Fridge Raider: Pork Roast

You ever feel like you’re staring into a blank abyss when the week reaches Thursday night and the tug-of-war between work fatigue and the weekend overwhelms your motor functions…and it’s time to make dinner? It’s often in these moments of great desperation that the “Fridge Raider” in all of us does his/her best work – such was the case for me last night. Having opened the refrigerator this week in a desperate attempt to scrape together dinner at 7:30 on Thursday night, my early-week pork roast found itself into a quick (and very satisfying, I might add) weeknight “Fridge Raider” supper.

Taking a cue from the delicious Dark German Wheat Bread we picked up last weekend, a few thin slices of roast pork made cozy bedfellows with a Deutsch-ish portfolio of condiments including some spicy mustard, mayo, cheddar, and yellow banana peppers (my heart truly pining for some sauerkraut but my fridge lacking in supply). Using my favorite Rachael Ray stovetop panini trick, the outside of the bread was greased up before the sandwich was assembled – she prefers butter, I use mayo; we still make it work together – ensuring a crispy, toasted sandwich every time.

Rounded out with a fantastically healthy spinach salad topped with some warm toasted almonds, this “Fridge Raider” beauty came together in no time; even in spite of my dwindling mental capacities. While it was a winner at our table, what about yours? What would your inner “Fridge Raider” have done with 20 minutes and some leftover pork roast? Drop me a comment below!

German-ish Roast Pork Panini

4 slices dark bread, such as pumpernickel or Dark German Wheat

3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise, divided

8 to 10 slices leftover roast pork (or any roast meat, for that matter), about 8 ounces

4 slices sharp cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard

Handful sliced yellow banana peppers or sauerkraut (about 1/4 cup)

Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.

Lightly “butter” one side of each slice of bread with a little bit of the mayo. Flip two of the slices over and layer up the sandwiches by dividing the pork, cheese, mustard, remaining mayo, and banana peppers or sauerkraut evenly between them. Close them up with the remaining slices of bread (make sure that the greased sides of the bread are both facing out).

Place the sandwiches in the dry skillet and allow them to cook until the bread is toasted and the cheese is beginning to melt, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully flip the sandwiches over and continue toasting them until the bread is crispy and the cheese has melted, 2 to 3 more minutes. If you want to achieve the “pressed” effect of panini sandwiches, once you’ve flipped the sandwiches over, lay another skillet over top of them and weigh them down with a heavy item (like a brick or 28-ounce can) while they toast on the second side.

Serve the panini while warm with your favorite side.

Serves 2

Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has. Probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary team on Rachael’s daytime talk show, he now works as a food stylist and producer in NYC by day, and a food writer and recipe developer at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following his latest twEATs on Twitter at @patrickwdecker or visiting his website at

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