Friday, September 17, 2010

Deep South Eats: Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops

One of my good friends emailed the other day asking about these beauties, and my are they tasty. This recipe has definitely taken a few attempts to work out kinks. I even felt horrible when I recommended them to my mother and they completely bombed (she is a super good cook too). The last two times I have made them I have made subtle changes that I now feel like I can share them with my Deep South Sweets' readers.

I originally discovered the recipe over at Crazy Cravings. They are a Giada De Laurentis recipe from her cookbook: Giada's Family Dinners. They are super flavorful and fanciful. Perfect for a weeknight dinner with simple sides or dressed up for a weekend dinner with company. We have served them in the past with a Mushroom Rice Casserole and Mixed Greens Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette, and the other night I served them with Browned New Potatoes and Roasted Green Beans with Toasted Almonds. Versatility is a great quality in a main dish.

Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops (the Deep South Sweets way)

2 large eggs
1 Cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I prefer to use shredded Parmesan as it enhances the flavor a lot)
4 - 6 boneless pork chops (to cut time buy the thin cut pork chops if your grocer sells them, if not you will need to pound them thin)
salt and pepper
6 Tablespoons of olive oil
Lemon wedges for serving

Whisk eggs in a pie plate. A large salad plate will work as well. Pour the bread crumbs in another pie plate (or salad plate) and the Parmesan cheese in a third. If you bought regular boneless pork chops you will want to place each pork chop between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them to 1/4 inch thin (just eyeball it) using a quality meat mallet. I use this Oxo Good Grips Meat Tenderizer and make sure you use the smooth side as the pointy side is for tenderizing meat. Sprinkle the pork chops generally with salt and pepper. Taking your first pork chop, lay it in the cheese and pat it to adhere the cheese. Flip and repeat. Then dip both sides in the eggs, and finish by dipping both sides in the bread crumbs, patting to adhere. Repeat with the remaining pork chops.

Warm 3 Tablespoons of oil in a non stick skillet like the Calphalon Unison Nonstick 12 Covered Fry Pan Individual Pieces Cookware. While I don't own this particular fry pan, I have used it before and it performs beautifully. You definitely want to use a non stick skillet no matter what kind you own. Cook pork chops 3 or 4 at a time in batches to insure you don't overcrowd the pan. Cook until the bottom edges start to brown and flip carefully not to tear the breading. Continue cooking until the pork chops are golden brown and the center has reached at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit (about 3-4 minutes per side if 1/4 inch thick). Repeat with remaining batches using additional olive oil as necessary. Serve with lemon wedges and encourage diners to squeeze over chop before eating. The lemon-Parmesan combo is amazing!

I love using a meat thermometer to insure healthy temperatures when serving my family and friends, but I know some people aren't as keen on them. I have used this cheap digital one for years Norpro Digital Thermometer and have managed to drop it in the bottom of my oven and into the flame of my burner and it has stood the test.

Enjoy and if they don't turn out perfect, try try again! I have made these probably 6 times before I was satisfied with the result. Each time I have seen the potential in the flavor so I have persevered through the recipe to get it just right. As I say, if the flavor of a new recipe doesn't meet your standards and you can't see changes to make in terms of flavor to better the recipe, don't try it again. If you bomb a recipe but see potential in flavor, stick with it!

with Belles and Beauxs

1 comment:

  1. This is one of my FAVORITE recipes, I've made it at least 10 times since you first shared it with me last year. I really like using the Panko crumbs w/ italian seasoning (makes them crispier), and sometimes I get the fresh parmesan and put it in my mini food processor to get it to a finer consistency. You're absolutely right, the parmesan + lemon combo is amazing!