Monday, June 22, 2020

Fried Pork Chop Sliders on the Big Green Egg

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] I received no compensation for this post. 

These Fried Pork Chop Sliders that we cooked on the Big Green Egg this week are crispy, delicious, and are a cheap way to feed a crowd quickly. 


Fried pork chop sliders with Olde Vidern's spicy pickles


If your stores are like ours, the meat selection is hit and miss during the impact of COVID-19. This pack of extra-thin pork chops looked good and was under $10, so I thought I'd try frying them for sliders. I pounded the chops into thin cutlets and shallow fried them on the grill.


Shallow Frying

Everyone knows what deep-frying is, but what is shallow frying? Per Rouxbe Online Culinary School, shallow frying is a cross between deep-frying and pan-frying. It is frying in a pan with the oil deep enough that it comes to halfway up on the food. Here are some tips for shallow frying on a grill.

  • Any time you cook with oil over a live flame, there is an enhanced fire risk. Make sure you have a tight-fitting lid for your skillet and long-sleeved heat-resistant gloves on the ready.
  • Use a cast-iron skillet or other grill-safe, heavy-bottomed pan with steep walls that are at least as twice as tall as your oil depth when food is loaded. If the oil spills over the skillet and into your flames, you're gonna have a bad time.
  • Know your oil temperature throughout the cook. I use a Thermapen and a non-contact thermometer for keeping tabs on how hot my oil is.
  • Generally, I like to fry in oil that is 350f to 375f.
  • If the oil is too hot, you can burn your oil or burn the crust of the food before it is done cooking. Both of those options taste foul. 
  • If the oil is too low, the food will be greasy and/or undercooked. That's not pleasant.
  • Add food in small batches to avoid temperature swings.
  • Season your food with fine salt as soon as the food comes out of the frying oil.
Fried pork cutlets frying in a cast iron skillet
You can easily make these on your stovetop or on the side burner of a gas grill. Here I'm cooking a test batch on our Saber Elite 3-burner gas grill. We have natural gas in our kitchen but I hate the lingering fried-food smell after frying inside.

If Things Go Wrong

If something does go astray and your oil catches fire, don't panic but move quickly. Don't try moving the skillet. Cover the skillet with the lid, if you can do so safely. If the fire is outside of the skillet, close the grill lid and shut down all the vents. If you are using a gas or pellet grill, turn off the fuel supply. Wait long enough for the grill and skillet to cool off before opening the grill.



Fried Pork Chop Sliders on the Big Green Egg
I have tried several configurations, but my favorite comes back to a non-toasted sweet bun, Buffalo sauce, and spicy pickles.

Now back to the sliders. You can do the pounding and breading of the cutlets several hours in advance, just keep them in the fridge. 


Fried Pork Chop Sliders

www.nibblemethis.com

Published 06/22/2020

Ingredients

  • 1 pound thinly sliced, boneless pork loin chops or cutlets 
  • 3 eggs, beaten together
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon NMT Beef Rub v.2 recipe or another BBQ rub
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 cups high temperature cooking oil, such as; peanut, avocado, or canola 
  • a few pinches of fine salt 
  • 8-10 Pepperidge Farm Slider Rolls - Sweet Hawaiian variety
  • 1/2 cup Buffalo Sauce (50/50 butter and Franks original)
  • 16-20 pickle chips
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Olde Virden's Red Hot (or red pepper flakes)

