One of the cheapest cuts of meat you can pick up at my local Shoprite are boneless pork cutlets. Each package usually has four to six cutlets in the package and you pay something like $3 for the whole thing. And recently I realized that if I purchased a pound of dried beans, it's the equivalent of four cans of beans at 1/4 of the price. This inspired me to put together this "pork and beans" combo that was full of flavor and incredibly easy on the wallet.
Side note: I served these with Bobby Flay's Sauteed Swiss Chard. It calls for a 1/4 cup of Serrano Chili Vinegar that you make yourself and requires two days to steep, so we substituted our own mixture of red wine vinegar and hot sauce with red pepper flake thrown in for extra heat. We also ditched the slab bacon in exchange for the Oscar Mayer Center Cut stuff we keep in the freezer. Best greens EVER!
Mexican-Style Pork Cutlets
1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon chipotle-flavored Tabasco
1/2 cup flour (I used peanut flour, now available at Trader Joe’s)
2 teaspoon chili powder (ancho or chipotle preferred, but any will do)
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
½ tablespoon dried oregano
½ tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
4-6 center-cut boneless pork cutlets (1 lb. total), pounded thin
Salt & pepper
Zest and juice of one lime
Handful of fresh cilantro, rough chopped (optional)
In a mixing bowl, beat the egg and water until it starts to foam. Stir in a teaspoon of dry mustard and the Tabasco sauce and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix flour with chili powder, cumin, and coriander and set aside.
In a third bowl, mix Panko with oregano and parsley.
Season each cutlet with salt and pepper on both sides. Dip cutlets in flour, then the egg mixture (coating thoroughly), and then in the bread crumbs.
Heat olive oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium high until hot. Add the cutlets, lower the heat slightly, and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn and brown the other side. Continue cooking, turning once again if necessary, until the pork is cooked through (roughly 5 minutes total).
Drain cutlets on a paper bag to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle the tops with the lime zest. Just before serving, squeeze lime juice over each cutlet. You can also top with fresh cilantro for extra zip.
Spicy Black Beans
½ lb. dried black beans
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped scallions, for garnish (optional)
Handful of fresh cilantro, rough chopped, for garnish (optional)
The night before, soak the black beans in a large pot of water.
The next day, rinse the beans, cover with 3 cups of fresh water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, skimming off any foam.
While beans are simmering, heat olive oil in sauté pan over medium high. Add onion and jalapeno with a pinch of salt and sweat until softened. Add the garlic and red pepper flake and cook for 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Set aside until the beans have simmered for the full thirty minutes.
Add onion mixture to the pot of black beans along with oregano, cumin, and coriander. Simmer uncovered for another thirty minutes, stirring occasionally. If beans aren’t tender enough, add a little more water and keep checking on them every ten minutes or so.
When beans have reached the desired tenderness, remove about 1/3 of the beans from the pot and mash them with a fork or potato masher and add them back to the pot. Stir in honey and vinegar, and taste before seasoning with salt and pepper.
Garnish with chopped scallion and fresh cilantro before serving.