Chicken Schnitzel with Mushroom Gravy & Spaetzle

Yesterday, we went to Philadelphia to see our oldest son, Robert.  We hoped it would be a beautiful day so we could walk around the city, but the weather just did not cooperate.  It doesn’t really matter that much to us though, as we were happy to just be down there with him.  Our youngest niece Stephanie was looking at colleges, hard to imagine that she’s college bound, and one college was in Philadelphia.  We made arrangements to meet up with her family and share the beauty of this city with them. We had a lovely day at my son’s home and a delicious lunch.

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Robert’s street in Philadelphia

Stephanie is my youngest niece and the youngest grandchild in our family.   This week, she received an award from her high school – Heart of  a Champion – for her work in her high school marching band.  When she sent me a photograph of her award, I told her that receiving an award like that says a lot about her character.  There are so many people in this world who find it impossible to be kind to others.  In my opinion, being recognized for having a strong heart is worth more than anything else.  How we treat others says a lot about who we are and who we want to be. Obviously, my niece has received a good foundation from her parents and is ready to now leave the nest.   I look forward to hearing about her final college selection and we wish her well these next four years.  My three children will tell you going away to college was the best growth experience of their lives and one they treasured.

Stephanie
Stephanie 2005, youngest in the family

Today, I need to get myself ready to return to work following my mid-winter break.  I planned to work this week, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me.  I ended up being home all week and once that happens, I settle in to a nesting routine.  The weather wasn’t great so it was easy to just relax at home.  We had some delicious meals and binged on some great shows.  I read a few books and now that it’s over, it’s time to get back to my normal routine.  Cooking a few meals today to prepare for the week helped me get myself ready.

A few weeks back, when we had a snowstorm, I posted photographs of our storm meal – Chicken Schnitzel with Mushroom Gravy and Spaetzle.

I shared the recipe with those who asked and today decided it was time to make it again.  It’s super simple and delicious.  As it poured outside, I was happy to have all the necessary ingredients on hand. Cooking in pajamas is quite fun!

Chicken Schnitzel with Mushroom Gravy & Spaetzle
Mushroom Gravy
Ingredients:
  • Unsalted butter
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced (Can use white mushrooms too)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup of white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Pour a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and turn on Alexa for dancing in the kitchen.02F8F623-B328-4DB5-A6D9-09A4B7885D0A
  2. Heat butter over medium-high heat in a medium skillet
  3. Saute onions for about 4 minutes
  4. Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute.
  5. Add the mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes.E87D5AD5-4B28-47E0-8E10-2D553BF75552
  6. Add the wine, stirring to deglaze the pot and combine with the flour
  7. Add the stock, and stir until it thickens.
  8. Bring to boil, then reduce heat
  9. Stir in the mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
  10. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Cook for about 10 minutes on low heat, thickening if necessary.
  12.  Cover and set aside, keeping warm

SCHNITZEL Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 tsp hungarian sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of caraway seeds

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet
  2. Thin slice chicken if not already thin.  Place between two pieces of Saran wrap and pound the cutlet with your rolling pin.FF8D5637-9D8D-42E1-BA0E-944A34029579
  3. Place the flour in one bowl, eggs in another and panko in a third with paprika and caraway seeds.
  4. Place each cutlet in the flour, then dip into the egg, then dredge in the panko mix.6E806D4C-DE27-4C65-8955-1DDA6271B11D
  5. Fry each cutlet about 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
  6. Serve with gravy poured over top and spaetzle.

Spaetzle Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in bowl.  Mix together to form dough.
  • Place dough in spaetzle maker over pot of boiling waterC2CA7D5F-10BC-4F80-9580-4BBD0320C165
  • Cook until spaetzle rises to top (2 minutes)
  • Remove from water and serve immediately5473D0F3-1062-40F6-BFAB-82885A4E7577

This recipe made enough to serve 4 people.  I served it with spinach.  The food reheats beautifully for lunch and a quick dinner during the week.  If you try it, please let me know how you like it.

If you have a recipe you’d like to share, please send me a note below.  I’d love to hear the story of your family recipe and try it out.  We can feature your recipe on an upcoming blog, along with your story and memories.  We love trying out new recipes and hearing the stories attached.

 

 

Memory Lane

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Maria & Ludwig

My grandmother Maria was one tough lady.   She had very strong opinions and made them known.   She came to this country with my grandfather Ludwig.  They raised their twins, my mother Else and her brother Walter, in Ridgewood, NY.  My mother and her brother were staying with Maria in Germany at the start of WWII.  Thankfully, they got out in time and returned to life in America.   At that time in New York, Germans were not always made to feel welcome in this country and my mother told stories of being treated unkindly at school.

