Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Biggest Crispy Pork Chops Ever


When my husband works late, I eat giant pork chops. It's not a girly emotional eating binge of loneliness, but more of an overcompensation for temporary meat deprivation. It's also about freedom, selfishness, and gluttony. I suppose when you are as anal and people-pleasing as I am, you really need to let loose and go whole-hog sometimes. It's not that he in any way controls what I eat, it's just easier to make a meal for both of us than something special for each of us. Plus, if I left him to his own devices for dinner, he'd surely starve on his diet of Cheeze-Its, cheese and Red Stripe. But, he is working late again on this slightly warm pre-Spring evening. I also worked a bit late, and skipped going to the gym, so I made a small effort to find an activity partner for dinner - without success. I'll be okay. I am perfectly happy chillin' out with my old familiar friend. Giant pork chop.


Crispy Crunchy Baked Pork Chops
2 Large or 4 small Pork Chops, rinsed under cold water
2 eggs, slightly beaten

3/4 C Panko bread crumbs
3/4 C Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
seasoning salt
pepper
dried basil
dried oregano
dried parsley
dried thyme
1/4 C Grated parmesan cheese
1 T Vegetable Oil

Preheat oven to 425. 
In a ziploc bag, combine equal amounts of panko and italian bread crumbs. Season lightly with a sprinkle of seasoning salt, pepper, basil, oregano, parsley and thyme. Add the parmesan and oil, and shake the bag and mush the crumbs together to incorporate the oil.

Dredge chops in beaten egg, and drop one at a time into bag. Shake to coat and place on a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, in center of oven, to brown the crust. Turn down to 400 and bake another 30-40 minutes depending on thickness. 

I usually check after 20 minutes to get a feel for how fast they are cooking. A meat thermometer inserted should read around 160F for pork. I find that a small digital meat thermometer is indispensable because you don't have to cut into the meat and release all the juices to find out that it is not cooked. Pork always takes longer to cook than I think it will. My two 1-1/4" thick center-cut bone-in chops took 50 minutes to reach 160 - so plan accordingly.

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