Harrison had a rare three-day weekend this past weekend, so we took advantage of it by spending most of our time relaxing, playing with Paul, marathon-watching movies and, naturally, eating. I’m almost embarrassed to admit how poorly we ate over the last few days (my meals may or may not have included Cool Ranch Doritos and a bag of mini Snickers), but we vowed yesterday to eat healthier throughout the week and get a lot of physical activity in.
Unfortunately, we didn’t necessarily stick to that plan last night when Harrison made an amazing dinner of breaded pork cutlets, butter-laden polenta cakes, and white wine and shallot tomatoes. But his recipe was so delicious (and completely original, I might add!) that it was totally worth it.
Harrison grew up eating a lot of pork and chicken cutlets, thanks to his step-dad’s Italian heritage and his mom’s love for Italian cooking. I, on the other hand, had a lot of fried pork chops (thanks, Southern roots!), but rarely ate cutlets—especially not cutlets coated in panko breadcrumbs.
And even though I’ve had polenta on occasion, my family has always been on the grits bandwagon, eating them strictly for breakfast and never with dinner—unless, of course, it was breakfast for dinner! That’s why I was really excited to try Harrison’s creation: It was a totally new twist on some of my favorite Southern tastes. Even though it wasn’t light fare by a long shot, it made for the perfect comfort-food meal. Check out his made-from-scratch recipe below, and let me know if you try it out!
Breaded Pork Cutlets with Polenta Cakes and White-Wine Tomatoes
Yield: 3 Servings
2 teaspoons water
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 pound boneless center-cut pork loin cutlets (about 6 cutlets)
Salt and pepper
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon, 2 cups olive oil
1 pint grape tomatoes
1/4 cup dry white wine (we used the Bogle Chardonnay we had on hand)
6 slices polenta, 1/2-inch thick
2 tablespoons butter
1 lemon, halved or in wedges
1. In small bowl, whisk 2 eggs with 2 teaspoons water. In separate small bowls or plates, pour 2 cups panko breadcrumbs and 1 cup flour.
2. Place cutlets in single layer onto sheet of wax paper. Lightly coat with salt and pepper. Cover cutlets with second sheet of wax paper, then pound meat with mallet to flatten and tenderize.
3. Dip each cutlet in flour, coating both sides, then repeat in egg mixture and panko breadcrumbs. Set aside.
4. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to large skillet. Add minced shallots and saute on medium-low heat until softened. Add garlic to skillet and cook until just fragrant, then add 1 pint grape tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste, cover with lid and let simmer, stirring occasionally. Once tomatoes begin to soften, add 1/4 cup dry white wine. Cook until tomatoes begin to burst and wine evaporates, then continue to simmer on low.
5. In second large skillet, coat bottom of skillet with 1/4 inch olive oil (about 2 cups). Add cutlets to skillet, and cook on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes, or until brown. Flip cutlets, then dust lightly with salt and pepper. Cook another 5-7 minutes, then place cooked cutlets in large baking pan. Set aside in oven to keep warm.
6. Slice polenta into 1/2-inch-thick circular slices. In cutlet pan, add 2 tablespoons butter and polenta slices. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook on medium-low heat for three minutes on each side.
7. Plate cutlets, tomatoes and polenta cakes, and serve with lemon halves or wedges.