Light and crispy pork medallions are the shining stars of this very quick to prepare hot main dish. If you plan on cooking a light dinner tonight, you’ve arrived at your method and recipe.
Last week, I posted my recipe for Delicata Squash Saltimbocca with Pan Scallops. In the recipe text, I indicated that if sea scallops were not exactly your favorite, you could use paillards instead.
Well, I opened my email to a bevy of questions regarding paillards and what exactly a paillard is. The French term “paillard” may sound posh, but it just refers to a flattened piece of meat, which can be beef, veal, chicken, or pork.
It can be grilled or sautéed on its own, or lightly coated with flour or breadcrumbs to become “scaloppine.” The difference is that a scaloppine has that dusting of flour that creates a crisp crust, while a paillard is cooked without a coating. So, tonight, Pork Scaloppine with A Warmed Tomato Ginger Sauce.
If you are German or familiar with Eastern European cookery, you may know a flour-dusted or breadcrumb-coated paillard as schnitzel. It is remarkably similar to the dish tonkatsu in Japan, and the milanesa of Italy, Mexico, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil.
To liken it to something popular here in the American South, all I need to say is chicken fried steak and heads will turn with smiles from ear to ear.
This recipe is a good example of why an investment in an electric spice grinder is a good idea. Fennel. This recipe calls for ground fennel. I could purchase a jar but the reality is, how often do you use ground fennel? I am able to use my spice grinder to grind the seed form of all of my spices, fennel among them. It has paid for itself in just four uses. Kitchen necessaries, click the images for pricing.
The French term “paillard” may sound posh, but it just refers to a flattened piece of meat, which can be beef, veal, chicken, or pork. Pork Scaloppine with A Warmed Tomato Ginger Sauce is a flour-dusted paillard or scaloppine.
There is an eatery in Montreal, or at least there was back in my college days, that offered the BEST Pork Scaloppine. Their menu was fairly diverse as I recall, but in terms of Northern Italian dishes in a French speaking city, they had the best.
If you were of the stamina to devour a big plate, their ‘claim-to-fame-signature-dish’ was a platter of pork chops, yes plural, stuffed with a combination of both goat cheese and Blue cheese, roasted garlic, a very bitter green olive tapenade, and sprinkled with toasted pine nuts.
It was definitely one of those recipes that somebody’s grandmother had probably perfected 50 years prior, and Chef knew it intrinsically. It was phenomenal to say the least.
Another homey yet altogether glamorous dish was their shrimp and red pepper soup with wilted mustard greens and olive oil. It was just the tiniest bit spicy, and it was a meal all by itself.
And among the bowls of house-made beef stew, pork fillet with ginger and honey, and balsamic black bean cakes, was a Glazed Pork Salad. I remember ordering this for the first time. I was not sure what to expect but because I read this selection on their menu as a ‘salad,’ I assumed I was ordering light and healthy.
Bought this set last week during Prime Days and am LOVING them. Three sizes, and a beautiful bone white. I chose to show them off in these photos. My regret is that I did not buy additional sets. Kitchen necessaries, click the image for pricing.
What was delivered to our table was anything but ordinary. The ‘salad’ was indeed a salad, tossed only with extra virgin olive oil. Atop it were roasted balsamic and brown sugar glazed bell pepper strips.
They comingled with a warm tomato and ginger compote arranged neatly off to one side of the bowl. On the other side sat a single giant, perfectly golden, perfectly crispy pork scaloppine, still crackling and bubbling from a 2-minute flash fry in a scorching hot pan.
As far as salad recipes went, this was NOT going to lose any contests. It was about the best thing I had ever put in my mouth. And pretty much from that dinner forward, I have been keen on preparing perfect pork scaloppine at least a few times a month.
The difference between a scaloppine and a paillard is that a scaloppine has that dusting of flour that creates a crisp crust, while a paillard is cooked without a coating.
Of all of my main dish recipes, Pork Scaloppine with A Warmed Tomato Ginger Sauce is about my favorite. It combines nuances of that amazing experience in Montreal. So, I traded in the glazed peppers and warm tomato compote for a straightforward pan sauce of tomatoes and fresh ginger that is brightened with cilantro.
I have done away with a salad, too. This just a bit heartier for them men who sit at my table because I added my sherried spaghetti squash. Oh, but I am giving too much away too soon – read on!
I decided to quick document and photograph this method for paillards. They are the basis for so many different dishes from all over the world. Only a month or two ago did I re-shoot my recipe campaign for Chicken Milanese.
Milanese, a breadcrumb-coated paillard, is wildly popular on Not Entirely Average. Despite being sauteed, these cutlets are surprisingly light. Served with a side of sautéed winter greens or atop a salad, dinner is very filling.
Braised spinach or broccoli rabe are intense with this dish and keep it steered in the general direction of healthy. Every home chef needs a trick or two up their sleeve. This one is a tried-and-true method or technique to rely on when time is short, and your family is hungry.
Every home chef needs a trick or two up their sleeve, a tried-and-true method or technique to rely on when time is short, and your family is hungry.
The paillard is also HUGE for the nights when cooking feels daunting. As a food blogger, I can tell you that I do one week on and one week off from cooking. Having paillards ready in my freezer simply means pulling a packet out to thaw, and sautéing just as they are, uncoated, with a sauce which I make in the same pan in which I am sautéing the paillards.
