Genie Milgrom's Chuletas - fake pork chops. Photo: Michael Milgrom
Genie Milgrom's Chuletas - fake pork chops. Photo: Michael Milgrom
Recipe

Chuletas – Fake Pork chops

Genie Milgrom shares this family recipe for Chuletas (pork chops) - a French Toast like dish shaped like a pork chop to throw off the Inquisition

I think this recipe is the one that caused me the most angst to find and then sheer delight at the end. I will now share it with you.

This recipe was finally written down by my great-aunt Tia Paulita, who was born in the 1880s and never married. She was an elegant lady, always dressed to the nines, and was known for being the best cook of the family. She had been passing down the recipe again and again, and always made it from memory until it was finally written down by the family on the day she died, in Madrid, Spain, in 1936.

Chuleta means “pork chop” in Spanish, and even though my family was Catholic for five hundred years and they are all types of foods, I still got a sinking feeling in my stomach every time I opened my grandmom’s cookbook and saw the word chuleta on page 2. For months, I could not bring myself to read it. When I finally did start to read and the first line said to add milk to bread, I almost passed out. Not only was it about pork chops, but it was about pork chops cooked in milk!

Now I have to laugh because the recipe is for a sugary-sweet, French-toast style bread that is fried in the shape of a pork chop, and even coated with tomato jam on top like a sauce coating. The whole unusual recipe and name lead me to believe it was passed down through the generations and could have been made to look like a casserole of pork chops with sauce. This would have fended off those trying to catch the new converts to Christianity who were hauled off to an Inquisition prison for not eating pork. This is the best look-alike to a pork chop that I have ever seen.

When I saw this recipe, I knew that my friend Cristina Lea Fernandes was the perfect one to try this. She is from Brazil, comes from a Converso background, and loves all the history of the Crypto-Jews. She has become very active in her synagogue, and I knew she would be the one to really get into the history surrounding this recipe. So, without further ado, here goes with this unusual recipe.

For recipes from Genie Milgrom’s “Recipes of my 15 Grandmothers”

For more on Genie Milgrom

Picture of Genie Milgrom's cookbook "Recipes of My 15 Grandmothers"
Genie Milgrom’s “Recipes of My 15 Grandmothers”

Ingredients for Chuletas

  • 2 loaves bread thick, country grain (not sourdough, as the flavor overwhelms this recipe)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup flour approximately
  • olive oil for frying

To serve:

  • jam tomato
  • peppers sweet pimento, sliced into strips

Instructions

  • 1. Reserve some crust from the bread. Mix the milk and sugar and wet the 2 loaves in this mixture until you can form a thick paste with your hands. Add the eggs and mix well. Add a little flour until the mixture is workable with and moldable in your hands.

  • 2. Mold the mixture into the shape of a pork chop and fry in olive oil until golden brown, turning once on each side.

  • 3. Cut the reserved crust into strips about 4" (10 cm) in length and fry until golden brown.

  • 4. Pierce the fritter with the crust sticks to look like a pork chop bone. Place in a casserole dish and cover with tomato jelly. Decorate with strips of sweet pimento.

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This recipe is from Genie Milgrom’s cookbook “Recipes of My 15 Grandmothers“, which shares the recipes and the story of Genie’s journey to uncover her Spanish Jewish roots.

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*שמנו לב שחסרים כמה פרטים קטנים להשלמת הפרופיל שלך ב־FOODISH, אפשר להוסיף אותם בקלות בעמוד המשתמש שלך.