Sunday, November 15, 2009

My apologies to the pork chop...

Friends, I have a confession to make. I have never been a big fan of the pork chop. Oh, I adore most all other porcine applications, but the pork chop has never been good to me. Or more to the point, I have never been good to IT. I cannot manage to cook a pork chop that isn't raw or bone dry or burned, or somehow all of the above! But I think I've finally had a breakthrough.

In my ongoing quest to use up things from the freezer before my big move, I happened upon a large pork roast. I remember the original purchase was a buy-one-get-one deal, and I also remember the first roast being extremely lean and therefore quite dry, despite cooking it low and slow in the crock pot. So this time, I decided to cut the roast into one-inch pork chops and try frying them.

After cutting the chops, I coated them in a generous amount of my favorite BBQ rub, then dusted them with plain flour. I whisked two whole eggs with a tablespoon or two of milk and dunked the chops in. Finally, I coated them liberally with Japanese panko, a half a bag of which I also encountered in my freezer explorations. I fried the chops three or four at a time in a couple of inches of canola oil until GB&D, and I kept them warm in a 200-degree oven as I cooked successive batches.

I served them with garlic mashed potatoes and a simple salad, and MAN, were they good! They were tender and juicy and flavorful, and the panko made them ridiculously crispy. Finally, I have done right by the humble pork chop!

*My good friend and fellow foodie, Chris, insists that the best way to prepare pork chops that are not dry is with a brine...specifically, a beer brine. He has forwarded me his favorite recipe. I will try it and report back. I think he's onto something!

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