TODAY   |  May 16, 2013

TODAY’s Melting Pot: Cook up a Portuguese feast

Chef Rui Correia demonstrates how you can cook up a delicious Portuguese dish he remembers his grandmother making: pork panados (breaded and fried pork medallions) with watercress and tomato salad.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on "today's" kitchen, melting pot , pork pinados, a recipe he remembers his grandmother making. the executive chef in greenwich, connecticut.

>> how are you, al? good to be back.

>> you remember your grandma making this?

>> yeah. my grandma had a local eatery in portugal . this is one of the dishes i enjoyed the most as a kid. pork is a very prominent protein in portugal , especially in our area, and she would make these quick pork cutlets with a salad on top. it's gorgeous.

>> i like that.

>> very light, very healthy.

>> we start off with a piece of pork loin like this and you can make these incisions like this to kind of butterfly it open. right? once you have the pork, butterfly it open, we pound it out just to tenderize it a little bit and also to distribute the thickness of the meat so you get even cooking.

>> this cooks quickly because it's so thin.

>> definitely cooks very quick. we're going to add a little bit of salt to season. and if you can mix in that parsley into those panko bread crumbs , we're going to drench the pork in a little bit of egg wash and get a quick little mix for me. perfect.

>> okay.

>> that's good. and now we're going to basically do this. and just put a little bit of bread crumb on top. coat it nice, give it nice crust and flavor. and they go really well.

>> could you use another kind of meat?

>> sure, chicken, veal, nice and light too. so at this point, we're going to take a nice little pan with oil and put it --

>> any oil you like?

>> i use a little bit of vegetable oil for frying, for cooking, olive oil . you're going to see a little bit of crust forming, caramelization and golden brown , and at which point we go to this pan here. we're going to flip this over.

>> look at that.

>> and see the nice golden brown in the pankos. and this can literally cook for maybe about a minute and a half on each side and you're going to take it off and place it on to there.

>> okay.

>> once we have these going, we're going to incorporate it with the pork that's there. and stepping down, now we're going to make the salad. this is the important part. we have really great acidity here. it's merlot vineyard.

>> can you say a good balsamic?

>> you can use red wine vinegar , you know, apple cider vinegar. and this has great acidity being made on the market. we have fresh, beautiful tomatoes coming into season. some beautiful water crest which is going to add the greens and pepperiness.

>> can you use like arugula?

>> you can use it or incorporate a couple of other greens like kale.

>> it's on every menu right now. this is a fresh lemon zest to add a little bit more acidity, a little bit of sea salt .

>> hey, guys, how are you?

>> hi.

>> and al, we're going to add the vinegar, a little bit of olive oil .

>> delicious.

>> and toss this up.

>> nothing like your hand to toss it, right?

>> i'm a chef.

>> it's the best tool there is.

>> now we have the pork here. okay. and we're going to put three little pieces here for you guys.

>> this looks great.

>> and now -- i won't use my hands because now it's going to you. you can eat the first part.

>> no, clean hands .

>> it's so colorful.

>> perfect.

>> puts water in your mouth as soon as you see it, right? and it's healthy, localry and really enjoyable.

>> thank you.

>> in portugal during the summertime we use rose as a wine of choice. the nice crisp acidity.

>> thank you.

>> this is from the southern region of portugal .

>> you have a lot of great wine.

>> the restaurant is named after the region in portugal where port wine is produced and there's great red and white wines .

>> thank you so much.