Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Schnitzel! And other uses for breaded pork.

"Alright, I'm going to make lunch and blog it"
That's how I kicked off this post today, saying goodbye to a friend on MSN. Makes me realize that I'm kind of addicted to this thing. But hey, it's what you enjoy, right?

What I've decided to make today are some delicious pork cutlets, breaded, and served two different ways. But there's a definite technique to it - so we'll cover that first.

You'll need:
  • "Fast-fry" pork chops, I got three from Market fresh for 3$. They're about half an inch thick. Alternatively, chicken breasts work well too. No bones though.
  • Breadcrumbs (with some seasoning and salt added)
  • Flour
  • One egg, beaten to an inch of its life OR milk, because they use it for fried chicken in the south and it is delicious
  • A LOT of little plates. You'll see why in a sec.
First, toss a chop in a zip-top bag (you may be able to see the brand I'm using. maybe they'll send me more). Freezer bags work best, as they are sturdy. Then, get a rolling pin, and beat that sucker down! A meat mallet works well too, as long as you use the smooth side. It should practically double in surface area, and halve in thickness, as seen below.

When you've got all your teen angst out on some poor unsuspecting pork chops, prepare your work station. You will need, from right-to-left:
  • A plate for your meat (ooh, my bullet points are back to normal)
  • A plate with flour, about an eighth of a cup
  • A bowl, or deep plate with high sides, with milk or the beaten egg
  • Another plate for breadcrumbs. Don't forget to season these fellas

First, flour the meat. Shake it off to remove excess flour. This gets rid of any weird floury pockets. Then, "dredge" it in in the milk, and shake off the excess. Then into the breadcrumbs. The flour picture is below for your reference.

Set these aside when done, and set aside a pan on medium-high heat with a neutral oil (Canola works well) with a high smoke point. What's a smoke point? Glad you asked! It's the temperature where oil begins to burn (and smoke), giving it an off taste. Some oils have a very low point, and thus are not too good for frying. Some have an extremely high point, and these are the best to use. Canola is around 464 degrees. (Thanks, Wikipedia. You save my life again.)

The beauty of these being so thin, is that once they're browned, they're done! Thicker pieces may burn when frying for that long, so that they're cooked through.

Now, for the serving suggestions:

Method 1: Schnitzel-ish: Serve naked, maybe with a bit of salt on top, and delicious spicy mustard on the side. I'm a big fan of Koslik's - Guelphites can get it at Ouderkirk and Taylor, Torontonians can get it ridiculously fresh (and sample all kinds) at St. Lawrence Market.

Method 2: (On the left) Parmigiana-esque: Probably better with veal or chicken (same recipe still applies) - cover in shredded mozzarella, with some parmesan to give it a tanginess, and bake. When cheese is bubbley and delicious, toss on some nice tomato sauce and enjoy! Also good on a bun with roast peppers, chilis, and maybe eggplant done the same way.

Enjoy! (sorry about the dishes)

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