We watched Food Network Star for the first time this past season (#7) and we were excited when Jeff Mauro won. (Though we were rooting for Vic Vegas too, of course) Jeff dubbed himself the "Sandwich King" and I was happy that Food Network picked him for a show. I mean, who doesn't love a good sandwich?
Sometimes it seems like when you are at home a sandwich need consist only of bland sandwich bread, lunch meat and cheese. Blah. But why not make a restaurant quality sandwich at home? Sure its a little more (ok, a lot more) effort...but according to Jeff you can make "any meal a sandwich and any sandwich a meal", and a meal deserves a little more effort.
Now that his show is running (though I admit we still haven't seen it...must set DVR) we decided to try and make one of Jeff Mauro's sandwiches. After perusing the short list on Food Network we went with the Schnitzel Biscuits. Apparently schnitzel is Austrian for thinly pounded, fried, meat...yum. Add a biscuit and some braised cabbage and you have one very lovely sandwich.
There are four elements to this sandwich but none are particularly difficult or time consuming and the sandwich really comes together in the end. **Bonus** if you aren't making 8 sandwiches you'll have left over biscuits for breakfast the next day! In fact, if you aren't interested in making the entire sandwich, just the recipe for the biscuits alone is worth keeping. They were simple, easy and delicious. The cabbage was amazing too and would be great with pork chops. But really, try the sandwich.
Schnitzel Biscuits, adapted from Jeff Mauro
3 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pork tenderloin, silver skin removed, about 1 1/2 lbs
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for frying
4 cups self-rising flour (see easy substitution here)
1 stick butter, plus 3 more tablespoons melted
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
3/4 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon raspberry preserves
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
To begin you'll brine the pork tenderloin. Mix the salt and sugar with 6 cups of ice cold water until everything has dissolved. Pour the liquid into a gallon sized ziplock bag and then put in the pork. Put the bag in a large bowl and then place the bowl into the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Next you can make the mayo. Just mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl, cover it with plastic and put it into the refrigerator as well.
Time for the biscuits. Preheat the oven to 425 F and place a large cast iron skillet inside so that it preheats as well. Cut the butter into the flour in a large bowl, work quickly until the mixture is very crumbly. Add in the buttermilk very slowly (I only needed 2 cups) until the dough forms and but is still fairly moist. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll it into a ball with your hands and then press it out until it is about 1 inch thick. No rolling pin needed, woo hoo! Now using a drinking glass or a biscuit cutter, cut out 8 biscuits about 3 inches in diameter.
Take the hot skillet out of the preheated oven and carefully add the vegetable oil to it. Put in the biscuits, touching each other, then brush the tops with the melted butter. Put the skillet back in the oven to bake about 15 minutes. They should be nice and golden brown when they are done.
Oops I made nine!
Meanwhile start the cabbage. Heat a large heavy pan, like a dutch oven, over medium heat. Melt the butter and then add the caraway seeds and cook them until fragrant, only about a minute. Add the cabbage to the pot a bit at a time to wilt it. Once it is all in, add the cider and vinegar and let simmer for 15 minutes. I kept my pot covered for most of that time. Once the cabbage is soft, season it with salt and pepper and put it on low while you are finishing up.
Lastly, the pork. Remove the pork from the brine and dry it with paper towel. Cut it into eight 1 inch rounds and then pound each to about 1/4 inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper. For your batter put the flour onto one plate, the beaten eggs another, and the panko on a third. Put a wire rack over a baking sheet to set the pork on once battered. Coat each slice of pork in each dish in turn and set on the rack.
Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot fry each slice of pork for about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Put some of the mayo on your freshly baked biscuits along with a slice of pork or two and some of the cabbage. Serve more cabbage on the side, it is good stuff! Enjoy!