Instructions

  • Make the spicy pickles. Mix the pickle chips with the Olde Virden's Red Hot and set aside. Note: This is just a quickie. When pickle cukes are in season, we'll make spicy pickles from scratch using Chris Lilly's pickle recipe except using Olde Virden's and using slicing the pickles chip style instead of spears.
  • Make the cutlets. If you get thin pork chops like I did, cut them in half and then pound them with a meat mallet into 1/8th inch thick cutlets.
  • Bread the cutlets. Season the flour with the beef rub. Dip a cutlet in the egg, letting the excess drip off. Drag the cutlet, on each side, through the flour. Dip the cutlet back in the egg and drag through the panko bread crumbs. Place this on a rack and repeat with the other cutlets.
  • Preheat. Set up your grill for direct heat and preheat it to 350°f. Once the grill temp is stable, put your cast-iron skillet in the grill with the grill lid closed for 5 minutes. Add the oil and wait until it reaches 350°f, about 5 minutes.
  • Fry the cutlets in small batches. Carefully lower each cutlet into the hot oil using tongs, don't just plop them in there. Cook until the cutlets are golden-brown on the bottom, about 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side is golden-brown, about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. I temp checked them each time, but the cutlets were ALWAYS well over the minimum 145°f when the crust was golden.  Remove the cutlets to a resting rack, season with fine salt, and repeat with the remaining cutlets.
  • Make the sliders. Simply put a fried cutlet on each bun, give the cutlet a squirt of Buffalo sauce, and top with a couple of spicy pickles.

Yield: 16-20 sliders

Prep Time: 1 hrs. 00 mins.

Cook time: 00 hrs. 30 mins.

Total time: 90 mins.

Tags: shallow-fry


How to make pork cutlets
To make the cutlets, I cut the thin boneless chops in half. Spritz the inside of a heavy-duty zip-top bag with water, put a few pieces in, and pound them to 1/8" with a meat mallet. If you can't find pork chops that thin, just buy a piece of boneless pork loin, pop it in the freezer for 30 minutes, and then thinly slice them by hand.



pork cutlet
Thin and even makes these cutlets quick cooking.

Spread out on the Challenger Torch grill cart
 No matter how hard I try, I always get flour everywhere when I do this inside, so I set up my breading station on my Challenger Designs Torch 48 (LOVE that table!). The wire rack is important to keep the breading from sticking to the tray.

Using my large Big Green Egg at 350f direct to fry pork chops.
Starting off with a stable 350f on the Big Green Egg will go a long way to keeping your oil temps steady.

temp checking cast iron skillet using a non-contact thermometer.
350°f on the nose! I'm a tech geek and this got me excited because it's NEVER 350. It's always 350.3 or 349.7. Anyway, theory being if your skillet is 350°f, your oil will be 350°f pretty quickly.

Dipping pork cutlets into the hot oil. Use tongs instead.
The oil should start bubbling immediately when the pork first hits the oil. If not, stop and double-check your temps because they are probably too low. 

Frying pork cutlets on the Big Green Egg
Pork only needs to reach an internal temperature of 145°f. We've made this many times and every time, if the crust was golden, the pork was at least 155°f. 



Use a wire rack for fried foods to keep them from getting soggy.
Using a wire rack (not the same one that raw chops were on unless washed) to land the pork chops will keep them from getting greasy. If you have a lot to do or they need to sit for a little while, put them in a 170°f oven for up to 15 minutes to keep them fresh and crisp.

This slider actually does better with non-toasted buns.
I found that these sliders are the exception to my general rule of "always toast your buns". I've tried it both ways and due to the already crispy texture of the cutlets, the sliders work better with non-toasted buns. Specifically, we enjoyed Pepperidge Farm's Sweet Hawaiian Slider Rolls for these.

platter of fried pork chop sliders from the Big Green Egg
I originally wanted to do these with a buffalo-blue cheese coleslaw. I tried three different recipes but none of them "popped" for me.  Our favorite has been as written in this post or adding lettuce and tomato for a "deluxe" version.  Doing a plain one with pickles on a soft, sweet bun tastes amazingly like Chik-Fil-A, we called them Pork-Fil-A style. All it needed was a pickle brine and you'd think you couldn't buy it on Sundays.


Fried Pork Chop Sliders on the Big Green Egg
Sure, red pepper flakes work. But for me, the Olde Virden's Red Hot Sprinkle helps make this slider. Olde Viden's is a Knoxville based, small business that provides BIG flavor and heat. The Red Hot Sprinkle is a combination of serrano, habanero, jalapeno, Thai, and long hot cayenne chiles.

Give these a try, I think you'll love them. 

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2 comments:

  1. This recipe reminds me of a quote from the great mathematician, Ian Malcolm:

    "You're so preoccupied with whether or not you could, you didn't stop to think if you should."

    Just use your stovetop, man.

    ReplyDelete

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