Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

September 19, 2010

Dinner without George

Wiener Schnitzel (veal escalope)

In my family, Wiener Schnitzel was considered a special dish, usually served when we had company. Since then, I have enjoyed Wiener Schnitzel in Vienna and at chef Kurt Guttenbrunner’s restaurants in New York, but I have never cooked it. Now, it stuck me as the ideal one person dish. Besides it would remind me of my childhood, spent in Germany.

In the morning, I had bought baby eggplants at the Farmer’s Market, the size of my pinky finger. I was eager to try them.

“Just sauté them with oil and some garlic,” the eggplant’s grower advised.


Baby eggplants
Wiener Schnitzel (Veal Escalope)
Wine: Oyster Bay Pinot Noir, 2008
Dessert: Biscotti

Recipe: Baby eggplant
Olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
about ¾ pounds of baby eggplants, green top removed, washed and dried
Salt and pepper

I sautéed the garlic in hot oil and removed them just before they turned brown. Next, I sautéed the eggplants for about 20 minutes, returned the garlic, seasoned the dish and covered it to keep warm.

Recipe Veal Escalope

6 oz. veal escalope, pounded evenly
Salt, pepper, and Pimentòn de la Vera
Flour to dust
1 egg yolk, beaten
about ¼ cup of bread crumbs
2 lemon slices
Chopped parsley for garnish

I seasoned the veal, dusted it lightly with flour, dunked it in the egg wash, and turned it in the breadcrumbs until well coated. (This could be made ahead of time and refrigerated till ready to use.) I heated the butter in a skillet and sautéed the veal until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. I transferred the veal to a plate, poured the remaining hot butter over it, and dressed it with the lemon and parsley.

The veal was perfectly cooked, but it was shy on flavor and would have benefited from some anchovy butter. I popped the cute looking eggplants into my mouth, which was rather fun. But, they tasted nothing like eggplants and had little flavor. I obviously had missed something here and could use some suggestions.

The dinner was a pleasant experiment. The light and fruity New Zealand Pinot Noir tight it nicely together.


Marie Simmons said...

Helen: I love baby eggplants. So sweet and creamy! Thanks for the idea of adding smoked paprika to the veal. I use it alot of fish and even used it to flavor tomatoes for steamed mussels. Gosh, what did I do before smoked paprika. Thanks for the new ideas for working it into even more dishes. What lovely menus you create.

I'm happy to hear that George is slowly improving. Please give him my fondest regards. It is great that you are cooking for yourself. I find it therapeutic, too. When I feel tense or agitated I automatically go to the kitchen. Something about working with my hands gives my mind time to work things out. I once heard this proverb: Working with the hands frees the mind for other things.

Our Daily Dinner said...


Would love to hear how you handle those baby eggplants. Helps to be of Italian background, I'm sure. Something I cannot claim.

Never realized how relaxing and productive cooking is until now. Presently I have two thoughts: George and what I'm going to cook for dinner.