Mise en Place not Mise en Mess

Anyone out there watched Worst Cooks in America?  Anyone actually pick a favorite and then sweat it out because your 2 team favorites were pitted against each other?  Ok, well I did.  I was glad to see Rachel win… of course, I’d have been happy with Jen, too though.  Anyway, I learned a lot from the series.  And I had the luxury of learning it curled up on my couch without Anne yelling at me.  

 Readying the pork to pound it out.

On the of the big lessons that the cooks learned with to get their acts together.  By which I mean, know what you need and have it.  Know what to do and do it.  I was a big fan of the episode when after the chefs asked the “recruits” over and over if they had read the recipe and “memorized it, they wiped it off the blackboard.  Nice.  I’m pretty visual, so I could have been ok.  But then, I might have used the wrong apples, too.

Bread crumbs, egg wash, base flour 

I took that lesson to heart and I also listened when I realized that one of the biggest complaints was in reference to seasoning.  Time and time again, the chefs turned away a dish because it was under seasoned.  Which I do believe, would have been my case.  Honestly, I feel that my food is oftentimes a little bland.  Pork Milanese was on my menu for a weeknight dinner.  And I decided to actually put forth the effort to season each layer of my dish.  It turned out so good, that I ate seconds.  And thirds.  

Notice the breading ON the pork, not burning in the pan! 

This recipe is really a simple, pound, bread and fry sort of meal but there was something about the added niftiness of finishing the pork in the oven.  And honestly, I realized that if you season the meat before you bread it, the flavor of the meat itself is much sweeter than if you only season the breading.  And if you dust the meat in flour before you dip it in the egg wash, the egg will stick better thus leading to a more consistent breading coverage.  Perhaps you already knew this.  And maybe I’m the last person on the planet to put this together in my head, but it’s finally there.  For once, I’m making breaded foods that still have the breading on them when I plate.  Small victories people, small victories.

Heaven, perfectly seasoned. 

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