Spicy Pickles & Pork Sammy

The Sandwich Surprise: Fall is a terrific time for Spicy Pickles & Pork on a Sesame Basil Roll.

pickles sammy 4

The Inspiration: I love pickles (especially hot, sour ones) and anything involving vinegar and fermentation, so I declared it the theme for this month’s Let’s Lunch. (Check out everyone’s briny dill-ights here.)

Also, Le Bernardin’s bread basket includes these amazing sesame basil rolls. Le Bernardin is one of the things that keeps me happily in NYC. And like everything else on their menu, it was an eye-opening flavor combo — but this one is actually doable at home!

The Ingredients:

Pork chops on the bone: I asked the butcher for the ones with the most fat on them, so there would be more porky goodness to meld with the pickle juice.

Rick’s Mean Beans and Brooklyn Brine Co. Damn Spicy pickles.

pickles ricks & bk brine co

Sesame seeds, untoasted

Fresh basil leaves

The Sandwich Surprisee:

My friend Erika, who’s an actress, model and singer.

pickles erika

You can check Erika out at her site or occasionally at Don’t Tell Mama in the Theater District, where “Natural Woman” by Carole King is one of the stars of her repertoire.

The Verdict:  “I’d never heard of cooking pork chops with pickles before,” said Erika. “It’s delicious. The pork is juicy, the dill pickles are spicy, and the green beans are good.”

We both had two sandwiches, followed by cinnamon pecan chocolate chip cookies:

pickles pecan chocolate chip cookies

(That’s a photo of them unbaked; once they were baked, I couldn’t have cared less about snapping pictures …)

They’re actually vegan, as well as dairy-, egg- and gluten-free! The base dough is made by Eat Pastry; I just added the nuts and spice.

The Recipe:

Preheat oven to 350˚.

Coat an iron frying pan with olive oil, and heat for a couple minutes on a medium-high flame.

Brown two pork chops on each side for 4-5 minutes. I like to brown the edges too for 1-2 minutes.

Then pour half a jar of spicy pickle juice in the pan, along with the Mean Beans and the Damn Spicy pickles (sliced lengthwise) around the chops in the pan. It’s cool if some of the veggies are on top of the meat.

Place the whole pan in the oven for 30 mins. After that, check the middle of each chop to make sure they’re not pink. If there’s still pinkness, return to oven for a couple more minutes.

Otherwise, slice lengthwise and layer meat and veggies on your rolls.

For the rolls, go to Le Bernardin (any excuse is a good one), or buy sesame seed rolls from the store.

If you want to make your own rolls, I based mine off of the Master Boule recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day, but used these ingredients instead:

0.75 tablespoon of yeast + 0.75 tablespoon salt dissolved in 1.5 cup lukewarm water

1.75 cup organic wheat flour & 1.5 cup organic white flour sifted together

Minced fresh basil — Chopping about 2 tablespoons, I distributed it throughout the flour mixture in small batches, stirring thoroughly after each addition

pickles chopped basil

Then I stirred the basil flour mixture into the yeast/salt water with a spatula just until there was no dry flour bits left. Don’t be deterred by the fact that it looks pretty much like tuna salad …

pickles roll dough

I let that rise for two hours, then I formed balls the size of small oranges and rolled each in a bowl filled with raw sesame seeds.

pickles unbaked roll

I baked the rolls, 6 to a sheet, for about 16-20 mins, flipping them at the 12 minute mark.

pickles baked rolls

Sandwich Surprise loves to surprise its friends!

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*Let’s Lunch is a fun group of food bloggers from all over the world. We have a virtual lunch date every month via Twitter (#letslunch) and share each others’ food adventures on a new topic each time. Here are the other Let’s Lunchers’ pickle posts!

Annabelle’s Quick Chinese Spicy Pickles at Glass of Fancy

Betty Ann’s Filipino Mango Pickles at Asian In America

Cheryl’s Polish Pickle Soup at CherylLuLienTan.com

Karen’s Beet Pickled Onions and Pickled Jalapeño & Sugar Snap Peas at GeoFooding

Linda D.’s Rice Paper Chips & Quick Pickles at Free Range Cookies

Linda S.’s Cucumber, Turnip and Carrot Pickles at Spice Box Travels

Lisa’s Pickled Carrots at Monday Morning Cooking Club

Pat’s Vietnamese Pickles (Do Chua) at The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook

Please check here for more pickle-themed links to Let’s Lunch’s bloggers, as I’ll update them all day!

Please note: All the images and content here are copyright protected. By law, you are not allowed to use photos or content from Sandwich Surprise on your website without my permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please rewrite it in your own words and link back to Sandwich Surprise to give my blog proper attribution. Thank you!