One of Austrians and Bavarians childhood favorites is Wienerschnitzel, a great fit for the Oktoberfest festival. Oktoberfest has a long tradition and is known as the largest Volksfest (People’s Fair) in the world. It is an annual event held in Munich, Germany, with lots of local beer and Bavarian music.
This is how it all started:
On October 12, 1810, when Kronprinz Ludwig married Princess Therese, the people of Munich where invited to the festivities, held on the fields in front of the Munich city gates to celebrate the royal event. The fields where named “Theresienwiesn,” which translates to Theresa’s Meadow, after Princess Therese. The locals have since changed the name to the simple word, “Wiesn.”
In 1887, the opening Oktoberfest of food and breweries began when Hans Steyrer first marched from his meadow to the Tegernseer Landstrasse with his staff, a brass band and a load of beer to the Theresienwiesn.
This year, Oktoberfest in Munich runs from September 16 to October 3. The event spreads over 100 acres with 14 large tents for a capacity crowd of 1,000 to 8,500 people per tent. There are 6.5 million visitors each year, and they will consume more than 2 million gallons of beer during Oktoberfest.
Classic Wienerschnitzel with Cucumber Salad and Buttered Scallion Green Pea Rice
Serves 4 people
8 2-oz. lean pork medallions (chicken or turkey)
3 eggs–slightly beaten
1 cup flour
2 cups bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups grape seed oil
- Using a mallet, pound the pork medallions into thin scaloppini
- Season the medallions with salt and pepper, dredge in the flour on all sides, then into the eggs and, finally, in the bread crumbs. Repeat with rest of medallions
- Heat the oil in a skillet to about 350 degrees and cook the breaded schnitzel for about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown
- Set aside on a paper towel to drain all excess oil
- Serve with lemon and lingonberry marmalade
Chef Lageder’s Cooking Tips and Tricks: to check the right temperature of the oil, drop a few bread crumbs into the hot oil. If the oil foams slightly, the oil is hot enough to fry the schnitzel. Wienerschnitzel is served traditionally in Austria with a side of lingonberry marmalade and lemon.
2 large hothouse cucumbers
½ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
pepper to taste
- Slice the cucumber very thin, preferably using a mandolin
- In a bowl, mix all ingredients, season with pepper and set aside
Chef Lageder’s Cooking Tips and Tricks: I prefer not to use any oil in my cucumber salad. Seasoned rice wine vinegar is perfectly sweet and salty, so there is no need to add additional salt. Best to marinate for one hour and served chilled.
Buttered Scallion Green Pea Rice
4 cups pre-steamed short grain rice
¼ stick unsalted butter
½ cup chopped scallions
1 cup green peas, defrosted
Salt and pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat
- Add the scallions and green peas, stir for about one minute
- Add the rice, toss carefully, season with salt and pepper
- May add little water to prevent the rice from being too sticky
Chef Lageder’s Cooking Trips and Tricks: Remove the grape seed oil from the schnitzel pan and sauté the scallions, green peas and rice in the same pan. The remaining roasted breadcrumbs in the pan add a great flavor.