A Sauce for All Reasons

Crispy Pork Cutlets with Lemon-Caper Sauce was one of those fast Make-It-Tonite meals from Fine Cooking. A briny-peppery mayonnaise adds zing to these slightly spicy fried pork cutlets. And WOW were they tasty! The sauce would pair perfectly with fish or chicken cutlets too. I could even go so far as to envision it as a dip for pretzels and chips, or a crudité platter. Endless possibilities abound!

With Russ eliminating wheat from his diet, we dredged the pork in gluten-free flour and bread crumbs which gave a nice crunchy texture to the exterior of the chops. Rounding out our meal was a Spring salad of bibb lettuce, baby spinach, blanched fresh peas, radishes and cilantro tossed in a lemon vinaigrette.

TIP: Use salt when mashing garlic to a paste. Begin by finely chopping the garlic. Sprinkle the chopped garlic with a big pinch of kosher salt—the salt is an abrasive that speeds the mashing and is keeps the garlic from sticking to the knife. Mash the garlic with the side of the knife against the board. Repeat over and over until it becomes a fine paste.

Ingredients

  • 4-1/2-inch-thick boneless pork chops (about 1 lb.)
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle powder or smoked hot paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs. small capers, rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 large clove garlic, mashed to a paste with a pinch of kosher salt
  • 3-1/2 oz. (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups panko
  • 6 Tbs. olive oil

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Pounding the pork chop with a meat mallet.

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A comparison in thickness before and after the meat was pounded.

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The spice mixture. We used pimenton picante instead of chipotle powder.

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The chops get happy for awhile with their spice mixture.

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The ingredients for the sauce are added to a small bowl.

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The appearance of the sauce after all ingredients are combined.

Directions

  1. Pound each chop between two pieces of plastic wrap with a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy pan until 1/4 inch thick. Mix the chipotle powder with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper and sprinkle on the chops.
  2. Finely grate the zest of half the lemon and then juice that half. Cut the remaining half into wedges for serving.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the lemon juice and zest, the capers, 1 tsp. of the thyme, the garlic, 1 tsp. pepper, and 1/4 tsp. salt.
  4. Put the flour, eggs, and panko in separate shallow bowls. Toss the panko with the remaining 1 tsp. thyme and 1/2 tsp. salt. Dredge each cutlet in the flour, shaking off any excess, then in the egg, and then in the panko to coat well. Transfer to a plate or platter.
  5. Heat 3 Tbs. of the oil in a 10- to 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add 2 of the cutlets, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, flipping once, until browned on both sides and cooked through (cut into a thicker chop to check), about 4 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining 3 Tbs. oil and cutlets. Serve with the sauce and lemon wedges.

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Three separate bowls contain the beaten eggs, flour and panko mixture.

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After lightly flouring each chop, the meat is given an egg bath.

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The final step for the pork before it goes in the pan is a coating in the panko mixture.

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The chops are browned two at a time for about 4 minutes.

by Tony Rosenfeld from Fine Cooking

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