When I lived in São Paulo one of my favorite dishes was the paprika schnitzel from a German restaurant called “Jucalemão“.   Sauteed pork cutlets, pounded  thin, were  served hidden beneath a sea of deliciously creamy sauce, bright with the color of paprika, and paired with three big potato dumplings (knodels).   I learned of  Jucalemão at age 19 from my first boyfriend, and my last visit was 14 years  (or…. two boyfriends and a husband ;-)) later.  When I left Brazil for good,  I never returned.  Whenever we come back to São Paulo for a visit I intend to stop by with Phil, but something always  prevents us.   As a result, I have a permanent craving for that fantastic dish.   I’ve ordered pork paprikash in other places (even in Germany!), but it was not as I remember it from Jucalemão.   So, when I got a feed from Martha Stewart Everyday Food with the two magical words on the subject,  a deep feeling of nostalgia hit me. I had to make it, even though I knew it would be a different take on the dish of my past.

(adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food)

Coarse salt and ground pepper
egg noodles
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise, cut in slivers
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 can (14 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup sour cream

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles until tender; drain and return to pot. Stir in a little olive oil to prevent them from sticking, cover and set aside. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine pork with 1 tablespoon paprika; season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet, when very hot add the pork slivers,  tossing occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Return skillet to stove; reduce heat to medium. Add remaining tablespoon oil and shallots; cook until the pieces are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add pork, remaining tablespoon paprika, tomatoes with their juice, and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook, until sauce is slightly thickened, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon,about 5 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat, and stir in sour cream; season with salt and pepper. If necessary, warm it up over very gentle heat, just briefly. Serve paprikash over noodles.

to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  I had never treated pork tenderloin by this method of cutting in slices and stir-frying. I toned down my expectations, assuming it would turn out too dry.  Well,  we both enjoyed our meal quite a bit.  It doesn’t have the complexity of a similar preparation using pork butt or shoulder,  but it was flavorful enough with all the paprika, and cooked so fast that I can see myself adapting other sauces and seasonings to bring tenderloin to our table.   Until now, I’d always resorted to either the 7-6-5 method, or butterflying it and grilling (Phil’s favorite kind).

As to the pork paprikash of my past, maybe I should contact the restaurant.  I got this craving, and January is still pretty far away…    😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Roasted Tomato Soup

TWO YEARS AGO: Auvergne Rye Bread with Bacon

THREE YEARS AGO: Anticipation

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