ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
In Bozeman, Montana, Jay Bentley will break out the bread crumbs and his meat mallet when he wants to make his wife very happy.
JAY BENTLEY: My wife, Mary - she's the brains in my family, you know. Anytime she wants schnitzel, she get it.
SIEGEL: That's right - pork schnitzel.
BENTLEY: It's a dish she really loves, and it's very fortunate because it's so simple to do. It's not something complicated, like - I don't know - beef Wellington or something like that, you know.
SIEGEL: And let's be honest - schnitzel is a lot more fun to say than beef Wellington. Jay Bentley is the owner of the restaurant Open Range. And for today's Found Recipe, we asked them to tell us what makes his schnitzel so very good.
BENTLEY: One of the reasons I love pork - particularly in Montana, even though Montana is a big beef state - is the fact that we have a lot of small growers that give us heritage-style pork that's been kind of raised outside where they're able to forage. It makes for a much more interesting, juicier and flavorful cut. You can tell the fat content by the marbling, and frankly, fat is great. That's what makes it taste good.
Pork schnitzel's essentially a piece of pork loin that's been sliced about a half an inch thick and then pounded out to about a quarter of an inch thickness, drenched in eggs and milk and coated with panko breadcrumbs and sauteed. What I've done at home is I basically use a cast-iron skillet. I put either clarified butter or olive oil - normally olive oil. You go ahead, and you start cooking schnitzels on both sides till it's crisp. And it turns a certain shade of brown, and then it's ready. You know, you can do all kinds of sauces with it. We basically use brown butter and sage, so I'll melt the butter and when it starts to brown, squeeze in some lemon and throw in some sage leaves. And when at the sage starts to turn brown and get crisp and the butter is brown, you take it off the heat, put the schnitzels on the plate, spoon the browned butter and sage over the top, salt and pepper to taste, and they're ready to go. Then I have a happy wife, and that's the secret to happiness, you know. She's happy. Everybody's happy.
SIEGEL: The happily married Jay Bentley. He's co-author of the cookbook "Open Range" and owner of the Bozeman restaurant of the same name. You can get details on his pork schnitzel on our Found Recipes page at npr.org.
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