Parmesan & Herb Encrusted Pork Chops
One day I was tired of cooking chicken dishes for my son. He's not a big meat eater but he does like pork, as we found out in Germany when he devoured the schnitzel in Berlin. He's also a big Italian food eater so I wanted a way to combine the idea of schnitzel with an Italian taste (honestly being afraid I'd never get the sauce right that was on the schnitzel).
Thus I rummaged around on the Internet and through some of my tried and true chicken recipes and voilÃÂ ! ~ something he loved that was easy to make and healthy, too! Now certainly this recipe could be made with chicken or even beef as long as the meat was thin enough or pounded with a meat mallet to make it thin enough, but so far we've only had it this way with pork. I love the versatility of sides you can add with this as well. It would be terrific with quinoa and beans, salad, green beans, even polenta or wild rice. The options are endless.
All Photos © 2013 Ren During
Pork ~ It's not chicken but it can still be tasty and healthy!
Thinly sliced pork is key!
Making sure your meat is the correct thickness is extremely important, especially with pork since you want to make sure it cooks thoroughly. With this recipe the meat is only in the pan about 3 - 5 minutes on each side so if it's more than a 1/4" thick it won't be cooked. If you cook it longer the coating will be burnt and the meat will be tough. If, like me, you have a lousy set of knives (I'm looking for new ones), have the butcher cut the meat for you. They are happy to do it. I ended up with a nice pork loin that we roasted later with friends so it all worked out great!
What I love about this recipe is like most of my recipes ~ the ingredients are easily interchangeable to suit your tastes. You can substitute different cheese and herbs in this and make it an entirely different dish. Versatility makes food all the more fun!
- 1 - 2 cups bread crumbs
- 1 - 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil (if you have it handy)
- 1 tablespoon marjoram
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper (to taste)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon sour cream (or light sour cream)
- 3 - 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 - 10 thinly sliced pork loin chops
- First you need to get very thinly sliced pork loin chops, no thicker than 1/4 of an inch. I went to the local market, bought a pork loin roast and had them slice off 10 chops for me. I'll use the remainder of the roast in another dish.
- Second, mix bread crumbs, cheese and a 1/4 cup flour with your desired herbs plus and salt and pepper, in a shallow dish. I used basil and marjoram since it was what I had on hand, but you can use whatever combination your family likes. Fill a second dish with the remaining flour. Next whisk together eggs, milk and sour cream in a third dish.
- Third, add olive oil to a large skillet and heat on medium heat while you begin dredging the chops. Place each in the flour, coating both sides, then dip into the egg mixture (allow excess to drip off), then press the chop into the bread crumb/cheese mixture on both sides.
- Finally, place the coated chops into the hot pan, cooking 3-4 minutes on each side until brown and cooked through. I did 4 at a time and didn't coat ahead of time so that the middles remained moist and the outside crunchy. Serve with potatoes, quinoa, or rice and a vegetable or salad for a complete meal.