Parmesan Crusted Pork Sandwiches with Roasted Red Pepper & Broccoli Rabe Pesto

Parmesan Pork Sandwich with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

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Brace yourself. This recipe reads like a marathon, but it’s more like a 5k fun-run that has short cuts. You can break up the parts over a few days if you don’t want to spend the whole evening in the kitchen. Don’t fret at its lengthiness.

I created this monster all because I received some broccoli rabe in my CSA box. There are only so many broccoli rabe recipes featured in my cookbooks or on the first page of Google, and more than 75% contain pasta and prosciutto. I don’t make a lot of pasta, so I was going for something different.

I was about to walk in to Trader Joe’s when I saw the Taylor Gourmet sign and immediately recalled their delicious pork and broccoli rabe sammy, which became my inspiration for this recipe.  While I was wine tasting at Trader Joe’s, I sampled the cheese, which was a mustard ale cheddar. I usually hate mustard, but this cheese only has a slight mustard taste with a profound beer flavor. It was delicious so it went in my basket along with a decent $7 Syrah. That wine lady gets me every time.

A side note on the pork, you might think the pork chop breading instructions are out of order, because it says to dunk the pork chop into the parmesan before the egg wash. Feel free to do it how you like, but I learned this method from Giada de Laurentiis and it works well.

This sandwich is great for picnics and also saves well for a few days in the fridge. Give it a whirl!

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  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup grated Parm
  • 1 lb. Boneless Center Cut Pork Loin Cutlets
  • Olive Oil for pan
Broccoli Rabe Pesto
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe (About 2.5 cups when cooked/chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup grated Parm
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (juice from 1 large lemon)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp crushed fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Roasted Red Peppers
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 loaf Ciabatta or Alpine Gruyere Artisan bread
  • Roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 lb. white cheddar or provolone, sliced
  • Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops
  • Broccoli Rabe Pesto
Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops
You’ll need three pie plates or wide shallow rimmed plates. Crack the two eggs in one pie plate and whisk until blended. Spread the grated parmesan into the second pie plate and the breadcrumbs into the third pie plate.
Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops. Using tongs, place one pork chop in the parmesan cheese, patting it down to coat both sides. Next, dunk the pork chop into the egg wash, then place into the breadcrumbs until fully coated. Transfer the pork chop to a large plate and repeat the process until all the pork chops are breaded.
Heat 3-4 tbsp olive oil in skillet on medium high heat. Working in batches, so the pork chops aren’t over lapping in the pan, cook the pork chops about 3-5 minutes per side until golden brown and the center reaches 150 degrees. Time will vary depending on the thickness of the meat.
Broccoli Rabe Pesto
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Use 3-4 quarts or enough to cover the broccoli rabe. Add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to the pot.  Wash broccoli rabe and snap off the lower stems, like you would snap the ends off asparagus. Once your water is boiling, cook the broccoli rabe for about 2-3 minutes until tender. Using a slotted spoon, place the greens in an ice water bath until cooled. Drain and squeeze excess water out. Chop broccoli rabe and set aside.
Combine pine nuts, cayenne, fennel, salt, lemon juice, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add chopped broccoli rabe, parmesan, and olive oil and pulse until pesto comes together.
Roasted Red Peppers
Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees. Wash red peppers, cut the tops off and remove seeds and membrane. Slice into 4 quarters. Roast skin side up for about 25 to 30 minutes until charred. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer to pie plate or shallow, heat-proof dish, and cover with saran wrap to steam the peppers until cooled.
Lower the oven to 325 degrees. Slice the bread and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Add sliced cheese to one side and return to the oven on broil for a few minutes until cheese has melted.
Add pesto to the other side of the bread. Top with roasted red peppers, and pork chops. Enjoy!

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