Keep breaded foods from absorbing too much oil?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by french fries, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. french fries

    french fries

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    Today I made breaded veal scallopinis. Or wiener schnitzel, or whatever you wish to call it. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    My problem is, I started with a fair amount of oil in the pan (about 1/4" on the entire surface of the pan). After 4 normal size scallopinis, all the oil had disappeared and I had to add more. That seems like an incredible amount of oil to ingest!!!

    Am I doing something wrong? 

    1) S & P veal scallopinis. 

    2) Dredge in flour and tap to shake off extra flour. 

    3) Dip in eggwash and remove extra egg. 

    4) Dip in panko breading making sure it's evenly coated. 

    5) Rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes

    6) flash-shallow fry 30-45 seconds in hot oil on each side in a non-stick pan (I also tried a carbon steel pan, with the same results).

    7) Rest scallopinis a few minutes on cooling rack.

    It seems to me I wasn't using that much oil before I started using panko breading. I thought panko was supposed to absorb less oil though? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/confused.gif

    Note that the resulting breaded scallopinis are very good and don't feel very oily, I'm just scared when I see the amount of oil I'm using, and when I see it all being absorbed by the food I'm about to it. Seems like a LOT. 
     
  2. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Eight to five odds you didn't have the oil hot enough. That's the most usual reason that foods absorb oil.
     
  3. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    You're not doing anything wrong.  It's the nature of panko.  Next time replace at least half the oil with butter.  Cook a little slower, so as not to burn it.   You'll still die of arteriosclerosis, but you'll die happier.  Maybe not.  With you French guys it's always the liver.

    Garnish it (the kalbsschnitzel, not your liver) with a barely fried egg and some good anchovies, Holstein

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011
  4. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Breading is bread.  It sops up oil, there's no getting around that.  If you are worried about the health issue try not breading it.  I've made very good cutlets that are merely dredged in flour, it doesn't drink oil.  Alternatively you could try resting them on paper towels instead of a rack but we all know that drying them on a rack keeps them crispy where as on a towel they'll get soft.

    Or you could even try baking in the oven.  I coat with a seasoned mixture of mayo and mustard and then coat with breadcrumbs and stick in the oven.  No oil necessary.
     
  5. french fries

    french fries

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    OK thanks for the comments, guys. 

    So would you agree that panko absorbs more oil than regular (finer ground) bread crumbs? Because that's definitely what I am experiencing, but I could swear I read the opposite somewhere. 
     
  6. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Not in my experience, BTA, WTHDIK
     
     
  7. french fries

    french fries

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    OK thanks Pete for your comment. I'll experiment some more!
     
  8. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    FF,

    In my experience, bread crumbs do absorb different amounts of oil depending on their freshness and shape. The amount of eggwash and the degree of adhesion can matter too.  If your breading doesn't stick tight to the meat, the meat was probably too moist before it went into the flour (before the eggwash). 

    You might try corn-starch instead of flour as a first step towards a panko finish.  It's a tonkatsu thing.

    Also (forgot to say earlier), your first post indicates you're using too much oil in the pan.  You're not making chicken fried steak.  You don't actually want to shallow fry.  You want a little more butter/oil than you would for a saute -- but not much.  The idea is to toast the crumbs more than to fry them. 

    The three most important factors to a good Milanesa or schnitzel are butter, butter, and more butter.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  9. french fries

    french fries

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    In my experience the finer the breadcrumb, the least oil is absorbed. The breadcrumbs I'm using are always fairly dry. In this case I just purchased a bag of panko crumbs, and had it in a tightly sealed jar for a couple of months. It was very dry and crispy to the touch before cooking. 

    The meat was thoroughly dried before going into the flour. I always scrupulously dry meat before cooking, with paper towels. 

