Friday, March 4, 2011

Healthy Dinners: A German Inspired Meal!

Be sure to add a spritz or two of lemon to your schnitzel when serving it!
 Since Saint Patrick's Day is coming up, I will have to share some Irish fare with you all very soon, but tonight, let's make a guaranteed crowd pleaser.  Now, I have to admit, I am neither German, nor Irish, but my mother made this for as long as I can remember and I luckily got her recipes!

Do you use a lot of your own parents recipes?  I find, especially here in the Midwest, that lots of us use the cooking we learned in our parents kitchens.  It's kind of a neat tradition and I hope my own kids will want to learn my mother and I's recipes in time.  It's something i'd like to see continue on in any family.

I must say that I am proud of my families committed effort to eat more healthfully, and to eat as many meals together as possible.  The dinner table is one of the most important places for a family to reconnect, each and every day.  How do you get your family around the dinner table?  Leave us comments to let us know your own family's dinner routines and whether you've been enjoying our recipes!

My husband is of Nordic-German descent, and his parents' families are proud of their German cuisine.  I find a lot of it heavy, so I try to lighten it up a bit by serving a side salad, or this recipe that has been passed around the blogging world as one of the best broccoli recipes ever.  It really is amazing, I can even get my kiddos to chomp into it.  So, tonight, let's dig into some Roasted Broccoli, Pork Schnitzel, and homemade Spaetzle!

Roasted Broccoli

-2 large heads of broccoli, cut into bit sized florets
-2 crushed and minced cloves of garlic
-2-3 Tbs Olive Oil
-1 large lemon, zested and juiced
-2-3 Tbs grated, fresh Parmesan
-2-3 Tbs pine nuts (can be omitted)
-Salt and pepper to taste

This recipe is fairly simple.  Heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Toss your broccoli with the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and zest.  Spread it out on a baking sheet that has been covered in aluminum foil.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan and pine nuts.  Roast 20-30 minutes.

Yum! Carb goodness!

-1 egg
-1 Tbs shortening
-1/2 C milk
-1 1/4 C flour
-1 1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp baking powder

In a mixing bowl, blend shortening, milk, and egg together.  In another bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder together.  Blend dry ingredients into wet and set aside while you bring a pan of water to boil (be sure to add salt).  

You'll want 6-8 cups of water to boil, minimum.  Take the bowl of spaetzle dough and gently tip it over the boiling water.  Using a sharp knife, gently pour and cut off chunks of the dough into as large or small of chunks as you prefer.  I usually make mine about an inch in size.  

When the spaetzle pieces float to the surfaces, they are done.  Drain well, and serve with plenty of butter, salt, and pepper.

Pork Schnitzel

-6 boneless pork loin chops (1/2 inch thick, 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/3 cup all-purpose flour
-1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
-1 egg
-1/4 cup milk
-3 Tbs olive oil

Place chops between 2 sheets of waxed paper. With meat mallet or rolling pin, pound to 1/8-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt.
Measure flour and bread crumbs onto separate sheets of waxed paper. Whisk together egg and milk in bowl. Lightly coat cutlets in flour, shaking off excess; dip in egg mixture, then into bread crumbs, pressing crumbs to coat.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add cutlets to skillet; cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove cutlets to warm platter. Serve immediately.

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