Yep, I had leftover biscuits one day, so I made breadcrumbs out of them and put them in the freezer. In the back of my mind, I was thinking they would be good on top of chicken casserole, as an alternative for actual biscuits, but today, they came in handy for breading pork schnitzel. Any fresh breadcrumb would work here, as well.
If you’ve never sliced a pork tenderloin—not a loin, but a tenderloin—you might not know how delicate the meat in this cut is. You do not need to pound this meat to make it thin enough for schnitzel; it’s so tender, that all you need to do is press it flat with your fingers. The one exception might be those odd ends of the tenderloin, which you can literally pound with the heel of your hand. I put my 1/2″ slices between plastic wrap to press, as you can see in the photo. Then it’s just a matter of the traditional flour-egg-breadcrumb breading and a quick fry of about 2 minutes per side, and your little tenderloin turns into a stack of schnitzel. Everything else—sweet potatoes and asparagus—roasted in the oven for an easy, but pretty glamorous meal.
Pork Tenderloin Schnitzel with Biscuit Crumbs
one 1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and sliced in 1/2″ slices (don’t confuse a tenderloin with a pork loin)
1 cup flour, seasoned with 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs, whisked with about 1-2 tablespoon of milk or water
2 cups fresh biscuit or bread crumbs
olive oil to cover skillet
1 tablespoon butter per batch
- Place tenderloin slices between sheets of plastic wrap and press each to flatten with hands. End pieces may need to be pounded a little with the heel of your hand. Pounding a tenderloin with something heavy, like a meat tenderizer, will be more likely to turn the delicate cuts into mush.
- Bread the flattened cutlets by dredging in the seasoned flour or shaking in a sealed plastic bag. Dip the floured cutlets in the beaten eggs—I turn them in the wet eggs with a spoon to fully coat the flour. Place the wet cutlets in the breadcrumbs, pressing to coat. Place the breaded cutlets on a paper towel for as long as 30 minutes.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat—I used an 11″ chicken fryer with high enough sides to prevent splatter. When the pan is very hot, add enough oil to cover the bottom, then add 1 tablespoon butter. When the fats are hot, place a batch of breaded cutlets in the pan without letting their edges touch each other. Fry until browned, about 2 minutes; turn over and brown the other side. Remove to paper towels and begin another batch. Pay attention to the level of oil so there is enough to prevent sticking and add another tablespoon of butter for each batch.
If you want to make larger cutlets, you can use a pork loin, which will stand up to more traditional pounding before breading.