Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Crunchy Baked Pork Chops

The Husband makes a killer Asian-style tonkatsu or fried marinated pork chop, but the process of frying and the smell of oil hanging in the house for days keeps us from making it often. One of the best parts of frying pork chops is that they are juicy and have great texture. 

Well America's Test Kitchen recently posted a recipe (and video) for crunchy baked pork chops. Baked alternatives to the foods that we love are often not very satisfying and make us run back to the unhealthier versions. However, this recipe was quite good with juicy brined meat and great crunchy crust. 

Crunchy Baked Pork Chops
Serves 4

4 boneless pork chops no thicker than 1 inch and no less than 3/4 inch
1/4 cup table salt
1 quart water

4 slices good quality sandwich bread
3 garlic cloves, minced/garlic pressed
1/4 tsp of salt and pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 shallot, minced
2 tbsp grated parmesan
2 tbsp parsley
Pinch of fresh thyme

A plate of all purpose flour
3 egg whites
3 tbsp dijon mustard
6 tbsp flour


1. Brine pork chops in salt and water. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
2. Break bread into 1-inch pieces and pulse in food processor for 5-8 pulses for 1 second each.

3. Mix minced garlic with bread crumbs. Add 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, and 1 minced shallot. Toss breadcrumb mixture and spread across baking sheet.

4. Toast breadcrumbs in oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool.

5. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. 

6. Prepare 3 plates for breading:
A. 1 plate of all purpose flour.
B. 1 plate combining egg whites, dijon mustard, and 6 tbsp flour.
C. 1 plate for toasted breadcrumbs. 

7. Add grated parmesan, parsley, and thyme with the cooled, toasted breadcrumb mixture. 
8. Remove pork from brine and rise with water. Pat dry with paper towel and sprinkle with pepper. 
9. Bread in A, B, C order from the prepared breading dishes. 
10. Bake on wired rack sprayed with vegetable spray for 20 minutes until internal temperature is 150 degrees. 
Moist and tender meat with a crunchy flavorful crust. Brining actually does work! This will certainly be something I turn to when we are looking for a healthy, yet savory dinner. Served with roasted root vegetables or other sides and you have a complete meal. 

Have a (hopefully) swift pre-Thanksgiving Tuesday! 

See you after Thanksgiving when I update you all on how my first attempt with duck goes. Thanks for reading! 

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