Pork Schnitzel Sandwiches on Rye

Pork Schnitzel Sandwiches on Rye
Serves 4

4 pork cutlets, 3-4 ounce each
1/8 c flour
Seasoning (I used Penzey’s Bavarian Style Seasoning)
1 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon cooking oil (corn, canola or safflower)

  1. Cover a large plate with parchment paper.
  2. Coat cutlets in flour.
  3. Dip in egg wash.
  4. Press in panko crumbs, pushing firmly to help it adhere.
  5. Place cutlets on the parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (This helps the breading bond to the meat.)
  6. Preheat non-stick skillet. Add oil.
  7. Fry each cutlet until brown and crispy (3 minutes per side.)
  8. Serve on rye bread with sliced red onion, lettuce and brown mustard.
Nutritional data:
Calories:           313
Fat:                    9.9g
Sat fat:               1.7g
Chol:            89.5mg
Sodium:     560.2mg
Carbs:             35.6g
Fiber:                4.7g
Protein:           24.3g

I served this sandwich with my homemade low-sodium pickles.

And since it is October, and this was a German dish, I needed a nice beer from my friend Brad at Stillmank Brewing to go with it.

Grilled Pork Roast with Port/Vidalia/Fig Sauce

Grilled Pork Roast with Port/Vidalia/Fig Sauce
Serves 4

Recipe for the sauce:
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 large Vidalia onion, sliced thinly, then quartered
1 tablespoon flour (any type)
1 cup port wine
4 figs, stems removed and halved

  1. Preheat a non-stick skillet over med-high heat.
  2. Add the coconut oil. (You can use any type of oil, but caramelized onions made with coconut oil creates a delicious flavor combination.)
  3. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion, and turn heat down to medium. Season the onions with a bit of black pepper. 
  4. Let the onions slowly caramelize. This will take 20-25 minutes. Don’t rush it. Cooking them fast will fry them crispy. The idea here is to make them convert their sugars into caramel and break down all the cell stucture. They will end up incredibly fragrant and soft.
  5. When the onions are fully caramelized, sprinkle the flour over them and stir to combine.
  6. Increase the heat to medium-high.
  7. Slowly pour the port into the onions, whisking constantly.
  8. When the sauce coats the back of a spoon, lay the figs in the sauce and let them get warm. 
  9. Serve over sliced pork.
Fig season is relatively short. Enjoy them while you can find them.

Nutritional data for 2 tablespoons sauce and 2 fig halves.:
Calories:        133
Fat:                3.7g
Sat fat:           3.1g
Chol:                0g
Sodium:     4.5mg
Carbs:         14.9g
Fiber:            2.1g
Protein:         0.9g

Tips for roasting a pork half loin on a grill:
When cooking a pork half loin on the grill, I like to season it with something good, like Penzey’s Bavarian Style seasoning.

I also do not place the roast directly on the grate, but I also do not use a pan. I want the heat to directly roast the meat, without it sticking to the grill. My solution is to take a handful of herbs from my garden (usually a few rosemary branches and make some basil boughs) and place those on the grill, and then the roast on top. The herbs will mostly burn (eventually) but they will infuse the meat with their gentle flavors.

You may be wondering what is sticking out of the top of the roast. That is my secret weapon for grilling food that is fully cooked, but still moist. That is a Taylor Digital Cooking Thermometer/Timer. You set the desired tempurature of doneness (145F for pork roasts), and then you can let it go. It has an alarm that sounds when the temp is reached.

When your roast hits 145F, remove it from the grill, tent it with some aluminum foil and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting it.

That knife you see is a very nice knife, an 8 inch chef’s knife, that I bought at IKEA. You can get a similar knife from Amazon. The patterns in the blade is called Damascus steel, and is made be repeated heating in forge, hammering flat, folding over and then repeating if many times. There are master knifemakers who still make them in that method, each knife taking more than a day to craft. Those knives sell for $200-400 per INCH of blade! I paid less than $50 for mine, and the knife that I show you in the Amazon link is $111.00. A Damascus blade tends to keep it’s edge longer, and I just love mine.

My dream is to own one of those handmade works of kitchen cutlery art. It will happen!

