Sweltering 100 degree weather is still very much with us but as we head into the last few weeks of the summer's bounty, new menus that speak of fall continue to multiply. This Sunday’s prix fixe Country Supper in the Studio features two classic dishes that would find a welcome home on any bistro menu - a mixed bean, gloriously colored Soupe au Pistou, and a succulent, golden crusted Paillard de Porc.
But was it a Paillard or a Schnitzel, as both Dawid, who is Polish, and Lukka, schooled in France, made the case it be called. Here’s the skinny: The official dish of Austria, the Wiener Schnitzel, is a pounded and three step breaded boneless veal chop; while Paillards, also pounded, can be chicken, pork, veal or even reindeer (depending how far north you travel) and are not traditionally breaded. Both dishes gained popularity across Europe in the early 19th century when expeditious use of a mallet became the rage... tenderizing meat by breaking down its fibers, equalizing the thickness to allow it to cook evenly and thinning the protein to cut down cooking time from skillet to plate.
The focus of our Sunday prix fixe dinners has been decidedly French, and the addition of a lemon caper butter sauce which brightens each rich mouthful, the little raft of butter with garlic, rosemary and thyme used to baste the pork in the pan, are decidedly Gallic. What’s in a name? I’m with Shakespeare on this one.
The finished Paillard de Porc (aka Wolfie Schnitzel in honor of the redoubtable Wolfgang Puck who may be Austrian by birth but a California culinary genius in spirit) will be followed by a Scotty Noll Mousse au Chocolat. Our pastry chef may not be French, but when it comes to chocolate, C'est trop bien!
(View all Barndiva’s menus here.)