I’ve gone buttermilk crazy!
Every item made for this dinner uses buttermilk in it – seriously. I’ve actually never bought liquid buttermilk but instead use a low fat powdered version (4 tablespoons prepared has 80 calories and less than a gram of fat). I keep the powder in my fridge and it lasts for months so it’s perfect for what I need, when I need it, with no need to run the risk of having to throw it out and waste it.
While I wandered the market I was trying to figure out what I could make for Sunday night dinner since we had eaten all of our leftovers. The only ones we had left were being saved for lunch Monday, and we would also need lunch Tuesday since I’m planning a fish dinner tonight and I never make leftovers of that. Other than the 2 oz of blue cheese I had left and the CSA Vegetables (which I already had plans for) the fridge was pretty bare barring normal staples (milk, sour cream, yogurt, snacks, etc). I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on dinner items and I was wanting something homestyle, like old school comfort food.
I saw some bone-in pork sirloin steaks for $2.99 which immediately sparked the idea of doing chicken fried pork which I’m a huge fan (I’m basically a huge fan of anything chicken fried, be it chicken, pork, steak, or bacon…hmmm…bacon) but since it’s not the healthiest whenever I do something like that at home I oven fry it.
For the pork steaks I bought two of them at a total weight of 1.14 lbs. After I got them home, I cut out the bone and reweighed them where they totaled 12.4 oz or a little over ¾ a pound. Perfect for 4 servings since I try to cut our portion sizes on meat back for health reason and because you really just don’t need as much as most restaurants serve (I’m looking at you 14 oz ribeye).
In order to trick us though and make it seem like more on the plate, I cut each pork steak in half and pounded them to somewhere between 1/8 and a 1/4 inch thick. And this is where the whole dinner spirals down into a buttermilk frenzy.
I knew I wanted to marinate or brine the pork to keep it moist since lean pork dries out easily and I also didn’t want a long cooking time for the same reasons. The cooking time issue was handled by pounding the pork, but what to marinate them in?
Ah buttermilk, thank you for volunteering. Oh and buttermilk, you want to volunteer for the sides too? Why thank you, you’re so thoughtful! Since I’d already made too much (2 cups worth) for the amount of meat I had it seemed like the best idea ever to reserve a bit of it and use it in the sides.
This crazed buttermilk usage is what inspired Spicy Buttermilk Soaked Oven Fried Pork with Blue Cheese Buttermilk Broccoli Slaw and Whole Wheat Buttermilk Drop Biscuits aka Longest Recipe Title Ever. So…yeah, that’s a lot to say, and I’ve split up the recipes exactly for that reason (see how nice I am?)
But as far as effort needed? The whole meal is super easy. I made the slaw at the same time that I put the pork in the marinade then let both sit in the fridge for a few hours. After breading the pork and popping it in the oven I made the biscuits and then threw them in as soon as the pork came out (which also had the added benefit of giving the pork time to rest). My hands on time (not including deboning the pork) was probably somewhere in the 20 – 25 minute range.
But feel free to mix and match these recipes, it’s not like the menu is set in stone.
- 2 Tbsp Black Pepper
- 1 ½ Tbsp Thyme
- 1 Tbsp Bay Leaves (I use a spice grinder to crumble dried ones)
- ½ Tbsp Sage
- ½ Tbsp Ginger
- ½ Tbsp red pepper
- ½ Tbsp Garlic
- ½ Tbsp Salt
- 2 tsp paprika (either regular or for a fun twist use smoked Spanish paprika)
- 1 tsp Ground Mustard
- Combine all spices in a container and store in a dark place. You can easily double the spice recipe to make extra to have ready for whenever you need it.
- If you follow this recipe exactly, it can be used to make Oven Fried Pork or Chicken 3 times with about 1 tablespoon leftover.
- ¾ - 1 lb pork sirloin steaks, boneless (or center cut chops, etc.)
- 1 ½ - 2 cups low fat buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp hot sauce (I used Texas Pete)
- 2 Tbsp fried chicken seasoning (see recipe above), divided
- 3 Tbsp corn meal
- 3 Tbsp whole wheat flour
- ½ tsp cayenne (more or less to taste)
- Nonstick oil spray
- Preheat oven to 425.
- If you’re doing the whole recipe pour 2 cups of buttermilk into bowl. Remove 1/3 cup along with 2 Tbsp and reserve. Otherwise just use 1 ½ cups of buttermilk. To the buttermilk add hot sauce and ½ Tbsp fried chicken seasoning. Place pork in liquid mixture and set in fridge for at least 4 hours to overnight.
- In a shallow pan combine corn meal, flour, cayenne, and remaining 1 ½ Tbsp fried chicken seasoning and toss/mix to combine.
- Working with one piece at a time, remove pork from buttermilk, shaking slightly to remove excess. Place in pan with breading mix and shake to get a nice coating. Flip and bread the other side.
- After breading lightly spray both sides of pork with nonstick spray. If you wanted a thicker coating you could re-dip each piece into the buttermilk and re-bread it but be aware that you’re going to need a heavier hand on the oil spray and you’ll need to flip them during the cooking process (with only one coating there’s no need to flip)
- Place breaded pork onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake in the oven for 16 minutes until done (depending on how thick your pork is).
- If you did the double breading process, after 8 minutes, spray the top of the pork again, flip, then spray what is now the top of the pork. Continue to bake for another 8 minutes of until done.
- 12 oz package of broccoli slaw
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds (optional)
- 2 Tbsp low fat buttermilk
- 2 Tbsp nonfat greek yogurt
- 2 oz blue cheese
- 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp of sugar, or to taste
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Using a food processor, blender, etc (I used my mini chop) combine buttermilk through salt and pepper. Blend until well combined. The mixture will be thick.
- In a medium bowl combine broccoli slaw, onion and sunflower seeds is using. Pour dressing over slaw and toss until combined. Place in fridge for at least 2 hours to let the flavors combine.
- ¼ cup white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
- ¼ cup all purpose flour (you could try upping the whole wheat and reducing the all purpose if you wanted)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp honey
- ¼ cup low fat buttermilk
- Combine powders, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Mix together.
- Cut butter into small pieces and either cut butter into the dry mix, or use your fingers to work the butter in until it forms a coarse meal.
- Make a well in the center of the dough. Pour in buttermilk, and then add honey. Use a spatula to combine, being careful not to overwork (we want the biscuits to be light).
- Using a spoon, make four drop biscuits by scooping up a spoonful of dough and dropping onto sprayed pan.
- If you’re also making the pork, as soon as the pork comes out turn oven up to 450, place biscuits in oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until browned.
- If you’re not making the pork, preheat oven to 450 then bake for 8 minutes and up to 10 until biscuits are browned.
- Note: This makes 4 small biscuits since I didn’t want the meal to be too grain heavy after the breading on the pork and because I try to be at least a bit healthy.
Oh my gosh – so freaking tasty. When I originally made this I got a little overzealous with the cayenne addition to the breading (I used 1 ½ tsp…oops) and the blue cheese slaw was a perfect accompaniment as a cooling side dish. We ended up taking bites of pork and chasing it with slaw to cool down the fire a bit. I’ve adjusted the posted recipe to cut back on that, but even with ½ tsp there should still be a good amount of kick.
The biscuit recipe was pretty tasty as well. Did I miss the tons of butter? A little bit, but I feel so much better knowing it wasn’t laden with unhealthy fat and calories. And I mean what goes better with a oven fried dish than a biscuit (it also didn’t hurt that they were super quick and easy).