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Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops

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Pork Chops

I’m pretty sure these are the best pork chops I’ve ever made.  No, they’re not bikini friendly.  And yes, they will require an extra three hours or so on the treadmill, if you care about your waistline getting too jiggly and that sort of thing.  I took the hit.  It was worth it.

I don’t really have much else to say about these chops, but I do have one helpful little tip I’ll offer (which I gleaned from watching many hours of Food Network and did not invent on my own):  when it comes to breading food — any food — work with one hand.  This way you always have one clean hand available to adjust the heat on your stove, or brush your bangs out of your eyes, or return a text from your smallest child who has messaged you from upstairs to ask you what’s for dinner.

Yes, that happens at my house.   Good thing we have unlimited texting.

Happy Wednesday!

PARMESAN CRUSTED PORK CHOPS
SERVES:  4
SOURCE:  Giada’s Family Dinners, by Giada De Laurentiis; recipe p. 96.

2 large eggs
1 c. dried Italian-Style Breadcrumbs (ShurFine Bread Crumbs are on sale this week, 2/15/12 – 2/21/12)
3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (use the good stuff)
4 (1/2″ – 3/4″ thick) center-cut pork loin chops (about 10 – 12 oz. each) (Sendik’s Bone-In Natural Pork Chops are on sale in Value Packs)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 T. olive oil
Lemon wedges

In a pie plate, whisk the eggs to blend.  Place the bread crumbs in another pie plate.  Place the cheese in a third pie plate.  Sprinkle the pork chops generously with salt and pepper.  Coat the chops completely with the cheese, pressing to adhere.  Dip the chops into the eggs, then coat completely with the bread crumbs, patting to adhere.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in each of two large, heavy skillets over medium heat (you’ll know the oil is ready when a pinch of bread crumbs sizzles upon contact with the oil, but don’t get your oil smoking hot**).  Add two pork chops to each skillet and cook (undisturbed; don’t fiddle!) until golden brown and just cooked through (for me this was five minutes per side).  Transfer chops to plates and serve with lemon wedges.

**NOTE:  Really, don’t get the oil too hot.  If you do, your coating will burn before the chops are done in the center.  Medium is best here.

A different take on these would be to top the chops with a bit of warm marinara sauce and a pile of shredded mozzarella – almost like a pork chop Parmesan – and serve them over pasta.  Skip the lemon if you go that route.  :-)

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Leah Damron is an avid home cook who believes in using the freshest ingredients available, and she challenges herself weekly to create meals out of (mostly!) sale items. If Sendik's ever gave a title for "Biggest Fan", she believes she would win, hands down. Leah lives in greater Milwaukee with her husband, three children, and her big black lab, Daisy."

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