Note: the links to Amazon are an affiliate links. That means if you click on those and buy one something, I will receive a small commission. It does not change your cost at all, but it will help me continue to provide recipes and advice here and in my podcast Make Your Someday Today

Pulled Pork Chili

Pulled Pork Chili
Serves 10 (1 cup portions)

This morning I woke to 45F temperatures. To me, that means chili season. But some chili can be high fat, and some high sodium. This is neither, just high flavor. This is one of those little life hacks that I talk about on one my Make Your Someday Today Trevitorials. Make good food and eat it. When you make it yourself, you know what is in it!

In a large (3-4 quart kettle) add:
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
Add your preferred chili spices

Sautee that together until the onions begin to get translucent (5 minutes)
1 tablespoon tomato paste. Stir to mix together, then add:
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained, and low sodium if available
2 cans beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound pulled pork

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. After 30-40 minutes, taste and add more seasoning as needed. This is better if you can then chill it for a few hours or overnight.

So, why is the beer in the picture? I make my beans with a pressure cooker. I use 1 cup dried beans (here is a mix of white navy beans and black bean), one onion diced, 2-4 cloves garlic minced and 4 cups beer. This is one of my favorites, Green Bay’s own Wisco Disco. Put the lid on, set to high pressure and leave them cook for 45 minutes. When it is time to add the beans to the tomatoes, I dump everything in, beans, beer, onion and garlic.

Nutritional data:
Calories:         210
Fat:                  5.4g
Sat fat:             1.7g
Chol:           38.5mg
Sodium:      32.7mg
Carbs:            18.2g
Fiber:               4.6g
Protein:            19g

Pulled Pork Meets South Florida

This was one of my entries into the 2014 Mezzetta Make That Sandwich contest.

Sandwiches are fun! A complete meal you eat while holding it. And mashing to regions into one sandwich is tasty. Pulled pork (which I first had while traveling through Tennessee, where my friend Chester lives and teaches) meets South Florida breads (where you can also find Leah and her digital magazine, Just Jew It) in this example.

Pulled Pork Meet South Florida
Serves 1

1 Miami onion roll (you can substitutes another roll if you want.)
4 ounces pulled pork (I used Curley’s Sauceless Pulled Pork for the contest.)
1 ounce Mezzetta’s Roasted Red Bell Peppers
1/8 cup (1/2 ounce) Mezzetta Deli-Sliced Mild Pepper Rings

1 tablespoon Mezzetta Olive Oil
  1. Slice roll. Toast if desired (I prefer my rolls toasted)
  2. Warm meat until hot (less than 1 minute in a microwave.)
  3. Place Roasted Red Bell Peppers on bottom half on roll.
  4. Top with meat.
  5. Top with Mild Pepper Rings.
  6. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
I’m not giving nutritional data for the sandwich. It will change if you use a different type of pulled pork, or use different roll….the variability will change everything.

Green Beans and Butternut Squash

Green Beans and Butternut Squash
Serves Variable

This is a wonderful cool weather meal. It is very well-suited to pork dishes, but hearty fish (salmon), lamb or venison would be equally good.

On my podcast, Make Your Someday Today, many guests talk about need to make adaptations to changing conditions. When you make a side dish like that, you have automatic flexibility. You can prepare whichever meat you have in your freezer or is on sale at your local market. And this dish simply looks good!

Fresh green beans
Medium butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil

I didn’t weigh the ingredients, so I don’t know how much to tell you to use. I used about 4 cups of beans and 2 cups of squash and got 4 large portions from it.

  1. Put a large pot of water on the stove, and turn to high
  2. Peel the squash. 
  3. Cut into approximately 1/2 inch (10mm) slices. Then cut them into cubes.
  4. Trim the ends off the beans, and wash under cold water.
  5. Heat a large non-stick pan over med-high heat. Spray with cooking spray.
  6. Place squash in pan. Let them saute a bit until the first side begins to brown, then start to toss every minute or so to evenly brown them.
  7. When the water comes to a boil, place all the beans in. Prepare a colander in the sink.
  8. After one minute, pour the pot of beans into colander. (You just “blanched” those beans.)
  9. Let them drip dry for a minute, then add them to the large skillet. Continue to toss until the beans are heated through. 
  10. When done, the squash will retain its shape, but be easy to piece with a fork, and the beans will be hot, yet still have crispness. (If you want the beans softer, keep them in the water for an additional 2-3 minutes.) 
Nutritional data:
Calories:           96
Fat:               3.8mg
Sat fat:             0.6g
Chol:                0mg
Sodium:         9.4mg
Carbs:             15.8g
Fiber:                4.4g
Protein:             2.7g

This is excellent with grilled pork chops, by the way!

