AUSTRIA

The Austrian Triband
COUNTRYAustria
DishesKaiserschmarrn, Schnitzel, Apfelspalten
Time Apfelspalten (20 minutes), Kaiserschmarren (30 minutes), Schnitzel (1 hour)
Effort 7/10 in total
Rough cost £12 in total
COUNTRY Austria
Capital Vienna
Population 8,902,600 (96th biggest)
Land mass 83,879 km2
Languages German (official)
Religions(majority) Catholic

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

We were really spoilt for choice this week, as long as we were not on a diet! Austrian food is hearty and full of flavour. They have a wonderful tradition of baked goods and deserts as well as interesting meat dishes, cheeses and cured meats. As we have not cooked too many sweets so far, I (Mwara) went for the Kaiserscmarrn, or Emperor’s cake, that I have eaten not in Austria but in the South Tyrol. We were sitting on the terrace of a mountain restaurant and the view, as well as the food, was fantastic. I also sneaked in schnitzel for supper as it is a favourite of my husband’s when he is travelling in Germany! My butcher butterflied and flattened a pork loin for me and I can thoroughly recommend doing the same, as it made for a meltingly soft schnitzel. Bridget went for Austrian apple fritters (apfelspalten). These fritters are a breakfast staple, and the best bit is you can use left over batter for pancakes! These were so easy and quick to make, and delicious!

RECIPES

Kaiserschmarrn

If you want to make your own vanilla sugar, get a clean dry Kilner jar or large jam jar and put in a vanilla pod. Cover with caster sugar and leave for a few days. You can keep using the sugar and replacing it for ages – the vanilla pod will keep scenting the sugar. It will have a milder, more natural flavour than shop bought vanilla sugar.

The cherry compote was just a bag of frozen cherries, some sugar to taste and 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice to add a little sour note, cooked together for about 10 mins.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. raisins, soaked in a shot of rum and hot water
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Lemon zest – about 1 tsp
  • 3 tbsp. sugar, or 2 tablespoons regular sugar plus 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar. I was using homemade vanilla sugar and so used 3 tbsp. vanilla sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup flour 
  • 2 tablespoons butter plus extra to finish
  • Icing sugar
  • Fruit compote of choice (I used cherry)

Method

  1. Place the raisins in a small bowl and pour over the rum and hot water. Leave to plump up while you make the pancake.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks, adding a pinch of salt toward the end.
  3. In a separate large bowl, beat the egg yolks, vanilla, optional lemon zest, and sugar until the mixture is light yellow.
  4. Add the milk and flour–a little at a time to avoid lumps–and blend well.
  5. Fold in the egg whites and let the batter rest for about 10 minutes.
  6. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan. I used a large, cast iron skillet. It should be possible to put this pan in the oven.
  7. Stir the batter again gently and pour it into the hot pan.
  8. Sprinkle the drained raisins evenly over the top. I forgot this step, so just sprinkled the raisins over the finished dish, which worked fine. It had the added benefit of allowing people (including a small toddler) to pick off the raisins if they didn’t want any!
  9. Let the pancake cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. Put into a medium hot oven (150oC) for a further 10 minutes, or until cooked. Some recipes have you flip the pancake and cook in the pan – tricky but another option.
  10. Tear the pancake apart into bite-size pieces, add a bit more butter to the pan and fry over a medium heat until some bits are a little bit crispy.
  11. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with a fruit compote of your choice and a strong coffee. Unbelievable good…

Schnitzel

Ingredients

  • 4oz of meat per person – can be pork, chicken or veal
  • Beaten egg (I needed two eggs for 4 schnitzel)
  • Plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • Breadcrumbs (homemade are best)
  • Vegetable oil for frying (sunflower or rapeseed – lightly flavoured)
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Method

  1. Make sure your meat is nice and flat. If you use chicken breasts or are flattening the meat yourself, place between two sheets of Clingfilm and bash with a rolling pin until about 5mm thick. It’s quite good fun!
  2. Set out your breading station – one dish of meat pieces, one dish of seasoned flour, one dish of beaten egg, one dish of breadcrumbs and an empty dish to put the schnitzels on.
  3. To bread the meat: dip both sides in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. At each stage make sure the meat is properly covered. It is a messy process, but very satisfying.
  4. Once all meat pieces are breaded, heat a good layer of oil in a heavy based frying pan or skillet and bring to medium heat. If cooking in batches, it might be a good idea to warm up the oven so you can keep the cooked schnitzel warm until they are all cooked.
  5. Cook the schnitzel on both sides until the crumbs are brown and crispy and the meat is cooked through.
  6. Serve with lemon wedges, salad and potato salad. Nosh Nosh!

Apfelspalten *Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 2 apples
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • *make as much or as little as you want!

Method

  • Wash the apples, then cut them horizontally from top to bottom into slices, removing the seeds and stalk as you go. 
  • Make the batter by whisking one cup of soy milk into one cup of flour, until you have a smooth mix. 
  • Dip the apple slices in the batter, so that they are fully covered
  • Heat up vegetable oil in a frying pan, then add the battered apple slices
  • Cook on a medium to high heat, when the fritters have crisped and browned on the underside, turn them over and cook the other side. 
  •  Each time you fry a new batch of fritters, add more oil. 
  • Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. And enjoy!

Danke and see you in Azerbaijan! M + B

#austria #cuisine #global #travel #vegan #schnitzel

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