On May 2, while Romania was still digesting its mititei and slugging down its beer, I introduced my family to Mexican food – Giada’s White Bean Chicken Chili. Was it different? Definitely. Was it good? Indisputably. And besides, Cinco de Mayo was not far ahead either. And on top of it I was the chef and Grandma Vicki was my sous chef. Talking about switching responsibilities!
A few days later, everything was back to normal, my grandma was the chef again, and another meat dish made its way onto our plates. More specifically, Pork Schnitzel, or to go with the original name – Schweine Schniztel. To give you a little bit of background, Pork Schnitzel is a variation of the famous Wiener Schnitzel. While the original Wiener Schnitzel is made with veal cutlets, the Pork Schnitzel is made with pork cutlets. However, regardless of what cut of meat you’re using (it could also be chicken breast or turkey breast), it’s essential to coat it in bread crumbs and fry it; that’s what makes it a schnitzel.
It’s not a complicated dish by any means and it’s absolutely delicious. The most exciting part of preparing this meal was watching my grandmother carefully and meticulously cover in flour, then in egg, and then in bread crumbs, every single piece of boring pork meat. It was so inspiring to see her showing so much love and devotion to the food like a mother to her children. In the end, it turned out to be an unpretentious but delightful dish – just well-seasoned pork schnitzel paired with velvety golden mashed potatoes. Once again I was reminded that you don’t need fancy ingredients to make fantastic food. More often than not simple ingredients create sublime flavors.
By Simply Romanesco inspired by my Grandma Vicki
Yield: 4 servings
· 4 boneless pork cutlets (about 1 pound in total)
· Kosher salt and black pepper
· ¾ cup all-purpose flour
· 2 eggs, beaten
· ¾ cup plain bread crumbs
· ½ cup vegetable oil
Using a meat mallet, lightly pound the pork cutlets until about ¼ to ½ -inch thick. Season the pork with salt and pepper on both sides.
Using 3 shallow bowls, put the flour in one of them, beat the eggs in the second, and add the bread crumbs to the third. Dredge the pork cutlets in flour, then dip them into the beaten eggs, and finally coat them in bread crumbs.
In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Add the pork cutlets, turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook until golden-brown, about 5-7 minutes on each side. Serve the Pork Schnitzel with Mashed Potatoes with Cheddar Cheese and Mixed Herbs.
Note: Although I love Pork Schnitzel, I sometimes like to mix it up and use chicken breast tenders instead of pork cutlets. That way, I skip a step by not having to pound the meat. In addition, it’s a lighter meat.
For an extra kick of flavor and color, also season with paprika in addition to salt and pepper. While frying the meat, drizzle some lemon juice over the schnitzel and sprinkle 2 minced garlic cloves. You won’t regret it!
Poftă Bună! (Bon Appétit!)