Thursday, June 24, 2010

Crunchy Baked Pork Chops
Serves 4

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 (see related How To Cook). 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.

* Table salt
* 4 center-cut boneless 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 minced shallot (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 unbleached all-purpose flour plus 6 tablespoons
* 3 large egg whites
* 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* Lemon wedges


* 1. 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.
* 2. 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.
* 3. 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.
* 4. 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.
* 5. 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.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pizza Dough

This recipe is from Kaci Perkins. I have substituted from one to one and a half cups of whole wheat flour for white flour and no one in my family could tell.

In a large bowl combine:
3-4 cups of flour (I start with 3 1/2 cups)
1 T. yeast
1 T. sugar
1 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt

In a separate bowl combine:
1 1/2 cups warm water (I heat mine to about 105 to 110 degrees)
2 T. oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pour the water/oil mix into the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula/scraper. Dough will look kind of rough/shaggy. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead til smooth. Adding flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter. This is where the other 1/2 cup gets worked into the dough. (usually somewhere between 3-5 min) Let dough rest for 10 min on counter. I take the bowl I was mixing in and turn it upside down to cover the dough. Mostly so Paige won't steal bites of dough.

Grease the pan you'll be cooking with. I use a cooking spray. Spread dough out in pan using hands. Add toppings and bake for about 10-15 min.