Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tonkatsu with Illahe Viognier

For me to post a recipe is pretty ridiculous since I’m an average cook and there must be twelve better recipes for tonkatsu. But this is the only one with Illahe viognier in it, so I’m going to serve it to you anyway. Tonkatsu was one of the best things my beautiful friend Yone would make for me when I was a bartender in Tokyo.

And this is a beautiful viognier! I just read some thing on the internet dissing it, and all I can add is that if you think everything with the word ‘viognier’ on it must be Condrieu, I would say this is Willamette Valley viognier, and it stands on its own. A perfect balance of pleasing aroma moving between tropical fruit, apricots, pears, apples, to sweet spring flowers, backed up by a lawn being mowed a block away.

Oh, where was I? The recipe. It’s like most tonkatsu recipes I’ve read (whence it derives). Salt and pepper the pork chops and let them rest a bit. That’s a good time to shred up some cabbage, cut a lemon into wedges, and heat up oil in a sauce pan to medium-hot. I used olive oil and it worked just fine, but I had run out of vegetable oil. After the salt has worked its way into the chops, fill a plate with flour, a wide bowl with egg for every two chops, and a plate with panko. I’ve tried it with regular white bread crumbs and it’s okay, but the big panko pieces are nice.

Into the egg bowl, whisk in two or three tablespoons of Illahe viognier per egg along with a tablespoon of Dijon. C’est tout. Dip the chops in the flour, the egg mix, and the panko, and then fry it. Do the first side for about five minutes, golden brown, then flip. I used a meat thermometer since I had thick chops, up to 145F. If you don’t have a thermometer, I would say about 10 minutes for an inch. Put them on a bed of cabbage with the lemon, squeeze on some lemon, and drizzle with soy or teryaki or some nice salty brown sauce. You might even want to look up a tonkatsu sauce if you have ambition.

Make rice if you like, but make sure you have wine left for dinner.

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