As much as I love cooking, you’d probably expect me to watch every show on the Cooking Channel. I don’t. I do subscribe to one cooking magazine, and I find a lot of new recipes through the internet, but the thought of watching cooking shows and being exposed to so many new recipes is totally overwhelming. I would go crazy with wanting to try everything all at once.
A few years ago, though, I did get hooked on Top Chef and faithfully followed the program through several seasons. It was interesting to see cooking from a professional chef’s point of view, and I did learn a bit, I think. I was never inspired to actually try any of the recipes. I obviously don’t have a very “sophisticated palate” and that’s fine with me.
I loved watching the chefs prepare fancy dishes with ingredients like arugula, quinoa, and tofu — things I never heard of when I was growing up. I have used each of them now, and I credit Top Chef with helping me broaden my culinary horizons.
All the same, there are times when the only thing that will satisfy my hunger is a good, old-fashioned meal made with simple ingredients using the same basic cooking techniques cooks have relied upon for generations.
And so it was, yesterday for our Sunday dinner, we dined upon nothing fine or fancy, nothing with exotic ingredients or prepared in some a la style. Nope. Just plain, simple, and delicious breaded pork chops.
From start to finish, nothing could be easier.
1-1/2 bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
6 pork chops
1/4 cup oil
In a small bowl, beat egg slightly and stir in milk. Place each chop in egg/milk mixture, then dredge with crumbs. Cook in skillet, about 5 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer shows 145-degrees. Allow chops to stand about 5 minutes before serving.
You can use canola oil or any one of many others. Yesterday I used safflower oil, but on other occasions I might use sunflower oil, peanut oil, or olive oil.
I always buy chops with the bone in. A lot of people prefer the boneless, but I find the bone-in chops to always be juicier. Maybe it’s just me since that’s the way pork chops were always served on our table when I was a little girl. The chops I fixed yesterday were thick and meaty, and when cooked they were moist and tender.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE.
For me, here’s the fun. Adding in lots of spices and seasonings. I can’t give you a list or a recipe with exact measurements. What I do is this. After measuring out the crumbs (I use bread crumbs rather than cracker crumbs, by the way), I open the doors of my spice cabinets and start grabbing. Yesterday I added in onion powder, garlic powder, some sage, a little thyme, lots of black pepper, a few red pepper flakes, a bit of basil and lots of chopped parsley. I added a tablespoon of wheat germ, too.
Sometimes I’ll throw a bit of powdered milk into the mix. Other times, I’ll add parmesan cheese. If I’m in a “hot and spicy” mood, I’ll throw in cumin or chili powder. Maybe a bit of chopped cilantro, too. If we’re hungry for Italian, I’ll grab rosemary and oregano.
I served these breaded chops with mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans. It was a simple meal, but it satisfied not only our hunger but our hearts as well. We’d been talking earlier about “old times”, about life down on the farm when we were growing up.
Yes, indeed, those pork chops truly “hit the spot” as old-times used to say.
THANKS FOR VISITING TODAY
Do you have a favorite old-fashioned recipe?