A flavorful crispy coating surrounds a delicious pork tenderloin to create a sandwich classic sure to please.
I am descended from a family that loves the game of basketball. Both of my parents were Basketball Players and lovers of the game, as well as many of my relatives. My guess for this would be because most of these relatives went to school in a rural school district, whereas, with smaller communities, basketball is usually the number one school sport. I’ve been told that both of my parents were very good basketball players in their own right. They both played for Centralia High School and participated in the NEO High School Basketball Tournament the first year it was incorporated. I used to hear stories about their team's heroics as a child growing up, from my grandparents, relatives, and friends, who witnessed the game’s first hand. One particular story which my Dad never told me, but others did was the time he scored more than 50 points in a single game. In the days before 3-point shooting that was quite an accomplishment. The team my mother played on won the NEO Tournament three years in a row, which I believe may have been the first three years the tournament, was played? As a child, I used to grab a basketball and play at the old Centralia school gym. I was always told by my Grandfather, never step on the gym floor with your street shoes on, so I would usually be playing in my stockings. People from these small communities took pride in what they had, and also took care of it.
The best description I could give of how these smaller communities felt about the game of basketball and their hometown teams, is probably best described in the movie “Hoosiers”. The movie “Hoosiers” is the true story of a small town Indiana Basketball team winning their State’s Championship.
I was in South Bend, Indiana one weekend about 15 years ago, watching the ten o’clock news in my hotel room, when they did a feature on the original players from the team that the movie “Hoosiers” was based on. The news stated that the players from that team had held a reunion that very evening in the Hotel in which I was staying. I had been to the College Football HOF Induction ceremonies earlier that evening, and after seeing the news report, I commented to my wife, I would much rather have gone and met those “Hoosier” Guys!!!!
Indiana has long been known as THE BASKETBALL STATE, but recently, I learned it is also known for the Fried Pork Tenderloin Sandwich too, as it supposedly originated at a place called Nick’s Kitchen in Huntington, Indiana.The first time I ever ate a Fried Pork Tenderloin sandwich was many years ago at the KuKu drive in. I spotted the Pork Tenderloin on the menu and ordered it. It quickly became one of my favorite sandwiches. I have eaten those KuKu Pork Tenderloins for many years now and still order them regularly. Recently, a friend said they wanted to buy me dinner for my birthday and asked where I wanted to go? I said, "Let’s go to the KuKu, because I want a Fried Pork Tenderloin Sandwich!"
Just like the burgers and other restaurant favorites that I enjoy eating, I’m always looking to prepare them at home as well. This sandwich is no different. As much as I like those Tenderloins from the KuKu, this Fried Pork Tenderloin sandwich is hard to beat as well, using fresh pork, marinated in a flavorful combination of seasonings, deep fried just right, then served on a fresh bun. It is a sandwich I believe you will enjoy also.
Fried Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
Ingredients1 to 1 ½ lb Pork Tenderloin 1 cup Milk or Buttermilk 1 egg 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon Black Pepper ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder ½ teaspoon Onion Powder ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper 1 cup Flour 1 sleeve Saltine Crackers or 2 cups breadcrumbs Oil for frying
For the SandwichHamburger Buns Real Mayo Shredded Lettuce
Trim the pork tenderloin of excess fat. Pound each piece with a mallet until 1/4-inch thick.
Whisk together either buttermilk or plain milk and egg Mixture, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne in a shallow dish. Add the pork cutlets. Make sure all the pieces are coated well with the marinade. Cover and keep refrigerated for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Heat 1/2-inch oil in a large high-sided skillet to 350 degrees F, crush the crackers and mix well with the flour. Remove the cutlets from the marinade and roll in the cracker/flour mixture, or if using breadcrumbs, roll the cutlets in the flour, then the breadcrumbs.
Gently place into the hot oil without overcrowding the skillet. When the cutlets are golden brown on one side, carefully flip and cook on the other side. Drain well on a paper-towel-lined plate.
Build the sandwiches by putting the cutlets between the burger buns and garnishing with lettuce, tomato, pickle, and mayonnaise. The cutlet should hang generously over the bun.