What Is a Pork Melt?

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If the thought of a patty melt makes you nostalgic for the traditional menu at your favorite diner, or a tuna melt reminds you of lunchtime at grandma's house, then a pork melt may be just the type of comfort food you would appreciate. The stack of meat resting on bread, topped with cheese and grilled to bubbly perfection takes minutes to assemble. Simple, hearty and hot, a pork melt pairs well with lighter fare to make a full, satisfying meal.

The Homemade Fast Food Approach

  • A tub of pulled pork from the grocer's deli section, a bag of hamburger buns and a packet of grated cheese is all it takes to make a substantial hot sandwich lunch. Pop the assembled ingredients under the oven's grill or in a toaster oven set to broil. When the cheese is tastefully melted, serve the open-face sandwich promptly. Leftover pork roast works, too, but you'll need an extra moment to chop it into tiny pieces and add a little mayonnaise, yogurt or barbecue sauce to make the pork melt moist and flavorful.

Taking the Slow Food Route

  • Pork shoulder roast, prepared in the slow cooker with aromatic vegetables yields succulent fixings for a plain pork melt. Jazzed up with an Italian herb blend, covered with salsa or sprinkled with curry powder, the slow-cooked pork takes on flavors that bring intriguing variety to the open-face sandwiches.

    Using homemade yeast rolls, fluffy buttermilk biscuits split in half or waffles hot off the griddle adds down-home appeal to the dish. Select a smooth-melting cheese, such as cheddar or Monterrey Jack, to accent the flavors and textures in a cohesive, mouth-watering way.

Giving It a Gourmet Twist

  • Miniature versions of pork melt make an appealing alternative to classic pigs-in-a-blanket hors d'oevres. Small, sliced pumpernickel cocktail bread with savory pork and a slice of cheese can be lined up on cookie trays and popped under the grill just before serving. Pork melts made with marbled rye bread, a smear of mustard, zesty sauerkraut and a slice of Swiss cheese can be served as part of a heavy appetizer spread in place of a sit-down meal. Add a sprinkle of red paprika and fresh-chopped parsley to each portion for extra festive flair.

Served Up With Sides

  • A patty melt may be pleasant served on its own, but with a side or two it can be a flavorful, filling meal. A small portion with sliced apples and carrot sticks makes a simple, light lunch. Offered with creamy coleslaw or potato salad, the pork melt works as summer picnic-style fare. For a robust dinner where pork melt is the main course, baked sweet potato wedges and steamed broccoli or green beans balance out the plate with nutrients and color. A small plate of spring greens, slices of bright red pepper and tiny red and yellow tomato wedges round out the meal with the texture and flavor of fresh vegetables.

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