Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Breaded, Baked Pork Chops

Moist, flavorful and no frying needed.

Oh, humble pork chop, how many ways do we love you? Braised. Seared. Fried. Barbecued. Stuffed. Sauerkraut. Apples. Onion.

Who doesn't savor a pork chop cooked/baked to perfection? Oh, my grandfather just loved them. I wish he were alive today so I could serve him some of my favorite ways to prepare them which he never realized.

This recipe is a delight. It's inspiration was a You Tube video of chef who smeared a pork chop with mayonnaise and then breaded it. GENIUS! Why didn't I think of that? The mayo held the breading with confidence.

Mayo is nothing more than oil whipped into egg ... Much, much lighter than, say, dunking a chop into a gooey, gloppy, raw egg mixture ...

But ....

Why stop there?

Hello .... bottled, salad dressings .... which are basically the same concept as any mayonnaise: oil and egg, with the addition of flavorings. Correct?

I just happened to have a jar of Marie's-brand Parmesan/Ranch dressing in my fridge given to me as a sample by reps of that company for the produce department in which I work. I settled on that for my experiment.

I've made this several times now. And, honestly, I really, and truly, love these pork chops. They are moist because of the "dressing" but not soggy because of the Panko bread crumbs. They are not fried. Instead the bake on a rack in a shallow pan so heat is evenly distributed for perfect roasting.

I baked these in my Breville-brand convection oven on a "roast" cycle. Even so, the last few minutes or so, I turn it up to "broil" just give a bit of crispier top....

(((( As an aside: my fav. kind of pork chop is always and has always been a rib chop. They are non-existant where I live in the South. Instead, I used two "thick-cut" loin chops .... at least one-inch thick .... for a total weight of about 1.4 pounds. Unfortunately .. most of the fat had been "trimmed" away .... for 'our' safety .... LOL .... ))))

  • 2, thick-cut, bone-in pork chops
  • Parmesan/Ranch Dressing (or something similar) or just mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
  • 2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan/Romano cheese (from a can is just fine!)
  • 3 tablespoons plain, dried bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon whole, rubbed sage
  • 1/2 to one-teaspoon dried, whole thyme
  • Seasoned salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Pre-heat oven to 400 F.

Using a damp cloth or squeezed-out wad of paper towel ... wipe the pork chops ... Usually, they contain bits of bone, etc.

Mix all dried ingredients on a sheet of wax paper.

Coat/brush chops with dressing ....

Now roll them and pat them in dried ingredients.... Use dried herbs ... to your preference.

Lightly spritz the chops with a spray of PAM. Place breaded chops on a wire rack inside a shallow pan. This rack is important, so don't omit.

Bake/roast chops for about 40 minutes without turning. Ideally, you want an internal temperature of 160-170 F degrees. If you want the top a bit crunchier, place under broiler for just a minute or two never taking your eyes off the chops since they can easily burn.

Allow chops to rest 10-15 minutes before serving.

.... The star of the show ....