One of my favorite cooking shows of all time is and shall forever be, Two Fat Ladies. For those unfamiliar with this British gem of a cooking show it involves two women of a certain age, Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson, as they travel around the UK making meals for various people. In between bad mouthing vegetarians, telling tales of their debauched past and breaking out into showtunes (thanks to Jennifer and whatever she might have been drinking at the time), they created some of the most decadent food.
They were unapologetic about their love of sinfully rich ingredients like pastry, butter, cream and pork. Every vegetable that they cooked with was always the best. The older I become the more I feel like one of the fat ladies while cooking. There I am, wine glass in hand, butter and cream not too far away and fawning over the vegetable du jour, ‘Oh, long beans! I LOVE long beans. So delicious!’ There are even bonus points if I rehash a story of when I was 20-something in whichever exotic country I was in at the time and doing something mildly questionable.
Never do I feel closer to them than when I make this nut encrusted schnitzel. I can’t think of anything that is not to love than fried pork loin encrusted with pistachios and topped with a decadent cream sauce. The pistachio crust elevates it to ‘almost fancy’ and compliments the lemon, thyme and Dijon in the cream sauce. Is it the healthiest dish out there? Probably not. Is it soulfully decadent? Oh yeah. Would this meal be Two Fat Ladies worthy? God, I should hope so…
400-500g(14-18oz) Pork loin
2 tbsp water
1 cup (120g) flour
1 cup (120g) plain breadcrumbs
240g (~4oz) pistachios
Remove the pistachio nuts from their shells and crush into pieces using the edge of your knife or the back of the spoon. Combine the crushed nuts with with plain breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly.
Cut pork into 3-4 equal pieces. Using the back of a clever or a meat hammer, hammer the pieces of pork until about 0.5 cm/0.5 in thin. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
Take seasoned pork cutlets and first dip in flour, then beaten egg, then pistachio/breadcrumb mix.
Heat a generous amount of oil in a non-stick pan on medium high heat. When oil is hot, add breaded pork cutlets to oil one at a time and fry until golden brown on each side. Remove from oil and place on serving dish.
Dijon, Lemon and Thyme Cream Sauce
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp chopped shallots
1 clove garlic (minced)
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
100ml (~3.5oz) white wine
200ml (~7oz) cream
1 tbsp dijon
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
In a small saucepan, melt 1 tbsp of butter on medium heat. Add shallots, garlic and thyme and cook until soft shallots are soft and mixture is fragrant. Add white wine and cook until reduced by a quarter. Add cream, 1 tbsp dijon and 1 tsp lemon zest and whisk together. Cook for 2-3 minutes until all the flavors have mixed together and sauce is bubbly. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.