It took quite awhile for me to learn to cook pork chops that didn’t taste like well-seasoned shoe leather. I was so afraid of serving undercooked pork, I overdid it and wound up with tough, dry meat. At a restaurant one night, I had a blue cheese-encrusted pork chop that tasted like heaven and I vowed that one day I’d learn to make moist and flavorful chops. Well, I did! I substituted parmesan for blue cheese for a milder flavor, and these tender, juicy, slightly elegant porkchops go from fridge to table in about 30 minutes. I like to serve them with a simple salad or a nice rice dish like lemon garlic rice.— L. Weal
3/4 cup (3 ounces) Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 bone-in pork rib chops, at least 1/2″ thick
ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
quarter (9” x 13”) sheet pan, with rack
2 breading trays, or medium (3-quart) bowls
measuring cups and spoons
medium (10-inch) skillet
1. Set oven to 400 degrees. Line pan with foil, place rack on top, then spritz with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Add egg and 1 teaspoon water to tray. Beat well with fork, then set aside.
3. In remaining tray, mix Parmesan with breadcrumbs, then set aside.
4. Season chops on both sides with onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper.
5. Dredge both sides of seasoned chops in egg mixture.
6. Dredge chops in cheese mixture, taking care to press down firmly on both sides for a thick, even coating.
7. Heat oil in skillet over high heat.
8. Fry chops just until golden brown — about 2 minutes per side.
9. Transfer chops to prepared rack and pan setup.
10. Bake until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees — about 15 minutes.
11. Let chops rest at least 5 minutes before serving.
NOTES & TIPS
• Oil should be hot, but not smoking — so heat for only 2 – 3 minutes.
• If using pre-grated Parmesan, buy it from the dairy case – not the pasta aisle – for best flavor.