From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Over the years, I've come to enjoy pork cutlets and actively search for new ways to prepare them. My family loves schnitzel and tonkatsu, so when I came across this Fine Cooking recipe, I knew we were only a meal away from a new taste treat. These cutlets are seasoned with a chipotle chili powder that may be off-putting to some. While it adds a bit of a kick, the cutlets are not fiery hot and the chili mixture gives them a unique flavor. The best part of this recipe is the set of instructions for frying the breaded cutlets. If you follow them exactly, you will have wonderfully moist chops that have a golden and truly crisp exterior. The cost of pork has not inflated at the same rate as that of chicken or beef, so it remains a relatively economical source of protein and a perfect candidate for a Frugal Friday meal. Green olives can be used as a substitute for capers and if you don't regularly use chipotle chili powder, use whatever chili powder you have on hand. When freshly made, the cutlets make a wonderful sandwich, but do be forewarned, the cutlets must be eaten shortly after frying if you wish to retain the crisp crust. I hope you'll give this recipe a try. It is easy and economical, but better still, the cutlets are delicious. Here is how they are made.
Crisp Pork Cutlets with Lemon-Caper Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Fine Cooking magazine
4 1/2-inch thick boneless pork chops (about 1 pound)
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder or smoked hot paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons small capers, rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided use
1 large clove garlic, mashed to a paste with a pinch of kosher salt
3-1/2 ounces (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups panko
6 tablespoons olive oil
1) Pound each chop between two pieces of plastic wrap with a meat mallet or a heavy pan until they are 1/4-inch thick. Mix chipotle powder with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle spice mixture on chops.
2) Finely grate zest of half a lemon and then juice that half. Cut remaining half into wedges for serving.
3) In a medium bowl, mix mayonnaise with lemon juice and zest, capers, 1 teaspoon thyme, garlic, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
4) Put flour, eggs, and panko in separate shallow bowls. Toss panko with remaining 1 teaspoon thyme and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Dredge each cutlet in flour, shaking off any excess, then in egg, and then in panko to coat well. Transfer to a plate or platter.
5) Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a 10 to 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add 2 cutlets, reduce heat to medium, and cook, flipping once, until browned on both sides and cooked through (cut into a thicker chop to check), about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Wipe out skillet and repeat with remaining 3 tablespoons oil and final 2 cutlets. Serve with sauce and lemon wedges. Yield: 4 servings.
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