In an month when pumpkin flavored everything has signaled the start of autumn, I decided to highlight a lesser celebrated seasonal custom: Octoberfest.  I've built a sandwich that honors Octoberfest, by using traditional German ingredients and cooking techniques, all the while creating a delicious end product.

It all starts with the TomCat Bakery 7" Pretzel Hero.  A sturdy, yet soft handmade pretzel bread, formed into the size of a small submarine roll.  It serves as the perfect Octoberfest foundation to a crispy pan fried chicken schnitzel (veal, pork or turkey cutlets also can stand in nicely).  The main objective is pounding the meat thinly, breading it correctly, and pan frying it at the right heat to create an addictive crispy breading.  I coat the chicken in whole wheat flour, dip in beaten egg mixed with dijon, and I use a panko bread crumb that i crush a little finer for my final breading.  I then pan fry them with mixture of butter and olive oil at medium heat.

The rest of the sandwich is rounded out with traditional german flavors such as Ementaller cheese ( use gruyere or swiss if you have trouble finding it), horseradish-dijon spread, and my secret weapon, brusselkraut.

Brusselkraut was the result in a slight obsession with pickling this past summer.  I packed shredded brussel spouts in a mason jar with spices such as coriander and dill seed, garlic, and black pepper and poured over a brine of apple cider vinegar, water and salt.  I chose to pickle them in the fridge for about a week or so at least.  The result: a sauerkraut-esque condiment slightly updated and perfect for this sandwich.

The 7" Pretzel Hero can be used for a lot of great recipes, and can elevate the simplest of sandwich recipes to gourmet status.  For other pretzel worthy applications, try the 6" pretzel baton, also made by TomCat-it's perfect for a breadbasket or fondue.