Friday, April 15, 2011

Perfect Spring Dinner!

Panko breaded pork chops, oven roasted green beans and fingerling potatoes
Last night I made a meal that was new to our family. I am not usually a big fan of pork chops, but I think that is mostly due to to the fact that most of what I've been served have been overcooked. Chewy, tough leathery meat, is not palatable to me, even if it's been slathered in barbeque sauce. For a long time, I've looked for a recipe that showcases the tenderness of pork and tells how to produce it. I found this recipe in an old Southern Living magazine, and made it almost exactly the way it was written. The article had paired the chops with oven roasted green beans and pecans, which I tweaked slightly and make with almonds. I also added new fingerling potatoes, a new favorite of my husband. Tender and flavored with fresh herbs, these tiny potatoes are worth the price! The best part of this meal is that it can all be put together in about 35 minutes, making it perfect on a busy weeknight. I'll try and walk you through it, with a timeline that will help you get it on the table quickly too! You are going to love this easy, good for you, springtime dinner! First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash the potatoes and "snap" the beans and rinse them well. (To "snap" them means to remove the stringy ends, totally optional) Drain all the water off of the beans and potatoes and put them on a clean dishtowel to dry out. While they are drying off, prepare the mixture for dredging the pork chops.
Pan Fried Pork Chops
4 center cut pork chops, about 3/4" thick 1/4 c. vegetable oil, for frying 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs 1/4 c. parmesan cheese 1 T. lemon zest 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper Mix together the bread crumbs, cheese, lemon zest and thyme in a wide shallow dish (a pie plate works well). Season your chops with a little salt and pepper, both sides. NEXT, prepare the potatoes.
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes 1 lb. fingerling potatoes, halved if large 1 T. olive oil 1 T. chopped fresh rosemary 2 cloves sliced garlic 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper In a ziplock bag, toss the potatoes with the olive oil and herbs. Put them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Cook at 400 for approximately 30 minutes. Go ahead and put them into the oven to get going. NOW, dredge the pork chops and preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Put in the vegetable oil and let it heat up a little. The pan is ready when a breadcrumb dropped into the oil sizzles on contact. Place the chops into the pan, and set your timer for 5 minutes. While they sizzle away, prepare the green beans.
Oven Roasted Green Beans 1 lb. green beans 1 T. olive oil 1 garlic clove, minced 1/4 c. slivered almonds 1 tsp. butter On a cookie sheet, toss the green beans with the olive oil and garlic. Spread them in a single layer and cook in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. While they are cooking, melt the butter and saute the almonds. After 10 minutes, remove the beans and pour the almonds and butter over them. Return them to the oven, and roast 5 - 10 minutes more, until the almonds and beans brown but don't burn! After 5 minutes, turn your chops over and fry for another 5 minutes. Don't let your pan get too hot and burn them! You may need to adjust the heat, so keep your eye on it while you are getting the veggies ready. I cooked the green beans and potatoes in the same oven, simply by putting the beans in after the potatoes had been cooking for about 15 minutes. That way, everything came out hot and ready at the same time. If you chops are ready first, put them on a plate and cover them loosely with foil or put them in a warm (275 degrees) oven.


1 comment:

Beth said...

What is going on with the spacing? I write it one way, and it's published incorrectly! The text is altered!!