Saturday, September 20, 2008

Comfort Food from the Midwest

Pork Cutlets & Pan Gravy
One of my favorite foods from back home in the Midwest is pork cutlets. The best ones are found in Iowa, but you can get excellent cutlets in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin too. If you've never had pork from back east, I can tell you, you are really missing out on something wonderful! The pork back home has so much more flavor than this overly lean, bland pork in the stores here in California.
If you ask for pork cutlets here, what you'll often get is a boneless chop that's been run through a mechanical tenderizer. You'll recognize it by the square or diamond pattern on the surface. A real pork cutlet is from the tenderloin, so they are juicy and tender and delicious!

To make this dish you'll season some flour with salt & pepper. I like a lot of pepper, freshly ground. Using a meat tenderizing mallet, lighty pund the cutlets to an even thickness, working in the flour as you go. In a large skillet (this is an electric, but you can do it on the stove), heat a small amount of olive oil, smart balance, or a combination of oil and butter. Saute the cutlets quickly, flipping after about 2 minutes, until a delicious crust forms as seen in these pics.

Once all of the cutlets are browned, add a couple tablespoons of your seasoned flour to the pan with them, then add about 3 cups of water, cover, and let simmer until it forms a thickened, flavorful gravy and the meat is tender. This takes about 15 - 20 minutes. So easy!

We served mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, green & yellow beans with carrots, and a potato melange as sides with this dinner. The potato melange has peppers, onion, carrot, tomato, snow peas, and a little broccoli. It's from Trader Joe's in the frozen aisle, and cooks up quick! Personally, I prefer my mashed potatoes, but that's just me :) Enjoy!!

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