Everybody loves a good pork cutlet, especially the cook! They’re fast, easy and always a special treat!
A pork cutlet is a thin slice of tender, quick cooking meat that can be cooked in hundreds of ways. The most popular is marinating, flouring or breading and quick pan searing and then serving with sauce. My personal favorite is ‘involtini’, rolling cutlets around all sorts of tasty fillings and browning in the pan or on the grill. They’re easy and wonderfully delicious!
Cheddar Apple Pie Involtini
In this version we roll thin pork loin cutlets around sweet sautéed apples and shards of aged cheddar cheese and then sauté the rolls in the same pan used to cook the apples for a sweet and sticky browned finish. I discovered involtini in the butcher shops of Tuscany where they’re made with pork, veal and turkey and fillings ranging from savory to sweet and fruity. Think of this as an Italian American version.
Thin slices of boneless pork loin, we’ve got them ready to go in the World Inspired Thin Sliced Meats section of our freezer case. NOTE: We don’t keep these in stock at all times, but call ahead and we’ll have them waiting for you! Keep frozen and thaw in the refrigerator for 6-10 hours, or in about 15 minutes in cool water (avoid water if your package leaks). Once thawed, dab dry on paper towels and they’re ready to roll. These thin slices of pork loin are also great marinated and quickly grilled or sautéed; seasoned, floured and sautéed; or rolled in flour, egg and seasoned breadcrumbs and fried.
I like Gala or Fuji apples, but any firm apple will do. Slice skin-on apples into 1/2-3/4 inch wedges and sauté quickly over medium high heat in a large preheated skillet with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and a hint of clove. Cool on a plate, reserving skillet for final cooking.
Choose a sharp aged cheddar to get the most flavor inside your involtini, the sharper and older the better! Aging reduces the water content so the cheeses melt more slowly than do young. Be very careful if using a mild cheese, most melt very quickly.
Sprinkle the pork cutlets with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper; a light dusting with flour is a nice but not necessary. Place a shard of cheddar in the center of each cutlet, top with some of the sautéed apples. Then roll the cutlet up snugly. The end of the cutlet needs to wrap about 1/4-1/2 of the way around the involtini to hold it together. If sautéing in a pan, they’re ready to cook, or can be refrigerated for cooking later.
Reheat the same pan you used to cook the apples, refreshing with butter and brown sugar as needed. Place the rolled side (where the cutlet is double thick) face down in the pan and sauté over medium high heat to brown then turn and brown on 3-4 sides. Watch your temperature carefully as we want to get them brown and caramelized without overcooking or blackening the sugar.
Involtini can also be grilled or oven roasted; tie with string, pin with a toothpick or put several on a skewer, allowing at least 1-inch between each skewered involtini for even cooking.
Pork loin only needs to cook to about 145° internal, slightly pink, so take care not to overcook and dry them out. Remove to a serving dish, cover and rest 5 minutes before serving.
We couldn’t resist and ate ours right from the pan, but these Cheddar Apple Pie Involtini would make a memorable appetizer or first course served individually on skewers or on lettuce leaves, they also make a great main dish with rice or potatoes and a simple veggie.
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