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11.4.16

BREADING and FRYING CUTLETS


Breading meat, fish and vegetables is part of many cuisines. With the emergence of fast food chicken fingers, the different ways of breading exploded, making it confusing for someone who never saw a parent or grandparent bread cutlets. Asian and British breading calls for some type of batter, Hungarians use the dipping method. Dipping does not require deep-frying, the breading is comparatively more delicate and yet stable, as it does not slip off the meat. It also tastes better, but I am biased. Talking to my friend who tried to make my breaded pork chops made me think there might be more to successful breading than a recipe. This should demystify Hungarian breading for anyone. 

Breading and Frying Cutlets

  • Instruction for cutlet preparation is here.
  • Once the cutlets are ready for breading, set out 3 medium size bowls or pasta plates.
  • Place half a cup of flour into the first, two or more eggs into the second, and fine white breadcrumbs into the third bowl.
  • Whisk the eggs with a fork for 2 minutes; this will truly combine the yolks with the whites.
  • Set out a tray for the breaded cutlets.
  • Dip one cutlet into flour, coating it completely.
  • Next, dip the floured cutlet into the beaten eggs coating it with the eggs completely.
  • Last, dip the cutlet into the fine breadcrumbs coating it completely.
  • Transfer the cutlet to the tray.
  • Once the tray fills up, cover the first row of cutlets with plastic wrap or wax paper and place the rest of the cutlets on top. This will ensure the breading will not stick together. 
  • Cover and refrigerate the cutlets if you are not frying right of way. If I have a larger batch, I bread the cutlets in the morning and fry them up just before serving. Do not freeze or keep un-fried breaded cutlets in the fridge overnight. Long chilling will alter both the flavour and the texture of cutlets.
  • I use a large heavy pot for frying. This type of frying requires only an inch of oil in the pot.
  • Heating the oil too fast will damage the oil and burn the first cutlets. On the other hand, cutlets fried in less than optimum heat will be oil clogged. Heat up the oil on high medium. Once the oil starts to bubble, slide 2-3 cutlets into the oil. Do not crowd the pan.
  • Once the cutlets are merrily frying, turn the heat down to medium. You may have to turn it up a notch or turn it down again, but try to maintain a steady temperature.
  • Transfer the fried cutlets onto a clean paper towel lined tray.
  • Sprinkle with salt on one side. I never salt the cutlet before breading or add salt to the egg dip. With pre-salting, the leftovers will be too salty by the following day.
  • Cold breaded cutlets are fabulous things. 






Oil Facts:
The smoke point is the temperature at which oil breaks down and begins to smoke. Extra light olive oil has a high smoke point at 468F, but is usually more expensive. Aside from light olive oil, I only use grape seed oil. Cheap canola oil stinks something awful when used for frying. Extra virgin olive oil is not at all suitable for frying.

Frying in old oil is very unhealthy. Besides cutlets will not be nice if you fry them in tired oil. If the frying oil is well strained and wasn’t overheated, it is safe to use it a second time. However, do not use it for any other purpose than frying. You can tell if the frying oil is tired. If you detect smoke from it, discard it and start with a fresh pot and fresh oil.

Leftover Eggs:
Sometimes I end up with leftover egg dip. I stir a tablespoon of flour into it and fry it up when the cutlets are finished. As a kid, I always looked forward to getting “the egg” with my cutlet.





Leftover Flour and Breadcrumbs:
You can save leftover flour and breadcrumbs in the freezer. Never put used flour or breadcrumbs back into the bin or you run the risk of botulism.


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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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