Saturday, July 13, 2013

Breaded Pork Tenderloins

Growing up in Northeast Kansas, the Pork Tenderloin Sandwich, was my all time favorite! I remember trips, across the river, to St. Joseph, Missouri. Dad and I would pick up Grandma, to stay the night. On the way home we would stop at Miller's Grill for tenderloins. Although Grandma loved a good tenderloin sandwich, she generally opted for the brain sandwich. I never worked up enough nerve to try a brain sandwich. I doubt I ever will.
Since I no longer live in the Midwest, I have to make my own Pork Tenderloin Sandwich.

You have options, as far as meat goes. When I had a large family at home. I would buy a whole pork loin, or whole tenderloin, then cut the loin into 1" chops. Since there are only two of us at home, I find it more convenient to purchase loin chops, provided they are on sale.

I flatten the chops, inside a plastic bag, using a mallet. The chops are flattened to about 1/4" thickness.

A dredging station is set up, consisting of:  flour, scrambled egg and cracker crumbs. Saltine or Ritz crackers are popular breading choices. I prefer the Saltine crackers.

Crush the crackers, inside a plastic bag, using a mallet.

Since I am going through the trouble to bread the tenderloins, I like to make a lot, then freeze for future use. Ritz crackers to the right, Saltine crackers to the left.

A simple pan fry is sufficient. Fry until golden brown, on both sides.

Then transfer to a griddle, where the cheese can melt, while the bun is toasting. I like to use a large sesame seed bun, or bolillo bun.

I like my tenderloin with cheese, glorified (lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles) and a side of fries!


1 (7 to 9 pound) Whole pork loin
1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon salt
2 Teaspoons pepper
6 Eggs
1/2 Cup milk
6 Sleeves Saltine or Ritz crackers (I prefer Saltines)

Remove fat and silver skin from outer edges of the whole pork loin. Cut across the loin, as if you were cutting pork chops. Chops should be about 1" in thickness. Flatten the chops to 1/4" thickness, using a meat mallet. Prepare 3 large bowls for dredging. Bowl 1: combine flour, salt and pepper; mix well. Bowl 2: whisk egg and milk. Bowl 3: crush crackers, inside a plastic bag, using a meat mallet. Dredge tenderloin in flour, egg and crackers. Lay freshly breaded tenderloins on a cookie sheet that has been lined with wax paper (to prevent sticking). Continue to stack tenderloins, layered with waxed paper. Freeze tenderloins until solid. Store in an airtight freezer bag. When you are ready to prepare, pull what you are going to use from the freezer. Pan fry in oil, or deep fry in a fryer, if you prefer. Makes a great sandwich with the usual hamburger style toppings.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Emily's Pasta Salad

I like to create recipes for people, especially family. Today's recipe is for my niece, Emily. One day, while at a family gathering, we started talking about salads. Seems every summertime event, I am asked to make potato salad. Emily shared that she liked pasta salad. I told her it was on my list of recipes I wanted to make, and picked her brain about the ingredients she liked. I came up with a great tasting pasta salad, that was given Emily's stamp of approval. I hope it will get your stamp too!

I start with home made Good Season's Salad Dressing Mix. The recipe can be found by clicking on the link.

I mix the dressing ingredients directly into the bowl. I double the amount of seasoning, to bump up the flavor factor. To the bowl add: 1/4 cup vinegar, 3 tablespoons water, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and 4 tablespoons Good Season's Italian Seasoning Mix. Just give everything a quick whisk, and set aside.

Tricolore pasta is a must in this recipe. Emily and I decided that part of the reason we like the salad, is because of it's vivid, fun colors. A side note: tricolore pasta is 1/3 the price of wacky mac pasta. Bravo to wacky mac for such a cute name, but really, is it worth $2.00, when tricolore is $.70? Cook the pasta, as directed on the package, being careful not to overcook.

Drain the pasta, then add to the bowl. Stir pasta with the dressing.

Add the remaining ingredients. Stirring to combine.


1/4 Cup vinegar
3 Tablespoons water
1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
1 (12 ounce) Package tricolore spiral pasta, cooked according to package directions
12 Slices salami, quartered
1 (6 ounce) Can extra large olives, pitted
1/4 Cup each: green, red, yellow bell pepper, diced
1 Cup broccoli florets
1 Cup grape tomatoes
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon pepper
8 Ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, diced

Prepare dressing in a large mixing bowl. Toss in pasta. Add salami, olives, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, salt and pepper; stirring until combined. Gently stir in mozzarella, being careful not to tear the cheese. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Good Season's Italian Dressing Mix

* Please read through this post before making the dressing mix. You need to dehydrate vegetables, and that takes preparation and time. You can read my post on dehydrating vegetables, by clicking the link.
I'm not a fan of bottled salad dressing. They taste like preservatives and plastic! They usually rot in the refrigerator, taking up valuable space.
I use the dehydrated vegetables, along with some other spices I have on hand to make my own Good Season's Italian Dressing.
The ingredients get taken for a whirl in the food processor.
Then stored in an airtight container. Instructions to make the dressing are on one side of the bottle.
The ingredients to make the mix are on the other. Printing labels makes it easier when the time comes to refill.
My favorite way to use this dressing is in my pasta salad recipe, which I will be sharing next.
1 (1.75 ounce) Package fruit pectin
1/3 Cup sugar
3 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon dehydrated carrot
1 Tablespoon dehydrated green bell pepper
1 Tablespoon dehydrated red bell pepper
8 Teaspoons dried parsley flakes
8 Teaspoons garlic powder
4 Teaspoons onion powder
2 Teaspoons pepper
1 Teaspoon ground oregano
1 Teaspoon rosemary
1 Teaspoon thyme
To dehydrate vegetables: peel, grate and dice carrots, green and red bell peppers. Remove excess moisture from vegetables by pressing between paper towels. Scatter vegetables on large baking trays, lined with parchment paper. Bake in a convection oven at 170 degrees for 1 hour, stirring at the 30 minute mark. Lay trays out to dry, indoor or outdoors, until vegetables are completely dry. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Store in an airtight container.