There are few meals as delicious and memorable as a cutlet. It’s the perfect way to enhance the plate, leave a great taste in someone’s mouth, and really tie an entire meal together. Whether you are making an eggplant cutlet sandwich, a salad, or a stew with cutlets sliced and spliced into them, this special food is a great choice when you are trying to make a plate pop.
At the same time, if you don’t handle your cutlet well, you’re going to leave the worst sort of impression on your guests and anyone trying your meal. Therefore, you need to be sure that you are handling a cutlet with care and only seasoning it in the best ways possible. The good news is that there are many ways you can season a cutlet that will result in something delicious. But the bad news is that you need to pay close attention to what you are doing. If you want to cook a cutlet, you have to do it right, which means you have to follow a few important steps.
In order to cook perfection with the best cutlet seasonings, you’ll need to add certain flavors, enhance the texture, and create a delightful crust for your cutlets. There are many steps to follow, but you can do so easily and will be a cutlet expert in no time.
Select the Right One
Before you can get to the art of choosing the best cutlet seasonings, you need to start with high-quality meat or plant-based alternatives, like chicken, pork, veal, beef, or a vegetarian option. The cutlet should be even in thickness for consistent cooking. But you should also make sure that it’s not too thick because that will make it nearly impossible to cook completely and will leave it feeling gross and uneven in places too.
Now it’s time to start seasoning the cutlet. The good news is that it starts with a couple of very simple ingredients you have used many times before: salt and pepper. To start, season both sides of the cutlet with salt and pepper to taste. Don’t be shy with the seasoning because it’s the foundation of flavor.
Now you can enhance the flavor profile by adding aromatics like minced garlic, fresh herbs, or spices. For example, minced garlic and thyme work well for chicken cutlets, while paprika and cayenne can add a kick to pork cutlets. An aromatic is an ingredient that will enhance the smell of a meal. You have to be very careful with aromatics though. As you can imagine, if you use too much of them, they will end up being overwhelmed with scent and that will be too much of a good thing. Moderation is key during this phase of cooking your culet to perfection.
Dredge in Flour
When it comes to the best cutlet seasonings, not enough people think about flour. While it might not enhance the taste of the cutlet, it will definitely do a lot for its texturing, which is very important. To do this correctly, you need to dredge the cutlets in all-purpose flour. But make sure that you shake off any excess. What does this do? Essentially, the flour helps create a crispy outer layer when cooked. If you want to make the best cutlet sandwich, you need to use flour correctly. It’ll add a delicious crunch to your cutlet and, therefore, your sandwich too.
Dip in Egg Wash
Now you need to create an egg wash by whisking eggs with a little milk or perhaps some water. Then you will dip those floured cutlets in the egg wash to help the breadcrumbs adhere. This part of the process is rather sticky and messy so be sure that you prepare what you need before you start dipping because your fingers will get, frankly, crummy.
Coat with Breadcrumbs
After that, you will roll the cutlets in breadcrumbs that you have laid out before you start dipping. You can use either plain breadcrumbs or seasoned ones, like panko with herbs. It all depends on the taste that you want and the meal you are making. Press the breadcrumbs onto the cutlets to ensure an even coating.
Now you get a bit of a break. Let your cutlets rest for a few minutes after the coating has finished. This will help the breading adhere and also prevent it from falling off during the cooking phase of the process.
Heat the Oil
When you are ready, heat a frying pan with enough oil to cover the bottom over medium-high heat. You’ll want about 1/4 inch of oil in the pan. Be prepared for a bit of hot, burning splashes, which always happens when you heat oil. Keep small children and pets away when you are doing this part because you don’t want to burn them!
Fry Until Golden
Once the oil is actually hot, carefully and gently add the cutlets. Cook until they’re golden brown on one side which will take a few minutes depending on the thickness of the cutlet. Now you can see why picking the right cutlet is so important!
Drain on Paper Towels
After frying, move those hot cutlets to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
Season While Hot
Season the hot cutlets with a pinch of salt immediately after frying. This enhances the overall flavor. It is at this point that you can add the other seasonings, but make sure you don’t lay it on too thick! The seasoning and flavoring can vary depending on your taste preferences and the type of cutlet you’re preparing. Feel free to experiment with different herbs, spices, and seasonings to create the perfect cutlet tailored to your liking.
Serve Right Away
Cutlets are best enjoyed fresh and hot. Serve them with some sides, like lemon wedges, sauces, or a salad. Whether you are putting them on a sandwich, slicing them up for a salad, or just having them with sides, cutlets are a wonderful meal that can add a lot of variety and a lot of terrific taste to your diet.