Crunchy Baked Pork Chops
Cooks Illustrated note “This recipe was developed using natural pork, but enhanced pork (injected with a salt solution) will work as well. If using enhanced pork, eliminate the brining in step 1. The bread crumb mixture can be prepared through step 2 up to 3 days in advance. The breaded chops can be frozen for up to 1 week. They don’t need to be thawed before baking; simply increase the cooking time in step 5 to 35 to 40 minutes.”
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 tablespoons)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3 large egg whites
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
Dissolve 1/4 cup salt in 1 quart water in medium container or gallon-sized
zipper-lock bag. Submerge chops, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30
minutes. Rinse chops under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
Meanwhile, pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground, about
eight 1-second pulses (you should have about 3 1/2 cups crumbs). Transfer
crumbs to rimmed baking sheet and add shallot, garlic, oil, 1/4 teaspoon
salt, and 1/4 teaspoon 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 tablespoons 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 into center of chops
registers 150 degrees, 17 to 25 minutes. Let rest on rack 5 minutes before
serving with lemon wedges.
Source: Cook’s Illustrated