Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Schnitzel, schnitzel, schnitzel: Not only is it fun to say, but it’s also hard to go wrong with thin cutlets of breaded and fried meat. Pounding them flat with a mallet is both good stress relief and a way to ensure quick cooking and maximum crispy surface area. Although I’ve got several chicken recipes that use this technique, my growing fondness for pork made this recipe catch my eye in a recent issue of Cooking Light. There’s nothing especially revolutionary here, but pork chops are still an undiscovered country for me, and an easy weeknight dinner of them seemed like it wouldn’t go amiss, especially with the added enticement of buttermilk ranch sauce.

The verdict? Would make again, although the sauce needed a little enhancement. Cooking Light, of course, calls for fat-free sour cream, which I dutifully obeyed, but next time I’ll just spring for the real stuff. With only 1 tablespoon per serving, I don’t think it’ll ruin my health. If you want to go lighter, 2% or nonfat Greek yogurt might be a better choice. As written, the sauce didn’t taste as ranchlike as the recipe title in the magazine led me to suspect, so I took a cue from my ranch dressing recipe and added a bit of minced garlic and parsley, which perked it up. (I almost wonder if next time I should just make the ranch dressing instead?) Despite my fears of blandness, the sauce tasted great with the pork, and we both enjoyed this meal. I’m afraid I can’t remember what I served on the side (roasted broccoli or green beans, or maybe a kale salad), but any green vegetable will do.

¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 small garlic clove, minced (optional)
¼ cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup dry breadcrumbs (I used panko)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon garlic powder
4 4-ounce boneless center-cut loin pork chops, trimmed and
pounded to 1/8-inch thickness
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, dill, buttermilk, 1/8 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and minced garlic if desired; set aside.

2. Whisk together milk and egg in a shallow dish. In a second shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Dip pork in milk mixture; sprinkle with salt. Dredge pork in breadcrumb mixture.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Place two pork chops in pan. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and remaining two pork chops. Serve with sauce.

Serves: 4
Time: 30 minutes
Leftover potential: OK; breadcrumb coating will get soggy, but the flavor is still good.

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