Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Parmesan Encrusted Pork Chops

Hey everyone, we made it through Monday.  Whew...that was a close one!

Nah, just kidding, I spent it at a dinosaur museum with Landon and his 2nd grade class.  So fun to see how your kid really is in school.  I sent Jerry numerous texts to let him know that Landon is really good in school.  I was pleasantly surprised.  He even saved a seat for me at lunch and wanted to sit with me on the bus. Melted my heart!

Was still home in time to fulfill the requested pork chops for dinner, although I had not yet decided on the preparation.

I was feeling particularly homey and traditional and not very adventurous at all, so I decided to go back to my roots, the days in the R&D lab schlepping batters and breadings with some home-style Parmesan Encrusted Pork Chops.

This takes a little longer than the easy shrimp teriyaki, but I promise you it will be worth it.

Let's get started!

The first layer on the meat (or any other substrate) is considered the pre-dust.  Primary purpose is to add some flavor that won't burn/cook off and also to facilitate the adhesion of the next two layers.

In bowl 1, used a half cup of all purpose flour, some seasoned salt and pepper. Probably nearly a tbsp of seasoning salt and more like a half of tsp of the fresh ground pepper.

The 2nd bowl is the batter, in this case, was 3 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork.  Two probably would have been sufficient...I hate throwing excess away.

Finally the breader, in a loaf pan, was a cup of Italian bread crumbs mixed with a cup of grated Parmesan with some lemon zest grated in for good measure.

Once the breadings are ready and waiting, let the coating begin! Use a fork to dredge the chop through the seasoned flour, just a brief coat on each side.  Shake off any lose flour before dipping the floured pork into the egg bowl, covered both sides.

Finally, the chops are ready to be breaded.  The combination of fine bread crumbs and cheese makes it very easy for the breading to stick.

After placing the chop in the breading, I used my hand to scoop some breading on the top of the pork and then pressing down gently with the palm of my hand to make sure there is good coverage before removing it from the breading and shaking off the excess…that will only burn in the oil.

Now that they are breaded, we can move on to the cooking stages.

The first step of the cooking process is to pan fry the chops for a few minutes on each side to set the breading and establish nice texture and color for the finished dish.

 After 3-4 minutes on each side in the melted butter and hot oil, they are placed into a baking pan and finished in the oven at 425 F for about 15 more minutes.

While the chops were finishing, there was some time for sautéing green beans in melted butter and topped with chopped almonds and Kosher sea salt.  Just don't add the almonds too soon or they will scorch.

The sautéed green beans was a nice change for us, so often I (over) cook them in the microwave, this way they actually had some texture left.

This meal was met with rave reviews, all 8 of the chops were devoured by the family in one sitting...so much for leftovers!