Photo by Charlotte Greene (this is my photo)
Provenance of Dish
My grandmother grew up foraging mushrooms in the forests of Latvia (where foraging is still an extremely popular pastime) and she is the reason I decided to take the plunge into the world of wild mushrooms. She will be 102 on January 1st 2021, and I learned to cook this quintessential Latvian pork and chanterelle dish to feel closer to her while we all wait for it to be safe to be with our distant loved ones again.
1 ~3 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 8 even slices and pounded into thin cutlets
Salt and Pepper to Taste
4 eggs, beaten
1tbsp canola oil, plus several cups for frying
3 cups of flour
3 cups panko (optional)
12 oz chanterelle mushrooms, roughly chopped (if you can’t find enough or any chanterelles, this recipe also works very well with honey and cremini mushrooms. Feel free to use a blend!)
3 tablespoons of salted butter
4 oz chopped onion (1 small onion)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2-4 tbsp fresh dill (dry dill is not recommended)
3/4 cup heavy cream
Season both sides of the prepared pork cutlets with salt and pepper.
Beat the egg and one tbsp oil in a shallow bowl or dish and season it with salt and pepper (as you would your favorite scrambled eggs). Place the flour and panko (if you are using it) into two separate shallow bowls/dishes. Panko is not traditionally used in this dish, I just love the texture it adds! Don’t worry if you don’t have any.
Working one at a time, dip the cutlets first in flour, then egg and finally panko, shaking gently after each to remove any excess.
Place a deep pan on medium heat and add a few inches of oil. Heat to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the oil is heating place your chanterelle or cremini mushrooms in a dry pan over medium heat (if you use honey mushrooms, add the butter now) and cook until they release some liquid and begin to brown.
Add the butter and onions to the pan. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook until the onions are translucent and starting to brown at the edges. Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat while you are frying your cutlets.
Fry your cutlets for a few minutes on each side until golden. How many cutlets you will be able to fry at once will depend on the size of your pan and your cutlets. Over crowding your pan will cause the temperature of the oil to drop too far and you will end up with soggy cutlets! Adjust heat as needed to keep the temperature at ~350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place cutlets on a cooling rack or paper towels to drain once they have finished cooking. Sprinkle with salt as soon as they come out of the oil.
Once your cutlets are all cooked, finish the mushroom sauce with the heavy cream and dill, heating gently if necessary I tend to go a little heavy on dill because I love it but add the amount that suits your taste. Add additional salt and pepper if needed.
Plate the cutlets and pour the sauce mushroom sauce over them. Simple boiled potatoes (optionally tossed in sour cream, dill, and or butter) are a wonderful and very Baltic accompaniment to this dish.