Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Little Change of Pace--Sandwich-Style

When it comes to sandwiches, I usually make them of the deli variety, the pulled meat variety, or the chicken breast variety.  However, when I saw this recipe, I knew I needed to try it.  First of all, my husband adores arugula.  So, I knew he would like this a lot.  Second, I had some pork chops in my freezer that I wanted to use up.

The only drawback?  It's not exactly kid-friendly.  For some reason, this didn't really occur to me until I was in the middle of making them.  So, I had to cut it into little bits for my boys.  My younger boy (who eats everything) gobbled it up and my older boy (the pickiest eater alive) only ate the ciabbata bread dipped in marinara.  But it's a rare thing for him to eat most of the things I make!  Oh, and I had to slightly change the preparation of the pork since my younger son is allergic to eggs (I will include my changes in the notes of the recipe below).  So, there you have it.  You do what you can as a mom!

Italian Pork Sandwiches


1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 pork cutlets (3/4 pound total)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
4 ciabatta or Portuguese rolls
1 cup marinara, warmed
2 cups arugula


Place flour, egg, and breadcrumbs in separate shallow dishes.  Season flour and breadcrumbs with salt and pepper.  Coat pork in flour, shaking off excess, dip in egg, then coat with breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere.  Place pork on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet.

Heat broiler.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high.  In 2 batches, cook pork until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes, flipping halfway through.  Line rack with paper towels.  Transfer pork to towels and let drain 1 minute.  Top pork with cheese, place on sheet, and broil until cheese is melted, 1 minute.  Divide among rolls and top with marinara and arugula.

Recipe notes: This breading method relies on layers: The flour helps the egg adhere to the meat and the breadcrumbs cling to the egg.  It's ideal for pan-frying thin cuts of pork or chicken--a flavorful crust forms as the meat cooks through.

Source: Martha Stewart Everyday Food recipe. http://www.marthastewart.com/897478/italian-pork-sandwiches

Notes: As mentioned in my explanation above, I couldn't use the egg because of my son's egg allergy.  So, I skipped the egg and flour entirely and just coated the pork in bread crumbs by placing the bread crumbs in a bowl and patting the pork into the crumbs.  It adhered just fine.

I used thick pork chops which I sliced in half lengthwise to make my own pork cutlets.  It worked great.  I also used Italian-style breadcrumbs for a little more flavor to make up for the lack of egg and flour in the crust.  It tasted delicious and I didn't miss a thing taste-wise.

I also didn't use fresh mozzarella.  That would have been delicious--but I used what I already had on hand.  Shredded mozzarella cheese.  And it still tasted great.

Finally, my grocery bakery didn't have ciabbata rolls--only ciabbata loaves.  So, we just placed all of the toppings onto the loaf and cut the loaf into our desired sandwich size with a bread knife.  Delicious!


  1. Yum! that does sound delicious. Clint is not a fan of arugula, sadly. I love it! And I fear Thomas is more similiar to Pete in terms of picky eating. The kid basically survives on oranges and Graham crackers

  2. Since Clint hates arugula, you could substitute baby spinach or some fresh basil leaves (though if you use basil, I might not use a full two cups...probably just one cup).

    Yes, it sounds like Thomas and Peter are two peas in a pod when it comes to picky eating. He's my "picky eater Peter." I hope that changes someday. He used to try a lot more stuff than he does now. Hopefully his former love of food will return someday.

    And hopefully Jonathan won't turn into a picky eater!

  3. That surprises me that Clint doesn't like arugula. He doesn't appear to be that picky. I would think you could use any lettuce, even iceberg. Romaine might work nicely, too.

    Looks yummy!

  4. Honestly, I think it would work better with a softer lettuce rather than a crunchy one like iceberg. It would probably still be good, but it would change the taste, texture, and feel of the sandwich.