My podcast, Make Your Someday Today is a twice-weekly show, where we talk to successful people in all walks of life and around the world on Monday, and then on Thursday, I take a specific message from the previous guest and give my “Trevitorial”, where I help you apply that message to your life. The entire purpose of the show is to help all of us overcome our challenges and fears and become the person we want to be, the person we deserve to be. I hope you give it a listen! 

Pan-Fried Pork Cutlets (Six Versions!)

Pan Fried Pork Cutlets
Serve 4

4 boneless pork chops or pork half loin, 4-5 ounces each
2 tablespoons, flour
1 egg lightly beaten, in a bowl
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons cooking oil

  1. Place chops or cutlets between think sheets of plastic or in freezer Ziploc bag. Pound thinly (1/4 inch).
  2. Mix together flour and your seasoning of choice on a plate or large bowl. (See options below.) Place panko crumbs on another plate or large bowl and toss with seasoning. (See options below.)
  3. Lay the pork in the flour and coat both side.
  4. Dip in egg wash, turning to coat both sides.
  5. Lay in panko crumbs, turning to coat both sides.
  6. Preheat non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  7. Add cooking oil. When it is hot, carefully lay the pork in the skillet.
  8. All the pork to cook until the crumbs are beginning to brown (4-5 minutes). Flip and repeat on the other side.
  9. Serve with your choice of sides. (I had my Asian Cole Slaw and homemade Kimchi. Sure, I was blending national cultures, but it is my kitchen! I can eat what I like!)
Nutritional data (for a 4 ounce raw cutlet):
Calories:      221
Fat:           10.2g
Sat fat:        1.5g
Chol:         60mg
Sodium:   253mg
Carbs:         8.5g
Fiber:          0.6g
Protein:     24.2g
Choices of seasonings:
Above is the basic recipe that can be modified to suit many needs.  When mixing the seasoning for this recipe, if the seasoning is a powder, it should be mixed into the flour. If it is more of a flake or dried herb, it gets added to the panko. That keeps the textures in each layer consistent.
For my meal, I used Chinese Five Spice powder (one of the few spice blends that is not available from Penzey’s) in my flour and panko for an Asian flavor, which fit well with my chosen side dishes.
For a more German flavor, use crushed mustard, garlic and rosemary (or just get Penzey’s Bavarian Seasoning) and serve with German potato salad and warm sauerkraut and a robust German Oktoberfest from Paulaner or Hacker-Pschorr.
If you want a more Russian characteristic add garlic, cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg (Penzey’s Tsar Dust Memories), served with a nice cold beet salad (I have a recipe for that, but it isn’t online yet) and coarse dark rye bread would be excellent. A Russian beer, such as Baltika #2 (pale lager) would work well, but Baltika #6 (Baltic Porter) is big enough to stand up to the robust flavors of this meal and would be a better choice.
Do you like Polish flavors? Use salt, pepper, coriander, garlic, crushed mustard and some sugar (Penzey’s Krakow Nights) served with a pile of braised cabbage with tart apples and smokey bacon, and a crisp Polish pilsner, such as Okocim.
A nice Italian flair would use basil, oregano, garlic and black pepper (Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset) served with angel hair pasta, boiled until al dente, drained, and then put into a skillet with olive oil and a LOT of garlic over medium high heat and toss until the garlic gets fragrant and lightly browned. (I would love to give a recommended wine for this dish, but to be totally honest, I am not that good at pairing wines. I like wines, but I love beers, so my strength is beer. Sorry.)
Northern Wisconsin flavor (my home territory) needs black pepper, coarse salt, paprika, thyme, rosemary and garlic (Penzey’s Northwoods Seasoning), crispy American fried potatoes, and my roasted carrots and peas. This needs a true Wisconsin beer, such as Leinenkugel Original, but I would suggest New Glarus Two Women which is crisp and balanced or Moon Man, which is bold and hoppy. But to get the New Glarus beers, you will need to travel to Wisconsin, as New Glarus does not distribute out of state.
Truly, the options are endless with this very basic fried meat. And if you buy a cutlet made from a half loin it will be very lean, too.
Note: I do not get any compensation from Penzey’s (and I tried) or the breweries (wouldn’t that be cool, though?) I just really enjoy all that they offer and want more people to know about them.
Two questions: 
1. Which version do you think you will try first?
2. What wine would you suggest with the Italian version?

