Friday, September 23, 2011

Pork Schnitzel

This is probably the first time that I can ever say that I designed a meal around a mustard.  Yup.  You read it right - mustard.  Alex and I picked up a jar of this Jalapeno IPA Mustard from My Friend's Mustard back in March at the Get Real NY Craft Beer & Food Festival that has been sitting in our cupboard, lonely and dejected, ever since then.  In an effort to finally use some of our delicious beer mustard, I came up with this recipe.  I know that schnitzels don't traditionally use panko breadcrumbs, cornmeal and Parmigiano-Reggiano as the breading, but panko is my go to breadcrumb and lately I have really been enjoying the combination of panko and cornmeal for a little extra crunch/crispy texture for the crust.  So I went with it.  I also love how Parmgiano-Reggiano turns a wonderful golden brown and adds a lovely salty flavor when roasted or pan-fried as part of the breading, so I threw that in too.  Generally I would also add some herbs or other seasoning to the flour and the breadcrumb mixture, but since we were pairing the schnitzels with the spicy mustard, I didn't want to have too many competing flavors and I just threw in some s&p.  So I'm not really sure if this is a schnitzel or a milanese or some other random dish, but I'm going to pretend it's a schnitzel because that is what I was thinking of when I made it, and call it a day.

So there are some pros and cons to the dish.  The coating on the schnitzel was marvelous and the pork was perfectly cooked.  Alex and I were both in complete agreement on that.  I was actually surprised by how juicy the pork was seeing as I didn't have time to brine it or anything.  Next time I will go ahead and brine or marinate the pork so that the pork itself soaks up a little more flavor, because as juicy as the pork was you could have been eating any sort of meat under that wonderful breading.  Depending on what I intend to serve with my schnitzel I will also add some seasonings/herbs to the breadcrumbs.  Another alternative to make the dish seem a little (or a lot) lighter would be to serve it with lemon wedges and an arugula salad lightly dressed with lemon juice, evoo and a sprinkle of flaked sea salt.  You could also very finely mince up some flat-leaf parsley or thyme and a garlic clove and throw the herbs in with the breadcrumbs for some extra freshness and flavor.  Basically, it's a really great base recipe for you to play with and season to your own liking!

Recipe after the jump!

Pork Schnitzel

1 lb pork loin, cut into 1-inch slices
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup panko bread crumbs
3 tbsp evoo
1 tbsp butter
lemon wedges
whole grain mustard (we used My Friend's Mustard Jalapeno IPA Mustard)

Place each slice of pork loin between 2 sheets of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Using a meat mallet, carefully pound the pork slices until they are uniformly 1/4 inch thick.

Season flour with s&p. Combine lightly beaten eggs and 1 tbsp milk in a shallow dish. Combine corn meal, parm-reg and panko in another shallow dish and season with s&p.  Dip each slice into the flour mixture, then the egg, and then the panko breadcrumb mixture.  Be sure to shake off excess flour and egg before proceeding onto the next step.  Coat both sides of the pork in panko mixture, patting to make sure panko adheres if necessary.  Set aside and repeat with remaining pork.

In a large nonstick saute pan, heat 3 tbsp evoo over medium heat until just smoking. Add the butter and allow it to foam for 10 to 15 seconds.  Place the pork in the pan without crowding it and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, carefully turn the pork and cook on the other side until golden brown, about 3 more minutes. Add more oil if necessary, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, to avoid scorching the breading.  Remove pork from the pan and set aside on a serving platter. Repeat with remaining pork.

Serve pork with lemon wedges and mustard.

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