Panko Breaded Pork Cutlets aka Pork Schnitzel
My solution? Pork cutlets aka pork schnitzel.
Pork schnitzel is traditionally made with thin pork loin cutlets, breaded and fried until crispy and served with lemon slices. I have updated this dish by using Japanese panko breadcrumbs and serving it alongside a homemade slaw.
What's great about this dish is that pork loin is an inexpensive and flavorful cut of meat. The recipe doubles up easily, making it perfect to feed a crowd. I also love how cutlets can be made ahead and reheated just before serving which means less stress on the cook.
Another bonus? Leftovers taste even better the next day wedged between soft naan bread, topped with spicy mayonnaise and pickled red onions and grated, sharp cheddar cheese.
Here is what you need to know before you get started:
Use panko breadcrumbs or unseasoned, fine breadcrumbs. Don't use seasoned breadcrumbs. You can also substitute good quality gluten-free breadcrumbs.
This recipe says it serves eight, but in my family, it serves four. We like to enjoy two pieces each since we all agree that they are too good to just eat one piece!
Double up the recipe. Since you've already made a mess you may as well take a bit more time and save yourself cooking another meal. Leftovers can be used in sandwiches or chopped up and added to a salad for a quick dinner.
COOK'S NOTES ON FRYING
Canola oil is my cooking oil of choice but you can also use coconut oil which will produce a darker crust.
A heavy cast iron skillet is good for pan frying but a non-stick skillet will work as well.
When frying, don't crowd the pan. In other words don't add too many pieces or your oil will become too low and your cutlets will poach and not fry.
Keep the temperature medium-high. You don't need a thermometer like when you are deep frying. You just need to listen for the oil to sizzle.
An updated version of the classic Pork Schnitzel served with a lemony Napa Slaw
1 1/2 pounds whole boneless pork loin
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon water
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 cup canola oil,for frying
Japanese mayonnaise, to serve
Lemon slices, to serve
Napa Slaw or Coleslaw, to serve
For pork, cut the loin into 8 equal slices. With a meat pounder, pound pieces between plastic wrap until thin; set aside.
Place flour and salt in a shallow bowl. Beat eggs with water in another shallow bowl. Place breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl.
Dip pork into flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip the same piece into beaten egg mixture, then panko bread crumbs, pressing crumbs. Place on a single layer on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pork.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add pork to skillet: cook 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden on the outside and no longer pink inside. Drain cutlets on paper towels. Serve with lemon wedges or a Napa Slaw.
Cutlets can be fried several hours before serving and placed on a baking sheet. Warm in a preheated, 325°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until heated through.