To make life easier, I occasionally like to think in broad generalizations. Not a very good or intelligent quality, I know, but sometimes it’s just easier to believe that all politicians are lying to me and that all cats just want to scratch my eyes out.
I’m also of the opinion that anything breaded and fried will be fantastically delicious. I mean, if dipping a paper-thin chicken cutlet in flour, then egg, and then breadcrumbs can transform it from cardboard-like to gloriously crispy and moist and flavorful, then why not the pork chop too? They are equally bland, and often possess a similar texture and flavor to sawdust. They also could use a prolonged dip in crunchy panko, preferably spiked with a plethora of dried herbs and spices. And if you’re gonna go there, you may as well add a heaping pile of Parmesan too. Was there ever a dinner that wasn’t improved by the presence of Parm?
In a word, no. These pork chops were juicy, spicy and sharp — a sassy cutlet, if you will. Using olive oil to fry them adds fruitiness to the chops, which balances the saltiness of the cheese very nicely. Your pork is a blank canvas (I promise — there’s not much flavor there) so feel free to use whatever spices you like. I guarantee, there’s no way to really mess these up.
Crunchy Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops
– 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
– 1 cup panko
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 1 tablespoon dried oregano*
– 1 tablespoon dried basil*
– 1 teaspoon dried parsley*
– 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
– 1 teaspoon paprika
– 2 teaspoons garlic powder*
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon pepper
– 4 4-ounce pork chops, rinsed and patted dry
– 1 egg, slightly beaten
– splash of milk
– olive oil or vegetable oil for frying
*You can always substitute a healthy 3-tablespoon heaping of Italian Seasonings if you have that on hands instead.
1) Place the flour in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. On a large plate or shallow bowl, mix together the panko with the Parmesan, oregano, basil, parsley, crushed red pepper, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
2) Coat a pork chop in the flour, shaking off any excess. Then dip the chop in the egg mixture, making sure to coat it on all sides, before placing it in the panko mixture. Pat the panko on the pork chop firmly so that the breadcrumbs stick to the meat. Repeat for the remaining chops.
3) Heat a 1/2-inch of oil in a large skillet on high heat, until the oil begins to pop slightly. Place the pork chop in the skillet and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook for 5-7 minutes on this side before flipping to cook for another 3-4 minutes on the other side. The pork should be golden-brown on the outside and white on the inside (if using a meat thermometer, the thickest part of the chop should reach an internal temperature of 145). Fry each of the chops, adding oil to the skillet if necessary. Serve warm, with vegetables — might I recommend these Brussels sprouts?