Pork Schnitzel and Wilted Spinach Salad Recipe
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Cooking is chemistry. Understanding the science; the hows and whys, will make anyone an immeasurably better cook.
Reading texts on kitchen science may sound dull, but thankfully, a handful of great kitchen/science writers have authored books that are both illuminating and fascinating, not to mention immediately applicable in the kitchen.
- Shirley O. Corriher
- Russ Parsons
- Harold McGee
- Alton Brown
Anyway, I was just rereading my dog eared copy of “How to Read a French Fry” by Russ Parsons, and I came across a recipe that I have made many times, but have forgotten about for a while – it’s one that I plan on making tonight though and I am looking forward to it!
It’s a crunchy fried thin pounded pork schnitzel served topped with a tart dressed salad of slightly bitter spinach greens, wilting just slightly from the heat of the hot fried schnitzel. A wonderful combination of flavors; with the salad perfectly offsetting the richness of the fried pork, leaving you feeling sated, but not heavy, at the end of this meal.
Here is my variation on Parson’s schnitzel and salad recipe
- 4 pork chops, from the loin is great, although the tenderloin will also work. You really want a “white” meat part of the pig, as deep fried darker meat is just too rich. A supermarket packet of loin chops, normally far too thin, is perfect for this recipe that demands a thin cut!
- Flour for dredging
- Breadcrumbs, unseasoned, preferably homemade
- 1 egg
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Lemon wedges
- Take each pork chop and place it in a plastic bag (a ziplock works well) Use the back of a heavy fry pan, a rolling pin or any other heavy instrument of destruction you have on hand and pound the chop until it’s as thin as you can get it, without tearing it. Repeat with the remaining chops.
- Sprinkle each of the pork chops on both sides with salt.
- Fill a dinner plate with a thin layer of flour and another dinner plate with a layer of breadcrumbs.
- Dredge each pork chop in flour, making sure to coat the chop completely. Shake off all excess flour.
- Crack and beat the egg in a wide bottomed bowl. Dip the flour covered chop in the egg, turning with a fork to cover the surface completely in the egg – take a good look here, it’s easy to miss a bit, but any part that isn’t covered in egg won’t get covered in breadcrumbs.
- Transfer the egg coated chop to the breadcrumb plate, and flip it over on the plate until it is completely coated.
- Repeat with remaining chops.
- In a heavy skillet, a cast iron pan is perfect, heat ½ inch of vegetable oil over high. When hot, add in the pork chops and fry for about 2 minutes per side, or until just cooked through.
- Blot dry on paper towels.
- Make your spinach salad (follow the link to see the recipe, or make any tart vinaigrette based spinach salad that you prefer)
- On a plate, lay flat a schnitzel, sprinkle a bit of freshly
grated Parmesan cheese on top and cover with a generous squeeze of lemon. Pile
a mound of spinach salad on one side of the schnitzel, (making sure that you
can still see the pork on the plate!) and let the residual heat from the chop
slightly wilt your spinach salad.
- Serve at once