Lunchbreak: Hofbrauhaus Chicago chef Klaus Lotter makes Jagerschnitzel

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Data pix.
Klaus Lotter

Hofbrauhaus Chicago
5500 Park Place



4 boneless pork chops, approximately 8 oz each
salt and pepper
1 cup flour
8 slices applewood smoked bacon

Mushroom Sauce

16 oz domestic mushrooms, sliced
1 cup onions, chopped
2 Tbs cooking oil
2 Tbs porcini powder
1/2 stick butter or margarine
1/2 cup flour
1 cup half and half
1 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Spatzle Batter

6 whole eggs
4 cups flour
2 Tbs salt
1 tsp white pepper
1 pinch nutmeg, ground

It is best to begin with making the spatzle batter. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add flour, salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Mix in 6 well beaten eggs and incorporate until batter is smooth. Whip air into the batter by forcefully mixing the batter. This can also be done using a standard kitchen mixer or perhaps cake beater attachment. Once mixed, batter should be somewhat firm but fluid enough to be pressed through a spatzle press, potato ricer or a special slide with small holes.  Let batter rest for 15 minutes. In meantime, set on a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil, set down to a simmer.

For the mushroom gravy, in a medium sauce pot, sauté in cooking oil, the small diced onions over medium-high heat until glassy. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté continually until they begin to take on a little color. Add porcini powder and butter, stir until melted. Reduce heat to low and stir in flour to create the roux. Stir until smooth. Slowly add half and half along with the milk and stir until incorporated with the flour roux. Cook on low until the mushroom sauce cooks to a thick gravy. Add additional milk if too thick. Season well with salt and pepper. Add chopped parsley just before serving.  Set aside and keep warm.

To cook the spatzle, use cooking non-stick spray on whichever device you choose to use. With the seasoned water simmering, scoop up enough batter to fill press 3/4 the way full. Pull top down over batter and press the batter through halfway. Dip press bottom into the water and back out, to separate the strands of batter and let fall. Press through remaining batter. Let water come to a boil again and stir spatzle noodles slightly to keep separated. Once cooking for about a minute, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Continue process until all of the batter is pressed through. At this point, you can either shock down in ice water and sauté with butter just before serving or serve immediately.

For the pork cutlets and bacon, cook bacon slices crisp in a fry pan on both sides and set aside. Take the pork cutlets and, using a meat tenderizer, pound out slightly until about a 1/2 inch thick and uniform. This helps with even cooking. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Season the flour slightly with salt and pepper and lightly dredge pork cutlets with-in. Pan fry for about 3 minutes on both sides until the pork is just cooked through.

Spoon a portion of spatzle on top half of plate, place one cutlet on bottom half and spoon mushroom gravy over. Top with crisp bacon.

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