Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Omi's Viennese Schnitzel!

Last Saturday, I got to share a part of my childhood with my friends. As a child I lived in Vienna, Austria before. My dad use to co-own a Chinese restaurant and had brought me there with him. It is such a beautiful country with wonderful culture and great tasting food. The baby sitter (who was in her 60s at the time) that took care of me was an extraordinary woman with wonderful cooking and baking talents. Her husband and herself, use to own a restaurant that was well known back in your younger days. She had even won second place at a baking competition before. I called her "Omi", which means grandma in german. I usually eat dinner at my dads restaurant with my dad and his co-owner, along with the co-owners kids but once in a while, Omi would make something for us. My most favorite of all was her Schnitzel. Its basically boneless pork chop pounded down flat and coated with bread crumbs. Then it is pan fried till done. What makes her Schnitzel more special than all the other Schnitzels is that she accompanies it with her special cucumber salad. She also makes either buttered rice with green peas or sometimes just makes some mashed potatoes to sum the dish up.

Since the passing of Omi 8 years ago, this is the dish that connects me to her. The aroma and taste of this dish brings me back to the past when I sat at her dinner table awaiting the Schnitzel to come. The crystal glass cups filled with orange juice sitting on top of her beautiful table linen cloth and her chandelier hanging from above is a memory that I will never forget. The other kids and I would talk about how great the smell of her kitchen was and betting on who would get the bigger piece haha.

My best friends Duyet and John, loves this dish because I’ve made it for them some time ago but Duyet had asked me to make it again. So I did =) I made it for about 10 of my friends and told them my childhood story to it. They were really moved by the taste and the story that went along with it.

My boyfriend helped me pound down the pork chops while I set up the frying station. I made the cucumber salad 3 hours prior because it tastes better with the flavor marinated for some time. Timothy and Henry helped me at the frying station, while the rest of my friends helped set up the table for dinner.

Voila! Here it is! This is the infamous Omi’s Schnitzel! =)

Bottom right is me on my 9th Birthday. The other kids were the ones I use to hang around with. The lovely elder lady sitting in the middle is Omi.