I learned a lot about cooking from my mother in law. As long as I knew her, there was always Sunday dinner. It was a day for a family meal and card playing. If four people showed up, you pretty much got roped into a game of 45’s. If four people who knew how to play Whist showed up, then Whist it was.
There was always lots of food and lots of yelling at the table. Cards always seemed to frustrate her. Of course, if you knew her, you knew that didn’t take much. Almost everything irritated her. She did not have a whole lot of patience or tolerance for much of anything. Sometimes it was actually pretty comical and my husband loved to instigate her. Even with her irascible temperament, she was still one of the greatest people I’ve ever known. If you were one of the few people she loved, she really loved you and you could consider yourself lucky.
This was one her recipes. She made it often. Usually with thick turkey cutlets served with mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, broccoli sautéed in olive oil and garlic and always a loaf of fresh Parisian bread from the bakery. But occasionally with pasta and red sauce.
I haven’t had her version in awhile. I think it might make me sad to sit down to that meal without her.
After much annoying, she did finally teach me how to make those cutlets. Although she never wrote anything down, she just threw stuff in and added things until she had the batter just the right color and consistency, so it took me a while to be able to get it just right.
I switched it up a little bit by making it with pork and pounding it out real, real thin. Other than that, it is the same as hers. Well, almost.
I always serve these with pasta and marinara sauce. I spoon some sauce over the cutlet, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and a dash of red pepper flakes. Drool
They are always a huge hit. My son hugs me and tells me I’m the best and I should open a cutlet store and the boys will fight over who gets the last one, or at least who will get home first the next day to eat the leftovers.
They do take a little time and effort, but are totally worth it. I hope you are able to give them a try.
Italian Pork Cutlets
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tblsp dried parsley
1/2 c, All-purpose flour
1/2 c. water
1 lb pork loin, sliced and pounded thin
2 c. breadcrumbs
1/2 c. olive oil for frying
1. Combine batter ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
2. Slice pork loin into thin pieces. Place between 2 pieces of plastic wrap on a cutting board (that is placed on a towel or something to cushion the blows) and pound super-duper paper thin with a rolling pin. Try to keep the thickness even throughout. Remember the thinner the better.
3. Place cutlets in batter and squish around with your hands to coat. Sometimes I do this the night before so I can get a jumpstart on dinner.
4. Place the breadcrumbs in a seperate dish (I use a pie plate) and coat each cutlet on both sides and set aside until ready to fry the entire batch.
5. Before frying, heat oven to 325F and prepare a large cookie sheet topped with a cooling rack to place the cutlets on and have another cooling rack topped with paper towels ready.
6. In a large frying pan, heat 1/4 c. oil on medium-high heat until ready to fry. You can tell it’s ready if you drop a little batter in and it starts to sizzle. If your oil isn’t hot enough, your cutlets will be heavy and soak up a lot of oil.
7. Depending on the size of your pan, cook several at a time. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Cooking times will depend on how thin your cutlets are. But, they cook rather quickly.
8. When done, place on paper towel lined sheet to drain, then transfer to the other baking sheet to keep warm in the oven while you fry the rest of the cutlets.
8. After cooking half of the cutlets, wipe out the pan and heat the remainder of the oil. Continue cooking the rest of the cutlets. If you skip this step the breading that has fallen off from the previous cutlets begins to burn and they get too dark.
Serve with pasta and your favorite marinara and a hefty sprinkle of parmesan cheese.