Pork cutlets are lean, they cook quickly and can be seasoned and flavored in a myriad of ways…all delicious! They can be eaten as is, right out of the frying pan, or slipped in a good roll and served with some nice toppings…decisions, decisions!“Pork cutlets…what are they exactly?” you ask. What I’m talking about are thin slices of lean pork steak that have been run through a tenderizer. Pork minute steaks, instead of the beef version. They can be pan-fried, as is and they are delicious, but I like to drag them through “The Dredge”. I’ve stopped using an egg wash. I find it’s way too heavy. It overpowers the flavor of the meat. Now, I just lightly sprinkle meat with cold liquid—water, wine, beer, apple juice, etc. I’m not talking soggy, but just moist, then into “The Dredge” and let them sit for at least 15-20 minutes. This helps the mixture really adhere well, and you can do this several hours ahead, cover and store in the fridge so they’re ready to go when you are! This process works on chicken, pork, beef and fish…but today we’re working with pork cutlets.When you’re ready for dinner, fry them in about 1/4-inch of oil. We’re talking quick, about 2-3 minutes per side or until they’re browned and crispy.
You may want to season the pork cutlets with something more than salt and pepper, though that’s a very nice, simple combination. Sometimes I use finely ground mulling spices, ground fennel or ground cumin. Or use crushed dried herbs like thyme, oregano or rosemary or a blend. This time I used a nice sprinkle of some of our terrific Homemade Taco Seasoning. The whole point is that you have a complete heap of flavor options. Life is good. Today, I served these with “Onion, Apple and Mushroom Compote” and that recipe will mystically, magically appear tomorrow! Good things come to those who wait.
But, these crispy clouds-of-goodness are absolutely delicious on good buns with onion and tomato slices and a nice skim of mayo or “special sauce“. Or serve with a good sauce, like Applesauce-Allspice Aïoli, North Carolina-Style, Smoky Mustard BBQ Sauce, or Creamy Horseradish-Mustard Sauce or whatever floats your boat.
Simple Breaded Pork Cutlets
- 2 pork cutlets
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Herbs or spices
- Water, wine or beer (to moisten the meat)
- Vegetable oil
- “The Dredge”
- 2/3 cup rice flour
- 1/2 cup extra fine cornmeal (I use Goya®)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup fine cornmeal
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black or white pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked sweet (or hot) paprika
- 1 teaspoons baking powder (use gluten-free, if that’s an issue)
- Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
For “The Dredge”: Combine all the ingredients in a plastic freezer bag. Seal and shake to combine. Add damp food, shake until completely coated. Cook as desired. Store leftover dredge in the freezer. You may double or triple the mixture, as needed.
Moisten the pork cutlets with water—the meat shouldn’t be dripping with water, just moist. Season as desired. Drop each cutlet into the bag with “The Dredge”. Close the bag and shake to coat the meat. Place the meat on a plate and let stand for at least 15-20 minutes. To Make Ahead: Cover the meat with plastic and refrigerate until ready to use.
When ready to prepare, pour 1/4-inch of oil in the skillet. Place the skillet over medium-high and heat until hot. Gently slide the breaded cutlet into the hot oil. Fry for 3 minutes or until nicely browned. Using a tongs, turn and fry on the other side, about 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve as is, on good buns or with a good sauce.
Simple Breaded Pork Cutlets Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2018. All rights reserved.