Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pork Scallopini with Butter Caper Sauce

(Woo Hoo!! Jason is writing a blog post... the first in many, many months - he's usually content to cook and eat. Here goes:)

One of my favorite Birmingham restaurants is Urban Standard.  It's a cool place to hang out. You'll find professionals (it's my office away from the office) sitting table to table with people of all ages just hanging.  

Trevor and the staff always serve excellent food (Tanya loves the cupcakes) and it fits with our values.

One of my favorite lunch entrees is the Pork Scallopine.  I was craving it today, but unfortunately Urban Standard is closed on Sundays so I had to fend for myself.  **If anyone at Urban Standard would like to share the restaurant recipe, I’d love to try it at home …  please :-) **

I wasn’t able to Google a recipe that approximates Urban Standard’s, but I did find two that showed up over and over again: one with a butter caper sauce and the other with a mushroom marsala sauce.  We love mushrooms, and Cassie Craves’ recipe looks really nice.  But I was a little worried the marsala would overwhelm the pork.  So, I opted instead for this Butter Caper Sauce recipe

  • 1.5 pounds pork tenderloin (we had them butterflied, so nice and thin)
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Slice pork into 1/2 inch slices on a diagonal (we skipped this -- remember, butterflied)
2. Pound pork thin between plastic wrap with a meat mallet (a.k.a. Tanya's hammer. She's already hung four pictures with it today.)
3. Sift together the flour and salt.
4. Lightly dredge pork and shake off any excess flour.
5. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
6. Cook the pork 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden and transfer to a warm plate.
7.  Wipe out skillet.
8. Heat a tablespoon of butter in a skillet.
9. Add the capers, white wine and lemon juice.
10. Allow to reduce just a little before adding the final tablespoon of butter.
11. Mix slowly to incorporate and remove immediately from the heat.
12. Spoon the sauce over the pork and serve. 
I followed the recipe fairly closely (I’m not real good with measuring things … just like to eyeball it … probably being lazy rather than creative).   I decided to pair it with just a little angel hair pasta and Brussels Sprouts, made in the traditional Fulmore/Ott Fashion.  We slice in half, drizzle some sea salt and olive oil on it and then bake those little jewels at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or so.  It is by far one of our favorite side dishes and, given our schedules of late, we haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy them as much as we’d like.  I’d like to branch out a little on preparing the sprouts … if anyone has any suggestions please let us know.

Of course you can’t enjoy Pork Scallopini without a really great beer: Existent by Stillwater Artisanal. I picked it up at Charleston Beer Exchange during our anniversary trip in June.  The guys at CBE recommended it based on the other beer I bought (Allagash, Jolly Pumpkin, and others that I still can't find in Alabama).  Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal describes Existent as …
Representing the philosophy behind Stillwater Artisanal.  We strive to define ourselves through our passion and sincerity while accepting that not all aspects of life are readily explanable.  To manifest this ideology we present an ale of intrigue, deep and dark, though deceptively dry, braced by a firm yet smooth bitterness and accented with an earthy hop and mild roast aroma.  This is an ale for you to define...
Brian is a Gypsy brewer. What's that mean? Check out this story that aired on NPR's Weekend Edition.


Jason - I though it was excellent! If the pork had been prepared just a wee bit better, ala Urban Standard, it would have been unbelievable! I will tell you the sauce, to me, was a little thin. I would have liked to have a little thicker sauce; but all in all, very good. 

Tanya - Loved it... LOVED IT! The pork was really moist (despite the smoke and crust  --- we had a little burning "incident" that Jason didn't go into in his blog post, but it involved too much oil and too high a temperature) and the Butter Caper Sauce was very tasty. And of course I'll eat Brussels Sprouts from here to next Wednesday.

Miranda - Burnt! There's no other way to describe it. I don't want it. (note: she's in a, um, "mood")

Olivia - I didn't like the chicken. It wasn't very good.  (um, pork, babe... pork)

Hannah - I really like the pork. It was great! Crispy on the outside but juicy and stuff on the inside.  The green cabbage things, I didn't like. They're too mushy. But it's okay. Whatever.

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Another recipe that looked really interesting is this one for Honey Mustard Pork Scaloppini. Think we'll try that one soon.  In the meantime, the plan for the rest of the week is:

My Brother’s Chicken Tacos – The Pioneer Woman 


Chicken from Oman - part of Olivia's World of Food series


Friday – we’re farming out the kids and having a Date Night!

Photo Credits: Urban Standard by ACNatta


  1. So happy to find this blog. Local, yummy, home cooked food is the best. Wonderful to see your family cooking together.

    I have bookmarked "My Brother's Chicken Tacos" as something to try.


  2. Glad you stopped by, Heidi. We do love cooking (and eating!!) Let us know what you think of the Chicken TAco recipe. We're trying it for the first time, but everything else we've tried from the Pioneer Woman has been great. Sure this will be too.