So Tom’s really German. He’s only half by blood, but that blood is fresh and mighty and it dominated his upbringing. In fact, I’m waiting for his mom to send me a photo of a little Tommy in lederhosen (and not as a joke or costume), which I promise to update this post with if I ever receive it. Throw in my half German/Austrian and you end up with two people who have eaten their fair share of pounded-thin-then-breaded meat.
A few weeks ago, we were eating breaded seitan when Tom started talking about eating Wienerschnitzel as a kid, whenever they were in Europe—in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland at least. So we did some research and talked to his mom and came up with our grand plan: a vegan version of the traditional German schnitzel feast.
This took the two of us an hour and a half in the kitchen and a gazillion dishes. But we have a ton of leftovers—and it was fun.
First, the schnitzel itself. We used Vegan Dad’s McChick’n Nuggets recipe, but instead of making little nuggets, we split the seitan into four pieces, stretching them out so they were super thin and friggin’ huge, as Tom’s memory is of the schnitzel taking up the whole plate. We pan-fried these briefly then finished them off in the oven until they firmed up. Note: Next time I would skip the second round of breading. The lemon here isn’t food-styling, it’s for squirting lemon juice on your schnitzel before eating it. Don’t question me. Just do it. The flavor works.
Then, the potatoes. We used red potatoes with little care as to how traditional they were. However, the cooking method of boiling the cut-up potatoes then pan-frying them with onion was adhered to, as was the addition of parsley. So they’re really soft and get sorta mussed up during the frying.
Finally, the Rotkohl (red cabbage). I had never eaten cooked red cabbage before in my life so I had no idea what I was doing. Tom’s mom mentioned cooking it with applesauce, so I went online to search for guidelines/recipes. Combining a few, I ended up with the following recipe. Keep in mind that after eating it, I would leave out the sugar. Also, I cooked this for 45 minutes—next time it’d be more like 30.
•2 T oil
•1 med. onion, thinly sliced
•1 fairly small cabbage (around 2.5 pounds whole), shredded
•2 T apple cider vinegar
•1 t sugar
•½ c applesauce
•1 c broth or water
•salt to taste
Sauté onion in oil for a few minutes in a big ol’ pot. Then add cabbage and vinegar (the vinegar helps keep the color bright). Sprinkle with salt and sugar, then add applesauce and broth. Cover and cook 45-60 minutes. This should be tender, not totally limp and lifeless and horrible and all those negative things you may think of when you think about cabbage.