    The eggwash was not diluted - pure egg. Maybe that's where I got lazy that time. Usually I thin it out with a bit of milk or water so less eggwash stays on the meat. That time I didn't bother, so maybe I used a bit too much eggwash?
    One more thing to experiment with. I wonder if one could taste the difference anyway? How would the use of corn starch differ from flour in that particular example?
    You know what's funny? I used to always pan fry breaded foods in only a little oil and butter as you're describing. But I've always seen chefs on videos etc.. do it with much more oil, almost shallow frying. I thought maybe I was being too careful with the amounts of oil I was trying to use and started using more - and in the process stopped using butter to avoid burning it. I need to trust my instincts more, and the chefs on the videos less. 

    However in this case the reason I was putting a fair amount of oil was, if I put less, then only about 20% of the surface of the schnitzels becomes beautifully shiny golden brown, while the remaining 80% stays dry, white, and if I insist on cooking longer the schnitzel becomes overcooked and the breadcrumbs go straight from white to black without going through the golden brown stage. 
    That shouldn't be a problem. Being a true Frenchman, I don't think there's anytime I don't have at least a kg of good quality butter in my fridge. The amount of butter we buy is frightening. 

    Anyway once more, thank you very much for all the insight. Cheers!
     
  10. iceman

    iceman

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    I completely agree w/ KYH. However, I'll go w/ 2:1 odds. This aint'e no rocket surgery difficulty. BDL's points about the butter and corn-starch are really good too. KouKou's suggestion about the "mixture of mayo and mustard", makes me want to gag, but regular people really like the results (I personally can't stand mayo, I'm not a veal person either but that's just me)
     
  11. french fries

    french fries

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    Are you guys poker players or what? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif

    In any case, I've bought some more veal today, I'll try again tomorrow and let you know how it turns out. 
     
  12. indygal

    indygal

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    As much as I have cooked in my lifetime, I have never been much of a fry person.  In fact, I avoided it at all costs.  Just didn't trust myself.   Well, this year, I started to fry and to my surprise, I do it pretty well..   After years of looking at cooking shows, I avoided my previous pitfalls of

    1. crowding the pan, and

    2. not having the right temperature.

    I still have not tried fried chicken, I do my version of "shake and bake" for that.

    So far I have not had any failures, and I've used everything from batter breading to panko, to corn flake breading. I'm quite sure the only reason I've had success is soaking up knowledge from the TV cooking shows.   

    My favorite so far was tempura batter made from a mix I got in the store for morel mushrooms - truly memorable meal.  Looking at the ingredients on the package, it seems to be mainly corn starch and the texture is really wonderful, IMO. (So I'm thinking BDL is onto something)   I was given the mushrooms.  Much as I hike, and hang out in the woods,  I cannot ever find them.  I can trip over one and not see it, in fact.  :(  Other people come home with big bags of them.

    I started out deep frying in a home rectangular cooker.  But I got tired of that fast, I went through too much oil.  So I started to fry with just a little oil in a pan, and frankly, I cannot tell the difference.  Same crispiness, not too much oil, takes about the same time and the pan takes less oil.    

    Now, what I want is Wienerschnizel.  What cut of meat is that?   We have a German restaurant here where they make a weinerschnizel sandwich that is divine.   Served with red cabbage, of course.   edit: Sorry, FF, I just saw that is what you were trying for!   I had no idea Weinerschnbizel was veal!  I thought it was pork of some sort.   :(

    My other "freed food wish list" is *fried* popovers.   When I was a kid we went to a restaurant somewhere on one of the many many trips my father imposed upon us.   They served popovers for breakfast, but they were NOT baked, they were fried in a great big vat. They'd ladel in some dough/batter, and a couple of minutes later serve you a piping hot, crispy, hollow confection that I remember even now, decades later.   You could watch them do it.  They are entirely different and much much better than baked ones, IMO.   They served them with powdered sugar, or you could have them like we did, with butter and syrup.   I've never even heard of anyone else doing this, and I've looked on the web for years.

    DD
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  13. french fries

    french fries

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    Wienerschnitzel means "thin piece of meat from Vienne (Austria)". It is normally expected to be veal, but you can often find pork versions as the inexpensive alternative. 
     