Beer Braised Pork Chops

BLOGGER WON’T LET ME UPLOAD A PICTURE AT THIS TIME! I have a nice photo of the meal, but Blogger seems to have changed it’s procedures. 🙁

Beer Braised Pork Chops
Serves 4

2 teaspoon olive oil
4 boneless pork chops (approximately 6 ounces each)
2 Anjou pears, peeled, cored and each cut into 8 wedges
12 ounces beer (it can be a lager or an ale, but NOT a hoppy beer!)
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
Your preferred seasoning (I like Penzey’s Krakow Nights.)

  1. Season pork chops with pepper or your preferred seasoning blend.
  2. Preheat large 10-11″ non-stick skillet over med-high heat.
  3. Add oil.
  4. When oil is hot, place chops in skillet and sear 4 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Remove to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
  5. Add pears to the skillet, cooking about 6 minutes, or until golden. Remove to a plate.
  6. Add beer and sage to the pan. With a plastic or wooden spoon, scrape any caramelized bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  7. Return pork and pears to pan, partially cover the skillet and bring to a simmer.
  8. Keep heat on low and braise 5-7 minutes, or until the pork is heated completely.
  9. Remove pork and pears from skillet, cover to keep warm. Increase heat to medium, and cook about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced by half.

Nutritional data:
Calories:        305
Fat:                8.5g
Sat fat:           2.6g
Chol:            82.5mg
Sodium:         3.5mg
Carbs:          20.9g
Fiber:             3.6g
Protein:        32.3g

I specifically said “NOT a hoppy beer.”  When the beer gets boiled down, all the flavors will become concentrated. If the chosen beer is a hoppy, deliciously bitter ale (such as the classic Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, or Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA) the resulting sauce will be overwhelmingly bitter. Find a soft, mild beer. I used New Glarus Spotted Cow. A German wheat ale (Franziskaner), a malty and fruity Belgian white ale (Hoegaarden) or Ommegang’s Rare Vos would all work very well in this recipe because their flavors would pair well with the pork, the pears and the sage.

Ginger Broccoli Pork Stir Fry

Ginger Broccoli Pork Stir Fry
Serves 6
3 cups fresh (or frozen) broccoli
24 ounces pork, sliced into 1″ x 1/2″ strips
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
10 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated or finely minced

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together in a small bowl:
4 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon water

  1. Heat a non-stick skillet (10″) over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  2. When the oil is hot, carefully add pork slices. Brown on all sides. When browned, remove from skillet, cover and keep warm
  3. Add remaining teaspoon olive oil to the pan.
  4. Add onions. Saute until the just begin to turn translucent.
  5. Turn heat to medium. Add mushrooms, and let them cook, undisturbed for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Stir onions and mushrooms together. Add garlic and ginger.  Mix together.
  7. Meanwhile, heat broccoli in a microwave until hot and still crisp.
  8. Add broccoli and pork to skillet.
  9. Pour sauce into skillet. Stir to coat. Serve when combined and hot.

Nutritional data:
Calories:      330
Fat:              14.1g
Sat fat:           4.3g
Chol:          96.3mg
Sodium:      112mg
Carbs:        16.4g
Fiber:              2g
Protein:     36.2g

Pork Schnitzel with Sauteed Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts

Pork Schnitzel with Sauteed Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts
Serve 6

This is ridiculously easy to make.

24 ounces boneless pork chops (thin-sliced if possible)
1 egg white
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Seasoning of your choice (I used 1/2 teaspoon of Penzy’s Krakow Nights, one of the rare salted seasoning blends that I use.)

  1. Separate egg, placing white in a bowl large enough to hold a pork chop.
  2. Mix seasoning with panko in a shallow dish.
  3. Dip pork chops in egg white.  Dredge through seasoned crumbs.
  4. Preheat a non-stick skillet over medium-high.  Place chops in skillet, turning when then begin to turn golden brown (4-5 minutes).
  5. Serve on the sauteed cabbage and Brussels sprouts. (I topped mine with a teaspoon of sweet and coarse German mustard.)

Nutritional data:
Calories:        286
Fat:              15.6g
Sat fat:           5.3g
Chol:              94mg
Sodium:       187mg
Carbs:           3.2g
Fiber:            0.2g
Protein:       30.6g

Sauteed Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts
Serves 6

1 tablespoon bacon grease (the fat from 3-4 slices)  Other oil can be substituted if you prefer.
1 cup onion, diced
3 cups shredded cabbage (I used red. You can use green if preferred.)
3 cups shredded Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 ounces beer (optional, but I used it.)

