Sunday, September 26, 2010

Project Food Blog Challenge #2- The Classics

First of all, thank you to everyone who voted for me last week. I made it to round 2! And if talking about my family and my blog were a challenge, well this is quite a bit more of a challenge. When I saw that the requirement for round 2 of Project Food Blog was to tackle a classic dish from another cuisine, my mind started racing. I want to participate in the challenges, but I also know the palettes of the boys I cook for. I want to stretch all of us a bit, but I also want them to eat.

I've never been anywhere. Seriously. So I didn't have a region of the world to draw inspiration from. I emailed a friend who's family serves as missionaries in Russia. I figured she has first-hand knowledge of Russian cuisine, something I am completely unfamiliar with. However, when I saw that I only had two days and a (very) limited grocery budget to work with, I decided to look for a meal that would incorporate ingredients I already had on-hand. My husband spent about 3 weeks in Germany before we started dating, so I thought that would be the way to go. (And it seems only appropriate, seeing as how Oktoberfest is going on right now.) I'm pretty sure he ate nothing but sausages, beer, and Pizza Hut while he was there, so he wasn't much help in the "classics" department (though I admit he understood what I was making once I revealed the menu). I grabbed my trusty Joy of Cooking and let it guide me to a meal that, while maybe didn't stretch our taste buds too much, did allow me to stretch my culinary muscles just a bit.
Schnitzel and Kartoffelklösse (Potato Dumplings)
adapted from Joy of Cooking
1 pound boneless pork sirloin chops, pounded to less than 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup flour, spread on a plate
2 large eggs, beaten with 1 tbs milk, on separate plate
2 cups fresh bread crumbs, spread on 3rd plate
3 tbs vegetable oil or butter, or a combination of both
lemon wedges for serving, optional

Heat oven to 180. Season pork with salt and pepper. Dredge pork lightly in flour, shaking off excess. Drip into egg mixture, then coat with crumbs, pressing down on the crumbs slightly to let them adhere. Heat oil and/or butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pork in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan, until nicely browned, 1- 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove to paper towels to drain, them keep warm on a platter in the oven. Add more butter or oil to the pan as needed to cook the other batches. Sprinkle the pork with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Potato Dumplings
3 medium baking potatoes, scrubbed
1 large egg
1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
2-3 quarts water, seasoned with 1 tbs salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling water until tender. Drain, cool, and peel. Push them through a potato ricer or force through a sieve with the back of a spoon. (My husband had the genius idea to use the bottom of a glass to push the potato through. Much easier!) Combine with the egg, flour, and salt. Stir with a fork just until blended and fluffy. Gently shape into 1-inch balls. Bring water to simmer in a large pot. Drop dumplings into water and cook for 10 minutes. Drain.
Stir together melted butter and bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the dumplings and serve.
(Sadly, the 3 dumplings you see pictured are the only ones I could salvage. The rest turned into potato soup. So, add more flour if your dumplings seem too wet.)


  1. Schnitzel is a classic! The dumplings do look tricky.

  2. looks like it turned out great! i'll have to get back to you on something Russian - something that you could make and that would actually taste good. A tall order.

  3. Good luck!! I think the dish looks great. And boy do I know how it can be hard to cook for a family. I think its partly why I'm not such a creative and great cook myself. ;)

  4. I've never been outside the US... that said I served a mission in Maryland and had companions from Germany, France, Brasil and Columbia. I also met people from over 70 countries...
    These look delicious - I voted for you... Good Luck!

  5. Voted for you and good luck with PFB :)

    I would like to invite you to participate in my giveaway

    Here is my entry for PFB

  6. Looks so good it's makes me want to buy a Buick Lacrosse.