Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Last Night's Dinner: Crispy Pork Cutlets with Capers and Lemon

Oddly enough, today's installment of "Last Night's Dinner" is actually about...wait for it...last night's dinner!

Now that I'm reveling in my new kitchen, apparently I'm in search of a whole new slate of dinner staples. Oh, I've gotten my sausage-and-pasta on, and I've already made Jacques Pepin's onion soup and the French Women Don't Get Fat quiche, and those are my three favorite easy dinners. But most mornings find me flipping through a Food & Wine or a Bon Appetit (aka, in deference to the new design, "bon appetit"). It's serving me well.

Yesterday I ran across a recipe I'd marked in the February 2008 issue of Bon Appetit. It sounded simple - all I'd need was a pork tenderloin (to cut into cutlets) and some arugula. Everything else required (capers, lemons, bread for bread crumbs) was already sitting someplace in my kitchen. Perfect.

I modified the recipe just a bit, ditching the chopped egg (I don't like hard boiled eggs) and making a couple of substitutions (spinach for arugula just because I didn't feel like going to a second grocery store and apparently arugula is too fancy for Superfresh? Who knew? And pecorino romano for parmesan because I already had some left over from last week's artichoke pasta). I only made half the recipe - it was an easy split - and I added some garlic and olive oil couscous.

Overall? It was really pretty good. The lemons and capers were a nice match for the breaded pork and herbs - great flavor. The prep took slightly longer than I'd anticipated, since I somehow ignored the fact that I needed to let the breaded cutlets sit in the fridge for 30 minutes before cooking, but that wasn't a big deal. The substitutions were fine. I'm sure I would've preferred arugula, but we can't always get what we want, right?

My only complaint is that everything was a tiny bit salty overall, and there really wasn't all that much salt in the whole meal. Next time, I'd go very, very light on the salt for both the greens and in the sage and thyme rub. And I mean VERY light. I'd already decreased the ratio of herb-to-salt anyway.

But otherwise, this is a great weeknight meal. Good flavor, easy to make early in the day, and nothing too difficult. Plus, it's a great way to actually use leftover French bread (which I always have). I think it'll be a nice addition to the Pollard kitchen staple list.

6 comments:

Kathy said...

Our Superfresh (Towson Place) has arugula once in a while, sometimes with the herbs in those little plastic boxes, and sometimes with the lettuce. But it's been a while since I've seen it. They don't have the best produce section in the world.

Breaded pork tenderloin cutlets reminds me of one of my Mom's favorite ways to make tenderloin - coat it with egg and Progresso Italian bread crumbs, fry on all sides in a cast iron skillet until brown and crispy, then add spaghetti sauce and mozzarella to the pan and heat until warm and oozy. Ahhh...yummy teenage memory!

Kit Pollard said...

That's the Superfresh I went to - it's close to my house, but it's even closer to Target, and I go there everyday. Literally.

I usually avoid that store, mostly because of the produce section - I think it has a funny smell - but sometimes convenience just wins...

And your mom's pork sounds delicious! But really, when you combine cheese and sauce and breadcrumbs, isn't everything?

Kathy said...

I never noticed the smell - I'll keep my nose on the alert tonight though.

Cheese, sauce, breadcrumbs, and FRYING...can't forget that crucial makes-everything-taste-good component!

Kit Pollard said...

Mmm...frying...

Actually, I'm not really sure how strong the smell really is. I noticed it first when I was pregnant and had that superhero-strength nose for bad smells, and now I just can't shake it...

Kathy said...

Ok - no funny smells apart from the stale perfume on an old lady, and no arugula, although they had mache!

Kit Pollard said...

I saw the mache! And was thinking "mache, but no arugula???"

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