Sunday, November 10, 2013

Shake 'n Bake didn't help: Quick & Crunchy Pork Chops

Growing up, the only way I ever ate pork chips was breaded with Shake 'n Bake. Now that I cook for a family, I'm happy I've learned three other, better ways to prepare pork chops: breaded with a maple-Dijon mustard sauce and in a Crock-Pot with a ranch-chicken gravy.

I found this breaded pork chop recipe more than 10 years ago when I was perfecting my home-cooking. I've said before I've learned a lot from Cook's Country magazine. That's where I got this recipe. And for the past few years, I had misplaced my copy of the magazine with this recipe in it. I found it! And before I lose it again, I'm blogging it. Preserving my favorite recipes somewhere I can easily access them is a main reason why I blog.

I couldn't find Melba toast the first time I made this so I substituted just-as-crunchy-but-more-flavorful garlic bagel chips. You can cut back on the garlic powder if you make this substitution.

1 (5-ounce) box Melba toast, broken into rough pieces – I use garlic bagel chips
½ teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon dried thyme
⅛ teaspoon sugar
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 center-cut boneless pork chops, ¾ inch to 1 inch thick (each 6 to 7 ounces), patted dry with paper towels

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Place Melba toast pieces, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, and sugar in heavy-duty zipper-lock freezer bag. Seal bag and pound with heavy blunt object (such as a rolling pin) until Melba toasts are crushed but still have some crumbs the size of small pebbles. Add 2 tablespoons mayonnaise to bag and work mayonnaise evenly into crumb mixture by gently squeezing outside of bag. Transfer Melba crumb mixture to large plate.

Using your fingers, coat 1 chop with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise. Transfer to plate with Melba crumbs, sprinkle top of pork chop with some Melba mixture, and press down firmly on chop to adhere crumbs. Flip chop and repeat, making sure that thick layer of crumbs coats both sides and edges. Transfer breaded pork chop to baking rack set over rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chops.

Bake pork chops until juices run clear and instant-read thermometer inserted into center of chop registers 145 to 150 degrees, 16 to 22 minutes. Remove chops from oven and let rest on rack for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Source: Cook's Country magazine

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