Crunchy Baked Pork Chops

So, I was going to save this recipe until after the Super Bowl (I had grand plans to make some sort of spectacular game-type food to tempt you with before Sunday), but then two things happened that threw a spanner in the works:

  1. A project I was doing at work ended up stretching long into the night I’d planned to use for making this unspecified-yet-delectable treat, and so my grand game food cookery plans kind of fell through.
  2. In cooking this meal, I burnt the everloving shit out of my index finger, in a display so amazing that I had to pay the burn tribute by writing about the recipe that did it.

(Also, owing to the gigantic blister currently masquerading as my left index fingerprint, I can’t actually pick up a knife yet.)

So, you lucky things, you get to hear all about Monday night’s dinner: Crunchy baked pork chops!

Pork chops!

This is a recipe I love beyond all reasonable measure: it’s herby (thyme and rosemary!), it’s crunchy (panko and finely diced shallot!), it’s tender, it’s salty (parmesan cheese!), and it tastes like something tremendously and terribly bad for you (but it’s baked!). It’s easy to make in large quantities, and is such an intriguing combination that it’s more or less guaranteed to please your audience. It’s what I like to make on those days when I find myself Desperately Craving Meat, though sometimes I consider ways to have the breading on its own–that stuff is so good, sometimes you don’t even want the pork.

It pairs beautifully with my favorite winter vegetable dish, roasted brussels sprouts, but would probably be equally awesome with braised cabbage, or perhaps stewed apples. Despite the best efforts of the sprouts, I can conclusively say that the chops do not pair well with human flesh. (you’ll have to try harder next time, sprouts!)

I recommend trying it with different herbs if you like, or maybe trying a curried version. Go crazy! Have fun! But for the love of all things holy, make sure your potholders are up to the task!

porkchops21

Crunchy Baked Pork Chops!
(blatantly ripped off from Smitten Kitchen, like so many wonderful things)

Table salt
4 boneless center-cut pork chops, 6 to 8 ounces each, 3/4 to 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
1c panko
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Ground black pepper
1/4 c tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3 large egg whites
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Dissolve 1/4 cup salt in 1 quart water in medium container or gallon-sized zipper-lock bag. Submerge chops, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes. Rinse chops under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
  2. Pour out your panko on to a rimmed baking sheet and add shallot, garlic, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss until crumbs are evenly coated with oil. Bake until deep golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. (Do not turn off oven.) Cool to room temperature. Toss crumbs with Parmesan, thyme, and parsley.
  3. Place 1/4 cup flour in pie plate. In second pie plate, whisk egg whites and mustard until combined; add remaining 6 tablespoons flour and whisk until almost smooth, with pea-sized lumps remaining.
  4. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place in rimmed baking sheet. Season chops with pepper. Dredge 1 pork chop in flour; shake off excess. Using tongs, coat with egg mixture; let excess drip off. Coat all sides of chop with bread crumb mixture, pressing gently so that thick layer of crumbs adheres to chop. Transfer breaded chop to wire rack. Repeat with remaining 3 chops.
  5. Bake until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of chops registers 150 degrees, 17 to 25 minutes. Let rest on rack 5 minutes before serving.
In Uncategorized, vegetables

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