“Pork paillards” – I’m so pleased with the alliteration. Where is everybody this morning? It’s Saturday at 10 am here in Denver and I just had a look at the blog to see what's been posted. Nada. Oh well, maybe a little later. I get such a charge out of all your recipes. (I confess I tend to skip the baked goods … I’m not a baker or a sweets eater.)
Here’s the thing about cooking pork this way: the perfect cut is boneless loin chops, although I’ve used bone-in, thin-cut chops (just boned them out). With loin chops I would cut them into 1” strips, brine them, and pound them thin. I have sliced through them to make thinner pieces, but it’s kind of hard to do and maybe a little dangerous. This dish is absolutely not greasy if the oil is hot enough.
There’s nothing complicated about the technique of making paillards. Turkey, chicken and pork are all excellent for this. I have tried numerous times to make this with beef to no avail. For some reason it’s always tough. Do trust the very short cooking time. You won’t regret it.
To brine: 2 cups water, 2 tbsp kosher salt, 2 tsp black pepper. Dissolve salt in the water, add to the pork in a freezer bag or other container, make sure the pork is completely submerged. Leave in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Rinse and dry on paper towels before proceeding.
Pork paillards (serves 4)
1 lb. pork loin chops or regular chops, boned
2 eggs, lightly beaten (sometimes 1 is enough, or add some egg white from a box if you have it)
2-3 cups bread crumbs (preferable unseasoned – Panko is good too)
One by one, put the brined pork pieces into a freezer bag (you can use the one they were brined in. Pound them very thin, less than ¼” if you can.
Put the chops on a baking rack on your cutting board. Sprinkle 1 side of the meat with black pepper. Press it with your fingers to help it adhere. Now, using a small sieve, sprinkle with smoked paprika. I do only one side because smoked paprika can easily hijack a dish. Again using the sieve, sprinkle with a light coating of flour. Turn them over and sprinkle with flour.
Dredge in the egg and then the breadcrumbs, pressing to get a good coating. When finished put the rack on a plate and refrigerate. This can be done way ahead, just be sure to take the pork out 30 minutes before cooking.
In a large skillet heat 1/8” maximum of cooking oil over medium-high heat (7 of 10 on my burner dial) until very hot. The oil is ready when a pinch of flour sizzles energetically when dropped in. At this point I always wait another 30 seconds. The most crucial aspect of this recipe is the hot oil.
Carefully lay in the breaded pork (in batches as necessary, keeping cooked pieces in a warm oven until everything's done. Cook 45 seconds only. Turn with tongs. Cook 45 seconds more. Remove to a plate covered with paper towel to drain for 1 minute. Serve.
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