Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Cutting the Mustard!

Cotoletta di Maiale "Dijon" con Patate, Mele e Germogli di Ravanelli
Dijon Pork Cutlet with Potato, Apple and Radish Sprouts

There certainly are some strange saying out there- such as "cutting the mustard", which refers to something or some one being good enough to make the grade. Well this here dish makes the grade with flying colors by using the mustard!

Wonderful, grainy, Dijon mustard is a great friend of pork and thyme... and together with tangy apple and caraway seed, they make for a wonderful, seasonal combination!

Though maybe a little unspectacular looking, the potatoes in this dish are actually really delicious and need to be prepared first. We all have to begin somewhere! They will need to be boiled and ready by the time our pork is ready to go into the oven- so boil them in a mix of half water, half milk, with a couple of bay leaves and a little nutmeg.

Pork, especially a simple cutlet like this, does tend to dry out very quickly if it overcooks even just a little. And alas, most people still fear leaving their pork too rare, as this is one of those age-old pieces of kitchen wisdom from the times before people had refrigerators! No, of course the meat must be properly cooked, but I tend to believe that a high heat for a short amount of time is more likely to bring success than a lower heat for a longer time.

To help reduce risk further, using another source of valuable, tasty juices whilst preparing the pork can only be beneficial- in this case some tangy apple slices. I fried them together in a non-stick pan with a little clarified butter, a couple of sprigs of thyme and a generous sprinkle of caraway seeds. After 3-4 minutes of high heat from both sides, I removed the pork from the flame and only now seasoned with salt and pepper, as the salt would have drawn moisture from the pork whilst cooking. I then spread the meat with dijon mustard and sprinkled the apples with a little sugar and salt.

The next thing I did was to take the boiled potato and to cut an "x" into it and squash it down so that it opened up a little. I then added a pat of butter and put the potato, pork and apple back into the oven and under the broiler for a couple of minutes to bring everything back up to temperature and voila! Supper was ready to serve!

I added a little bunch of radish sprouts which were lightly dressed in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, which gave a nice hint of freshness to the dish as well as a lovely colorful accent... You could almost believe it is Springtime!

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