Schnitzel: Local Meats Make Smashing Meals

In mid-October of 2017 we visited Portsmouth, New Hampshire as part of our “Anniversaweek.” For our special dinner out, we booked a table at The Black Trumpet on the suggestion of a friend — and former resident of the city. She is also friends with the chef, and highly recommended the place, so we were excited. And we weren’t disappointed. Our dining experience was excellent, and they even brought us a slice of tiramisu with a candle on it.

This dish was inspired by one of the dishes we had that night. That dish was not a schnitzel because it wasn’t pounded to 1/4-inch thick; and Chef Evan served his with a delicious mushroom sauce.

Pounding the meat not only makes a schnitzel a schnitzel, it also tenderizes it — making it juicy as well as cook faster. Meat tenderizers and pounders are unnecessary if you have a French rolling pin, which we found to be an effective tool for the job.

Ingredients

Ingredients
Most of the ingredients in this dish… I think

Pork cutlets or boneless chops. We use the cutlets and chops we had as part of a CSA share from Sugar Mountain Farm. Tip: If the chops are a bit thick, butterfly them first. You don’t need huge schnitzels. Cut the pork cuts into approximately 3-4″ strips around 3″ across as they will expand when tenderized.

2 eggs. Perfect for our 10 cutlets. Local and free range whenever possible.

Breadcrumbs. Make your own or buy them in the canister, but please don’t use panko if you want a more traditional schnitzel. Have a couple of cups handy, but don’t use more than you need. It will likely depends on how many cutlets you are making.

White flour. As needed. Approximately 1 cup.

Seasonings. Salt, black pepper, and paprika to taste

Oil. Canola oil or similar for frying.

Process

Place the cutlets individually into the 1-gallon plastic freezer bag (leave it open during the process), and lightly pound the the meat inside the bag until it is at least 1/4″ thin. This method is much less messy than using cling wrap.

Once a cutlet has been pounded, toss some flour into the bag with the cutlet and shake the bag to coat the meat. Repeat this until all the cutlets are coated in flour. Set the cutlets aside on a clean plate until the oil is hot.

Heat oil and be sure not to over heat it. A cast-iron pan or similar works well. You don’t need a lot of oil for this to work; and avoid over-saturating the pan. If you are making many cutlets, be sure to add (and heat) more oil between batches as necessary.

Beat two (2) eggs in a shallow bowl.

Dip and cover each cutlet in the egg mixture then dredge in the breadcrumbs, coating them well.

Carefully place 2-3 cutlets at a time into the heated oil and fry on each side.  Approximately 2-3 mins each side or until the breading is golden brown. Add a dash of each seasoning to each side of the cutlet whilst in the pan.

Remove the fried cutlets from the pan, and place them on a plate of paper towels or on a wire rack.

Serve hot!

Cut the lemon into slices and serve on the side. Squeeze a slice over each cutlet when its time to eat!

Sides & Stuff

This dish can be served with nearly any vegetable, salads, and or starches. The last time this was prepared in our house we had sweet potato mash with maple syrup, sage, thyme, and crushed red peppers. Finished with finely-diced cranberries served on top of a dollop of sour cream. The veg was a simple roasted Brussels sprouts with salt and pepper. Next time we are having spätzle, or at least a take on it!

If you’re cooking for 2-4 this is a quick and easy dish.  And please try to support your local farms for the pork and veg whenever possible! Thanks.