When I was learning cooking techniques with romantic-sounding names like "julienne" and "butterfly," I was disappointed by the term "Standard Breading Procedure," or as my chef-instructors referred to it: SBP. It had an industrial ring to it that made me picture a robotic cook mechanically waving a pork loin in the air and announcing: "I-ni-ti-ate Stan-dard Bread-ing Pro-ce-dure."
It's actually an apt name for a method that is pretty much an assembly line. But the result puts any notions of mass production aside. This method turns out a crispy, evenly browned crust that doesn't fall off in the frying pan. And the meat that is insulated within stays moist and tender.
This method can be used to make pan-fried breaded preparations of cube steak (like chicken fried steak), chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, veal cutlets, eggplant, green tomatoes, and so on. And you can always deviate from the standard by adding bells and whistles such as garlic, herbs, spices, mustards, and sauces into the assembly line.
My favorite at the moment is to season the cutlet with Old Bay seasoning and mix hot sauce in with the eggs. Give the slideshow a go and maybe you'll try a new standard, too.
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.