Monday, October 22, 2012

Crispy Crunchy Baked Pork Chops

Here I second post of the month! I'm off to a good start on completing my list of 30 things to do before I turn 30! I'm super excited about this one too. I like pork chops. I don't love pork chops. They're not my favorite...I don't get super excited about them and let's be honest, of all the proteins in the world, I think pork chops get a bad rap. That being said, I think I may have fallen in love with this pork chop...don't tell my hubby :)

This recipe comes from one of my favorite food bloggers out there Deb from Smitten Kitchen. (Side Note: She has a cookbook coming out, which I've already pre-ordered from Amazon, and CANNOT WAIT for it to come in the mail and you should go buy one too! You will not regret it. I promise!) I only altered it slightly, using onion instead of shallots and whole wheat bread and whole wheat flour instead of white. I also skipped the Dijon mustard (not on purpose, I just didn't have any on hand), but if they turned out as good as they did with those slight alterations, I'm sure the original is even better!

It's the perfect combination of crunchy outer coating and perfectly tendered cooked meat. The homemade bread crumbs mixed with fresh parsley, garlic and thyme add so much flavor that I dare you not to fall in love with pork chops. I know I did.

Crispy Crunchy Baked Pork Chops

Table salt2 boneless center-cut pork chops,
4 slices hearty wheat sandwich bread
1/4 cup finely chopped onion3 medium garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons olive oilGround black pepper2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves1/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons whole wheat flour2 eggs

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Dissolve 1/4 cup salt in 1 quart water in medium container or gallon-sized zipper-lock bag. Submerge chops, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes (DON'T SKIP THIS STEP - IT MAKES THE PORK CHOPS SOOOOO TENDER). Rinse chops under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.

Pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground.Transfer crumbs to rimmed baking sheet and add onion, garlic, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss until crumbs are evenly coated with oil. Bake until deep golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. (Do not turn off oven.) Cool to room temperature. Toss crumbs with Parmesan, thyme, and parsley.

Put flour in one bowl, the eggs (beaten) in another, and the bread crumbs in a third. 

Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place in rimmed baking sheet. Season chops with salt and pepper. Dredge 1 pork chop in flour; shake off excess. Using tongs, coat with egg mixture; let excess drip off. Coat all sides of chop with bread crumb mixture, pressing gently so that thick layer of crumbs adheres to chop. Transfer breaded chop to wire rack. Repeat.

Bake about 20 minutes and let rest for 5 full minutes before serving. 


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