Happy cabbage salad and crispy pork cutlets

Ever since my weekend in Hanover and Tom’s lovely dinner I’ve been considering that slaw he made. On Tuesday I started sifting through Everyday Food’s quick recipe database looking for something incredibly fast and easy that would go well with cabbage. I settled on pork, and found this recipe for “Crispy breaded cutlets,” using panko breadcrumbs.

This was so, so easy. Instead of using an egg white to adhere the crumbs, you use dijon mustard, which flavors and moistens the pork in addition to helping the panko stick. I didn’t pound the cutlets quite thin enough, so there were some false starts getting them out of the oven, but overall this is something I’ll definitely do again.

Basically you pound boneless pork loin chops (I used butterflied boneless pork chops) to about 1/4 inch, rub each one with mustard, dredge them in panko you toasted with some oil, and then bake on a rack in the oven. Whee!

For the slaw, I made a dressing out of about 1/3 vegetable oil to 2/3 cider vinegar, with a healthy amount of brown sugar. I had about 2/3 of a cup of dressing for a huge bowl of cabbage, and I’d guess it had about 3+ tablespoons of brown sugar (plus pepper). I kept adjusting as I went so I don’t have exact measurements. You want a good balance between tangy and sweet; this seemed like a lot of vinegar but I kept adding more, dipping in a piece of cabbage to taste it, etc.

I just love to look at cabbage, don’t you?

I cut the halves lengthwise midway through, so I wouldn’t have huge long strips. Next time I’d make two cuts, I think–there were still some lengthy pieces of cabbage in there. I also wasn’t quite as strict about peeling off the outer leaves on the first half, so those were a little tough. Even if they look perfect and great, make sure to get those out leaves off!

I dressed the slaw before starting the pork, and let it sit for a while. Tom and I had learned a lesson about salting it too early, so I waited until before I served it to salt it, to keep it from getting too watery. The leftovers did let off a lot of juice and dressing but that was fine.

Really delicious. That pork was *tender* and had good flavor and that nice crispy crust. Ben hates slaw, so I cleverly called the slaw “cabbage salad”–tricky, no? He still doesn’t love cabbage, but after dinner he said “That was a success. We could have that again,” so…

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