When I grocery shop or hit my local big box store, I try to grab bulk chicken breasts, pork tenderloins, and sometimes beef filet. Once home, I slice my meat into 1 ½” rounds (or in the case of a chicken breast, in half lengthwise), and pound them to ¼” thickness between to sheets of plastic wrap.
Into a freezer bag and then vacuum-sealed, I now, for just a little bit of my time, have paillards that I can rely on for a quick meal. You can find thin cuts at some grocery stores, but you will save money by buying larger pieces and pounding them out yourself.
Try dusting the paillard in flour, then frying and use as the of a delicious sandwich on a toasted ciabatta roll and the toppings of your choice. Oh, my word!
Light and crispy pork medallions are the shining stars of this very fast hot main dish. If you plan on cooking light dinner tonight, you’ve arrived at your method and recipe.
Since I have only recently given you Chicken Milanese, I thought it time to switch up paillards and offer up a pork paillard, flour dusted and fried crispy, with a warmed, very velvety tomato and ginger sauce.
The sauce is the genius of Cook’s Country / America’s Test Kitchen. In their recipe card for this stunning yet easy sauce, they spoon it over perfectly poached and sliced chicken breasts. I have made that recipe about one hundred times.
I am focused on the paillard today, so you are getting it by way of these gorgeous pork paillards. They will become my scaloppine. Oh, and with Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sherry and Cream as a starch. Yup. I had to go there! THE MOST AMAZING VEGE SIDE ON THE PLANET. You’re welcome!
Pork Scaloppine is a delicious way to enjoy the flavor of a pork chop, but without all of the fuss and lengthy cooking time.
A paillard is the basis for a perfect weeknight entrée because it takes almost no time to cook. Additionally, a paillard can become so many different things. It will likely take you longer to assemble a basic salad or steam a vegetable than it will take for these crispy golden rounds of protein to cook through. A hard sear on the first side ensures that it will become nicely browned without drying out.
Today, I have chosen a pork tenderloin to become paillards. Really, a quality cut of beef or veal, chicken or turkey will also work. To flatten the pork (or whichever protein you choose to use), place the slices on a cutting board between plastic wrap or waxed paper. Pound with the smooth side of a meat pounder. I use a rolling pin or even the bottom of a heavy skillet or saucepan sometimes. I find the easiest way to create an even thickness is to pound from the thickest part at the center to the outer edges. You do not need to go fast. Just take your time and focus on getting your cutlet to ¼”.
I purchase pork tenderloin or chicken breasts in bulk at stores such as Costco. Once home, I whip out my food storage vacuum. I dedicate about 45 minutes to trimming, cutting, and pounding the breasts and the loin(s) into paillards. Paillards are thinly pounded cutlets of meat/fowl. I bag and vacuum-seal them, and toss them into my freezers for a future meal. Since they cook in mere minutes, having them pre-pounded equals less kitchen time and an all around ‘happier me!’
Tips or hints for being successful at this method. Remove the meat when it just turns opaque in the center. It will finish cooking off the stove, allowing it to be fully cooked and juicy. This means a hard and high-heat severe sear on the first side for approximately 2 minutes. The second side maybe 45 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes.
Remove to a warmed plate and tent with foil to keep it warm while you finish cooking all the scaloppine. Preparing a skillet over medium heat until the oil shimmers will get you the sear.
A light, dry rose is a nice accompaniment to this dish. If you preferred to go red wine here, you would select maybe an oaky, smoky Cabernet.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Pork Scaloppine with A Warmed Tomato Ginger Sauce
- Large non-stick sauté pan
Did you know that it’s super easy to print out a version of a half recipe or even a double recipe on Not Entirely Average? Hover over the serving size (highlighted in blue, it says 24 on this recipe) and then slide the the white line to the left to make less or to the right to make more. This "calculator" allows you to play until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.
Ingredients for Pork Scaloppine with A Warmed Tomato Ginger Sauce
for the warmed tomato ginger sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large shallot minced
- 2 teaspoons ginger grated
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin ground
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel ground
- 12 ounces cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cilantro fresh, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar light, packed ** NOTE – I omit this ingredient to avoid the added sugars with no real resulting affect to the final taste – the nutritional info below reflects the brown sugar as ADDED.
- salt and pepper to taste
for the pork scaloppine
- 1 2 1/2 to 3 pound pork tenderloin trimmed of excess silver skin and fat
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon thyme fresh, minced
- 1 teaspoon parsley fresh, minced
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil I am using Thea
for the warmed tomato ginger sauce
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
- Add shallot, ginger, cumin, and fennel and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and ⅛ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes have softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Off heat, stir in cilantro, vinegar, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with pepper to taste.
- Keep on a back burner over very low heat to maintain warmth while you prepare the scaloppine.
for the pork scaloppine
- Slice the loin into 12 equal slices, approximately 1 1/2-inch thick, and then one by one, cover with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until each slice is flat and even. You are striving for 1/4-inch thickness. You will need 12 slices to meet the 6 servings per this recipe. It is okay if they are slightly larger or slightly smaller than the 1 1/2-inches in order to have enough servings.
- Season the flour with salt and pepper, thyme and parsley and then dredge the pork in the seasoned flour.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the scaloppine to the pan and allow to cook until browned, 2 minutes. Reduce the heat, flip, and repeat the process on the second side until finished cooking, 45 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the pan to a warmed plate/platter and tent with foil. Repeat the process until all the scaloppine is cooked.
to plate this dish
- Arrange warm scaloppine on a large serving platter. Spoon the warmed tomato ginger sauce over top the scaloppine and serve immediately.