How many of you have trouble planning your weekly menu? (raises hand.) Okay, put yourself in my shoes (or, if you’re a blogger too, you can probably totally relate to this). I have the same meal-planning issues that everyone else does….and somehow I expect myself to be constantly coming up with something new to put on the blog. It’s a weekly struggle. It’s compounded by the fact that I’m currently on summer break and yet still somehow cannot force myself to plan ahead. I grocery shop every week on Friday evenings (it’s the least crowded time for us non-morning people at my favorite grocery store) and every. single. week. I am still trying to figure out what I am going to cook for the week at 4:30 on Friday afternoon. This usually includes what I’m going to cook Friday night, which is a night that I include in the meal plan for the previous week. Also, I own something like fifty cookbooks and I read literally hundreds of food-related blogs. How is this a problem for me?
This is why I love it when readers suggest things for me to make. My friend Jessie over at JessieWeaver.net (this is what I love about blogging-you have people that you consider friends even though you have never met them or, in Jessie’s case, your only meeting with them has been, “Hey, aren’t you…..!” in a neighborhood grocery store) brought a menu item-a panko crusted pork sandwich-at Tupelo Honey Café to my attention a couple of weeks ago. It was a seasonal special (I believe that they change these quarterly) and I never got to try it because they went and changed to their summer specials before I got a chance. I don’t even know what the actual name of the sandwich was, but it was a panko-crusted pork ribeye (did you know that the USDA is changing the names of pork chops to be more descriptive? Try finding a pork ribeye anywhere.) on a brioche bun with cheddar and Havarti cheeses, Granny Smith apples, caramelized onions, and sriracha aioli. Jessie wanted to see how I would do it….and I was happy to oblige.
I happened to have some of these wonderful brioche buns from The Faux Martha in the freezer, which I love even more than my old standard because (1) the butter is melted, not softened, which means I don’t have to plan ahead; and (2) these rose up to far more burnished glory than the other recipe (which for some reason has been turning out flat and pallid recently) ever has. However, you are welcome to use whatever good hamburger buns you can get your hands on….but I wouldn’t use cheap ones. America’s Test Kitchen gave me a jumping-off point for how to make the pork cutlets (I ended up using just regular old loin chops from the grocery store) and I decided that sriracha aioli might not be for the masses. Instead, we used mayonnaise and I handed Philip the bottle of sriracha so he could drown his sandwich while I gingerly sprinkled mine. I never would have thought of this combination of flavors on my own, but it worked amazingly well….so thanks, Tupelo Honey. And THANK YOU, Jessie!
So, if you have any suggestions for me…fire away! I’m all ears!
Sriracha Drizzled Panko Crusted Pork Sandwich (inspired by Tupelo Honey Café)
makes 4 sandwiches
prep time 20 minutes
cook time 30 minutes
- 2 large red onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon table salt or 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- vegetable oil
- 1 pound boneless pork loin chops-cut into 4 equal pieces
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 4 slices cheddar cheese
- 4 slices Havarti Cheese
- 4 brioche buns
- 1 green apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1. Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the onions, sugar, and salt, stirring to coat the onions completely. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 15-20 minutes until completely caramelized, turning down the heat if you think that the onions might start to burn. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2. While the onions are caramelizing, carefully cut a crosshatch pattern into each side of each pork chop. Place in a quart-size zipper bag and pound to an even thickness. Repeat with each pork chop.
3. Place a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Pour enough oil in the bottom of a ten-inch skillet to completely cover the skillet. Preheat over medium heat.. When the oil is hot enough, salt and pepper each side of the meat then dredge the first two pork chops, dipping first in cornstarch, then buttermilk, then panko crumbs. Place in the hot oil. Fry for 3 minutes then turn halfway (don’t flip to the other side) and cook for 2 more minutes. Flip and repeat this process on the other side. Remove the cooked pork to the cooling sheet lined pan in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining pork. Place a slice of Havarti cheese and a slice of cheddar on each piece of pork to melt while you assemble the rest of the sandwiches.
4. To prepare the sandwich, cut the brioche buns in half. Spread the top and bottom of each bun with mayonnaise. Place a piece of pork on each bottom bun. Divide the caramelized onions then the sliced green apples. among the four sandwiches. Drizzle with your desired amount of sriracha and serve immediately.