Friday, April 1, 2011

Skinny pig sammies and balsamic parmesan cauliflower

Who doesn't like fair food? The cheese curds, the gyros, the everything on a stick, the chocolate covered bacon (ok, so I havent tried that yet but its always interested me)...mmmmm, makes my mouth water just thinking about August hitting in a couple months.  I found this recipe a while ago while looking for new ways to prepare pork chops since we have a deep freeze full from the pig we bought a while back.  You can really only eat grilled pork chops so much before you want to give up pork for good, just so you know.  Anyway, I loved it the first time I made it, these sandwiches remind me of the cuban sandwiches my old boss at the bar in college used to make....soooooo good but soooooo bad for you.  Justin put the sandwich up on a pedestal though when he said it tasted like state fair food, this was a huge compliment coming from a dude who looks forward to next years fair the day this years ends (he should have stock in the Bud tent, if there is such a thing).  I really hit the pork chop recipe jackpot with this one!  Without further adieu....I give you:

Skinny pig sammies

pork chops
2 % swiss cheese
pickle stackers
wheat buns/rolls
sandwich toppings (fat free mayo, lettuce, tomato)

Before doing any cooking, you have to trim and cut the pork chops, which is actually the most time consuming part.  These have the fat trimmed off, the bone cut out, and are butterflied as you can see with the one that is open:

Pretty self explanatory after just put a piece of cheese and pickle inside each one and close it like shown:

The recipe then calls for olive oil to be added to the skillet on medium heat, but what did we learn with the fajitas??  Olive oil flavored Pam is fat free but gives the good taste as well as prevents sticking so we use that instead of the real shabang in most recipes.  So you grease your skillet, throw these bad boys in there, season with pepper, lawry's, whatever your little heart desires and just stand watch. 

Just so you know, when the heat gets rolling, some of that cheese is going to melt out.  It looks like your whole dinner is going to fall apart on you but trust me, some of it stays in there and they dont lack the cheese flavor on the dinner plate.  They dont take long to cook since they're butterflied, you can see when one side is done by looking at the cross section so just take your spatula and flip to the other side to cook. 

I usually throw the buns into a preheated oven when I flip the meat, so they are warm and toasty.  Put some fat free mayo (or skip it, there's plenty of taste in these suckers), lettuce and tomato on your bun and throw your pork chop on top...there you have it!

If you're like me, even if a sandwich will fill you up, you need a side dish for a variety of taste or you wont feel satisfied even if you're full.  I try to skip potatoes, rice, or extra carbs during the week so I usually just go with a veggie...which does limit your options if you just steam them and throw them on the plate to season like I usually do.  They taste good but variety is the spice of life, not?  So last night I tried (and loved):

Balsamic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower
2 T olive oil (I used one)
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste (this means a lot to me)
2 T balsamic vinegar (I used more, I love this stuff)
1/2 cup finely shredded parm cheese (I used grated reduced fat and it tasted fine)

Oven needs to be set at 450.  Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and the spices (marjoram, salt, pepper) in a large bowl so its evenly covered.  Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet evenly so they're not all piled up on each other (I write just like fancy cookbooks, huh?).......

Roast until it starts to soften and brown on the bottom (15-20 minutes). Toss the cauliflower with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with cheese.  Return to the oven and roast until the cheese is melted and any moisture has evaporated (5-10 min more). 

Throw the veggies on the plate with your sammy and you've got a heckuva dinner plate for under 500 calories....chow down, home slice!

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  1. Kelli BrendelandApril 5, 2011 at 6:16 AM

    I made the Cyclone fajitas last night, and love you trick for "steaming" the veggies so they stay crisp! Thanks for the tip.....pS..any additional healthy recipes, kid friendly especially, would be great:) Thanks~ The Brendelands

  2. GOOD! Im really glad you tried them, that steaming works great huh!?

    Im trying to keep adding recipes as I cook through out the week...some should be kid friendly, depends how picky those boys are :)

    The pork sandwiches in this post are Justin's new fave and super should give those a shot sometime!

  3. Mmm this looks fantastic, I love cauliflower! Great blog you have here, so glad to be your newest follower! :)