Here’s a dinner option that’s fancy enough for company, but easy enough for a Tuesday night. Crispy Pork Cutlets with Fresh Peach Salsa. I know! Doesn’t it look good? Crunchy panko-coated cutlets, fried to a golden brown and topped with buttery, salty prosciutto and a sweet, tangy peach salsa. Yum! And it comes together quicker than you might think. About 40 minutes start to finish. Faster, if you can enlist some helpers to chop the salsa and set the table.
Since the peaches are at their peak right now, I’ve been using them in all sorts of recipes. I’ve got some hand pies that I’ll be sharing with you soon and we’ve been eating peach caprese salads, ice creams and pies and enjoying peach infused cocktails. For this simple salsa, just dice the peaches, bell pepper and onion and toss them with fresh herbs. It couldn’t be simpler.
For the pork cutlets, I like to start with a pork tenderloin because it’s already lean, so I don’t need to do much trimming. It’s also such a tender cut that it only takes a few whacks with the flat side of a meat tenderizer to make cutlets.
The next step is a traditional dredge of seasoned flour, beaten egg and panko bread crumbs. You could use dried regular or Italian breadcrumbs, but I think the panko lends a heartier crunch to these cutlets.
Measure a quarter inch of canola oil into a heavy bottomed pan or preferably a cast iron skillet. Heat the oil over a medium to medium high heat and cook the cutlets in several batches, without crowding the pan — you want to give them room to fry on all sides without sticking together. Oh, and another tip — instead of using a spatula to flip them (dangerous because they will splatter if you drop them in a pool of hot oil) use kitchen tongs to carefully turn them.
To serve, just top each cutlet with a little prosciutto and spoon on some of the salsa. I like this with a simple arugula salad (shown here). Both Scott and Emily loved this dish and consequently, it’s being added to the repertoire for the rest of peach season! If you want to be a hero at dinnertime, this dish will do it!
- 2 peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2" dice
- 1/2 red bell pepper, 1/4" dice
- 1/4 cup red onion, 1/4" inch dice
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon julienned basil (add basil just before serving)
- 1 1-lb pork tenderloin
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 8 slices of thinly sliced Prosciutto Di Parma
- In a small bowl combine the peaches, bell pepper, red onion, lime zest and parsley. Toss to combine. Don't add the basil until you're ready to serve. It wilts and discolors quickly, so to retain the freshness, add it at the last minute. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200°.
- Cut the pork into 3/4" medallions, cutting across the tenderloin crosswise. Lay the pork pieces on a cutting board and use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound the cutlets to about 1/4" thick. Set aside.
- In a shallow bowl, add the flour, salt and pepper, stir to combine. Add the egg to a shallow bowl and whisk lightly with a fork. Add panko to a third shallow bowl. Coat the pork cutlets in assembly line fashion, dipping and coating both sides of the pork first in the flour mixture, then in the egg and finally in the panko. Transfer the cutlets to a platter.
- Place a cast iron or other heavy skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add enough canola oil to reach about 1/4" up in the pan. When the oil is hot but not smoking, test it by adding 1 or 2 breadcrumbs to the oil. If they sink to the bottom, continue to heat the oil. If they float immediately, the oil is ready.
- Carefully transfer the pork tenderloins a few at a time to the skillet - but don't crowd the pan, the cutlets should not touch one another. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until the cutlets are a golden brown. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Keep the pork warm in the oven while you cook the remaining cutlets.
- Cut each slice of the prosciutto in half, lengthwise .
- Place the cutlets on a serving platter and top each with a piece of prosciutto. Add the basil to the salsa and serve the salsa alongside the pork cutlets.