Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Big on Flavor, Not on Size


Sliders may be small, but there's a lot you can do with them! Katherine Alford with the Food Network and the Cooking Channel says that's one of the inspirations behind their new cookbook, Chopped. Katherine told Tonia's Kitchen the basis of the book is to get people thinking beyond the ordinary, but right there in front of them, when it comes to ingredients.  Case in point, the book's recipe for Pork Sliders, which instead of breadcrumbs of panko, calls for a crushed pretzel coating, and a sauce made from bread and butter pickles. Alford says not only are those sliders delicious, they're very easy to make!

  • 3 cups pretzel crackers, finely crushed (1 1/4 cups crushed pretzels)
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons chopped bread-and-butter pickles, plus 24 whole slices
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 small pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 12 slider rolls
  • Iceberg lettuce leaves, for garnish
PREPARE THE BREADING: Stir the pretzel crumbs, flour, and 1 teaspoon salt together in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Whisk the eggs and mustard in a medium bowl.

MAKE A SAUCE: Combine the mayonnaise, chopped pickles, horseradish, and hot sauce in a small bowl.

BREAD THE PORK: Cut the pork tenderloin crosswise into 12 even pieces about 3/4 inch thick. Lay the pieces between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a mallet until flattened into rounds roughly 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Press both sides of the pork into the pretzel flour, then dip each piece into the beaten eggs and again in the pretzel flour, until generously coated.

FRY THE PORK: Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering (about 375 degrees F). Line a plate with paper towels. Shallow-fry half of the pork cutlets until golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the prepared plate to drain. Season generously with salt. Repeat with the remaining cutlets.

SERVE: Toast the rolls if desired and put a pork cutlet on each roll. Top each piece of pork with 1 rounded teaspoon sauce, 2 pickle slices, and a piece of lettuce.