One piece of Maria’s culture that was passed on to my cousins and I was the art of traditional German cooking.   All of us learned, from watching and helping, how to cook these treasured family recipes.  All of us still produce the holiday meals of our past, though not together anymore sadly.

This past week has found me stuck inside the house, but there are no complaints here. Whenever I’m home, I love to stay in my pajamas all day, read and cook – and maybe have a glass or two of wine.   Nothing soothes the soul like the foods from our childhood.  Food stirs up so many memories of my past through smell, taste and the process of creating these meals feels like being wrapped in love.  Today, I’m making goulash using my updated version of Maria’s recipe.   You see, like most of her generation, Maria never wrote down any recipes.  Else, my mother, tried to replicate the recipes and added her touch to them.  My Aunt Agnes added her input to the recipes along the way. Now, my cousins and I have taken over and added our own tweaks.

 

 

 

 

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The cousins 2017

Here’s the most recent version of Maria’s Goulash. If you make it, let me know how you liked it.

Ingredients:
  • 3 – 4 slices of bacon chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped fine
  • 1 celery stalk chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • Szeged Sweet Paprika Seasoning Spice

  • 2 teaspoons whole caraway seeds
  • 2 pounds grass-fed bottom round beef, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cup bone broth (I use chicken as I prefer the taste)
  • 1 bottle beer (nice German lager)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
Directions:
  1. Pour a glass of wine for the chef, turn on Alexa for dancing in the kitchen3696CC4B-0446-4256-ABF1-53FED1C597C4
  2. Heat the oven to 275 F.
  3. Brown the bacon in a Dutch oven on the stove over medium heat. Once brown remove with slotted spoon and set aside.  399E90FA-26F5-479F-B365-35D9E2755D60
  4. Put meat in storage bag with 1 cup of flour.  Shake to coat the meat evenly.  Place the meat in the cast iron pan with bacon drippings over medium heat.  Stir to brown the meat evenly.  If you need to, add a bit of olive oil to prevent the meat from sticking, but don’t worry it just makes the gravy taste  better.  Once brown, remove the meat and set aside.61B5DF50-0541-4D23-8F67-61E55583C4AE
  5. Put 2 tbs unsalted butter in the same pan (no need to clean in between steps) and  toss in the chopped onion and celery.  Simmer for about 4 minutes.   Turn down the heat to medium-low and continue cooking the onion, stirring from time to time, until the onion browns and begins to caramelize at its edges – about 20 minutes further.FF1126B2-D402-4FED-B78E-63F7918DCE2A
  6. Stir the paprika and caraway seeds into the onion, and then stir in the bottle of beer to deglaze the pot.  Use your wooden spoon to remove any drippings and release back into the sauce. Reduce heat.
  7. Add the cubed beef, broth and vinegar to the pot and continue to stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.  If you want some spice add a dash of red pepper flakes.E3A8A963-D571-427A-BE51-39E1ACA9FEA7
  8. Cover the pot and place in the oven.
  9. Cook 2 1/2 hours, then add the carrots and stir.  Cook another hour, or until meat is tender.  The longer the better!  Add additional broth as needed if it thickens too much, but remember it is not soup.
Spaetzle:
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup of flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup of milk
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt – optional
Consistency if dough is softer than pasta dough.  It should be pliable.
Though I have an old metal spaetzle press, I rarely use it anymore.  It was hard to press and clean.  This very inexpensive machine has been a lifesaver.  Super easy to use and clean.  Highly recommended.  Click on the picture to see the details.  Fits perfectly on top of my stock pot.

Directions:
  1. Mix flour, salt and nutmeg in a bowl.
  2. Beat the two eggs and add to the flour mix.
  3. Using a fork mix together until thoroughly mixed, and fine bubbles begin to appear.
  4. Heat a stock pot full of water to a boil.  Transfer the spaetzle batter into the spaetzle press over the pot.
  5. Press the batter through into the boiling water.
  6. Remover the spaetzle with a large slotted spoor, or drain in colander when it begins to float.  Only takes a few minutes.

Plate the spaetzle in a large pasta bowl.  Top with goulash.  Enjoy this meal with an ice cold German beer, or a nice glass of red wine.

What recipes do you make that are family treasures?  Please leave a message below and I’ll give the a try.