Pork schnitzel might seem better suited to Oktoberfest than summertime. But not the way it’s done by Evan and Sarah Rich, the couple behind Rich Table in San Francisco (and authors of a new cookbook of the same name).
They top the cutlet with a bright cucumber salad and cool herb-infused ranch dressing, so it eats like an entree-size salad.
“This is how we think about food,” Evan Rich says, “using raw vegetables and acidity to cut through heavy, fatty things.”
Rather than the usual pork shoulder, they call for center-cut, bone-in pork chops. “It’s already nice and tender, so you don’t need to pound it super-flat,” says Rich. Try it his way and you’ll never use another cut again.
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- Avocado Ranch Dressing:
- 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tbsp champagne vinegar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1⁄2 cup buttermilk, plus more as needed
- 1⁄4 cup each chopped fresh dill, parsley, tarragon, and chervil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Pork Schnitzel
- 4 bone-in, center-cut pork chops, about 11⁄2-inch thick
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- A few handfuls Little Gem lettuce leaves, or other small, crunchy lettuce
- 2 small cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
- Chopped fresh chives
How to make it
Make the dressing. In a food processor, process avocado, egg yolk, and vinegar until smooth. With food processor running, slowly drizzle in oil until the mixture turns thick and creamy. Add buttermilk, herbs, and garlic and process until combined. Add additional buttermilk as needed to thin the mixture to a drizzle-able consistency. Season with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve, or up to 3 days.
Heat oven to 250°F. Place a cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet, and place both in oven. Working with one pork chop at a time, place chop between two sheets of plastic wrap on a cutting board and pound until it is between 1⁄8 - and 1⁄4-inch thick. Leave bone intact. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining chops. Season lightly with salt.
Place flour in a shallow bowl. Crack eggs into a second shallow bowl and beat to combine. Place panko in a third shallow bowl. Working with one chop at a time, coat each chop with flour, then egg, then panko. Press firmly on panko so that it adheres to chop. Transfer to a plate.
In a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, heat about 1 inch vegetable oil to 350°F over medium-high heat. Add one chop. It should immediately sizzle. Cook on both sides, basting with hot oil, until deeply golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to rack on baking sheet in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining chops.
In a large bowl, toss lettuce leaves and cucumber slices with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt to taste. Place one chop in center of each serving plate. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with a generous amount of dressing. Top with a handful of the lettuce-cucumber mix. Garnish with chives and lemon wedges. Serve immediately.