Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ah, the Aroma of Baking Bread! And Another German Recipe

Since tomorrow is another negotiations day, I’m baking bread again. I had wanted to give them all some Double Cranberry Orange Bread, but the grocery store is out of cranberries. So I went through my recipes for something they hadn’t had yet, and came up with Nut and Raisin Bran Bread. The only sweeteners in it are the molasses and raisins, so I’m not sure how sweet it will be.

Raisin Bran Bread

1 2/3 c whole wheat flour
1 c wheat bran
1/4 c nine-grain cereal
2 T ground flaxseed
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 c lowfat milk
1/2 c molasses
2 T walnut or vegetable oil
1 T lemon juice
1/2 - 3/4 c raisins
1/2 - 3/4 c chopped pecans or walnuts

Place the flour, wheat bran, cereal, flaxseed and baking soda in a large bowl, and stir to mix well. Place the milk, molasses, oil, and lemon juice in a medium-sized bowl, and stir to mix well. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in the raisins. Coat an 8x8x4" loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the batter evenly in the pan, and bake at 325˚ for about 50 minutes, or just until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake. Remove the loaf from the oven, and let sit for 15 minutes. Invert the loaf onto a wire rack, turn right side up, and cool to room temperature. Wrap the loaf in plastic wrap or foil, and allow to sit for several hours before slicing and serving. (This will give the loaf a softer, moister crust.)

Today was our Rep Council Meeting, so I was later coming home than usual. Since I hadn’t planned ahead for dinner, like something in the crockpot, or meat out to thaw, I settled on grilled cheese and soup for dinner. I let DH choose: Split Pea or Bean with Bacon? He chose the BwB. He sprinkles dried chipotle chili flakes on his; I put bits of cheddar cheese in mine. That was it. Simple, quick dinner.

Great news! Our 24-year-old daughter just signed a lease on an apartment, and is moving out in one week! She’s so happy; so are we. Three years ago she was laid off from a very good job, and was forced to move in with us. During the 6 months on unemployment, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis , and has fought long and hard to learn how to live with it. In September, two good things happened. First, the FDA approved a new treatment for ulcerative and Crohn’s disease, infusions of Remicade, an arthritis drug. She goes every 8 weeks for the infusions. Second, she was hired at Morongo Casino to be a key person (if you win a jackpot, she’s the one who comes and gives you your money). The job pays well, enough for her to afford an apartment. Full health benefits kicked in on January 1st, and she also gets life insurance, disability insurance, and a 401(k). Her health has improved enough for her to hold down this wonderful job, and now she gets to move back out. How wonderful for her!

I told her I was writing about her, and asked her for her favorite German recipe. (She’s my “German” daughter–born in Frankfurt when we were stationed at Rhein-Main Air Base.) She selected Zigeuner Schnitzel. Most recipes I’ve seen for Zigeuner sauce include only bell peppers and onions. I like to think that mine’s more authentic, since I copied the sauce served at the Zigeuner-Eiche, a restaurant we frequented in Mörfelden-Walldorf about two miles from our house. One of the critical ingredients is the German pickle mixture. It’s called Krüegermann Mixed Pickled-Salad (Kruegermann Products), and has the right flavor for this sauce. It can be bought at military commissaries, which is where I bought mine, or at German food stores (such as George’s Market in Calimesa, near my office).

Zigeuner (Gypsy) Schnitzel

The Schnitzel:

4-6 thin boneless pork chops or pork sirloins
1 c flour
3 eggs
1/3-1/2 cup milk
2 c bread crumbs
1/3 c vegetable oil

The Sauce:

2 T vegetable oil
2 c sliced mushrooms
1/2 sm. onion, sliced vertically
1/2 bell pepper, cut in strips about 1” long
1/4 c flour
1 1/2 c beef broth
1/3 c Kruegermann’s Pickle-Salad Mix
(note: if you can’t get this ingredient, use dill pickles, cut into strips about 1” long)
1 t Kitchen Bouquet browning and seasoning sauce
salt to taste

To Make the Schnitzel: Tenderize the chops or sirloins with a meat mallet. Set out three shallow bowls. In the first, put the flour, which you’ll use to dredge the pork. Next is the eggs and milk, beaten together. Dip the floured pork into this mixture. Put the bread crumbs into the third bowl, and use it to coat the floured and battered pork. Let the pork sit about 15 minutes before frying. Heat the oil in a skillet, and brown the chops on both sides. Serve with the sauce.

To Make the Sauce: Heat oil in saucepan; sauté mushrooms, onion, and bell pepper until tender. Sprinkle with the flour and stir to blend. Cook, stirring, another minute or so. Add beef broth, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Add Kitchen Bouquet (it adds good color and a bit more flavor to the sauce) and pickle-salad mix. Taste and add salt, if necessary. Serve over schnitzel.

DH loves this sauce served over rice, and I love it served over rösti (hash brown potatoes). It’s also commonly served over spätzle, a German noodle-dish. That’s a recipe for another day, one given to me by my mother-in-law, Erika, who taught me some of her German recipes.

GREAT FIND: Utah’s Own Honey Butter Spread. When DH and I were camped at Overton Beach (north arm of Lake Mead) last week, we were treated to a catfish fry. Patty made biscuits, and handed me a bottle of this spread: Honey Butter Spread . It tastes great on biscuits and toast, and has only 5 carbs per serving! It’s not available in California, so I bought 3 bottles at Lin’s Market in Overton.

The bread’s out of the oven, and it looks great. I’ll report tomorrow how it tasted, but it sure does smell wonderful. I hope negotiations go well, too. I’ll settle for lousy bread if we can have good negotiations.



ostwestwind said...

I never made a "Zigeunerschnitzel" myself.
BTW I am 46 years old and mother of two sons, but they are much younger than your children, 10 and 12. Better late than never, uh?

jenny said...

Cyndi, I enjoyed the remnant of your bread for a day and one more breakfast. It was just what I was craving I guess! I am thrilled to find the recipe and the helpful info you shared from the dietician. Dan suggested the gooey chocolate? I know I'm going for that too! All I can say is very, very lucky DH! Love ya! Jenny