Pork, in so many ways, has the same great "blank-canvas" properties that boneless/skinless chicken breasts have. You can buy them in bulk when on sale, freeze them until you need them, and create a million different dishes with them on any night of the week. This recipe calls on you to bread your pork chops and sear them in a skillet, creating an herbed crust. This is a twist on the traditional method, though. Typically you douse the chops in an egg or milk wash before breading; in this recipe, you will smother the chops in a garlic-mustard sauce beforehand. The technique packs a flavor punch, for sure!
I paired these chops with panfried potatoes and a brussels sprouts dish that was inspired by the lovely ladies over at Crows in the Kitchen, a fabulous cooking blog created by my dear friend Mo and her girlfriends. Do yourself a favor and spend a hour there with a cup of tea, reading their archives. You won't be sorry!
Here we go!
Rosemary Mustard Pork Chops (serves 2)
2 bone-in pork chops
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 cup dijon mustard
4 garlic cloves, pressed
Salt & Pepper
1. Set your oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, mix the mustard and garlic together. Let it sit while you prepare the rest of the dish, allowing the flavors to steep.
3. In a large shallow plate, mix the bread crumbs, parmesan, and rosemary.
4. Season the pork chops with the salt and pepper.
5. Smear each side of the pork chops with the mustard sauce. You should have a couple tablespoons of leftover mustard in the bowl--hang onto it for the potatoes.
6. Coat the pork in the bread crumbs, pressing them into the crevices so that they are coated all over.
Shake off the excess crumbs and place in a skillet over high heat (skillet should already be roaring hot by the time you put the pork in. I usually give my nonstick skillets a spray of canola right before adding the chops). Let the chops cook for about 4 minutes on each side--don't flip them until there is a nice brown sear.
7. When the chops are done, place them in an oven proof plate and pop them in the oven to finish cooking while you prepare the sides.
1. Thinly slice a couple of potatoes. Starchy potatoes like Idahoes or Russets work well here.
2. Pan fry the taters in your skillet over high heat with some canola oil. I use my Misto sprayer and that is sufficient.
3. When they are toasty brown on all sides, remove them from the heat and toss them with the extra mustard you reserved. Serve them hot.
I love me a good brussels sprout. I usually chop them into coins and saute them with a tablespoon of olive oil until they are caramelized. Then I braise them in a bit of water until they are finished cooking (you want them to be soft inside but still green, not brown). The Lady Crows inspired me to saute them with a shallot first, and then braise them not in water but in apple cider with a little splash of cider vinegar.
The apple flavor was a spot-on pairing with the delicious herbed pork and mustard potatoes. Check out the full write up on Cider Braised Brussels here.
Sarah's Wine Picks:
I recommend picking up a bottle of Carménère, 100 % if you can find it. Carménère is a fascinating wine with a story to tell. Originally planted in the Bordeaux region of France, the grape was wiped out by a blight in the late 1800s. It was presumed extinct until as recently as the 1990s, when it was rediscovered growing in Chile. Cuttings exported from France before the blight ensured that this grape would be savored once again, and oenophiles have been getting reacquainted with Carménère ever since. Carménère is a medium bodied red with complex flavors of plum and chocolate. It may be a little smoky, even, and has a firm tannic finish. I think you will find that its a suitable challenge for the robust nature of the pork, with its rich herb and cheese crust and dijon mustard bite.
Ian's Beer Picks
The pork is an ambrosia of flavors already, so don't overwhelm it with an overly hoppy or sweet beer. Brown ales are an excellent contender; the dominant malty element showcases the strong flavors in the pork without suffering from "drinkability syndrome"; that is, a boring, flavorless fate. Brooklyn Brown Ale fits the bill.