sunday dinner = same dinner, for once

Over the past few weeks, as I have mostly avoided eating crap (0.5 pound net holiday weight gain, not too shabby), I have found myself making up to three(!) dinners per night: a regular dinner for the kids (protein, starch, veg); soup (with or without sandwich) for The Hubbs since he’s been ill lately; and veggie stir fry sometime later in the evening for myself. Which generally suits us, but has no business being done on a Sunday, when I’ll be in and out of the kitchen all morning and afternoon making bread so I might as well stay there and make one dinner that we can all enjoy.

Tonight, then, it’s crunchy baked pork chops, a bistro salad from Fresh & Easy (green leaf lettuce with bits of carrot and red cabbage; feta cheese; dried cranberries; slivered almonds; white balsamic vinaigrette) and oven-roasted asparagus (toss asparagus with olive oil, salt, pepper and a spritz of lemon juice; roast at 400-425 degrees until it’s done to your liking). And – if the timing works out – chunks of freshly-baked baguette. We shall see. A lower-carb adaptation of Deb Perelman’s crunchy pork chops after the jump.

The list of ingredients for the baked pork chops from the link seems a mile long, so I’m going to organize the list a bit. This is a standard dredge process for a good, crust-encased protein: flour, egg mix, crumb coat. You’ll need three pans that will hold one chop at a time; a container that will hold all your chops plus water to cover; and a wire rack that will fit on a baking sheet and fit all your chops with some room in between. For four boneless, center-cut pork chops:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees (400 if it’s an arsonist, like my oven is).

Brine container:
20 oz water, 3T kosher salt, 1T sugar – mix together and submerge the chops for 30 minutes at room temp. Remove chops from brine, pat dry and season both sides with a bit of black pepper.

Pan 1:
all-purpose flour (enough to cover the bottom of the pan maybe 1/4c at a time; add more as necessary, no sense wasting flour)

Pan 2: stir to combine
3 egg whites
3T Dijon mustard
3T all-purpose flour

Pan 3: toss together
100g panko bread crumbs
100g roughly ground pecans (I double-bag chopped pecans, then whack them to death with a meat tenderizer)
1/2t fresh minced thyme (dried is fine)
2T fresh minced parsley (1T if using dried)
1 small shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2T grated Parmesan
1t olive oil

Wipe the wire rack with a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil. Send the chops through the Crusting Gauntlet, then place on the rack with a bit of room in between. Bake until done to your desired temp; Deb wisely gives a range of 17-25 minutes, but you may want to check the temp at 15 minutes since you’ll be starting with room-temp meat.

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