13 January 2011

Double Take: Pork Scaloppine

We’ve been a bit sporadic lately, but I’m sure you understand. The Christmas season was busy and I was out of the kitchen for almost two whole weeks. I actually have had a hard time readjusting to cooking every day. Go figure. Maybe it’s the short days? Maybe December’s weather just really got me down? (Seriously folks,
we went ~30 days with temperatures never reaching freezing.
) Maybe it was coming back to cold Germany after 10 days in warm, sunny Italy? (Okay, so Venice was more like Germany is currently: cold and rainy, but the weather in Rome was spectacular.)

But my Daring Cooks Challenge definitely pulled me out of my no-cooking rut. Of course, that happened on the first day it hit 50 F since mid-November, but I’m not complaining too much. I enjoyed getting my hands dirty (I can’t even count how many times I had to wash my hands that day) and spending the day hovering over the stove. But that’s tomorrow’s post, not today’s. Today’s dish is more in line with the way I was feeling pre-Daring Cooks Challenge: quick and easy. And if you’re in the Southeast, it’s a good way to get rid of some of those eggs I’m sure you stocked up on… and actually needed this time! I remember the days when snow meant no work and no school. That doesn’t really happen here in Germany. I think the last time Atlanta was out of school for this long in January was over ten years ago… 1999 to be precise. We were out for four days in one week. And the day we actually had school? Thursday. How do I remember such random things? It was my birthday. The one day that week we actually had school was on my birthday. How rude! (Please forgive me, but I occasionally still channel Stephanie Tanner.) That night I went home and made my first duct tape wallet. Ah, the late ‘90s.

The egg mixture was very thick since I decreased the amount of egg (and still I only used about half of the mixture. The original recipe wastes a bit too much.

I opted for whole wheat flour instead of plain. It still turned out great! (See how lazy I was, those are definitely not only 1/4" thick!)

Oh yeah, fried pork chops. You’ll want some of these. They are pan-fried rather than deep fried, so they aren’t a complete heart attack on a plate (yep, that recipe will come tomorrow via Daring Cooks). The recipe calls for Romano, but the garlic in the dish may overpower it, so go for a cheaper brand. I’d actually recommend Kraft’s Parmesan, Romano, Asiago shredded blend (purple can instead of the green can). More taste, less price. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for the good stuff, but that’s when you’re eating it on its own with wine and fruit, not when you’re frying it up with lots of garlic. Since Romano and Kraft’s shredded cheese are not available to me, I used Grana Padano.

Pork Scaloppine
adapted from the all-new ultimate Southern Living Cookbook p. 315, original available online here

1 1/2 pounds pork loin
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons milk (low fat/non fat is fine)
1/2 cup (generous) Parmesan, Romano, Asiago shredded cheese blend
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter 
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, quartered

Cut pork loin into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place pork between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and flatten to 1/4-inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin. (Or be lazy and buy thin-sliced, boneless pork chops.)

Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients. Dredge pork in flour, shake to remove excess, and dip in egg mixture.

Melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pork, in batches, 1-4 minutes on each side or until browned (the length of time will depend on how lazy you were about flattening the pork chops). Serve with lemon quarters.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

the flip side

The milk in my fridge was from before we left on vacation, so needless to say it had gone bad. So I subbed with 1T heavy cream and 2T water.

I kinda freaked out whilst these were cooking. As you can see from the above photo, it was looking a bit more like French toast than fried pork chops. I panicked. Bender doesn't really like French toast, and frankly, I was worried that I wouldn't like it. So I took the egg mixture and added some water to thin it out a bit.

We both tried both types of pork chops, and I have to admit the original ones were better and Bender liked them both equally. I enjoyed the tang of the lemon juice, but Bender didn't touch the lemon, so I actually only used one sixth of a lemon for the entire recipe. I'm glad I only cut up one lemon instead of two! My biggest issue with the pork chops was they never became crispy. I should have put them on a cooling rack (on a jelly roll pan) in the oven as they finished. Also, I should have used a bit less grease. The measurements above reflect the changes I will make in the future. 

I-prefer-our-usual-fried-pork-chops: 1 vote
I'll-make-these-when-I-want-to-change-up-the-usual-routine: 1 vote

One pork chop from the diluted mixture bunch.

PS: Happy Birthday, Nanny!

For Tabitha's take on Pork Scaloppine, head on over to Double the Garlic!

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