Currently cooking from The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen.
I love living in Northern Idaho. But sometimes I miss the conveniences that living in a city brings, such as being able to go to a specialty shop and finding exactly what I’m looking for. With this cookbook, it is meat. Every recipe that features meat calls for a specific cut, like these pork chops. Specifically bone-in pork rib or center-cut pork chops. At my store, I have a choice of bone-in or boneless. Period. No rib cuts or center cuts. I find myself scrutinizing package labels trying to decide what cut is closest to what the recipe calls for. That’s how I ended up with these Frankenstein pork chops. Oh, that one up there looks okay, but that was the best of the bunch. The rest were oblong shaped with different types of meat attached. Some of that meat was dark, some was light, and they all had thick veins of fat running through them. In the end, though, I think the dish was successful.
This is a straightforward recipe for fried pork chops. First you season the meat with garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Then you dredge the meat in flour and set it aside while you fry up some bacon. Once your bacon is crispy, you save the bacon for another use (we used it to feed the hungry cook) and add a bit of veggie oil to the pan and heat it up. The pork gets another trip through the flour, then it goes in the pan with the bacon grease and veggie oil where it sputters and spits for about 4 minutes per side until the chop is brown and crispy.
Then you eat it. And it is pretty good.
One of the tips in the headnotes of this recipe is to cut two slits in the edges of the pork chops. This stops the chops from curling up and helps both sides brown evenly. Because I had some weird pork chops, my slits didn’t stop my pork chops from curling up. So I had one nice, golden brown side, and one spotty, slightly burnt side. They were still good, just not as pretty as the picture in the book. Leftovers were good as well. The crust softened up, but another short stay in the frying pan warmed the chops up and re-established that nice crust.