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Keep it Easy -Simple Breaded Pork Cutlets and Plum Iced Tea

Even though it seems like summer is starting to wind down we are still getting warm and humid weather here. This means I may not have the energy to spend as much time in the kitchen as I might under other circumstances so I want to make dinner as easy as possible. Of course, it can get a little tiring to have boneless chicken, hamburgers or sandwiches for dinner all of the time, so you want to add a little something different to repertoire in the kitchen. So what about pork? I may not seem to give pork a lot of love in the recipes I make, but I really do like it. However, a lot of times when we think about pork we think about pulled pork or pork roasts that take a long time in the kitchen, something you don’t want right now. One of the great things about pork is that you can very often find good deals on it so you can get a variety of pork chops, a pork loin roast or even pork tenderloin for pretty good prices and they are much more versatile than you might think. Pork takes to sauces, herbs and breading very nicely and if you can get a boneless pork loin roast on sale you can cut your own boneless chops from it, as thick as you like, and have a quick and easy meal and then freeze the rest. That is what I did recently when I made this recipe from Pierre Franey from New York Times Cooking for some basic breaded pork cutlets.

Breaded Pork Cutlets

8 boneless pork loin slices, about 3 ounces each, trimmed of excess fat

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried, or other herbs of your choice

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 egg, beaten

4 tablespoons water

2 cups fresh bread crumbs

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 lemon wedges

Place the pork slices between sheets of plastic wrap on a flat surface. With a meat pounder or a mallet, pound them to flatten the pork slices without breaking the meat. The meat should be about 1/4-inch thick when you are done.

Combine the cumin, rosemary (or other herbs), salt and pepper in a small bowl. Blend the spices well. Season the pork cutlets on both sides with the spice mixture.

Beat the egg together with the water and place the egg mixture in a large flat dish. Coat the cutlets with the egg mixture, allow any excess to drip off and then dip the pork cutlets into the bread crumbs.

Place the pork cutlets on a flat surface and tap lightly with the flat side of a heavy knife to help the bread crumbs adhere well to each cutlet.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet and cook the pork cutlets over medium heat, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side until the cutlets are golden brown and cooked through. Serve the cutlets with the lemon wedges.

It’s a pretty basic recipe that you may not need to think much about. The great thing is that you can use things you always have on hand to make a quick dinner. I opted not to use rosemary since we’re not big fans of it in our house and went with thyme instead, but you can use any of your favorite fresh herbs and I think it will turn out well. I made this with a simple side dish of rice and some broccoli and we had a meal in under 30 minutes.

Since the weather has been so warm, what better thing to have with your meal than a nice refreshing beverage the whole family can enjoy? We’re big iced tea drinkers around here and I usually just make some standard iced tea using tea bags and water, but since we have also had some great summer fruit around here lately, I decided to make use of that as well and incorporate it into the tea. I used this recipe from Bon Appetit for an easy plum tea that was delicious.

Plum Iced Tea

8 black tea bags

3 large sprigs lemon verbena or mint, plus more for serving

1 cup sugar

4 large red plums, cut into thin wedges

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Combine the tea bags, 3 lemon verbena sprigs or mint sprigs and 8 cups of cold water in a large pitcher. Cover the pitcher and chill it for at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.

 

Meanwhile, bring the sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the plums and reduce the heat; simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the plums steep for 30 minutes. Strain the plum syrup into a small bowl and stir in the lemon juice. Cover and chill the plum syrup until it is cold, at least 30 minutes.

 

Remove the tea bags and lemon verbena sprigs or mint sprigs from the tea pitcher and stir in ¾ of a cup of the plum syrup and 4 cups of ice. Serve the tea in ice-filled glasses garnished with more lemon verbena or mint.
The taste of the tea was great and something a little different if you are accustomed to just having your standard iced tea or even make peach iced tea. The syrup was perfect and I used mint because finding lemon verbena around here would be next to impossible. It was a very refreshing drink that is great for the summer.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2016 in Beverages, Cooking, Dinner, Fruit, Pork, Uncategorized

 

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Beat the Weeknight Grind – Pork Cutlets with Sweet Potatoes and Maple Pan Sauce

After taking the weekend off to do some other work I am back with a great weeknight meal that I got from Cook’s Country. Weeknight meals can be the worst for busy families. You just feel like you never have enough time to be a home cooked meal on the table with work, school, homework, afterschool activities, chores and more, which can lead us to settling for takeout meals that aren’t good for us and are expensive. I always try to come up with meal ideas that can be made during the typical weeknight fast so it is something you can put together after you get home and have a meal on the table in under an hour. This one fits the bill for speed, taste and it is inexpensive to make. While the recipe calls for boneless pork cutlets, I had 3 bone-in chops on hand and decided to use those instead. It took a few minutes longer to cook because of that, but the taste results were the same to me.

Pork Cutlets with Sweet Potatoes and Maple Pan Sauce

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Salt and pepper

2 teaspoons garam masala

2 teaspoons ground cumin

8 (3-ounce) boneless pork cutlets, 1/4-inch thick, trimmed

4 garlic cloves, sliced thin

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Combine the sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in a large bowl. Cover the potatoes and microwave them until the potatoes are nearly tender, about 7 minutes. Set the bowl of potatoes aside.

Meanwhile, combine the garam masala, cumin, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in a bowl. Pat the pork cutlets dry with paper towels and season them with the spice mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it is shimmering. Add 4 of the cutlets to the skillet and cook until they are well browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the cutlets to a plate and tent the plate with aluminum foil. Repeat the process with the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and the remaining 4 pork cutlets.

Add the potatoes and garlic to the now-empty skillet and cook over medium heat until the potatoes are browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a platter. Add the maple syrup, Dijon mustard, cider vinegar and any accumulated pork juices to the now-empty skillet and simmer over medium heat until the mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes. Transfer the pork cutlets to the platter with the sweet potatoes and pour the sauce from the skillet over the top. Serve.

I really liked the flavor of the sauce and what it added to both the potatoes and the pork. Maple syrup and sweet potatoes just seem to go really well together and it was even better with the spice mixture on the pork. If you do not have garam masala on hand or can’t find it in your local grocery store, you can use a mix of ground  coriander, cumin, ground cardamom, pepper and ground cinnamon and get the same flavor. It is a fast recipe that gives you great taste and all you need to do is add a vegetable or a salad and you are good to go with your meal in about 30 minutes.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. I have a big work project I am working on right now, so I am going to try to get on here every day if I can to share some more ideas, recipes and more. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Pork, Potatoes, Sauce

 

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