In the field of cooking, the term ‘cutlet’ refers to a thin piece of meat, typically sourced from rib or leg section of lamb, pork or veal. Chicken cutlets may be made with thinly sliced and crushed breast of chicken, and so also, turkey cutlet from breast of turkey.
It is usual for cutlets to be pan fried, after covering it with flour or/ and coating them using bed crumbs. Classic recipes of chicken picata and veal picata are made from chicken and veal cutlets.
Steak made of beef cubes is sometimes called as beef cutlets. Beef round is a comparatively tough cut of meat. Acubercan be used for breaking connective tissues which cause toughness. The same impact can be done by a mallet for tenderizing.
There is some confusion about cutlets and croquets. Like Croquets, cutlets may contain a mix of rice or mashed potatoes with other chopped meat, poultry, fish and veggies formed into various shapes which are dredged and deep fried. But the difference with a cutlet is that it is made of a thin slice of meat and not that it is dredged and deep fried.
It is easy to make cutlets with pork since the shape of the loin helps to create thin cuts made of uniform shape and size. Sometimes this is called as Schnitzel. The Austrian version is created out of veal.
While meat is tender, it must be fabricated with care to remove any connective tissue which will turn chewy after cooking. By pounding the cutlet, you will flatten it, which helps in quick cooking. The benefit is that because the meat is sourced from a tough section, you don’t want to overcook it.
But cutlets made of turkey or chicken are sourced out of the breast, which is tender by default. The benefit of thinly slicing andpounding is that it cooks in a fast manner.
In some cases, the cutlets turn out to be soggy inside even if it is crunchy outside. Go for the following tips to make delicious, crunchy cutlets in case you are wondering how to make cutlet at home:
- Use fresh bread crumbs made at home for coating as market versions are usually very stale. The latter will not give a good flavour.
- Mix some Poha into the cutlet which will enhance its flavour and help prevent dough to be sticky.
- Add one or two spoons of lemon juice in the dough which will enhance flavour and add value.
- To be crunchy, fry cutlets on medium heat. They will burn on high flame and on low flame; they will absorb too much oil.
- Always make use of breadcrumbs for binding the dough and do not use dry or soaked bread since bread already has moisture which will turn dough into sticky form. By using breadcrumbs, it will soak the moisture of potato and dough will not turn soggy.
- Thoroughly coat the cutlets with breadcrumbs. Press gently with hands to avoid falling away of bread crumbs in oil while frying.
- You must always make use of fresh oil for frying. This helps preserve flavour of cutlets.
- Always fry only 1 to 3 cutlets at a time which will ensure thatcutlets will fail to absorb oil.
These are some tips to make cutlets at home.