Amanda & Merrill

Pork Cutlet Sandwiches with Basil Aioli

June  8, 2010

Pork Cutlet Sandwiches with Basil Aioli

- Merrill

Last Friday, I took it upon myself to try to reproduce completely one of my fiancé’s favorite restaurant meals: pork schnitzel, roasted potatoes and German cucumber salad. Thinking leftovers, I bought 6 pork cutlets. The meal itself was a success, but when the time came to revisit the leftovers, I was inspired by this week’s pork sandwich theme to think outside of the box –- rather than simply reheat all three elements and serve a replica of the original meal, I decided to go rogue with a port cutlet sandwich.

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After pondering various textures and flavors, I decided to try combining the garlicky punch of aioli with the sweetness of fresh basil to complement the meaty crunch of the pork and keep the sandwich from being dry. I gently reheated the cutlets in the oven to crisp them up again, slathered some sandwich rolls (nothing fancy, as I wanted something springy and soft to counterbalance the texture of the cutlets) with the aioli and laid the pork on top. I wanted some greens, so I added some baby arugula, and then for a bit of heat and acid, I sliced up some peppadew peppers and scattered them over the arugula. Voila! A sandwich was born. And from my fiancé’s empty plate, I was able to assume at least some level of success with this one.

Pork Cutlet Sandwiches with Basil Aioli

For the basil aioli:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large basil leaves, finely chopped

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, lemon juice, garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Whisking all the while, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the egg yolk until the mixture thickens and emulsifies. Make sure not to rush this! Stir in the basil, taste and add more salt if necessary, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the sandwiches:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs, preferably panko
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 pork cutlets (about 1 pound)
  • 4 sandwich rolls
  • 1/4 cup basil aioli
  • 1 1/2 cups baby arugula, washed and dried
  • 1/4  cup peppadew peppers, thinly sliced

1. Put the flour and breadcrumbs (separately) in two wide, shallow dishes and season each generously with salt and pepper. Crack the eggs into a similar dish and beat them lightly with a fork.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil and a tablespoon of butter in a wide heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, season both sides of the pork cutlets with salt and pepper and dredge them -- first in the flour, shaking off any excess, then in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs, making sure they are evenly coated. When the butter starts to brown, gently add two cutlets to the pan and cook, turning halfway through and adjusting the heat if necessary, until golden brown and cooked through, about a minute and a half per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining cutlets, adding more oil and butter to the pan if necessary. Set aside and keep warm.

3. Cut the sandwich rolls in half and spread them generously with aioli. Top the bottom half of each sandwich with a pork cutlet, followed by a fistful of arugula and a tablespoon or so of sliced peppadew peppers. Close up the sandwiches and eat while the pork is still warm!


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T. R. June 8, 2013
Made this for dinner last night. Used fresh spinach from the garden instead of Arugula. Everyone loved it even our 10 year old.
Platosearwax February 28, 2012
Old post but I found this recipe on google and oh my, how good is this? My wife went nuts for this and we will now be adding this recipe to our rotation. Well done.
A C. June 16, 2010
I cannot wait to make the aoli. YUM! Great post - great read and great recipe - and a MUST do for me,,,, so even better!
svbooker June 13, 2010
As soon as I saw the headline I thought...Breaded Tenderloin! I was just thinking about that sandwich today. Especially good ones came from Burkee's Drive In in Muncie, my hometown. Served from a tray that was propped slightly precariously on the driver's window - it had to be rolled up just a little - and topped with a thick slice of Indiana tomato, lettuce and mayo. Yummm! Of course I'd be thrilled to have a bite of your beautiful sandwich. Thank you for a wonderful picture.
J-Dizzle June 9, 2010
Mmm, this pork cutlet sandwich with basil aioli sounds yummy....will remember to purchase extra cutlets in future.....Thanks!
Merrill S. June 9, 2010
You're welcome!
adashofbitters June 8, 2010
The Indiana references here are fun; for those who don't know me beyond my handle, I'm Michael Dietsch. Think for a second about Dietsch and Deutsch and what my descent might be. And, I'm from southern Indiana, Evansville specifically.

Breaded fried pork loin truly is the state dish. Now, a bit of my family history...

My grandparents on the Dietsch side were farmers, and they had a few pigs and some chickens. Once a year, they'd kill and butcher the pigs. My cousins, my sister, and I were too young to be part of it really, just doing gopher work for the adults. But every year, they'd fry up the tenderloins. Every year but one, it was the adults who got the heaven. The one year the kids got in... I'll never forget that.

I feel lucky. I learned as a kid what traditionally raised pork tastes like. Not "conventionally raised," like Swift et al. do it. I can't say my grandparents' husbandry matched the humane standards of Flying Pigs Farm or Bobolink Dairy, but the pigs ate farm grass and slop and could run around a bit outside.

After they stopped raising pigs, I was on supermarket pork for decades, until one beautiful piece of belly at Marlow and Sons in Brooklyn, and I suddenly remembered the pigs my grandparents raised. Reader, I wept.
adashofbitters June 8, 2010
My kingdom for a paragraph break. Sorry for the single long paragraph.
Merrill S. June 9, 2010
All this Indiana pride! Who knew??
lastnightsdinner June 8, 2010
These look amazing. There's a reason cutlets are a classic - they're so easy and versatile!
Merrill S. June 9, 2010
You said it.
Merrill S. June 9, 2010
And thank you! :)
Candy2006 June 8, 2010
Earlier today on your first post about this, I commented that we had tenderloin sandwiches last night. I'd never had one before moving to Indiana. I wondered why they were called Tenderloin sandwiches. They were clearly pork schnitzel sandwiches, not as gorgeous as this one. I subsequently learned that many people in southern Indiana are of German descent. Someone got creative with it. They really don't use pork tenderloin (I do when I make them) that would be pretty costly, they use pork loin and tenderize it by pounding and flattening. It is pretty common to see one that is bigger than the bun. You have to kind of eat your way to the bun. Whether you use tenderloin or just loin they are good and a treat.
Merrill S. June 9, 2010
Thanks for the background info! Although some of my relatives live in Bloomington, I had no idea I was tapping into an Indiana tradition here.
mrslarkin June 8, 2010
Yum! Thanks for recipe, Merrill. Reminds me of beach food - this sandwich, in chicken form, is what my mom made for us when we took day trips to Heckscher State Park. And for dessert, there would always be a Boston Cream Pie.
Merrill S. June 9, 2010
You're welcome! I'll have to take these to the beach sometime this summer.
thirschfeld June 8, 2010
I used to work for an Austrian chef and he would make schnitzel sandwiches all the time and would just spread duck fat on the bread instead of mayo. This looks much more appetizing to me, and hey, I live in Indiana where the State Dish is breaded pork tenderloin so this will be a hit.
Merrill S. June 9, 2010
I don't know, that duck fat idea sounds pretty darn good.
Kitchen B. June 8, 2010
Stunning photo and that looks like something I'd love to sink teeth into. I should see about making some schnitzel ASA
Merrill S. June 9, 2010
Merrill S. June 9, 2010
Thanks for the background info! Although some of my relatives live in Bloomington, I had no idea I was tapping into an Indiana tradition here.