I wanted to call these garlic lime breaded pork cutlets pork milanesa. The recipe title would have been short, sweet, and indicative of where I first got the idea to make them. But, unless you are Brazilian, pork milanesa would have made for a somewhat confusing title, so I labeled it exactly as it is prepared. Much more transparent. Much more informative. But goodness, a bit of a mouthful. If you make them and like them enough to add them to your repertoire, just shorten the name to something less wordy.
In Brazil, we make something called bife milanesa, which is a thin cut of beef steak breaded and fried, similar to this recipe. Only without the lime. It’s delicious and all of my guys love it.
I came up with these pork cutlets when Steve’s family from Kansas came to visit us in our first home in Arizona. This was before my boys were born. My sister was also with us. So, in addition to the three of us, we had Steve’s parents, his sister, her husband, and their three kids. Seven adults, two young children, and one infant. Not only were sleeping arrangements a bit of a challenge, but I needed to think up menus that were tasty, quick, easy, scalable, and child-friendly. Oh, and whatever I came up with had to be affordable.
For dinner one night, I made a huge platter of these, probably with three dozen or more pork cutlets, served with quite a bit of flavored rice, and some veggie or other, and called it good. I know, three dozen is a lot for the number of people we had, but center cut pork loin cutlets are very affordable. Besides, I’m Latin. Running out of food, especially the protein for a meal, is punishable by death from humiliation. Needless to say, there were quite a few cutlets left over.
After the leftover cutlets were cooled, they were sealed into a large Ziploc back and stored in the fridge. And they quickly became Pops’ snack source every 30 minutes or so until bedtime. The man fell in love with these and snacked on the cold cutlets with appreciation. I had fun watching him get so much enjoyment from my cooking. I also had a blast giving him a hard time about how many he consumed. If you’ve read some of my previous posts, my Pops and I have enjoyed a history of lovingly teasing each other.
Today’s recipe therefore, is an AMAZINGLY tasty, affordable, quick and easy protein that can be easily scaled to feed a few or many. It’s so yummy, I’m pretty sure you will want to add it to your menu rotation.
let’s make some garlic lime breaded pork cutlets
When I decided to make these milanesa style, it was second nature for me to season the raw pork with garlic, salt, black pepper, but especially fresh lime juice. See, my mom made the most amazing pork roasts for special occasions, and she always seasoned the roast with lots of garlic, herbs, and fresh lime juice. To me, it was instinctive. Pork and fresh lime juice go well together. As a whole, this dish is way more flavorful than the simple ingredients would suggest.
Oh, and one quick clarification. Usually, I use a knife to dice my fresh garlic. But for this recipe, I use a garlic press. Why? Well, because in Brazil, almost everyone uses a garlic press. The difference between mincing garlic with a knife and using the press is that you get much more of the oils into the dish with the press. I also press it more than once, and scrape the solids left in the press into the food. That means you get a nice garlic profile without the big chunks of garlic pieces. For this recipe, I think it is the way to go.
Season the pork and set it in the refrigerator while you assemble the ingredients for breading.
Then dredge the cutlets in the flour, the egg wash, and the bread crumbs, in that order. Make sure and cover all meat surfaces so no pink shows through.
Put the breaded cutlets back in the refrigerator. Then heat some oil in a heavy skillet to medium heat. You only need about 1/2 inch of oil. These pork cutlets are shallow fried, not deep fried.
When the oil is hot, fry the cutlets. I do two at a time because I think it makes the process go faster. Two cutlets don’t reduce the oil temperature noticeably, which makes the overall frying time shorter.
They only need about 3-4 minutes per side, or until they are golden brown.
Transfer the fried cutlets to a paper-lined pan.
After frying the batch, transfer to an keep-warm oven until time to serve.
The garlic, the salt, the freshness of the lime juice, and the sweetness of the breading. Crispy. Flavorful. Super, super delicious. Just ask my Pops.
Quick, easy, amazing flavor, affordable, and great for a few or a bunch. How can you go wrong?
- 1 pound boneless center cut pork loin chops (about 6)
- 2 teaspoon fresh lime juice (about ½ lime)
- 3 medium cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- Canola oil for frying
- Season the pork with the pressed garlic, salt, pepper, and lime juice.
- Toss to coat well and set in the refrigerator.
- Scramble the eggs into a shallow bowl, then add the flour and bread crumbs into their respective shallow bowls.
- Take the cutlets out of the refrigerator, dredge in the flour, dip in the egg wash, and coat with the bread crumbs. Make sure that all surfaces are covered.
- Transfer the breaded cutlets to a dish.
- Place the breaded cutlets in the refrigerator (it helps set the bread coating).
- Pour ½ inch of canola oil into a cast iron or other heavy skillet.
- Heat over medium heat until hot.
- Fry the cutlets 2 at a time, for about 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown.
- Drain in a paper-lined dish or pan.
- If not serving right away, place in a keep-warm oven after frying.
- Serve warm.