One of my first tastes of tradition German/Austrian food was schnitzel. I was fresh off the plane about twenty years ago, and wanted a taste of indigenous Germanic food culture. I didn’t know what to expect and was somewhat surprised when a dish appeared on the table that resembled my own grandmother’s breaded venison steak. Schnitzel is easy comfort food, and my own Germanic roots were obvious that day. It seems schnitzel is offered in one form or another in almost every restaurant in the Germanic countries, and is on the menu in most homes. The Ur-schnitzel however is said to have originated in Vienna Austria. The original “Wiener Schnitzel” is made with veal. Schnitzel in most cases though is thinly sliced breaded pork. Really, any thinly sliced breaded meat can be called schnitzel. For this dish I used wild turkey breast.
Ingredients: 1 wild turkey breast (cut thinly into slices across the grain), Flour, oregano, garlic salt, ground red pepper, 3 eggs, 1 sleeve of saltine crackers (finely crushed), salt, pepper, oil (with a high smoke point, I used grape seed oil).
1. Cut the turkey breast into thin slices and pound evenly with a meat hammer.
2. Place three bowls on the counter. In the first bowl mix the flour, oregano, garlic salt, salt, pepper, and ground red pepper. In the second bowl beat the eggs. And in the third bowl pour in the crushed saltine crackers.
3. Heat your oil in a skillet until it is hot. Lay your turkey cutlet in the flour until coated, dip in the eggs, and then coat with saltines. Cook in the oil until light brown (this should only take a couple minutes per side) and then place on plate coved with paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and serve. (In German cooking schnitzel will often be served with a slice of lemon and some kind of potato dish.) Enjoy!