Chicken schnitzel and pickled red cabbage

I spend a lot of time in Brooklyn these days, in the area of South Park Slope. One of my favorite standby restaurants in that neighborhood has become Cafe Steinhof, a cozy bar/restaurant/brunch spot that serves reliable, hearty (but not overwhelmingly so) Austrian food. One of my favorite meals involves some veal schnitzel and pickled red cabbage. I’m not a fan of saurkraut, but there’s something about this sweet and sour red cabbage that I love. Being in Jersey this past weekend, I found myself craving this menu and learning to replicate it at home.

I was a little concerned I wouldn’t be able to replicate the taste of pickled cabbage on the spot. I expected it to take days of marinating in pickling liquid, but the beauty of this recipe is that it takes almost no time at all for the chemical process to occur. The blanched red cabbage goes from a deep, squid ink color to hot magenta in a matter of minutes and makes a cool, sweet and sour contrast to the crisp, buttery chicken schnitzel.

Pickled red cabbage

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

Preparation

Chop and shred the red cabbage and blanch until tender in boiling, salted water. Dump into a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.

In a small bowl, mix vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic, mustard seeds and oil. Add the cooled cabbage and toss to combine. The cabbage will start to change color from a deep purple, to a bright magenta in the acid. Put in the fridge to cool. Serve chilled or warm.

Chicken Schnitzel

servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Place the breasts between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and hammer with a meat tenderizer or other large heavy kitchen implement such as a rolling pin to break down and flatten the cutlets.

Set up a breading station with eggs in a shallow dish for dipping, a plate of flour and a plate of breadcrumbs.

Salt and pepper the cutlets. Coat in flour, dip in the egg and then breadcrumbs and set aside on a plate. To cook, heat a tablespoon of olive oil, with a pad of butter, brown the cutlets on both sides. Add to a baking sheet and cook at about 300 for 10-15 minutes to finish the cooking process. Serve with the cold pickled cabbage and a slice of lemon.

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