Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Pork escalopes with cheese and chive coleslaw

Yesterday was day 7 of my menu planning experiment and believe it or not, it is still working! Better still, I think I am actually spending less on food. I expected to spend less on ready-food and takeaways, but I didn’t expect my weekly shop to cost less. The great thing is I go in with the list, and I seriously don’t buy anything else because I know all the meals are sorted. I thought forcing myself to stick to the plan rather than buying what was on offer would be more expensive, but it turns out it isn’t because I don’t waste it! I didn’t even think I was very wasteful before, so this is great.

Anyway, down to business. Yesterday's evening meal went down wonderfully. It is a variation on a theme I’ve used many times, but adding cheese and chives to the coleslaw makes a wonderful side dish. I view pork chops as a ‘ready-meal’ really as they require very little attention, but it is quite an expensive way to buy meat. However, this works with pretty much any type of pork chop/steaks/escalope, whatever section of the dear pig that can be sliced up, as long as it hasn’t been turned into bacon or gammon. I’ve even in the past taken a roasting joint and sliced it up myself. Take your pick really! Loin is great, but I choose whatever is on offer (or in the freezer).

This is also a quite pricey meal, partly because having a pork steak a-piece is quite  a lot of protein along with cheese and nuts. You can leave out the pine nuts or replace them with a cheaper nut of your choice if you like, and choosing a cheaper cheddar cheese will help (I have to use goats cheese which is quite an expensive option, but there are plenty good quality cheaper cheddar cheeses out there).
I made enough of the pork chops for just the two of us (half the recipe), but the full quantity of coleslaw so that we have some for lunch the next day. Add in a few nuts and possibly pitta bread and it is quite a well-rounded meal. I didn't bother with the pitta bread for dinner as for just the two of us I like to keep down the carbs, and we had the leftover mac 'n' cheese for lunch (ahem). But if you have kids, or you just need a bit extra, choose pittas, wraps, or some new potatoes boiled with a knob of butter. Delicious!

Pork escalopes with cheese and chive coleslaw

Serves 4
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Cost: £7.99(£2.00 per serving); remove nuts and use a different cheese in the coleslaw for £6.09 (£1.52 per serving)

4 pork loin steaks, chops or equivalent
3 slices white bread, torn into pieces and breadcrumbed
zest of 1 lemon
50g grated parmesan (we used a goat’s milk cheese instead)
50g pine nuts
Leaves from 2 rosemary springs
3 tbsp plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp olive oil
1 lemon cut into 4 wedges (to serve)

For the coleslaw
1 white cabbage (about 400g)
1 carrot, grated
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp yoghurt (goats milk yoghurt or low fat is fine)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Bunch of chives (about 20g), chopped
100g cheddar cheese, for serving

Trim the fat from the pork steaks. Tenderize (optional, but provides a much better flavour and texture): place one at a time on baking parchment and bash with a rolling pin/mallet until 5mm thick. Season the pork and set aside.

Make the coleslaw: shred the cabbage, add the carrot, onion, mayonnaise, yoghurt and mustard. Snip in most of the chives. Mix well.

In a food processor mix the bread, lemon zest, cheese, pine nuts and rosemary until you get a fine crumb.

Spread the flour onto a plate, dust each pork steak with the flour and dip into the egg. Press into the breadcrumb mixture until each steak is evenly covered.

Heat the oil in a frying pan or griddle and cook the steaks for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden and crunchy. Serve immediately with the coleslaw and lemon, sprinkling the cheese and remaining chives over the coleslaw.

N.B. The cost of the meal is calculated on the day that this blog entry was published, using Sainsbury's online groceries as a reference for pricing. Each item is costed by weight used not by the total cost of a bottle/packet of that product.

Thanks for stopping by,
Let me know what you think... leave a comment or send an email to passthecaffeine {at} gmail {dot} com

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