More often than not, dinner in our house, is decided on a “planned whim”. What I mean is, I am not the kind of person/woman/mother who sits down and plans out a weekly menu (Come to think of it I don’t know anyone who does? Unless of course they are too embarrassed to admit to that slightly over-fastidious quality!)
This particular plan came together while in the supermarket when I saw beautifully thin and expansive pieces of pork. They looked like what I wished my meat ended up like when pounding our meat for scallopini, only these were sliced with precision on a machine and were perfect in every way (no thin spots or lumpy bits when I’m having an off-day with my mallet skills!)
As soon as I threw this luscious pork into my basket, I was off to the “international” aisle to grab some panko crumbs before zooming home to make dinner. This dish was wonderful in every way. The crispy pork cooked in minutes (although it did take a little preparing before getting it to the hot pan), and the rice literally cooked itself (my rice-cooker is my sous chef!) and was perfect with the zucchini and squash.
This dish would work equally well with beef, chicken or some other meat, so go ahead and give it a try. It is amazing!
*This is a good “Blood Type A” Recipe if you substitute chicken or turkey for the pork. If you are strict; also omit the black pepper and sriracha and only use olive oil*
For the pork; you will need:
2 1/2 to 3 lbs boneless pork sirloin chops – very thinly sliced
3 tbs soy sauce
3 tbs mirin
1 tbs sriracha sauce (optional or use less if you want less heat)
1 1/2 to 2 cups panko bread crumbs (can be found on the same aisle of soy sauce)
1 cup all-purpose flour
oil for frying (olive, canola, safflower, or vegetable will work here)
*If you are cooking the rice dish with this, cook your rice now and keep it warm until ready to serve*
1 – Make sure your pork is dry (you can dab it with a paper towel). Place it on a plate for easy access. Using plates or shallow bowls; put flour on one plate, panko crumbs on another (1 cup to start and add as you need it). Crack two eggs onto another plate or shallow bowl and add the soy, mirin and sriracha sauce if using. Whisk together with a fork.
2 – Coat a piece of meat in flour, next dip each side into egg mixture and then press each side into panko crumbs. place on a plate and continue like that until all of the meat is prepared.
3 – Put heavy saute or cast iron pan on medium/high heat and add about 2 tbs of oil (more if your pan is large). when the oil is hot, add a few pieces of pork to the pan, in an even layer with plenty of space (if you crowd the pan, the meat will “steam” rather than cook fast!). Coo for about 3 minutes or less per side. Remove to a plate and keep warm. Continue until your meat is all done.
For the Zucchini & Squash with Thyme-y Rice:
3 medium zucchini or squash, or combination of the two – diced
6 (approx) thyme sprigs
1 tsp salt (kosher, sea-salt or sea salt flakes are all fine)
several grinds of black pepper
6 (approx) cups of cooked basmati rice (cook as much as you think you and your guests will eat!)
olive oil for frying
1 – Place large saute pan or shallow casserole dish (safe for stove top use) on medium heat and add about 3 tbs olive oil. When it has warmed up, add the zucchini and thyme and cook until softened and has some “brown bits” on the skin and flesh. Stir regularly and turn up heat if there is no real sizzle. Add the rice and cover. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Arrange some panko pork on each plate with a serving of rice. Offer a little sriracha for the pork if you like.