Eric Akis: Pork piccata with lively lemony sauce

A little bit of lemon can lift up the flavour of a wide range of savoury dishes. Today it provides that support in an Italian-style dish called piccata.

Piccata is made by sautéing an escalope — thin slice — of meat and making a sauce for it with its pan juices and other items I’ll soon talk about. Veal is traditional used, but these days you’ll also find recipes for chicken piccata, turkey piccata and pork piccata, which I chose for today’s recipe.

The process begins by pounding small boneless pork loin chops until about quarter-inch thick. The meat was seasoned, lightly coated in flour and then sautéed a few minutes in a hot mix of melted butter and olive oil, until golden and cooked through.

The meat is then removed from the pan. You then make sauce for it by adding garlic and capers to the pan, followed by a splash of white wine. When the wine has reduced, in goes some freshly squeezed lemon juice and chicken stock.

The sauce is simmered, and then some chopped parsley and another dab of butter is added. The meat is returned to the pan, heated a while, and the flour coating it helps to lightly thicken the sauce.

The end result is a full-flavoured, fairly easy pork dish that will make a very nice dinner for two. I served the pork piccata with orzo; a rice-shaped pasta sold at most supermarkets. As you’ll see in the recipe, I accented it with Parmesan cheese and peas and baked it in the oven, something you can do while the pork piccata is cooking on the stove.

I also served the pork with baked tomatoes. I did not include a recipe for them, because all you have to do is cut a medium on-the-vine tomato in half. You then set those half tomatoes, cut side up, in a small baking dish, drizzle them with olive oil, season them with salt, pepper and dried herbs, such as basil and oregano, and bake them at 350 F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are just starting to become tender.

Pork Piccata

Boneless pork loin chops are pounded thin, coated in flour, sautéed and then coated in a lemony sauce, with garlic, parsley, butter and other good things. Serve the pork with the orzo recipe below and baked tomato halves.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 10 minutes

Makes: two servings

4 small (about 60 to 85 grams each) boneless pork chops

• salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp butter

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1 Tbsp drained capers

2 Tbsp white wine (see Eric’s options)

1/2 cup chicken stock

2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Set pork chops on a work surface and cover with a double layer of plastic wrap. Use a kitchen hammer to pound each chop until about 1/4-inch thick.

Spread flour on a plate. Season pork with salt and pepper, and then coat with the flour, shaking off the excess.

Place oil and…

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