Sunday, October 23, 2016

Pork Loin Cutlets with Sauerkirsche Mint Crème

     Pork Loin Cutlets with Sour Cherry Mint Crème!
     Autumn is here!  With autumn comes recipes for chilly weather.  During the past few years I have posted many French, German, Swiss and Austrian recipes for the fall season.  It seems like the cuisine of those countries dominates autumn cuisine.  
     Early in my career, I apprenticed in a few restaurants that were run by French, German and Swiss chefs.  This was long before the fusion cuisine trend and modern health cuisine trend came to be.  European cuisine still featured traditional classic food.  Sauces were rich and full of classic flavors.  Presentations of the classic food were conservative and excess garnishing was taboo.  It took a great degree of skill to cook the old classic entrées ands this cuisine commanded a price.   
     Back in those days, the small European fine dining restaurants in America always offered a special du jour menu of nice creations for the autumn season.  The chefs liked to offer their own creations for the season and traditional favorites of their home country.  A few German chefs that I worked with liked to offer veal with dried or preserved tart summer cherries flambeed with kirschwater and finished with cream.  This is not a recipe that you will find in many cookbooks, but it is a nice chilly weather entrée, because the sweet tart cream flavor is so decadent.  
     Mint in a sauce brings recent memories of warmer seasons.  Understanding the psychology of how food affects perception is part of planning a good plate of seasonal food.  For example, warm weather harvest items that were preserved for later use, can please guests later in the year when the weather is hopelessly cold.  On a chilly dreary day, a rich sauce made with mint and cherries inspires thoughts of past spring and summer seasons, which in turn inspires cheery warm conversation.
     Classically, today's recipe is best suited for veal cutlets, but the sauce also goes well with pork or chicken.  Anything that can be done with veal can also be done with lean pale color pork loin meat.     
     Pork Loin Cutlets with Sauerkirsche Mint Crème:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Step 1:  Place 10 dried sour cherries (wild cherries) in a cup of warm water and soak them till they soften.
     Drain the water off of the reconstituted sour cherries.
     Cut the cherries in half and set them aside.
     Step 2:  Cut 3 thin pork loin cutlets that weigh about 2 to 3 ounces apiece.
     Gently pound the cutlets flat with a meat mallet.
     Step 3:  Lightly season the cutlets with sea salt and white pepper.
     Dredge the cutlets in flour.
     Step 4:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Place the floured pork cutlets in the pan.
     Sauté the cutlets on both sides till light golden brown highlights appear.
     Step 5:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Remove the cutlets from the pan and set them aside on a platter.
     Remove the excess grease from the pan.
     Step 6:  Place the pan back over medium heat.
     Add the the reconstituted sour cherry halves.
     Add 2 ounces of kirschwasser.  (cherry schnapps)
     Step 7:  Add 1 cup of cream.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of crushed dried mint.
     Add 1 small pinch of nutmeg.
     Add 1 small pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Bring the cream to a gentle boil.
     Step 8:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Return the sautéed pork cutlets to the pan.
     Gently simmer and reduce till the sauce is a medium thin consistency that can coat a spoon.
     Step 9:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Overlap the pork loin cutlets on the front half of a plate.
     Spoon the sour cherry mint creme sauce over and around the pork cutlets.
     Garnish the plate with root vegetables and a seasonal squash of your choice.  
     Serve with a potato of your choice on the side.    
     * The vegetables in the photos are Buttered Purple Carrot Dimes, Pattypan Squash and a peeled whole Parsley Root with the green parsley top attached.  These are classic autumn season vegetables that look nice on a plate!

     This is a nice German style pork entrée for chilly dreary weather!  

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