Bang bang bang bang bang... I turn to my Babcia in her apartment in Poland, thinking I knew the answer but asking the question anyway, "Babciu, co to?" (Babcia, what's that?). My Babcia looks up, listens a moment, and says "Ktos robi Kotlety Schabowe na obiad." (Someone is making Pork Chops for dinner) She looks up again, listens and smiles distantly for a few moments. I watch her face and listen too, as the sound takes me back to my childhood. Probably it took her back to her own, as well...
Yesterday, I relived that memory. Bang bang bang bang, someone yells the anticipated joke "It's dead already!", knowing what that noise means. Kotlety Schabowe. My comfort food. Polish Breaded Pork Chops, which only gives you a hint about this dish.
I don't know any Pole who doesn't smile at the name of it. Some like it with Beets, others with Fried Cabbage, or Fried Carrots. Some with a Polish Dill Pickle, some without. But almost all with Mashed Potatoes and fond childhood memories.
Pork Chops (with or without Bone in)
Egg, Beaten in bowl
Garlic Salt or table Salt
Marjoram (if you like)
Caraway Seeds (if you like)
Oil for frying
Trim excess fat from the Pork chop. Some people at this point cut out the bone, as well, which can be used in Barszcz Czerwony. I leave it in but make sure not to hit it with the mallet.
Pound both sides until nice and tender with a meat mallet (on the side with the Tenderizer spikes). A tip for this, I usually wear an apron, standing with my body touching the clean counter. I also take large cups or bowls and put them around the area I plan to work, draping kitchen towels on them, to create a barrier and keep the meat juices from flying everywhere. I also make sure to not raise my mallet very high each time, as that causes meat juices to fly further around me.
In three wide bowls, I set up the "assembly line". In one bowl, the Flour and Spices (or you can add the spices to the Breadcrumbs, I just prefer in the Flour).
In another bowl, the beaten Egg. In the last, the Breadcrumbs.
In a frying pan, heat the Oil. Dip the Pork chops on both sides in the following order:
And fry to a golden brown.
Place in oven 300 degrees, in a casserole dish with a pat of Butter on top and cover.
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