British ingredients on our family’s recipe.  My mother had this chicken dish at her aunt’s house and told me the recipe over the phone.  She does not believe in measurements and since I have never had this dish, I had to adjust the ingredients to what I think would taste good.  So here it is, Chicken Belvedere.

ingredients:

1 lb of chicken (any cut you prefer) cut into pieces

1 medium onion finely chopped

1 Tbsp of chopped garlic

1 Tbsp of ginger paste

Salt and pepper to taster

1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce ( this is the British influence)

Salt and pepper to taste.

1/2 Tbsp olive oil

Method:

1.Mix all the ingredients (expect oil) and let the chicken marinade for at least 30min, the longer the better.

2.  In a pot, had the chicken with all the marinade and add 1/2 cup water and bring it to a boil.  Now this may sound gross because you are using the marinade in which the raw chicken was sitting,but since you are boiling it–it should be fine.  Make sure you really wash the chicken well and if you prefer organic chicken, even better.

3. Once the chicken is cooked through, and most of the water has reduced, add 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil and fry the chicken till the sauce thickens and chicken is just shy of crispy.

4. Serve hot with an extra turn of freshly cracked black pepper.  Pairs well with plain rice or even on old fashioned toast points.