  1. Heat a large non-stick skillet over med-high heat.  Add bacon grease.
  2. When melted, add onions.
  3. Saute until they just begin to get translucent (3-4 minutes).
  4. Add cabbage and Brussels sprouts.  Toss together.
  5. Mix beer, vinegar and sugar together in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Add to cabbage/Brussels sprouts.
  6. Continue to cook, tossing occasionally. The goal is to heat them without frying them.
  7. Optional:  top each serving with crumbled bacon. I didn’t do that because my son ate the bacon while I was out of the kitchen at one point.

Nutritional data (about 1 cup):
Calories:        119
Fat:                3.6g
Sat fat:           1.3g
Chol:                3mg
Sodium:          43mg
Carbs:         18.2g
Fiber:            4.6g
Protein:         3.7g

Of course, serve all this with a good German beer!

Ribs! A Perfect Summer Meal

This post is more of a story, but it is also a recipe for happiness.

I like ribs. Baby back ribs, short ribs, beef ribs, spare ribs, country-style. I am completely rib-centric and open-minded in my love for ribs. I like them wet or dry. With a sweet tomato sauce, or a sharp mustard sauce. With a vinegar sauce or no sauce at all. Dry rubbed. Par-boiled. Smoked or grilled over direct heat. In an oven, a crock pot, or a grill.

If you are not a pork-itarian, maybe you should skip this post.

Over the weekend, I made two huge racks of spareribs. Each weighed about 7 pounds. I dry rubbed them with a spice blend on Friday and let them sit in the fridge until Saturday afternoon. At noon, I fired up my smoker-grill and cooked them over low (225-ish) indirect heat with chunks of hickory for heat and apple wood for smoke.

Just after I put them on the grill.
If you are curious, the rub was 4 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons table sugar, and 1 tablespoon each of coarse salt, black pepper, dry mustard, celery seed, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1 teaspoon cayenne. I tend to go overboard when I make spice blends, but this works on ribs.
I added one or two hickory chunks every 30 minutes, as well as a handful of apple wood chips that I had soaking in beer. At the same time, I also sprayed the ribs with a spray bottle filled with 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup Jack Daniels. I never turned the ribs or repositioned them at all. There are four air vents on this grill, and all were open half-way. It made a lot of smoke but not a lot of heat.
After five hours on the grill, they are ready to come off.
Towards the end of grilling, I prepared the other aspects of the meal. I make zucchini pancakes and grilled corn on the cob.
Those are three inch cakes. It takes 1/4 cup batter to make one.
I had fresh corn on the cob that I partially husked (I pulled the husk to expose the corn, but I did not remove it from the cob.) I fired up my gas grill and preheated it on high for ten minutes. (Yeah, I have a charcoal grill AND a natural gas grill, directly connected to my home natural gas supply. I am a bit grill obsessed.) I laid the cobs directly on the grate. Corn grills at 2-3 minutes per side, and I basted it with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. (I was too busy finishing the ribs and frying the pancakes so I did not have time to take a picture of the corn on the grill.)
Ribs are resting and the corn is grilled.
Notice the pink edge to the ribs. That is not rare meat, but rather a “smoke ring” cause by the smoke beginning to preserve the meat, when the smoke is absorbed by the meat and them chemically interacts. A smoke ring is a sign of low heat and long smoking.
I am not going to give nutritional data, because everyone will buy different ribs and therefore will have different numbers. And you may choose to use a commercial spice blend or a liquid sauce. I just tell you about this to give you the idea that you can smoke meats, too. You do not need a smoker. You just need a grill that is large enough to allow for indirect heat, and then add your preferred wood chips for the flavor. (I actually do not prefer hickory, but it is what I had on my grill shelf. The smoke is a little “medicinal” but it still tastes better than ribs without smoke.)
We had five people eating dinner (my wife and myself, our two sons and one of their friends.) After we finished dinner we still had an entire rack of ribs leftover. That’s okay because they taste even better the next day. Except when I got up the next day, the ribs were gone. Apparently, the guys stayed up late playing Xbox and sometime in the early morning hours, they enjoyed a snack of pork ribs.
At least they left me a few of the pancakes.

Life is meant to be enjoyed and shared, which is what I do with my interviews on my Make Your Someday Today podcast. I interview people from around the world, ask them to share their stories and in the process, we all learn how to be more successful and happier.