Friday, April 3, 2009
Lazy Pork Chops with Dijon Mustard, Shallots, and Breadcrumbs
Have you ever been so lazy that you actually scared yourself?
Last night was one of those times. First of all, I had no right to attempt cooking to begin with. My mind was literally somewhere else, hovering above me in my kitchen or possibly in Tahiti, due to me having just recovered a 48 hour stomach virus/food poisoning. But I wanted a home cooked meal to celebrate being able to eat solid food, so my stomach trumped common sense once again.
I had devised a very quick recipe for baked pork chops while I was laid up. One that I could literally throw together in 10 minutes (I was still a little weak), toss in the oven and be done with. The only hitch was, I needed to go get my food processor from the loft upstairs to make breadcrumbs out of the French roll I'd bought. Well, at 7:30 last night, walking up those stairs might as well have been up and deciding to walk home to Texas. It seemed both impossible and ludicrous to me.
So what did I do? I made the breadcrumbs manually, single-handedly breaking the bread apart into tiny crumbs. After a while, I resorted to stabbing at the bread with kitchen sheers, which gave me a hand cramp hand that lasted until midnight.
I guess Murphy's Law is such for a reason. It would have saved me a good 20 minutes had I just whipped out the food processor. All I can say is learn from me - I have many dumb mistakes to teach you...
Anyway, thank God the pork turned out wonderfully! If you don't have the time to toast your homemade breadcrumbs, substitute plain croutons pulsed in your processor (or bashed until chunky in a ziploc.) If the bread is too soft, it will become gummy from the butter in the oven instead of toasty.
Baked Pork Chops with Mustard, Shallots, and Breadcrumbs
2 boneless pork chops, about 1/2 inch thick (leave a thin layer of fat around the edge to protect them while they bake)
fresh cracked pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 medium shallot, finely minced (about 2 heaping tablespoons)
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 mini french baguette, processed into rough crumbs (not fine) in a food processor, then toasted in the oven spread out on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes at 325 (or you can substitute 2 cups plain croutons, bashed into a rough crumb in a ziploc)
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter mixed with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or just melted salted butter)
Set oven to 350.
Prepare your mustard bath by combining dijon mustard, stir lemon juice, shallots, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and pinch of fresh cracked pepper together in a wide, shallow bowl. Set up the rest of your breading station by placing your breadcrumbs in another wide bowl or pie plate, and having your melted butter at the ready to drizzle.
Dip chops in the mustard mixture, coating both sides and edges well, then press into bread crumbs, turning over twice to get a good coating. Place the pork on an aluminum lined, Pam-sprayed sheet pan and drizzle the chops evenly with butter.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until pork is just cooked through and bread crumb topping is golden brown.
Oven Roasted Whole Carrots and Broccoli
1 bunch carrots, washed and dried, with tops trimmed but not removed
1 head fresh broccoli, washed, patted dry and cut into florets
kosher or sea salt, about a teaspoon
fresh cracked pepper
3+ tablespoons olive oil
(These can be made in the same oven as the pork - just put in 15 minutes before the pork goes in, to get a head start, then flip over before returning to the oven for the duration of the pork's cooking time)
Preheat oven to 350.
Scatter the carrots and broccoli out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle evenly with olive oil, turning over with your hands to get a good coating (each veggie should be lightly and individually coated to ensure caramelizing.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper and turn again to mix up.
Place in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove to turn veggies over to the other side. Return to the oven for 25-30 minutes, until well caramelized and roasted.