“Cheap protein, staple ingredients, can’t lose.” These are the words I imagine Coach Eric Taylor from Friday Night Lights might use when describing a winning game plan for dinner. If I’m right, then he would definitely approve of my grandmother’s easy pork cutlets: thin, lean cuts of pork loin, simply coated in Dijon mustard and Italian-style breadcrumbs, then lightly fried and perfectly crispy in less than 10 minutes. It’s the kind of dinner you hardly need a recipe for, and its versatile flavor profile pairs deliciously with just about any sides. If you really want to be resourceful, though, you should take advantage of the browned bits that the meat leaves behind in the skillet. Deglaze the pan with white wine, then sauté sliced apples for a sweet yet savory accompaniment to the pork that will barely delay your plate reaching the table. Add something green, and you’ll have scored a touchdown.
EASY PORK CUTLETS WITH SAUTÉED APPLES
From Sara Cagle, Brit + Co
- 4 thin-cut, boneless pork loin cutlets
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil for frying (enough to coat the skillet)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- white wine, to deglaze (optional)
- 2 regular or 3 small apples, peeled and sliced (optional)
- parsley, for garnishing (optional)
- Place the pork cutlets between two layers of plastic wrap, and pound from the center outward with a meat mallet, rolling pin, or the bottom of a skillet until thin, about 1/2 an inch thick.
- Spread each cutlet with mustard on both sides, then press in a shallow dish of breadcrumbs until completely coated on each side.
- Cover a skillet with the oil over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Place cutlets in a single layer in the pan, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown, about three minutes on each side. Remove pork from skillet and serve immediately.
- Optional: Leave browned bits in the pan and add white wine or apple juice over high heat to deglaze. Scrape the pan and simmer until the liquid reduces to form a sauce. Add peeled, sliced apples and sauté until tender, about 6-10 minutes. Serve with the pork and garnish with parsley.
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(Photo via Sara Cagle / Brit + Co)