Friday, June 17, 2011

Good Enough To Eat : Panko Crusted Pork Chops

So I have a love hate relationship with pork chops... specifically, I want to love them, and yet HATE the way they always turn out.

Inevitably, they always are tough as shoe leather, regardless of how I've cooked them. I've tried the slow cooker, the grill, marinated, sauteed, ugh... it was endless. And of COURSE I was getting a MILLION pork chops from the farm. So they piled up in my freezer, with me trying recipe after recipe to get them to taste edible.

Well, hallelujah, I FOUND one!!

Actually, let me clarify that one of my girlfriends found one. (This is why I do this people... so that we can share recipes... so share more please!) Janice of Sew Girly pointed me towards a delicious, versatile recipe that makes them tender and moist, yet crispy on the outside. The other great part of the recipe is that it gives you a very basic recipe for a crusted pork chop, but what you do with the sauce? Totally up to you.

It comes with a DELICIOUS herbed white sauce that I loved. But I could see doing this with marinara and pasta, or a lemon piccata sauce with rice, or a teriyaki? The possibilities are ENDLESS.

So without further ado... a pork chop recipe that doesn't suck!!

The recipe came by way of Sew Girly, which came from Crepes of Wrath, which came from Cooking Light. Quite the traveller, this recipe... 

Panko-Crusted Pork Chops with Creamy Herb Dressing

from Cooking Light October 2008
2 teaspoons whole wheat flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon onion flakes

1/4 ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

1 large egg white

1/3 cup whole-wheat panko
 - I didn't have this... use regular panko. 
2 4-ounce center cut pork chops
 - something that Janice told me about that is totally true. Pound the HELL out of your pork chops. I used slightly thicker pork chops that were bone in... but I just cut them off the bone and gave 'em a few good whacks with a rolling pin to get them the right size. I'd say an inch thick, maybe a little bit more. 
1 teaspoon olive oil or canola oil

Cooking spray
1 tablespoon chopped green onions

1 tablespoon chopped fresh-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
 - I used Greek yogurt. 
1 tablespoon fat-free milk

1 tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Combine the first six ingredients in a shallow dish. Whisk the soy sauce and egg white in a different medium bowl. Place the panko in yet another shallow dish... I know, the clean up on this recipe is kind of a bitch, but trust me, it's WORTH IT. 
Dredge the pork in the flour mixture, then dip in the egg mixture, followed by dredging in the panko crumbs. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat and add the pork to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Line and/or spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place the pork chops on it. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until the panko crumbs are golden brown and crispy.
 Don't overcook the pork!! 
While the pork cooks, make the dressing by combining the green onions and remaining ingredients.
Serve with the pork when they come out of the oven. Serves 2.


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