Pork Cutlets with Spicy Slaw

Pork cutlets with spicy red cabbage slaw on a white plate
1/19/18

Yesterday I made a family meal shut-out.

That’s what I call those rare, full-bellied occasions when there are no leftovers.

I worried that Dad wouldn’t like the cabbage slaw or Mom wouldn’t enjoy a medium-rare pork.

I stressed about whether or not to add some sort of grain to the meal and if the resting pork cutlets would get too cold while I cooked the side dish.

I painfully watched spurts of oil leap from the pan as I seared the meat and anticipated a considerable cleaning effort to follow.

As Dad jammed away in the next room (Love Shack) and Mom picked out the wine (a disappointing Cotes de Provence), I nervously set out the meal and shouted over Dad’s Fender, “Dinner!”

We filled our plates with the bright purple and orange slaw, slick with a sweet and smoky dressing. We slapped the burnished pork cutlets on top of the vegetable heap and scattered chopped cashews over everything.

We dug in.

“I’m going to eat all of this,” Mom declared. A few agonizing seconds passed before Dad’s reaction: “Yumbonie, Sam.”

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Cooking ain’t easy

While cooking dinner is the best part of my day, it is often the most stressful.

I’m not here to offer advice on how to make dinnertime less taxing (find that here), I just want to say that it always is, every night- and that’s okay.

Serving food to others is a challenge that tests your ability to please different palates and delight different appetites.

It’s about creating a special experience out of something mundane, and elevating a loved one’s daily routine.

It’s well-worth the effort.

Pork cutlets with spicy red cabbage slaw on a white plate

That meal will be the reason everyone you love gathers at the same table. That meal will be the reason people get fed, get happy, and get talking to each other.

Cooking dinner for others is a creative challenge with a reward that’s delicious enough to inspire me to cook dinner again tomorrow, and the next night.

Pork Cutlets with Spicy Slaw

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Serves: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 12 minutes

Dinnertime is hard. Quick-cooking, crowd-pleasing pork cutlets make it just a little bit easier. But who doesn't love a challenge with a delicious reward?

Ingredients

  • 4 pork chops, cut in half to make 1/2 inch thick cutlets
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ medium head purple cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Canola oil
  • ½ cup roasted cashews, chopped

Instructions

1

If you have extra time and a good playlist, place the pork between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound out to even thickness. This will help them cook more evenly. To be honest, I don't usually do this and end up with some meat overcooked. This step is only necessary if you're out to please higher standards.

2

Mix ketchup, vinegar, granulated garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and crushed red pepper flakes in a large bowl (big enough to fit all of the cabbage). Transfer 2-3 tablespoons of the dressing to a small bowl and lightly brush it onto the pork.

3

Thinly slice the cabbage and shred the carrot (or use the shredding blade on your food processor, that's what I do) and place in the large bowl with the remaining dressing. Add the cilantro/parsley, the sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon canola oil and toss to combine.

4

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

5

Cook the pork until just cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. I start off with 3 minutes on one side and reduce to 2 for the second side if I think it's cooking too quickly. I like my pork on the pinker side so I look for golden brown edges and a plush center (give it a poke). If you like it more cooked, look for a firmer center.

6

Serve the cutlets with the slaw and scatter chopped cashews over everything.

Nutrition

  • 447 Calories

Notes

A dry riesling would help to balance out the spice and smoke from the dressing, while a fruity rose would pair nicely with the sweet and salty combination of pork and slaw. If you'd prefer a red, try a fruity gamay or light-bodied pinot noir.

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