Even when pan-fried, pork chops are lower in fat and calories than most bacon or pork sausage varieties, but they still hit the spot for a hearty breakfast for your family. In addition, there are a number of different ways to prepare pork chops for a morning meal. Pair your chops with traditional, well-balanced breakfast sides to give your kids the right start on their day.
Pork Chop Types
The most common type of pork chop used for breakfast is the aptly-named breakfast pork chop -- a thin-cut, bone-in chop. The inclusion of the bone gives them extra flavor, and their thin size means a faster cooking time -- ideal for getting breakfast ready in a hurry. However, because breakfast pork chops cook quickly, they can easily become overcooked and dry out. If you have a little extra time to prepare breakfast, you can use a thicker chop, such as a pork loin butterfly chop. The pork loin chop and the the pork rib chop are the leanest and most tender chop cuts. Pork arm and pork blade chops are the fattiest and the least tender, but they have the most flavor.
Breakfast pork chops are usually dredged in flour or breadcrumbs and pan-fried quickly on each side. Thicker pork chops can also be cooked with this method, but you may need to finish them off in the oven to make sure they cook through without burning on the outside. For a more healthful cooking method that's also quick and easy, grill or broil your pork chops. Braising -- slow-cooking in a small amount of liquid -- is a great way to keep pork chops tender and juicy, and offers a built-in sauce. However, it takes time, and should be done the day before. Braising works best with less tender, fattier chop varieties.
Classic Breakfast Ideas
Serve your pork chops with fried eggs, hash browns and toast for a tasty classic meal. For some added flavor, top the pork chops with sauteed onions and mushrooms, substitute regular hash browns for herb-roasted potatoes and sprinkle your biscuits with dry ranch seasoning mix before baking.
Healthier Breakfast Ideas
Pork chops can be part of a healthy breakfast. Serve lean grilled or broiled pork chops that have been trimmed of fat. Poach eggs rather than frying them, and serve vegetables, such as roasted asparagus and tomatoes or sauteed spinach with garlic, in place of potatoes. Or, serve your pork chops with fresh fruit or a fruit compote and a dollop of light sour cream.
Ideas for Leftover Porkchops
Leftover pork chops can make an ideal next-day breakfast. Pull the meat off the bone, shred it, and saute it with mushrooms. Top the meat and mushroom mixture with pan gravy and serve it with roasted potatoes and eggs. Or, scramble the meat in with eggs and wrap it in a tortilla along with salsa and sour cream for a tasty breakfast burrito. You can also pile the meat -- along with your favorite veggies -- into an omelet.
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