|That's some good schnitzel, man. - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
The UnRecipe part of this meal was the fact that we had frozen pork chops and some random beers sitting in our mini fridge. The whole UnRecipe theme is slowly evolving from "throw everything together and see what happens," to "throw everything together, try and write stuff down, and see what happens." I'm not entirely sure if it makes much of a difference to readers, having the recipes listed below, as I don't think these dishes are exciting enough to inspire anyone to make them. But it is a peek into the life of a consummate pantry cook who just likes to MacGyver-it when it comes to meals.
Since this was one of those thrown together meals, I didn't take any photos of the making-of or separate ingredients, but given the basic nature behind it, I think the final, plated meal is pretty self-explanatory over what was used. I liked this meal because it's uncomplicated and appropriate for a weekday dinner, plus the ingredients are simple and budget-friendly. As everyone's in the midst of preparing for a big Thanksgiving feast, this is a simple enough thing to make prior to the Big Push next week, without having to give in to the siren song of the drive-thru window. Although damn it all if fries and a milkshake aren't tasty!
Holy Schnitzel, it's Oktoberfest! (with Gorgonzola Pecan Green Beans)
3 large pork chops, trim excess fat, sliced lengthwise and pounded flat (stressbuster!)
1 large apple, cored and diced (whatever's in season, but I dig Fujis)
1 stalk of celery
1 cup flour for dredging
1 bottle of beer (Oktoberfest/seasonal brew, if possible)
1 shallot, minced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp thyme and/or rosemary, finely chopped
salt + pepper to taste
side dish ingredients
2 lbs green beans
6 oz pecans, rough chop
4 oz gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp olive oil
salt + pepper to taste
To prepare holy schnitzel: Put a large skillet on the stove and heat to medium-high. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of pork and dredge in flour, dust to remove excess. Put vegetable oil in heated pan, enough to cover surface, and add dredged pork, two at a time to avoid crowding the pan. Cook until browned on both sides, cooking all cutlets and then setting aside on a platter when done. Tent with tin foil to keep warm.
Reduce heat to medium, keep skillet on stove, add diced apple, shallot, and celery. Cook until wilted, slowly adding beer to help deglaze pan and create a sauce. Add fresh herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper, tasting as you go. When full bottle of beer is emptied into pan, reduce sauce to thicken slightly and add pork cutlets back into the pan to coat with the sauce. Let the cutlets and sauce play nice for a few minutes before turning heat off.
Green beans time! You can start this while the sauce is reducing -- get a pot of water boiling on another burner. When water gets to a boil, add the green beans and cook until beans get to a bright green -- should only take a few minutes for them to be partly cooked, but remain crisp (that's what I like), but if you like them softer, feel free to let them suffer further in the bubbly cauldron of hot water. Drain the beans once they get to the doneness you prefer. Turn the burner off, but leave the beans in the drained pot. Add the olive oil, chopped pecans, gorgonzola cheese crumbles, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss mixture; the heat from the beans will melt the cheese and combine with the oil to create a sauce, and keeping it in the pan saves you from dirtying another bowl. But if you like doing dishes, feel free to toss mixture in another container, as I'm not the boss of you. :)
Holy schnitzel, let's plate up a cutlet, smothered in an apple/beer sauce, and a big heaping pile of nutty, cheesy beans and om nom it up while you're watching something awesome on TV. Having another beer in hand while eating this meal is not a bad thing either, so cheers to weeknight meals!