I had this crazy half-baked idea not too long ago about a new segment on the blog called “Cheers to the Weekend!” It’s essentially a weekly themed segment on the blog, coming out every Friday, that in a nutshell would be “indulgently satisfying recipes to make on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.” This came from the idea that many of us don’t have time to cook fancy elaborate meals during the week. We’re all busy with a million different things being thrown at us from all directions Monday through Friday. Believe me, I understand. It’s the same for me, and because of this, I’m always searching for quick and easy recipes to make during the week. I’ve come to realize that I’m not the only one. I mean, we all have lives and things come up. Most 0f the comments I get throughout the week on my posts are, “I can’t wait until the weekend so I can give this a try!” So it dawned on me that most of us do our heavy cooking on the weekend, when we have more time to invest to cooking and baking. So why not start a new segment on the blog each week that focuses on just that? It seems like the only logical thing to do here. It seems like the perfect time.
I’ve been working on this here blog for about 5 years now, and I feel like I’m at a point where I need to provide a steady constant to you all. I think it’s nice, and somewhat important, when there is something you can look forward to week after week. A segment that you know will be there each week on a specific day, rain or shine. That’s where “Cheers to the Weekend!” comes in. I’ve decided to see this crazy scheme all the way through. Mainly because I’m really passionate about it, but also because not only will you enjoy it, but I feel like it would be super helpful for you. This new segment will feature cocktails to make on the weekend (because we all need to relax with a drink every once in a while after a long work week), appetizers for dinner parties, over the top desserts to treat yoself on a Friday night, breakfasts (when you’ve had too much to drink), recipes for entertaining, light and easy lunches on the go, and of course, family Sunday dinners before the craziness of the new week begins. It’s a nice range of what we’re all looking for at the end of the week. With that being said, these Pork Schnitzel Sandwiches are a good place to start.
Let’s start with one of the most important components of this sandwich. It might seem small to you, but I promise it’ll make all of the difference. Don’t skip this step. We’re going to pickle some shallots. And this isn’t a fancy pickling technique at all, so anyone can do it at home. Peel and slice a handful of shallots thinly, and then submerge in red wine vinegar. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and then give it a stir. Let it stand at room temperature until ready to use.
**Note: The salt and red wine vinegar will draw out the moisture from the shallots and “cook” them somewhat. It’ll really just soften them and take out that really strong onion taste of raw shallots. You can do this ahead of time, and throw it all in a jar with a lid and place it in the fridge for up to 1 week.**
Season the pork cutlets with salt and black pepper on both sides. I found very thin boneless pork chop cutlets at the store, and they were the perfect thickness.
**Tip: If you can’t find thin cutlets, place the boneless pork chop between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap and then pound them out with a meat mallet or a rolling pin or skillet until thinned out.**
To dredge the pork schnitzel, in one shallow dish whisk together the eggs, in a separate shallow dish whisk together the flour with a bit of salt, pepper, and paprika, and then in a third shallow dish combine the plain bread crumbs with the panko bread crumbs. Dredge each pork chop in flour first, then in the egg wash, and then in the bread crumbs, placing them on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
Once all the pork cutlets have been breaded, let them set for about 10 minutes before frying. This is crucial whenever you’re frying anything with a coating because it allows the coating to stick to the food and not run off when fried.
Heat up about an inch of canola or vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, fry the cutlets, one at a time, until golden brown and crispy on both sides. These will cook relatively fast as they’re super thin!
**Tip: Because I like to make sure everything is evenly seasoned, I always season anything I fry with a bit of salt right after it comes out of the oil so it sticks.**
If you fry these ahead of time, you can keep the schnitzel warm in a preheated 250 degree oven until ready to use. Just make sure they stay on the wire rack, set over a baking sheet. This will allow air to circulate evenly and prevent them from getting soggy.
To assemble the sandwiches, split the rolls in half, slather each half with spicy honey mustard*, and then place a piece of fried schnitzel on the bottom half of each roll. Top with avocado slices, the pickled shallots, capers, and baby arugula.
**Note: To make the spicy honey mustard, in a small bowl, whisk together 3 parts yellow mustard, 3 parts dijon mustard, 3 parts honey, and 1 part hot sauce until well combined. This can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.**
I found some long challah rolls at the grocery store, and used those because I like the softness of the roll with the crispy crunchiness from the pork schnitzel! If you can’t find challah rolls at your grocery store, just use any longish roll or bun you find that will fit the pork you grab!
The acidity from the pickled shallots, along with the tartness from the capers, goes so well with the butteriness from the avocado and the fresh baby arugula. All of that combined with the spicy sweet mustard and the fried schnitzel, makes this one epic sandwich to serve for dinner, especially over the weekend. Since the breading and dredging and frying and pickled shallot making, can be a tiny bit time consuming, I thought it would make for a great weekend project. Hence, makes for the perfect recipe to debut this new Cheers to the Weekend segment.
If you make this recipe, along with any other recipe from the site, be sure to snap a picture and share it on Instagram or Facebook and tag me and hashtag it with #CandidAppetite or #TheCandidAppetite. Once you start making these Cheers to the Weekend recipes, be sure to also tag it with #TCAweekend! I’ll be monitoring it all closely and share my favorites throughout! Happy Cooking!
- 4 to 6 small shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 6 thin boneless pork cutlets
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 3 large eggs, whisked
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
- vegetable or canola oil for frying
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Sriracha
- 6 challah rolls or buns
- 2 cups loosely packed baby arugula leaves
- 2 large avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced
- 1/4 cup capers, drained
- lemon wedges, for serving
- To make the pickled shallots, in a medium bowl (or glass jar with a lid) combine the shallots, salt and red wine vinegar until well incorporated. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, making sure to stir every once in a while. This step can be made up to a week in advance, and stored in the fridge in an airtight container or glass jar until ready to use.
- Lay out the pork cutlets in a single layer on a platter or baking sheet. Season both sides with salt and pepper. In a shallow dish, whisk the eggs. In a separate shallow dish, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and paprika. In a third shallow dish, combine the plain bread crumbs with the panko breadcrumbs.
- To dredge the pork, dip each cutlet first through the flour, then the egg and finally into the bread crumbs, making sure both sides are coated well. Place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and continue dredging until all pork cutlets are breaded. Let rest at room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes before frying. You can do this while the oil heats up.
- Fill a cast iron skillet (or other skillet with high sides) with about 1/2 an inch thick of oil and set over medium-high heat. Once hot, fry the pork cutlets, one at a time, until golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. These will cook rather fast because they're thin! Remove from the skillet, allowing excess oil to drip off, and then place on a clean wire rack set over a baking sheet. Continue frying the rest. If you want to keep the schnitzel warm before assembling, place the wire rack and baking sheet in a preheated 250 degree F oven.
- To assemble the sandwiches, in a small bowl, combine the mustard, dijon, honey and hot sauce. Split the rolls in half and slather each half with the honey mustard. Place a fried schnitzel on the bottom of each and top with the pickled shallots, avocado slices, capers and baby arugula. Sandwich together with the top bun and serve immediately. I like to serve them with a lemon wedge on the side, just like classic schnitzel!
- Yield: 6 sandwiches