"MMmm, pig" is a phrase that gets uttered around here quite often (other related phrase: Everything's better with bacon!). I hadn't catered to the pork craving in awhile, so last night I made Parmesan-Crusted pork chops and served crash hot potatoes on the side.
I've had the pork chop recipe for years, and don't remember where it came from, though I think it might have been featured on a Food Network show at some point. The crash hot potatoes come from The Pioneer Woman Cooks (Ree Drummond); you will find lots of lovely, tasty, hearty recipes over there - take some time to browse around.
I started the potatoes first, since they take a little longer than the chops. I boiled some baby red potatoes; while they were doing their thing, I prepared the baking sheet by liberally drizzling it with some olive oil (you will want to be very liberal; it keeps them from sticking)
Once the potatoes were ready, I set them on the baking sheet
From there, I used a metal potato masher to squish the potatoes down a little bit (not all the way), and then turned the masher 90 degrees and pressed down again. You don't want to mash them, but make them look a little bit like a potato cookie
Then I brushed the tops with some more olive oil, sprinkled them with some kosher salt, black pepper, and fresh herbs (I had chives and rosemary growing in my container garden, so those are the ones I used; feel free to use whatever you have on hand)
Those get put on the top rack of a 450 degree oven.
After the potatoes were in the oven, I turned my attention to the pork chops. First, they get pressed into grated Parmesan cheese
Then they get a dip in an egg bath
Then they finally get pressed into some Italian bread crumbs
Swirl some EVOO into a skillet and brown on each side for about 6 minutes per side, or until a golden brown (mine are a teeny bit past golden. Oops.)
Transfer them to a pan and finish them in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or so. At this point, there were only about 15 minutes left on the potatoes, so I turned the oven down from 450 to 400 and put the chops in the stove with the potatoes. When done, I pulled out the pork chops and put the potatoes under the broiler for just a minute or so to compensate for the turn-down in temp. You don't necessarily have to do that if you find yourself in the same situation; we just happen to like crunchy.
They turned out great (I will be honest; looking at the picture above is making my stomach
rumble a little growl ravenously) - crunchy on the outside (I'm a firm believer in the crunchy texture and using it liberally in your food) and soft inside. So did the chops. A really nice pairing, to be honest. The pork chops have been in my mix for a few years, and will continue to be so; the potatoes have now joined the list and will be made at least once or twice a month.
Recipes are below:Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops
2 large eggs
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 center-cut pork chops
kosher salt & ground pepper
olive oil for frying
1) Preheat oven to 400.
2) Set out three shallow bowls or dishes. In one, whisk together the eggs. In a second, put the bread crumbs. In the third, put the grated Parmesan cheese.
3) Sprinkle the chops with the kosher salt and pepper. Press the chops in the grated Parmesan, coating both sides, pressing to adhere. Next dip the chops in the egg; finally, press the chops into the bread crumbs, coating both sides, pressing to adhere.
4) Heat about 3 tablespoons of EVOO in a large skillet. Add the pork chops (in batches, if needed) to the pan and cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer chops to the oven and cook 10-15, until internal temperature reaches about 150 degrees.
Crash Hot Potatoes
12 whole new potatoes (or other baby or small round potatoes)
3 T olive oil
Fresh herbs, finely chopped
1) Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in the potatoes (you can definitely use more or less than 12) and cook until they are fork-tender (this will depend on the size of the potatoes).
2) Preheat oven to 450. Generously drizzle a baking sheet with olive oil (be generous, so potatoes do not stick). Place the potatoes on the baking sheet, leaving space between.
3) With a potato masher*, gently press down on each potato until slightly mashed; turn masher 90 degrees and gently press down again. You want something that ends up looking like a potato cookie.
4) Brush the tops of each potato with more olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt, black pepper and fresh rosemary (any fresh herb or combination will work - chives, thyme, whatever you have on hand) to taste.5) Bake in the top rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and crunchy.
*I tried these once before with a nylon masher, which is what I generally use. It did not work. So I picked up a new wire masher, and it worked a million times better. I definitely recommend using the right tool for the job in this particular instance.