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Pork scaloppini is simple and elegant |
Food & Drink

Pork scaloppini is simple and elegant

| Saturday, June 2, 2012 3:29 p.m
James T. Farmer III
Skinny Pork Chop Scaloppini. Tribune Media Services

Defined as thin cuts of meat, sauteed and cooked in a rich sauce, the scaloppini technique for cooking pork, chicken and veal is simple and elegant. Lemon, garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley and white wine meld together to form a succulent sauce with the renderings of the thinly sliced pork cutlets.

Why pork for this dish? Well, who doesn’t want a break from chicken sometimes? Veal, of course, is a luscious choice for scaloppini, but many have an aversion to it. In any case, pork cutlets work marvelously. This cut of meat is economical, easy to handle and the perfect portion to plate. It browns well, yielding that flavor as a delightful element for the sauce.

Ah, the sauce. I tend to crave a beurre-blanc sauce, relishing that phenomenal combo of lemon, garlic and wine. After the cutlets have browned, a hearty splash of good white wine deglazes the pan, forcing those browned bits of meat and garlic to relinquish their hold on the skillet’s bottom and bond together with the wine. Letting the wine simmer and reduce concentrates the flavor of liquid and helps tenderize the meat. A liberal squeeze of lemon gives a tangy, citrusy and floral note.

One way I like to serve my pork scaloppini is on a bed of fun macaroni covered in a sauce of crushed tomatoes, parmesan and garlic. I love how the wine and lemon enhance and complement the tomato sauce.

I’m addicted to roasted cauliflower, so I like to serve it with this meal. Coat thinly sliced cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then roasted. I’ve roasted about everything I can, and cauliflower is simply the best.

This meal is simple and elegant, easy to prep and plate, and full of flavor bursts and complementary textures.

Skinny Pork Chop Scaloppini

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 to 6 thinly sliced pork cutlets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Heaping tablespoon or two of minced garlic
  • 1 to 1 12 cup good-quality white wine
  • Juice of one lemon or half a large lemon
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, thyme and rosemary minced with salt, your choice
  • Pasta, risotto, mashed potatoes or vegetables, for serving
  • Parsley and lemon, for garnish

Heat the oil in an iron skillet or saute pan until hot, while patting the pork cutlets dry with paper towels.

Place the cutlets in the oil and watch them sizzle and brown, salting and peppering the exposed side and spreading the garlic on the meat, too. Flip the cutlets after 2 minutes or when the meat easily releases from the pan.

Season the now-upturned brown side and cook for another minute. Add the white wine and allow the pan to deglaze and the wine to reduce by half. You might have to scrape some of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan if the wine doesn’t release them. Flip the cutlets again and again, if need be, to keep them moving and the sauce turned.

After the wine has reduced, squeeze the lemon juice over the pork and remove from heat. Add the herbs of your choice for savory, green flavor and serve over warm pasta, risotto, mashed potatoes or with steamed or roasted vegetables. Garnish with parsley and lemon.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Categories: Food Drink
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