  14. durangojo

    durangojo

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    mexicans make sopapilla which is basicallya light fried puffy dough...they serve them warm with honey on the side....maybe that will be close to what you're thinking of....know this from another thread but gotta say, you must have been one hell of a date for the bf to drop that kinda dough(pun intended)..right on sistah!

    joey
     
  15. iceman

    iceman

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    In Austria, the dish called wiener schnitzel (Viennese schnitzel), is traditionally garnished with a lemon slice and either potato salad or potatoes with parsley and butter. Although the traditional wiener schnitzel is made of veal, it is now often made of pork. In Austria and Germany, the term Wiener Schnitzel is protected by law, and any schnitzel called by that name has to be made from veal.

    Sorry for a serious thread-hyjack here, but I am one of the most anti-veal people there are. Over 96% of all veal produced in the United states come from factory farms. Factory farms to me, are one of the most horrific parts of the entire food industry. I'm sorry, that's just me, and my opinions.

    When I make schnitzel, I do it with pork. I use a nice sized pork loin and slice it thinly (+/- 1/2in/2cm) on the bias. I then pound it out evenly to half of that. Then I hit it w/ the jaccard. The cooking prep may seem way off the reservation, but it comes out nicely. I soak them in buttermilk for an hour or so,  then coat with a 3/2 mix of toasted seasoned fine panko crumbs and sifted a/p flour. I then fry them up in screaming peanut oil. When all the meat is cooked up, deglaze the skillet w/ chx stock and wisk in some of the coating mix to thicken it up. Served w/ lemon slices. YUM-O.      

    for educational purposes (someone's gonna ask):

    jaccard (meat tenderizer)

     [​IMG]       [​IMG]

    pork:

    [​IMG]   [​IMG]
     
  16. mikez

    mikez

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    probably the fat was not hot enough.. also the breading is a good insulator so the meat does not overcook on the outside before the inside has a chance to cook
     
  17. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    French, lol... à bas le panko, vive la chapelure!
     
  18. french fries

    french fries

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    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  19. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Ice is right.  Wienerschnitzel doesn't mean "thin piece of meat," it means "Viennese style schnitzel."  Schnitzel is always cut thin, nearly always but not always pounded, and always breaded.  Schnitzel and escalope are not direct equivalents.  When schnitzel is "Viennese style," it's always veal, breaded, cooked in lard or oil, and served with served with a squeeze.  That's one of those "words have meanings" things.  And as Ice points out the definition is legally controlled term in Europe.

    Veal schnitzel is kalbsschnitzel, and pork schnitzel is schweinschnitzel.  You can schnitzel other meats as well.  

    There are lots of variations on Wienerschnitzel, but they aren't called Wienerschnitzel -- they get their own names, such as Schweinschnitzel Holstein, or Kalbsschnitzel Oskar.  My German, even my restaurant German, is very weak.  If I remember correctly, all schnitzel variants are called schnitzel art (don't quote me).  If I had to choose a favorite it would be Kalbsschnitzel Holstein. 

    Tonkatsu is the Japanese version of generic schweinsschnitzel.  Tonkatsu is a very big deal thing in Japan where they use it as a component in all sorts of dishes as often as they serve it as a stand alone. 

    FF -- You don't expect perfectly even browning, but if you're getting big white spots the solution isn't copious oil but flatter meat.  Don't be afraid to use your knife and your mallet to flatten and even the thickness out.  Wienerschnitzel is traditonally cooked in lard.   God bless Farmer John.

    I did some research and found out that I was wrong about using less fat for cooking schnitzel.  You want enough to "swim" the meat. 

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  20. french fries

    french fries

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     /img/vbsmilies/smilies/confused.gif  Wiener means Viennese, and Schnitzel means thin piece of meat. This was all explained to me by German friends around a Schwein schnitzel last time I visited Zurich. Hence my definition: 
    Not in Europe, only in some countries (IceMan just copy-pasted information from the US wikipedia on Schnitzel, which says Wiener Schnitzel is legally controlled in Germany and Austria. The same page also says that in Austria you'll find Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein: pork Wiener Schnitzel). 
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011