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Escalopes de Porc a la Tapenade

A week ago I picked up a copy of Provence the Beautiful Cookbook by Richard Olney at Costco for $10. It's a large coffee-table format book - one of several other obviously-remaindered titles from a series - but no remaindered marks. My copy was still in its original wraps.

I had never heard of Richard Olney - shame on me. It looks like a great book. The recipe below is the first one I've tried. I have a couple of jars of tapenade from last June's visit to the market market in Vaison-la-Romaine.

Escalopes de Porc a la Tapenade
(Pork Cutlets with Tapenade)

- 4 pork cutlets, each about 1/3" (8mm) thick
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 tablespoons tapenade
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- semidried bread crumbs
- peanut oil or corn oil, for frying
- 1 lemon, quartered

- Press the cutlets firmly with one side of a large knife blade to flatten them slightly. Sprinkle on both sides with salt and pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon tapenade on one side of each cutlet. Cover and chill to firm up the tapenade.
- Assemble side by side: a plate spread with half the grated cheese; a soup plate in which the eggs, olive oil and a few drops of water have been beaten with a fork; and an opened newspaper spread abundantly with bread crumbs. Place a cutlet,tapenade side up, on the bed of Parmesan. Sprinkle some of the remaining Parmesan on top, pressing it in lightly with the palm of your hand. Transfer the cutlet to the beaten eggs, spoon some of the egg over the top and lift the cutlet rapidly to the bread crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs generously over the top and press on gently. Repeat with the remaining cutlets and leave the cutlets on the bed of crumbs to dry for an hour before frying.
- In a large frying pan over high heat, pour in oil to a depth of 1/2" (12mm). Slip in the cutlets and turn down the heat to medium or medium-low if necessary to prevent the cutlets from browning too rapidly. When they are golden around the edges, turn them by piercing, near the edge of the cutlet, with a single tine of a long-handled, two-pronged fork. When both sides are golden and crisp, after about 8 minutes, use a spatula to transfer then to paper towels to drain. Serve accompanied with the lemon quarters.

- I enjoyed the preparation process and of course having tapenade on hand was a bonus.
- I followed the directions pretty closely, but used 6 cutlets instead of 4, and just used dried bread crumbs. It seemed like a lot of work for 4 cutlets. Also, next time I'll turn the heat down a bit more. The cutlets browned quite quickly & ended up a bit darker than "golden brown".
- Run, don't walk, to your nearest Costco to see if they have any titles left.


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