pork cutlets with cider mustard sauce

lately, i've been trying even harder than usual not to fall into a dinner rut. for a couple weeks it felt like we were eating the same thing week after week, which got really old - really boring - fast. while flipping through recipes i had made in the last month, i remembered this cook's illustrated special i picked up last year when border's was closing. not only are the recipes scaled for two people, but the majority of them are quick to prepare, just what we need for weeknights when we have an hour and a half window from when we get home to when the baby goes to bed.

this pork fits the bill really well. one of the easiest ways to get out of a chicken breast rut - i can't be the only one that gets stuck in those - is to switch it up with pork cutlets. they're quick cooking and can replace chicken breasts in many chicken recipes. one of my favorite flavor combinations with pork is mustard and apple, and apple cider and grainy mustard make a flavorful and quick pan sauce for sauteed cutlets. serve with a vegetable and dinner's on the table in less than a half an hour.

pork cutlets with cider mustard sauce
adapted from cook's illustrated's cooking for two 2011
20 minutes, serves 2

3/4 pound (12 ounces) boneless pork cutlets
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon flour
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup apple cider
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  1. coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil and heat over medium high heat. while the pan is heating, dry the cutlets and season with salt and pepper. when the pan is hot, add half of the butter and add the cutlets. cook until brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. remove from pan and keep warm while making the sauce.
  2. add the shallot to the pan and cook until soft, about 1 minute. whisk in the flour and cook until slightly browned, about 1 minute. whisk in the chicken broth and apple cider and bring to a boil. reduce heat to low and simmer for a few minutes until slightly thickened.
  3. turn off the heat and whisk in the mustard and remaining butter and season with salt and pepper. return the cutlets to the pan and coat with the sauce. serve.

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