Friday, September 16, 2011

Going in Circles


     Isn't it funny how different cultures manage to come up with the same things? How people in China and Europe came up with movable type and printing at different times? How people everywhere from Russia to Korea pickle things? (Even though there are so many people who don't like pickled things, after all. I am not one of them - you can give me pickled diakon anyday!) How the French have crepes and Indians have dosas? And why was I think about this? Because, the Japanese have Pork Katsu (which I made what seems like a ridiculously long time ago) and the Austrians have Schnitzel!

     Of course, having just done some googling to find this out, katsu (or tonkatsu really) was invented in Japan as an interpretation of European cuisine. So, I guess its because of the Europeans that the Japanese have katsu and its not really the same as what I was talking about...but whatever, you get my point, right? What's more, at this point katsu is so Japanese-ized (I'm sure there's a better way of saying that) and eaten with its traditional katsu sauce that it does seem miles away from Pork Schnitzel eaten with a simple lemon slice. Or with spaetzle (those little round egg noodles), which is the way I ate it during a blissful summer vacation in Germany so long ago.

     The point of all these heartburnings being, that I really wanted to make pork schnitzel for dinner tonight. Mainly because I had more of those those lovely thin pork chops I keep going back to in my fridge. And, in honor of those spaetzle so long ago, I wanted to accompany it with pasta. Rightfully I should have accompanied it with spaetzle, but I got lazy. It was such a beautiful day outside! And there were people to see and talk to.

     So, I made schnitzel. It seems almost cheating to put down this recipe because it is so similar to the katsu one. I even used panko instead of breadcrumbs. But, there are the slight differences: the milk mixed in with the egg, the seasoning in the flour, and the accompaniment after all. But, let me warn you, the recipe for the "sauce" I made isn't so much of a recipe as just a bunch of ideas for what you can do to make a good sauce. You can use whatever spices you like for pasta sauce and use other liquids, like wine, instead of chicken broth for the deglazing. But in the end, my pork schnitzel and pasta made a lovely dinner. The crust of the schnitzel was crispy, and it had the flavoring of the spices so it wasn't plain. The pasta was creamy and delicious, and the peas made it healthy! Yum yum.

Pork Schnitzel
Adapted from Simply Recipes

4 Thin Boneless Pork Chops
1/2 tsp Salt plus a spoon of salt
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Red Chili Powder 
1/4 cup Flour
1 Egg  
2 tbsp Milk
3/4 cup Panko
3 tbsp Olive Oil

If you are making Pasta Sauce: 

1/2 cup Chicken Broth 
1/2 cup Milk 
1 tbsp of the leftover Seasoned Flour 
1 tsp Oregano 
1/2 tsp Basil 
1/4 tsp Salt 
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/2 cup Cooked Peas (I used the kind you can steam inside the microwave...very handy) 

First, fill a large bowl with water and a spoonful of salt and sugar. Add the four pork chops and let them brine while you prepare the rest of your ingredients. Next, get three large, shallow bowls. In one, mix the flour, half teaspoon of salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and red chili powder. In another, beat the egg and then whisk in the milk. In the last, pour out your panko. Once these are all prepared, dry off your pork chops. Trim them if they have a lot of fat around the edges, and use a meat hammer (if you own one: I used a large metal spoon) to pound them to 1/4''-1/8'' thickness. You can cut small slits around the edges to prevent curling once you get them very thin. 

In a large frying pan at medium heat, start heating the olive oil. Prepare a large plate with two paper towels on it for the chops after you fry them. Then, dredge one of the chops in the flour, shaking off excess, then the egg/milk mixture, then the panko (make sure to coat both sides thoroughly). Sautee the chop 3-4 minutes on each side, until it is golden brown. You can work this in batches, doing two at a time. I didn't have to switch out my oil, but if you are running out of oil make sure you add extra, you don't want your chops to burn! Place your chops on the paper towel plate after they cook to drain, and cover them with foil once they are cooked to keep them warm.

If you are making a sauce, proceed to deglaze the pan with 3/4 cup of chicken broth. This means pouring the chicken broth into the pan and scraping the bottom so that all the brown bits flow into it. Stir it and stir in the milk and flour. Stir continuously, making sure there are no flour lumps, and allow the sauce to thicken. Add the spices, salt, and pepper, reducing the heat to medium low. Once the sauce is thickened, add in the cooked peas and simmer for a minute, stirring so the peas are nicely coated. I had already cooked my elbow pasta and it was cool, so I added the pasta in as well and stirred everything together before taking it off the heat, but you can use whatever pasta you like and add the sauce onto it, stirring it together in a bowl.

1 comment:

  1. रानी बेटी शिवानी --तुम्हारा ब्लॉग फिर चालू हो गया ! खुशी हुई ! बहुत बहुत बधाई !
    बाबा दादी