German Food: Schnitzel, Spätzle and a Chanterelle Sauce


Schnitzel, Spätzle with a Chanterelle Velvet Sauce – a Teutonic masterpiece!

600 g pork (cut from the backside), thinly sliced into Schnitzel portions
500 g fresh chanterelle mushroms (Giroles)
2 shalots
1 garlic clove
Fresh Tarragon
250 ml whipping cream
100 ml vegetable stock
50 ml white wine
500 g dried Spätzle or fresh homemade Spätzle
white and black pepper

This dish is a  good example for traditional and seasonal German cooking. Every housewife in Germany knows how to cook this, every Gasthaus out there in the woods serves it now and every supermarket features baskets of Chanterelles as they’re in full season.

This dish is somewhat centered around the flavourful and pretty seasonal Chanterelle mushroom.
G. eyes them with much suspicion. Lithuania seems to be the motherland of Chanterelles, to the Hippies and Green-freaks this portrays a big, massive minus. Wild-growing produce from the Eastern Block is somewhat considered unsafe among this group of head-shaking die-hards. Think of Chernobyl, think of the cloud…
Me, I don’t care. The cloud disappeared long ago and I shall be enjoying shrooms when they’re in season. Even more so when it comes to Chanterelles. My favourite!

The Chanterelle is a little (swear word) when it comes to cleaning. Caked in sand and pine needles, this little (swear word) doesn’t let go of its dirt that readily. You have to coax it out gently.

So, how do you clean Chanterelles?

Take 2 Tbsp of flour per 500g of mushrooms, as well as water.

1. Dust the mushroom with the flour, be careful and don’t use too much.

2. Place the mushrooms in a colander and shake gently. The flour binds the dirt particles which can then be shaken off easily

4. Put the mushrooms in a bowl of cold water and rinse gently, make sure the mushrooms don’t soak up too much water

5. rinse under running water before placing the mushrooms on a cloth to dry. Pick through the mushrooms again to make sure all the dirt is gone and trim the ends.

Schnitzel – without the breadcrumbs (because the sauce is so rich)

Loving the good old Schnitzel is in every German’s DNA. We just come this way, unable to resist those crispy, breaded yummy bites of meat, eaten with a splash of lemon to help to cut through the fat.
Here I’d like to say, that I think it might be down to the Schnitzel that Germans have not entirely lost out on the international food scene. Despite a wealth of amazing foods stemming from this not so humble country, the Schnitzel is the only one that gets recreated at least halfway decent across the world. Something I can’t say about the sausage. You see, I am considering the Schnitzel a German thing. Austrians might disagree strongly here. But I don’t care. The pork Schnitzel is German!

This dish comes minus the breadcrumbs. This is not a wrong or un-German thing. Germans call it Schnitzel Natur. As in ‘natural Schnitzle’. It needs to be cooked this way when your dish involves a rich buttery and/or creamy sauce, such as the aforementioned velvet-sauce.

1. To make Schnitzel Natur, you have to buy some pretty lean pork, pound it with a meat-pounder until it is nice and thin, and season it lightly with ground white pepper and salt.

2. Prepare a plate of seasoned flour (salt, ground white pepper) and dust your pork lightly. Make sure no lumps of flour form on the meat.

3. Fry the meat in a super-hot mix of oil (2/3) and butter (1/3) until crispy brown on both sides. The meat is covered in oil and butter during the frying process.

4. Prepare the onion and Tarragon for the Chanterelle velvet-sauce. Cut the onion into tiny cubes, chop the Tarragon finely.

Fry the Chanterelles on a very high heat until you can hear a ‘whistling’ sound. Add the onion a little later to avoid burning. Turn the heat down and add the garlic. Leave the vegetables to cook for 2 minutes before adding the white wine. Make sure all the wine has evaporated until pouring in some hot stock. Leave to simmer for another 3 minutes, then add half of the whipping cream and the Tarragon. Whip the other half of the cream until stiff and set aside.

5. Add the Spaetzle to a pot of boiling water, this is a typical Swabian brand – as good as homemade!

6. Just before serving, add the whipped cream, Tarragon, some more salt and pepper to the sauce.

Assemble the three components of the dish. Schnitzel, A small pile of Spätzle and top it off with the Chanterelle velvet-sauce.