Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Crunchy Baked Pork Chops



In life, there are two people: those who like pork chops, and those who like beef. My husband is a beef eater. Sure, he likes a pork chop now and then, but he prefers BEEF. Give the man steak and potatoes and he's a happy camper. He actually requested plain ole steak n' potatoes for his birthday dinner. Nothing fancy, just BEEF. And STARCH. With a side of BEEF.

I, on the other hand, prefer lighter fare now and then, but I still need to come up with things that satisfy the both of us. I started craving pork chops, but Graham was wanting for some breading. So, that leaves us with a few options, and Chicken-Fried Pork didn't really sound appealing. I started rooting around in my cabinets to see if I could come up with something that didn't work for us. This is a concoction of a few different recipes, but it's delicious and the breading is crunchy without being heavy and weird like fried chicken.

Play around with this. See what you like. Enjoy some pork before your husband comes home and demands BEEF.

Crunchy Baked Pork Chops
(Angie original)

4 center-cut pork chops, 5-6 oz. each
4-6 slices thick sandwich bread (I used white), torn into pieces
1 onion, diced
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
2 T. grated parmesan cheese
2 T. fresh or dried thyme leaves
1 T. minced parsley, fresh or dried
Butter or nonstick cooking spray
1/4 c. flour
2 eggs
2 T. mild Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper (again)

Heat oven to 350 F. In a food processor, pulse bread crumbs until they're coarsely ground, but not too fine. You don't really want the texture of store-bought bread crumbs. Transfer bread crumbs to a rimmed baking sheet and add the onion, garlic powder, oil, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well, making sure all crumbs are rolled in oil. Spread on the baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes, stirring a few times, or until bread crumbs are golden brown and dry. Remove from oven and let cool. Toss with cheese, thyme, and parsley.

Raise oven temperature to 400 F. Grease a wire rack and place on a shallow, rimmed baking sheet. Place flour in a pie plate or shallow dish. In another shallow dish, whisk together eggs and dijon mustard. Place breadcrumbs in a final dish. Lightly season pork chops with salt and pepper, and dredge in flour. Shake off the excess, and dip pork chops in egg and mustard mixture. Let excess drain off, and coat in bread crumbs, covering completely. Remove pork chops to wire rack. Continue until all pork chops are coated in bread crumbs.

Bake 20 minutes, peeking occassionally. Serve with salad and potatoes.

Notes:
  • The breading reminded me a little of another pork chop recipe I've made, but baking these is a much healthier alternative than frying in oil. I might start making all my pork chops this way!
  • Just about any herbs will work here. I like thyme, so I used that, and I'm using more and more parsley for a touch of freshness and color.
  • Using plain, dry breadcrumbs will work too, but they just won't be as fresh as making your own. Making the breadcrumbs took all of 10 minutes, and that's on the long side.
  • Definitely make sure you let the egg mixture drain off a bit...I didn't, and one of my pork chops was a little soggy on top!
  • I chose grated parm, but almost any grated cheese would work for the breading. It might not be as healthy, but when it comes to deliciousness, health is a silly reason to avoid food.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately for me, my husband outright dislikes beef and moderately tolerates pork. It's a real struggle.

    But this pork chop looks really good! TFS!

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