Yesterday, there were these pork cutlets in the fridge. They were purchased at a reduced price since they were near the sell by date and really needed to be consumed.
What does one do with pork cutlets? Good question. I had no idea. They reminded me of pork minutes steaks which is pretty much what they are, but I only know one way to cook minute steaks and I don't think Austin was a fan the last time I busted that one out.
Internet to the rescue, or more accurately Real Simple and EatingWell to the rescue. They are the mainstay of my recipe searches. My friend Jen first introduced my to Real Simple magazine and my mom got me a subscription for Christmas last year. I have big plans to cut and paste together a cookbook of their recipes. Austin has an even better idea, but that's top secret until it exists. EatingWell became a part of my life when I tried to be supportive and joined the National Body Challenge. Yet another story deserving an individual post. They have recipes that are as healthy as possible without losing the flavor. And they aren't afraid of heavy cream. I respect them for that.
Real Simple offered up a whopping 251 recipes in response to my search for "pork cutlet," although only nine actually had cutlet in the name and they all appear to be variations on the same basic recipe. Still, a good selection of options especially if they're tasty. EatingWell seemed to be less stoked about pork cutlets because they only came up with three results. A bunch more for turkey cutlets and chicken cutlets, but only three pork cutlets. They had a baked version of the same basic breaded pork cutlet recipe called Golden Baked Pork Cutlets.
Mental thought process - A healthier, baked version of comfort food is always welcome, but sometimes I get a little flack for that. Maybe I should just go with the fried version? Hmmm. Why don't I make both? Then I can test them and see if one is really better than the other in direct comparison. None of that "this is how I remember it tasting" action to deal with.
I decided to test out the Pork Cutlets with Potato Salad from Real Simple. Austin had requested potato salad and I aim to please so it was the obvious choice and the baked Eatingwell version. Since I tend to forget to document my projects I enlisted Austin to photograph the whole shebang. You can thank him for the visuals.
I set up all the necessary ingredients for each recipe in my work area which involved a lot of bowls since both had three layers in the breading process and went to work.
|The man can make a pile of flour on a plate look nice.|
|Artsy meat. Mmmm.|
|Cutlet with pathetic lack of breading|
No such problems with the Real Simple recipe. Plenty of extra I had to toss in the compost pile, but those cutlets were coated.
|Well coated cutlets|
|Action bake shot|
|Action fry shot|
You can taste a difference, but it's minor. I think it's mostly the flour interior breading on the fried version as opposed to corn starch on the baked. I vote flour dredging and using two egg whites then following the EatingWell recipe, but making double the breading and freezing the extra. Austin votes fry, but he doesn't cook.