Oktoberfest in Taiwan…

imageOktoberfest in Taiwan… Schweineschnitzel (Pork Cutlet) with a side of Country Spatzle and a Bavarian pretzel with my adopted hometown beer, Taiwan Classic.

I love the taste of veal or Weinerschnitzel, but beef is hard to come by in terms of the common US cuts of beef I’m used to. image So I picked up a fresh cut of pork loin from our neighborhood afternoon market and trimmed thin sliced cutlets out of them.  Seasoned bread crumbs is also not a common local  item here in Taiwan but panko is.  So I seasoned the panko with parsley, thyme, oregano and salt and pepper and did the typical flour, egg wash and panko dredge with the pork cutlets then refrigerated overnight.             I  imagehave found that letting the breading set on the meat overnight in the refrigerator lets the breading adheres to the meat better and gives the breading a better crisp when deep frying,  Deep frying immediately after you have breaded the meat sometimes leaves loose gaps between the breading and the meat or reates rising air pockets to the surface of the meat.  The pork from the Scheineschnitzel was tender and sweet and it came amazingly close to tasting like veal with the panko breading on it.  I am just amazed at how sweet tasting and tender the pork in Taiwan is.
imageApple sauce is a great accompaniment with pork.  Made fresh apple sauce by coring and peeling 4 apples.  Diced the apples and placed in a pot of 3/4 cup of boiling water.  imageReduce to simmer while adding a 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 tablespoon of ground cinnamon. Simmer 15-20 minutes or until fork tender.  Let it rest until semi warm, then you can either give it a rustic texture and just mash it with a fork or help it along and puree it with a food processor.

image                      Spatzle is basically German pasta made from flour, eggs and milk.  You spread the semi wet dough mixture through a colander with large enough holes to let the dough pass through and into a simmering pot of water.  imageThe pasta rises to the top quickly and its done.   Drain the pasta into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.  It’s a soft pasta that is great with just butter, or with stews or mixing it together with other ingredients. image

Country Spazle is a favorite dish of mine I did in tribute to my friend Eric Francou who is the Executive Chef at Radegast Biergarden in Williamsburg, NYC where I first tasted this German classic.  I drummed up the extra ingredients to combine it with the spatzl from memory of what I tasted from Eric’s dish and I believe I nailed the taste I was seeking.  In a separate pan I cooked some diced bacon then added shallots, baby corn, mushrooms, then deglazed with white wine, then added broccoli, cauliflower, capers and red pepper flakes.  I then added a couple knobs of butter, then added the spatzle to the pan and thoroughly mixed the spaztle with the other ingredients to incorporate the flavors.image  In a separate bowl I added some shredded mozzarella then add the spatzle mixture and tossed with a spoon to incorporate the shredded mozzarella.  I placed the final mixture  into personal sized baking wares then add a little more mozzarella to the  top then placed in the oven and baked until the cheese was semi golden brown.

image

The Bavarian pretzel is a dough mixture of flour, yeast, olive oil and warm water.  Knead, let it rise then form the pretzel by rolling a line of dough with your hands, take the two end and with a twist in the middle, then attach to the two ends to form the pretzel shape.  imageTo get the acidic texture taste you find in pretzels you drop the pretzel dough in a pot of boiling water with 2/3rd a cup of baking soda for like 20 seconds.  The longer you let it submerged in boiling water the more harder texture your pretzel will become.  You can also just drop then in a bowl of hot water with baking soda for like 10 seconds and you will get your classic soft pretzel texture.  Towel mat dry, then take an egg yolk water mixture to brush the top of the pretzel then sprinkle sea salt on top,  then place on an oiled parchment paper and bake in oven at 475 degrees farenheit until golden brown.

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