Monday, January 25

Good Eating Monday: Easy Pork Schnitzel

Or, as I like to call it, "Cheater Schnitzel."
What Schnitzel is traditionally is just a pan-fried veal or pork cutlet. In the 19th century, when the recipe first appeared, Wiener Schnitzel was exclusively veal, but gradually, over time & economics, the term has evolved to include both veal or pork.
Proper Schnitzel a cutlet pounded out thin (or thinner), dipped in flour seasoned with salt & pepper, then beaten egg & bread crumbs and finally pan-fried to a crispy brown, usually served with lemon wedges.

What I make is entirely non-traditional--by it's super fast and--best of all--doesn't involve any pounding! I read one lady's blog where she was pounding her regular pork cutlets with a pan and bash her fingers. Forget that. I never pound meat.
 Instead---I buy a tray or pork scallopini, which comes perfectly thin-cut. 
(In this case, it's a cut-of-meat, though Scallopini with a big "S"  can also be a term for method of serving veal.)

Pork scallopini is wonderful stuff. Really cheap. Super thin. Cooks really fast. Versatile.
I also cheat on the "breading," because I don't like wasting perfectly good eggs for dipping meat just to get bread crumbs on it. Never.
My secret is using a combination of seasoned flour & yellow cornmeal and dredging the meat just with that. The cornmeal gives it a nice light crust.

I made some last week. Unfortunately, as ususal, I didn't take pictures, so my picture of the day is just a breaded Schnitzel from Pinterest for general illustration purposes.

Fast Pork Schnitzel
1 tray of pork scallopini from grocery (has about 8 - 9 pcs.)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
*2 - 4 Tablespoons coconut oil
(*You can use whatever oil you prefer. How much depends on size & type of your skillet, but you're going for enough of a light coating of oil over pan bottom to prevent sticking during the whole pan-frying process, which may require slight additions of oil along the way.)

Combine flour, cornmeal, salt & pepper on a plate. Dredge 4  or 5 pork scallopini on both sides to thoroughly coat. Add a couple Tablespoons oil to your skillet and turn heat on medium-high. Add however many floured scallopini your skillet will hold comfortably at once. What you want is for each piece of meat to get nicely browned on both sides and this involves checking, turning, checking and even adding a bit more oil as you go.  You'll want to work on dredging the remaining scallopini in between checking & turning. Then as each piece of the first batch gets done and is brown on both sides, remove it to a plate set to one side and add a fresh uncooked piece in it's place. Repeat process until all the scallopini are crispy brown and done.
(When it comes to browning pan-fried meat, a lot depends on the type of skillet you're using, whether stainless, non-stick or iron.)

Serving Suggestions: serve with hot potatoes & gravy or rice and gravy or on a sandwich or mac & cheese. Leftover scallopini's are also good cut up in spaghetti sauce & served over pasta.

Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!

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