Sunday, December 29, 2013

Hoosier Home Cookin'

The last time The Colonel and I were in Indiana my Darling-Sister-In-Law (DSIL) was with us. The Colonel and DSIL made this trip a genealogy research trip and I tagged along. Most days I was with them as they visited libraries and research centers, but for a few days while they were digging up family history, I was visiting with my family.

The genealogy research made it necessary to be on the road. Traveling and research makes one hungry and when we stopped for lunch or dinner DSIL and I began to order breaded tenderloin sandwiches if they were on the menu...we were in most places had one on the menu. Each sandwich we ate was a bit different than the last, but each was delicious.

Breaded tenderloin sandwiches are almost exclusively an Indiana sandwich. There is even a documentary on the Internet about Indiana tenderloin sandwiches. My mom would make them for dinner (or as she would say...supper) and they were one of my family's favorite meals. My dad particularly loved them; he usually ate two for supper (this is coming from a man who thought sandwiches for supper was almost sacrilegious).

Going back to Indiana and having those breaded tenderloin sandwiches made The Colonel and I want to make some ourselves. We had never made any from scratch before...and I don't know why since we are both Hoosiers.

This evening we brought some Hoosier home cookin' to our SW Florida dinner table. We also introduced our son to the traditional Indiana breaded tenderloin sandwich (he was born in Oklahoma but he has Hoosier blood flowing through his veins).

I wasn't certain I remembered exactly how to make the sandwiches like my mom's, so I called her to ask about her recipe. She didn't really have a specific one and after calling one of my sisters about it too, she basically confirmed what I thought was Mom's way of making them.

The Colonel began looking up recipes and we found one we wanted to try. It was basically like my mom's with a few more spices.

These are the pork tenderloins we used to make the sandwiches.

I defrosted three pork loin chops and then cut all of the visible fat from the loins.

I whisked together one egg and 2 tablespoons of half-and-half. I then added 1/4 teaspoon each of the following: garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, dried marjoram, oregano, ground black pepper and 1 teaspoon of table salt (I think my mom used only salt and pepper).
I pounded the loins a bit thinner and then added them to the egg wash.


The recipe from the Internet called for bread crumbs but my mom always used saltine cracker crumbs and so would I. I used The Colonel's grandma's rolling pin to finely crush the crackers.

Time to "bread" the tenderloins (photos courtesy of my son because The Colonel was busy cooking our side dish for the evening meal).

Now into the frying pan...

Ready for the buns and condiments of choice (I like pickles and mayo).

Usually hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls are used, but I did not want that much bread, so we used the thin bread.
The Colonel made Minnie Lee's Green Beans as the side dish to our breaded tenderloin sandwiches. They are a bit hot with red and green peppers, bacon and onions tossed in a spicy Asian sauce (very un-Hoosier like. We had this dish in Key West and loved it).
The breaded tenderloin sandwiches were delicious! Much like my mom's, but better (sorry Mom). There is one thing I would change about the recipe...I would omit the teaspoon of table salt.
I think I will buy a few more of those frozen pork tender loins to stock my freezer with so that I can make the iconic Hoosier sandwich whenever The Colonel and I get a hankering for some Hoosier home cookin'.
(Note: We did find a Bar-B-Q place near here that now offers a passable breaded pork tenderloin sandwich if I don't feel like cooking one myself).


  1. I had one at the diner The Bank in Pendleton, Indiana two nights ago. The way you made them is the way Lisa makes them. I like lettuce, tomato, pickle, mayo, mustard and a little ketchup on mine---Michael

  2. This is one Hoosier who has NEVER had a pork tenderloin! Perhaps because my parents are not native midwesterners, but honestly nothing about them appeals to me!

  3. I think the only reason your tenderloins tasted better was because you're in Florida where it is always warm and sunny! Yummy!! Jenn