Thursday, May 29, 2008

An Ending and A New Beginning

Ok, I have a bit of an attention-whorish beginning to this post, but I am just so excited I can not contain myself any longer! Tomorrow is my last day at work!!! I feel like I've been waiting my whole life to be a stay at home mom and as of tomorrow at 4:30, the new adventure begins. Even though my little boy (hopefully) won't be making his appearance for another few weeks, I'm going to be using my work-free time to get the house in order and try to get some rest before the sleepless nights I'm sure to endure soon.

I'm also hoping I'll have some time to try out some new recipes I haven't been able to get to yet. I know there will be a lull in blogging once my little one arrives, so I plan to get a lot in before that happens. Mostly they are dessert recipes that involve baking, and knowing my track record in that department, I don't need to be trying out any of those as a new sleep-deprived mom.

Speaking of new recipes, I tried out a new pork chop recipe earlier this week. I saw it a while back on Celeste's Sugar & Spice. Honestly they were a bit too much work for a weeknight in my opinion, but of course they tasted great so my husband has requested to have them again. And we will, because they were really good and because did I mention I don't have to go back to work after tomorrow??? He says I should have the time now. ;)

The chops were perfectly crunchy and I loved baking them instead of frying them. Not only is it more healthy, but I just don't like to eat greasy meat. And putting them on a rack inside the rimmed baking sheet keeps the bottom from getting soggy. I also roasted some corn in the husks in the oven while the chops cooked. I then cut it off the cob and tossed the kernels with butter, cilantro, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Yum!

Ultra Crunchy Baked Pork Chops

Source: Sugar & Spice, recipe originally from Cooks Illustrated
(my additions/changes in italics)

4 boneless center-cut pork chops, 6 to 8 ounces each, 3/4 to 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
4 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into 1 inch pieces
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tbsp)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tbsp)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
Ground black pepper
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves (I didn't have any, so this got omitted)
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup plus 6 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
3 large egg whites
3 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Lemon wedges


Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

Pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground, about eight 1-second pulses (you should have 3 1/2 cups crumbs). (I didn't want to dirty up more dishes, so I did this by hand. It wasn't hard at all and made the crumbs more rustic. I really liked it this way)

Transfer crumbs to rimmed baking sheet and add shallot, garlic, oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Toss until crumbs are evenly coated with oil. Bake until deep golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. (Do not turn off oven.) Cool to room temperature. Toss crumbs with Parmesan, thyme, and parsley.

Place 1/4 cup flour in pie plate. In second pie plate, whisk egg whites and mustard until combined; add remaining 6 tbsp. flour and whisk until almost smooth, with pea-sized lumps remaining.

Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place in rimmed baking sheet. Season chops with pepper. Dredge 1 pork chop in flour, shake off excess. Using tongs, coat with egg mixture; let excess drip off. Coat all sides of chop with bread crumb mixture, pressing gently so that thick layer of crumbs adheres to chop. Transfer breaded chop to wire rack. Repeat with remaining 3 chops.

Bake until instant-read thermometer inserted in center of chops registered 150 degrees, 17 to 25 minutes. Let rest on rack 5 minutes before serving with lemon wedges. (I just squeezed some lemon juice over my chop before eating and it was great!)

1 comment:

deLa said...

congrats! i know it feels GREAT. i couldnt imagine the what it would be like to lose that load. maybe one day... but definately not today