Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Pork Choppy Mother's Day

So, it's Mother's Day (hope you didn't forget!). Why not make your mother something nice for Mother's Day this evening?  Sure, going out to a fancy restaurant for a meal is nice, but why not avoid the crowds and impress your mom with a more personal dinner.  Really, any recipe would do, but these Honey-Garlic Pork Chops are particularly tasty and sure to please. (Unless of course, you're the burn the house down type, in which case Mom might prefer that dinner out.  Just saying).

What You'll Need
Plate                                                                                 Measuring spoons
Fork                                                                                  Large cast iron skillet
Small bowl                                                                        Spatula
Measuring cups (liquid and dry)
1 cup of plain bread crumbs                                         2 Tbsp mustard
2 Tbsp flour                                                                      2 tsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper                                                                 2 big forkfuls honey
1 tsp thyme                                                                       4-6 center cut pork chops
1 egg                                                                                 1 cup olive oil

Now Let's Make Honey-Garlic Pork Chops!
Measure 1 cup of plain bread crumbs, and pour them onto your plate.  Add 2 Tbsp of flour, a sprinkle of salt, pepper to taste, and 1 tsp thyme.  Use your fork to mix the ingredients together until they are thoroughly blended.  The fork helps avoid spills, but don't be too vigorous, or you'll slop crumbs off your plate.  You likely won't be using the full amount, but depending on how much you coat your chops, it's better to be safe.  Set aside.

In your small bowl, crack a large egg. If you get shell in the bowl, lightly wet your fingers to easily pull the shell out (that way you don't have to chase the shell around the bowl). Now, measure and add 2 Tbsp mustard and 2 tsp minced garlic.  Take your fork and wipe off any clinging bread crumbs.  Use this to spoon (oh the irony) out some honey.  You want as large a forkful as you can manage per scoop. Allow the first scoop to pour off the fork into the bowl; on the second scoop simply stick your fork in the bowl. Use the fork to whisk together all the ingredients until everything is thoroughly blended (especially the egg).  The garlic may sink to the bottom, but the rest of the ingredients should not be individually identifiable.

Measure and pour 1 cup of olive oil into your large skillet.  Set the skillet on the stove and turn the eye to medium high heat.  While your oil is heating, move on to the next step.

It's time to dredge those pork chops! This is messy and your hands will get a little gross, so prepare yourself.  Take a pork chop and dip it into the bowl of garlic/honey/egg.  Move it around the bowl until all of the pork chop is well coated in the mixture.  Hold it over the bowl to let it drip for a second, then quickly lay the chop on the plate of breading.

Press the pork chop down into the breading repeatedly, moving your fingers all over the pork chop to coat one side. Flip the chop and repeat.  Make sure to coat the entire pork chop. If there are any bare spots, use your fingers to press breading onto them. Set the pork chop aside and repeat for the remaining chops.

By now your oil should be ready. If you're not sure, wet your fingers and flick a small amount of water into the oil. If this causes the oil to pop, it's good to go.  Gently place your pork chops into the pan.  Depending on the size of the chops and the pan that you're using, you may be able to fit more than the two pictured here. If you have to, you can place the cooked pork chops on a plate in the oven at warm until the rest are ready.

Cook on one side until the pork chops begin to turn a very dark golden brown.  You'll know that they're getting close, when you start to see signs of crisping around the edges and sides of the pork chop.  When ready, gently flip the pork chop using a spatula.  Cook on the other side until matching in color.  Make sure to cut into the pork chops to check that they're done; you don't want to serve Mom pink or bloody meat (there is no medium rare in pork; go for well done).  When done, remove from pan and repeat these cooking steps for the other pork chops.

Serve with a plateful of mashed potatoes and green beans and a side salad for a complete meal. And don't forget the present (it is Mother's Day after all).


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