Pursuit of pork chop perfection

I’m sure you already knew I was a dork, so the title of this post shouldn’t come as too much of a shock to you. The truth is, I’ve always been one of those cooks who almost fears pork chops. Sure, I can do them in the slow cooker, but so often they come out tasting bland. Any attempt at stove-top simmering or baking usually ends up with overcooked, dried out chops – primarily due to the fear instilled by my 10th grade biology teacher who informed us that undercooked pork often results in trichynosis, a stomach ailment too scary to describe.

Recently I was watching the Food Network and saw Giada diLaurentiis prepare them in such a way, it made my mouth water. Taking tips from her and infusing my own style, I’ve come up with what hubby calls “The best pork chop I ever tasted. So juicy and tender!” That’s a direct quote, folks. Here’s what I do, based on four servings:

  • Get boneless sirloin chops if possible, but bone-in will work too (they’re just a little harder to work with)
  • Get thin – but not paper thin – chops. Thick ones are just trouble if you ask me.
  • If you absolutely have to use thick ones, put them in a Zip-Loc bag and pound them flat with a rolling pin first.
  • Remove chops from the fridge about 20 minutes before cooking. This allows them to shed some of the chill and help them soak up more of the delicousness to come.
  • When the chops are ready to cook, put your frying pan on the stovetop and set your burner to medium. Pour in about 1/3 inch of olive oil and let it heat up, about 3-4 minutes.
  • While you’re waiting for the oil, get three shallow cereal-sized bowls out and in each, put grated Parmesan cheese, 2 whole eggs (slightly beaten) and seasoned Italian style bread crumbs. Ordinary bread crumbs just will not do.
  • When the oil is nice and hot, prepare your first pork chop. Using tongs, grab the chop and set it in the Parmesan, coating both sides. You may have to shake the bowl a bit.
  • Next stop is the beaten egg, but be careful when you swish it so that you don’t lose any of the cheesy goodness along the way. Again, both sides should be soaked.
  • After the egg coating, place the chop into the Italian bread crumbs, covering liberally.
  • Carefully place the chop into the hot oil, then repeat with remaining chops.
  • Cook up the first side til they’re nice and golden (carefully checking as necessary, if for no other reason, because a burnt pork chop will stink up your kitchen for days), about 4-6 minutes. Turn and cook the other side to match.
  • Serve to drooling family but be sure to warn them, they will be HOT. The oil in these babies causes them to hold in their heat for quite a while.
  • Our favorite sides are pierogis and applesauce, with an obligatory green veggie. I think something cheesy (potatoes or macaroni, perhaps?) would be an equally delicious accoutrement.

If you try this out, please let me know what you think!


1 Response to “Pursuit of pork chop perfection”

  1. 1 Debs January 17, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    I’m salavating!
    what are the points for those bad boys?

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