Sunday, November 21, 2010

Paprika Schnitzel

Yummy German food!
     This is a traditional German schnitzel entree that has a very rich paprika flavor.  The best paprika for this entree is a very mild paprika.  Mild Hungarian style paprika is popular with German chefs and it is perfect or this recipe.  Stronger or spicier paprika blends from Spain or North Africa would give this savory paprika schnitzel entree far too much spicy bite!
     The spaetzle is made with an an old fashioned technique.  The spaetzle dough is more like a thick batter and it is simply dropped from the end of a spoon across the surface of very hot water.  The streamed lengths of spaetzle batter cook quickly in the hot water and they have a soft texture.  After gathering the spaetzle from the hot water, the spaetzle is sauteed with beure noisette, so it puffs up.  The spaetzle is then tossed with some of the paprika creme fraiche to add flavor!
     Spaetzle Recipe:
     This recipe makes one portion!  This is an old fashion spoon spaetzle recipe and this style of spaetzle has a soft texture.
     Place 1 egg in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 1/2 ounces of cream.
     Add sea salt.
     Add 1 pinch of nutmeg.
     Add a little bit of flour at a time, while stirring with a whisk, till a thick spaetzle batter is formed.    
     Note:  The amount of flour needed is just a few tablespoons.  The batter should be thicker than pancake batter and it should look like a wet dumpling dough.
     Refrigerate the batter for twenty minutes.
     Heat a sauce pot full of water over medium high heat.
     Add a few pinches of sea salt.
     Note:  The water should be very hot, but not rapidly boiling or bubbling at the surface.  The surface of the very hot water should be calm!  Reduce the temperature if the surface of the water shows boiling signs.
     Use a spoon to stream thick bands of the spaetzle batter across the surface of the hot water.
     When the spaetzle noodles float to the top of the hot water, then they are fully cooked.  Try not to spoon fresh batter over the floating spaetzle in the water.
     Scoop the spaetlze out of the water with a fryer net.
     Set the boiled spaetzle aside in a large bowl to cool.
     The spaetzle will be sauteed and finished later in this recipe!
     Schnitzel Recipe:
     Cut 4 thin veal leg cutlets that are 1 to 2 ounces apiece.
     Gently pound the veal cutlets with a mallet or wine bottle to tenderize them and to flatten them evenly.
     Very lightly season the veal cutlets with sea salt and white pepper.
     Dredge the veal cutlets in flour.
     Dredge the cutlets in egg wash.
     Dredge the cutlets in plain fine bread crumbs.
     Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
     Add about 6 pats of unsalted butter.
     Saute and pan fry the breaded veal cutlets on both sides, till they become crispy golden brown.
     Remove the veal schnitzel from the pan and set it aside.
     Paprika Schnitzel Sauce Recipe:
     The pan for finishing the spaetzle can be heated, so it is ready, while the veal is being cooked!
     Drain the excess grease from the hot veal saute pan.
     Return the pan to medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 pat of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 teaspoon of finely chopped shallot.
     When the shallot turns clear in color, add 1/2 cup of Rhine Valley White Wine.  (The Rhine wine can be semi sweet or dry!)
     Reduce the wine by half.
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 1 cup of creme fraiche.
     Note:  Creme Fraiche is 1/2 cream and 1/2 sour cream.  Modern restaurant safe food handling standards require creme fraiche to be mixed, rather than to be open air cultured.  This greatly reduces the threat of food borne illness!
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add about 3/4 tablespoon to 1 1/3 tablespoon of paprika.  (Add enough paprika to turn the sauce into a reddish orange color!)
     Stir and simmer the sauce, till the paprika is thoroughly combined.
     Return the veal schnitzel to the sauce.
     Simmer for a few minutes till the veal schnitzel become coated with the sauce.
     Place the paprika schnitzel on a plate.
     Pour most of the paprika creme fraiche sauce over the veal.  (Leave a small portion of the sauce in the pan for the spaetzle.)
     Keep the finished schnitzel and the paprika sauce warm on a stove top.
     Finishing the Spaetzle:
     Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
     Add 4 pats of unsalted butter.
     Allow the butter to turn a golden brown color and emit a light hazelnut aroma.
     Add the reserved boiled spaetzel.
     Toss the spaetzle in the hot butter, till it "puffs up" and so it gets a few light brown highlights. 
     Use a slotted spoon to add the hot spaetzle to the remaining paprika sauce in the other pan.
     Toss the fried spaetzle with sauce.
     Place the sauced spaetzle on the plate next to the veal.
     Serve with green beans and Sweet Potatoes Anna, or vegetables of your choice!
     Sweet Potatoes Anna Recipe:
     Sweet potatoes Anna is thin sliced peeled sweet potato that is brushed with cinnamon butter.  The cinnamon butter potato slices are layered in a custard cup.  Then it is baked in a 350 degree oven, till the potatoes are fully cooked.  Invert the custard cup on the plate and tap it lightly to free the sweet potatoes Anna.  Sweet Potato Anna is easy to make!
     Paprika Schnitzel is a very hearty, rich entree.  Mild Hungarian paprika and creme fraiche go very well together.  Spaetzle are a German form of pasta/dumpling that easily take on the flavor of the sauce.  This recipe is a very nice preparation of schnitzel!  ...  Shawna


  1. I will have to stop being lazy and get up and try making this dish. It looks too good to pass up.

  2. Thanks! This is a very easy recipe... just don't over heat creme fraiche or sour cream.... or it breaks and it looks like second rate German food!

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  4. Thank you for the Paprika Schnitzel recipe. Back in the mid 60s, when I was in the service, there was a small gasthaus by our airfield that made the most wonderful Paprika Schnitzel... pretty hot, spice-wise, but delicious. I suspect they used some combination of sweet & half-hot paprika, but you have brought it to mind and I will try this recipe over the Christmas holidays with our family all back home for Christmas.

    Thank you very much for the kick in the head that my old brain needed to jog this delightful gustatory memory.



    1. Thanks For The Comment Richard Rowe!

      That is the great thing about writing traditional food articles. Many are cast aside over the years, but not forgotten. Good comfort food never really goes out of style.

      If you had paprikaschnitzel near a base or airfield, it may have been made for American tastes and spiced up a bit. Usually the flavor is mellow, but some Germans do like spicy flavors.

      The trick is to simmer the schnitzel in the sauce shortly before serving. This way the bread coasting does not become soft.

      I learned this recipe while working for a German chef at a yacht club.

      Have good Christmas holiday!

    2. I had a typo.... I meant to write coating... not coasting... oops!