Schnitzel or Weiner (Vienna) Schnitzel is a traditional dish from Vienna. Unfortunately the dish is made up of thin escalopes of veal, egg and bread crumbed and then pan fried.
I had been making an aubergine schnitzel for years and then a couple of years ago I realised that when butternut squash was fried or griddled on a hotplate it not only sweetens in flavour but it stays quite firm and, if cut thick enough, holds its shape well. I knew right then I could make a stuffed vegetarian version of the schnitzel.
Schnitzel, in German, apparently means cutlet without bones. Well this veggie version is a cutlet without the slices of 35 week old calf also.
As you can see in the image above on this menu at the Sky apple cafe I have been serving the schnitzel with noodles and a paprika sauce. However, I just ate the schnitzel with my family and served it with potatoes and a crisp salad and it was delicious.
Butternut squash schnitzel
2 medium sized butternut squash
Olive oil for brushing
salt and pepper
100g (4oz) of a strong blue cheese of your choice
mixed seeds such as pumpkin, sesame and sunflower
flour for dipping
1 cup of milk
vegetable oil fro frying
First of all peel the squash with a sturdy potato peeler. Trim off the top and most if not all of the bulbous base and scrape out any leftover seeds. You can use the base in another recipe - it will keep for a few days in the fridge. With a sharp knife trim off the sides to make them flat and then cut the squash in to four lengths. Brush the slices with olive oil and then griddle or pan fry them on a medium heat until cooked all the way through. Season with salt and pepper as you do so.
Place half of the slices on a work surface and and place some of the cheese on each slice. Place a slice on top and push down firmly.
Place the flour in a bowl or plate. Mix the eggs and milk in a bowl and whisk together with a fork. Mix the bread crumbs with seeds and place in another bowl or plate. Season the crumbs with some salt and pepper. Carefully holding the squash sandwiches together dip them in the flour, immerse them in the egg mix and then roll them in the crumbs. Pat them together firmly with your hands.
Heat some vegetable in a frying pan and fry the schnitzels until crispy and golden brown on both sides.
Serve them straight from the pan or if your guests aren't ready you can keep them warm in a low oven for about 30 minutes. If you want you can hold them in the fridge at the bread crumbed stage for up to one day and then fry them when you need them.
Andy the chef