Italian Herb Crusted Pork Chops
We have already enjoyed a few of the pork chops from our pastured hog. Cooked up, plain-Jane, they are pretty tasty. Last night I decided to try something a little different. I took a recipe for breaded pork chops and tweaked it a bit. These beauties ended up tender and juicy! I served them up with some seasoned couscous with bell peppers, frozen from the garden, and a green salad.
4 pork chops (ours are bone-in, 1 inch thick)
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (we use Panko)
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (approximate)
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
Olive oil, for pan
Oven proof skillet
If you are using fresh herbs, you can use less than this recipe calls for, maybe about half the amount. I use my trusty 12″cast iron skillet for this (and almost all) recipes. The chops fit in just right.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
After thawing in the refrigerator, allow pork chops to come to room temperature before cooking. This allows them to cook a little quicker and more evenly. Warm skillet to medium. This preheat is mostly necessary if using cast iron, so that the heat will be even once the chops are added. Add about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, or enough to coat the bottom, and then some.
Combine the breadcrumbs, herbs and spices and toss lightly to mix. Dip each chop in the beaten egg mixture, then into the breadcrumbs, pressing lightly to give a good coat of crumbs. Place the chops into the heated skillet and brown, about 4-5 minutes per side.
Place the skillet with chops into your preheated oven and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes (depending on thickness of chops) until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
For the couscous:
2 cups of uncooked couscous
1 cup of chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon tarragon
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Add all herbs and spices, pepper and onion to a medium bowl. Put the uncooked couscous on top of these ingredients. Pour boiling water over the couscous until it is covered by about 3/4 to 1 inch of water. Let stand for 10 minutes, until water is absorbed. Fluff, and mix together with a fork. Serve hot, topping with parmesan cheese, if desired.