The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.
Breaded and Baked Pork Chops
Usually, people think of asking me dessert questions and requesting dessert recipes, but the truth of the matter is, I love to cook just as much as I love to bake! I did start off learning my way around the kitchen by exploring desserts first, naturally, but it was not long after that my dessert teachings were followed by cooking and all of the methods surrounded by it. I quickly learned the difference between baking, cooking, steaming, braising, roasting and yes, there at the beginning and still today, charcoaling. Ha! I have always loved cooking and baking and find it a form of stress relief honestly. I do not really listen to any music while I cook, sometimes I may put on some jazz music but rarely, because I really want to be absorbed in the actual cooking and baking process. So many people over the years have wondered my routines in the kitchen and really, they are just being focused and enjoying myself. I always tell people the same thing starting out in the kitchen, do not take yourself too seriously. If something you are cooking or baking does not turn out, learn from your mistakes and try again!
When I develop my recipes, I always tend to lead towards ingredients that people are already going to have in their pantries. I hate reading through a recipe and finding out to make it I will have to buy $100 in spices that I will never use again. Who can do that? If you know about cooking and what flavors pair together well, feel free to add some herbs and spices here and there that you know will compliment the dish. That is the freedom of recipes! Recipes are a suggestion, except in baking where things need to be followed to the letter because baking is science, not a blueprint. Explore and have fun with it! For example, when developing the recipe, I am sharing here today, I decided I wanted to have the maximum flavor with very little ingredients, so I used Italian breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs. Italian breadcrumbs have all the herbs and spices already added, so that means less expensive and less work. The salt and pepper in the dish only add to the overall flavor, as well as the garlic powder. Garlic powder, in my kitchen, sits right beside my salt and pepper. I love garlic powder because it adds so much flavor to so many things! Shake a little in your deviled eggs, mashed potatoes or even your soups and stews! I really think you will enjoy this simple, easy and delicious meal!
Breaded and Baked Pork Chops
These are best served right away. Any leftovers need to be kept chilled in the refrigerator. Serve these alongside roasted potatoes, green beans and some type of rice dish, with or without vegetables added.
4-6 pork chops
2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large shallow dish combine the Italian breadcrumbs with the vegetable oil, salt, black pepper and garlic power with a fork.
Wet each pork chop, dip into dry breadcrumb mixture, coat thoroughly both sides, then place onto the prepared baking sheet.
If any breadcrumb mixture remains, press evenly onto the top of each pork chop.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes.
Remove, allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Ask and Answer: I got a question from a reader in New Castle who wanted to know the quickest way possible of making fudge. The quickest way to make fudge is by combining 2 cups of your favorite flavor of baking chips – such as semi-sweet, milk chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch or peanut butter – with 1 can sweetened condensed milk and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and then microwave another 30 seconds. Stir this mixture until smooth and melted. Pour into a greased 8 or 9-inch baking pan and let set for about 2 hours, chilled in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator and cut into pieces. This is not only easy but delicious!