Sunday, 17 July 2011

This Little Piggy Stayed Home

Cotoletta di Maiale con Crosta di Senape e Miele
Pork Cutlet with a Honey- Mustard Crust


Amazingly, the weather remains to be a thorn in our side here in Frankfurt and it has been cold, gray and rainy again all day today. Try as I might, the Summer dishes I make just seem a little... out of place right now! A gray sky calls for a different kind of meal- something more traditional and hearty. But I think I managed to pull together the best of both worlds in this simple dish- light enough for a Summer evening, but satisfying enough for the Fall... sigh!

The flavor explosion that is hidden in that breaded topping will turn a simple, boneless pork cutlet into something much more special. It is easy and quick to make and you can even prepare it in advance... which is always a good thing! The meat itself would be rather bland on its own and would tend to dry out rather quickly. This way, you get a lot of flavor, a juicier result and this is how you do it!

For 2 small cutlets, you will need 1 slice of white bread, finely chopped, half an apple, peeled and finely chopped, 1 small shallot finely chopped, rosemary, chives, parsley, mint and a little blue cheese. Put all of these into a bowl, grate with nutmeg, grind with pepper, add 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 of mustard and stir together thoroughly. You should end up with a nice compact mass which you can pat down firmly onto the pork cutlets. Fry the cutlets in a dry pan for 2-3 minutes on a high heat and then finish off in the oven at a moderate heat. This will take 10-15 minutes... which is enough time to to get our little side dishes ready!

The potatoes are simply sliced thinly, pre- boiled for 2-3 minutes only and then fried in only a tiny amount of butter at a moderate heat. If you have the pan too hot, the potatoes will burn before they even have a chance to cook properly! Pop them in the pan, spread them out and leave them be- it is time that will get them nice and brown and not constant stirring!

The other side I made was a compote of dried plum, shallot, port wine, balsamic vinegar, honey and ginger... mmm! Put the dried plums in the pan first, add honey, a little cinnamon, a pinch of salt and crank up the heat. When it begins to get almost critical, de-glaze with a splash of port and add the sliced shallots. Add a little fresh pepper, some grated ginger and a splash of balsamic vinegar and allow to render down into a nice syrupy sauce... this will taste wonderful with the pork!

Time to dish everything up! The potatoes get a light sprinkle of parsley and a little grated nutmeg before serving and then both the pork and the potatoes get a light, seasoning with a fine sea salt. Mmmm!

This is a simple dish, but the flavor combinations work well and compliment each other... and that is what it's all about! Offer this your friends and I am sure you will be complimented too!

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