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Breakfast - Which is not unduly obvious, as I am about to explain
Since my friends atara and plonq have been posting about the dinner dishes they've been preparing, I thought I'd post a recipe too.

Kaiserschmarrn is a breakfast dish of Austrian origin, which came to me from my grandmother. I'm told it means something like "king's pancake", and my family calls it "schmarrn" for short. The best way to describe it is like a cross between pancakes and scrambled eggs. I hate eggs, but I like this recipe very much.

I have no idea if my recipe is the traditional form, but I'll talk about variations afterwards. What you need:

6 eggs
1 & 1/2 cups flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter

Separate the egg whites and yolks. Beat the yolks briefly in a good-sized bowl, then add the milk to them, then the sugar, salt and flour. The result should be a liquid, not a stiff or sticky dough.

Take a skillet that doesn't mind being scraped a little with a spatula, and preheat it on medium.

Beat the egg whites with an electric beater until stiff. Add the butter to the skillet so that it melts and coats the bottom. While this is going on, quickly fold the egg whites into the liquid dough, and mix until the texture is even throughout. Don't overdo the mixing, or you'll lose the air you put into the whites.

Pour it all into the skillet, or if your skillet isn't big enough, you can do it in two goes, coating the skillet with butter again.

Let the dough sit in the pan for a little bit, so that a firm skin forms on the bottom. Then take a spatula (or two knives and a fork), and start breaking it apart into little pieces. It'll be somewhat sticky, but keep breaking the pieces up, flipping them over and moving them around.

Push it around constantly so that all sides of the pieces get cooked. You may need to scrape the bottom of the skillet a little. It's done when it's firm and light, no longer sticky, and has parts that are a golden or dark brown. The result should be in little pieces like scrambled eggs, but made of dough. It serves two. (Or three people with light appetites.) Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Mine looks like this, but I departed from the above recipe.

You can use margarine instead of butter, and use milk made from powdered milk, and it will still come out just fine. Most of the flavour comes from the egg yolks, and if you don't want to use that many eggs, you'll need to make the flavour come out some other way.

In my preparation, I only used three eggs and one-and-a-half cups milk. I used 2 tablespoons of sugar, a quarter-teaspoon of vanilla, and mixed a third of a cup of raisins into the dough. Even then the flavour was still a little subdued.

Doing a web search, most of the recipes out there use more sugar, so maybe that's what I'm missing. Some mention sour cream, whipping cream or almonds. Raisins mixed into the dough seem to be the norm - soaked well-beforehand in dark rum! Egads, the decadence. And the online photos show the final dish looking a lot chunkier than mine. Anyway, it's easy to search the web for variations and to experiment!

Don't forget the powdered sugar, and you can sprinkle it with fresh berries or a little cinnamon, too. And best of all, "schmarrn" is fun to say. Say it with me -- schmmmmaaaarrrrrrnnnnnnn!
5 comments or Leave a comment
orleans From: orleans Date: August 7th, 2006 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
That sounds intriguing ... I'll have to try it someday too. :)
fetlock From: fetlock Date: August 7th, 2006 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I will have to make that soon and try it out.
plonq From: plonq Date: August 7th, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe it's my empty stomach talking, but that sounds better than it looks (and it doesn't look too bad). It doesn't sound like a lot of work to make either.

I'll definitely give it a try one of these weekends.
niall_ From: niall_ Date: August 7th, 2006 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
That sounds great, but... I can't seperate eggs. I've tried. It's a skill beyond me. (I have enough trouble breaking the shells...)
dronon From: dronon Date: August 7th, 2006 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
It takes practice and confidence; I know, because I had the same difficulties too. Use eggs freshly bought from the store; if they've been sitting in the fridge for a while, escpecially if it's a very cold fridge, it doesn't work as well.

Breaking the shells: use a metal bowl that has a thin rim for its edge, or the edge of a glass. Tap the side of the egg against the rim to cause a fracture, as near to the centre as possible. The crack may veer off centre, but that's o.k. This is the hard part, knowing how much force to apply - you just have to work this part out yourself. You can start tapping softly, and gradually increase successive taps, until you feel something give. The rim of whatever you're tapping against can penetrate just a little into the shell, but not far, or you might puncture the yolk. Tapping too hard may also push part of the shell inwards, which can also puncture the yolk. So it's best to start tapping soft and work your way up. Now, in some cases, you may break the shell, but the thin inner lining along the inside of the shell may still be intact. If this is the case, you can use your thumbtip or the tip of a knife to break it.

The separation: Look at the crack you've got and try to judge which way it's going to go when you pry the egg open. The half that looks larger, we'll call "down". Hold the egg right-side up with the "down" side over a bowl. Hold onto the down side firmly, and pry off the top half of the egg. (Don't worry about little bits of shell falling off, those can be removed later.) When this happens, egg white is going to goop down all over your fingers. Let this happen. If some of it is refusing to drop off the side of the egg, use the shell of the top half of the egg to cut it off. Now hold the top half over the bowl like a cup, and carefully pour the contents of the other half into it. The white will goop down again, and repeat, pour the yolk from one half to the other - not too often - and you're done. A little white may stay with the yolk, that's o.k.
5 comments or Leave a comment