Monday, November 14, 2011

Pork Schnitzel (German Breaded Pork Chop)

Image courtesy of Google Images

Growing up, I traveled every year to spend my summers in my parent's homeland of Germany.   My mom went to help my aunt take care of my grandmother and I had to tag along.  I'd spend my days holed up in my room, reading book after book or taking the subway to the city's downtown to wander around old palace gardens.  While I didn't necessarily appreciate it then, I am so thankful for these memories.  How many kids get to spend 2 months a year in Europe?  No wonder my mom would shake her head at me when I'd complain to her that I missed hanging out with my friends, drinking Slurpees.

While born and raised in Germany, my parents came to the States during a time when being a foreigner wasn't cool.  So, my mom ended up cooking a lot more American dinners, like broccoli and rice casserole and fish sticks than German classics.  So, each summer, I got to enjoy some delicious cooking. 

This recipe was a favorite when going out to eat and was pretty much the only thing I'd order.  It helped that it was one I could read from the menu, but the delicious flavor and crispy breading won me each time.   It comes with different toppings, my favorite being mushroom sauce.

The trick is make sure you pound the cutlets to make them evenly thin.  If you don't have a meat pounder (...tee hee...), you can use a pan to pound away your frustrations.

I use panko bread crumbs to make an extra crispy breading, but you can use regular crumbs too.

This recipe came from and I made some adjustments.  Serve with buttered egg noodles and cucumber salad.

Pork Schnitzel
Serves 4

4 boneless pork loin chops (about 5 to 6 ounces each)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
4 cups plain dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Lemon wedges

Begin by placing each chop between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and gently pounding them out with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until they are an even 1/4-inch thick.

Put the flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs and milk in another shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Put the bread crumbs in a third dish and again season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge each piece of pork in flour, then in the egg and finally into the bread crumbs, pressing the bread crumbs onto the pork gently so they have a nice even coating.

Lay the breaded pork cutlets in a single layer on a plate lined with parchment and refrigerate, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes to allow the coating to dry out a little and adhere to the pork.

Heat oil and butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the thyme to the oil. Gently lay the cutlets into the pan and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to paper towels to drain. Season with salt and transfer to a serving platter while still hot. Garnish with lemon wedges.

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