Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Juicy, Breaded Pork Chops

If I'm grilling pork chops, I soak them in a apple-whisky brine but if I'm baking them, I marinate them in salty milk. Yeah, I thought the same thing but I read about it in Epicurious about 5 years ago and have been making them like that ever since.

Here is what I do:
I take a gallon-size ziplock bag and fill it with about 2c of milk and 3 TEASP of sea salt. I mix and add 4 thick pork chops. I set the bag in the fridge for an hour (maximum of four hours).

While that is in the fridge I prepare my breading. Japanese bread crumbs are my favorite. So I use 2c of that and then 1/2c - 1c of regular breadcrumbs (seasoned with dried Italian herbs). Then I grate about 1/4c of parmesian cheese, whatever fresh herbs I have (usually Flat-leaf parsley but thyme with pork is always nice), some freshly ground black pepper and 1 clove of minced garlic.

When I'm ready to get the chops out of the fridge, I set the oven to 400 and get my pan and grapeseed oil nice and hot (mind the "smoking point" though - every oil is different. In a nutshell if the oil in your pan is literally smoking you have past the "smoking point". You must discard the oil and start over. Unless you like carcinogens then have at it!). I remove the pork from the milk mixture and pat dry. Not too much though because I want the breading to stick. I sear the breaded chops on each side until golden brown and then transfer to a baking sheet.

I bake them for about 7-10 min depending on how thick the chops are. I take the pork out of the oven when the internal temp reaches 150 degrees and then I let them continue cooking in their own juices for about 7-10 minutes. We eat our chops medium, which is 160 degrees. If you like your chops well done, internal temp should be 170 degrees so take them out at 160 degrees to "rest."

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