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Schnitzel au Gratin and Warm Potato Salad

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Of pork, chicken or beef, pork is undoubtedly my favorite meat.  Chicken is versatile, but has no flavor unless you doctor it up.  And beef is certainly flavorful, but the nuances among various cuts are too subtle for my taste.

And then there’s pork.   Ham, bacon, pork chops, sausage – so many taste options from one source!  I love them all.

So, I am always on the lookout for new pork creations.   I found this recipe online for Schnitzel au Gratin a year or so ago. I’ve made it several times, and each time I remind myself that I should make it more often. It’s good, and it’s simple.

The pork tenderloins, bathing in bubbling cream sauce and topped with Parmesan cheese, smell heavenly as they bake. I recently paired them with tangy Warm Potato Salad for a tasty twist on a traditional meat-and-potatoes meal. (I was trying for a sort of German/Austrian theme, although some theorize schnitzel actually originated in Italy.)

The potato salad recipe is from Wolfgang Puck and was featured in a recent Parade magazine. He describes pork Wiener schnitzel and warm potato salad as his favorite meal growing up. If you are only familiar with cold, picnic-style potato salad, give the warm version a try. It may become a favorite dinner accompaniment!

Schnitzel au Gratin:
Adapted from www.lutheransonline.com
(Makes 4 servings)

4 boneless pork cutlets
1 small onion, diced
4-oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Season meat with salt and pepper.   Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.   Brown cutlets on both sides; place in greased shallow baking dish.   Add onions to skillet and saute until tender and slightly browned.   Add mushrooms, cream and wine; season with salt and pepper.  Stir until evenly combined.  Pour sauce over cutlets and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Warm Potato Salad:
Adapted from Wolfgang Puck – March 27, 2011, Parade magazine
(Makes 4 servings)

Marinade:
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3 tablespoons sugar
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (I substituted 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme)

Potatoes:
1 lb. fingerling potatoes, washed
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 sprigs fresh parsley
2 tablespoons kosher salt

Whisk marinade ingredients together in a bowl.

In a large saucepan or dutch oven, combine potatoes, garlic, parsley and salt. Add enough water to cover potatoes and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer about 8 minutes. Strain and cool.

Slice cooled potatoes into 1/4-inch rounds and add to marinade. Let sit 20 minutes.

Transfer to saute pan and cook over high heat for 30 seconds (I drained some of the marinade off because there was too much sauce).

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