I realise as I write this that the title doesn't exactly conjure up the best image. And in truth I didn't know whether to blog about this rather ordinary meal that I make from time to time but I know that many of you like it when I do simple dishes. I mentioned this to my husband who reminded me that the Schnitzel was one of his favourite dishes. He also reminded me (chuckling), how I had only made a small batch of these potatoes at a dinner party once and it almost caused a riot among the men folk. It's the closest this usually refined bunch of men came to blows they loved them so much.
That reminded me of how the males of the species, and I don't mean the avowed foodies but more the regular type of male just loves having something simple and substantial to eat. Forget haute cuisine, there's nothing more horrifying to this kind of man to be served a minimalist plate. Serve them potatoes, done with a delicious butter and oil crisp and you'll win their heart.
The schnitzel is good but the star here are the potatoes most definitely. The reason why I've specified so many potatoes per person? Because they will ask for more. Trust me.
Schnitzel and Smashed Potatoes
4x100g fillets (you can buy already pounded schnitzel fillets or pound them yourself). You can use chicken, pork, veal or beef
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano reggiano
1/3 cup plain all purpose flour
oil for pan frying
Lemon wedge for serving
For Smashed Potatoes
30 cocktail/chat potatoes (about 4cms long)
75g butter melted
5 tablespoons oil
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Prick a hole into each potato and steam until softish but not extremely soft. I usually cook them in a covered bowl in the microwave with an inch of water for 10 minutes.
"Smashed" potatoes drizzled with butter and oil
Step 2 - Drain potatoes and place on a lined baking tray. Using a potato masher, gently and I mean gently, push down onto the potatoes so that they collapse but still keep their shape at the bottom. Combine melted butter and oil and spoon and spoon over the potatoes and bake on the top shelf of the oven for 30-40 minutes until golden and the bottoms are crispy. Season with salt and put aside.
The dipping and crumbing assembly line
Step 3 - Meanwhile while the potatoes are baking, you can pound the fillets until they are thin with a meat mallet if they are not already pounded. On one plate, spread out the flour, in a bowl break the egg and whisk lightly and on a plate, spread out breadcrumbs mixed with reggiano. Prepare a tray with cling wrap to put the schnitzels on.
The schnitzels ready to fry
Step 4 - Press each fillet into the flour and shake off excess flour. Then dip gently into the egg and then press onto breadcrumb mixture. Then place on the tray and rest and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
Step 5 - Heat oil in frypan and cook each fillet until golden and then turn over. Add more oil if necessary. When cooked, serve with some smahsed potatoes.