Fried Pork Chops

Fried pork chop with arugula avocado salad

Fried pork chop with arugula avocado salad

As I turned the pork chops in the frying pan, I knew that these would be special. I’d never made fried pork chops before. My foray into pork chops was always oven fried, as in Shake and Bake (remember the TV commercial from the 70’s….. “and I helped!”). These were no shake and bake pork chops! After soaking in buttermilk for the better part of the afternoon, I gave them a quick egg wash, and then dipped them into seasoned panko crumbs.  And when I say seasoned I mean salt, pepper and a good tablespoon of creole seasoning!  And then, into the frying pan.  About 3-4 minutes on each side was all it took for the pounded pork chops to sear nicely and contain all of their juices until serving time!  Topped with an arugula avocado salad (which was dressed with a lime vinegraitte) and it was dinner time!

Fried Pork Chops with Arugula Avocado Salad

4 double cut pork chops, pounded into 1/3 inch thickness

2 cups buttermilk

Salt and pepper

2 eggs

2-3 cups Japanese Panko crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper

1-2 tablespoons creole seasoning (I used McCormick’s but feel free to use Emeril’s or whatever you like)

Peanut Oil for frying

3 cups arugula

2 avocados, chopped into 1/2 inch dice but not done until right before you serve

Juice from 2 limes

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon mustard Grey Poupon, Dijon, Creole…any mustard is fine

Place buttermilk in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper–a good amount. Soak the chops in the buttermilk in the fridge for 2-3 hours. If you’re making these for dinner putting them in the buttermilk at 2PM would be fine.  When ready to start making dinner, place the panko crumbs in a shallow pie pan and season with salt and pepper and the creole seasoning. Season heavily because panko is very loose and you don’t want the seasoning at the bottom of the shallow pan.  Stir well.  Beat up two eggs and season with salt and pepper.  Take each chop out of the buttermilk, shake off excess and dip in the seasoned eggs.  Then dip in the panko and press panko into the pork and set aside. Repeat with each chop.

Heat the oil in the frying pan (you may have to use two frying pans), about 1/4 inch of oil or so, and when it sizzles as you begin to place the chops into it, it’s ready.  Fry the chops for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Take out and keep warm in a foil covered dish.

Stir the lime juice and olive oil together with salt and pepper.  Add a teaspoon or so of any mustard.  Stir well. If you want to precut the avocado now would be a good time because you can toss it into the dressing and the acid will prevent the avocado from turning brown.  Toss this together with the arugula. Place a heaping handful on top of each chop.  Serve.  Serves 4.

Arugula and potato salad

 

 

This arugula and potato salad is so easy and it came up in the most serendipitous of ways. My friend Rick Patt and I attended an early meeting yesterday and he casually asked me if I wanted some fresh chard from his garden. Well being on the cleanse I of course said yes.  Fresh vegetables are in season and given that I’ve gone vegan for three weeks, I was thrilled to get vegetables that are completely organic. Much to my surprise, Rick supplied me with swiss chard, fresh baby carrots, bibb lettuce and fresh arugula.  I went home with a white metal bowl (you know the kind) brimming with fresh vegetables, almost giddy with excitement. The only thing missing as I walked through the front door was the wide brimmed hat, and a knife, and perhaps a few sweat beads from being in the garden.  But since the garden wasn’t mine, I was spared the accesories and simply enjoyed the bounty!

That afternoon, after I finished washing the vegetables and greens my Food and Wine arrived.  And in it, a recipe for potato and arugula salad!  The idea is that the hot potatoes wilt the greens. No mayo here.  Just a simple vinegraitte dressing. A few tweaks from me, and the above resulted. In that this recipe is so easy, here it is in narrative form!

Toss about 2 pounds of potatoes cut into 1 inch chunks with olive oil, salt, pepper, turmeric and some curry powder. Roast in a 400 degree oven until crispy (45 min).  Do this in a large non stick skillet for super fast clean up.  In the meanwhile, place about 4 cups of cut arugula (cut the bunches in half) in a large bowl. 

Then, make up your favorite vinegraitte.  Given that I used turmeric and curry in the potatoes I made a simple mustard vinegraitte (the mustard playing off the curry powder and turmeric).  To the mustard, I added sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. I also added a splash of soy to the dressing for another dimension of sweet and salty.

When the potatoes are ready (after about 45 min in the oven), pour them over the greens (right out of the oven hot as they are) and add the dressing.  Toss. You’ll see that theat of the potatoes will slowly wilt the greens. Season with salt and pepper and serve.  So delicious.  I could have eaten the entire plateful! Enjoy!