Four Simple Recipes for Bringing out the Best in Pork Chops
Pork chops are a staple of classic home cooking for good reason: They're tasty, usually inexpensive, perfectly portioned, low in fat and an excellent source of protein. Another great characteristic of pork chops is their versatility, with grilling, frying, roasting, braising, broiling and other techniques all an option. Plus, given its mild flavor, pork is adaptable to many international cuisines and a whole world of seasonings and sauces. The following four recipes show just how easy it can be to prepare delicious pork chops for dinner in less than 30 minutes.
1) Simple Breaded Pork Chops
Fried, breaded pork chops are featured in cuisines across the world, from Austrian schnitzel and French escalopes to Japanese tonkatsu and Latin American milanesa. The process is simple: season and flour pork chops (boneless or bone-in), dip them in beaten egg, and then coat with breadcrumbs. Fry the breaded chops in a skillet in butter and/or oil, flipping once. By the time the coating is crisp and golden, the pork should be cooked through. You can boost the flavor by adding Parmesan, herbs or lemon zest to the breadcrumbs and mustard to the beaten egg. They're delicious in a sandwich, or alongside almost any sides you can imagine.
2) Cider-Braised Pork Chops With Apples
Apples are a classic accompaniment to pork chops, as are mushrooms, onions and grainy mustard. They all come together in one pan, braised in cider to keep everything succulent while creating a flavorful pan sauce. Season pork chops, brown them in a hot skillet, then set them aside while you saute sliced onions, mushrooms and apples. When those are cooked, add a spoonful of mustard and splash of cider to deglaze the pan. Return the chops and add enough extra cider to just cover them. Let everything simmer gently for around 5 to 10 minutes, and then serve with boiled potatoes and a green vegetable.
3) Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops
Sweet, rich, balsamic-glazed pork chops call for only two main ingredients—pork chops and balsamic vinegar—plus salt, pepper and a little oil for sauteing. However, fresh rosemary is a very nice addition, and if you like an extra-sweet glaze you could include some honey or maple syrup as well. You might also add onions, mushrooms or other vegetables. Brown seasoned pork chops on both sides in a skillet, and then add balsamic vinegar to the hot pan. Let the vinegar bubble away and thicken over 5 to 10 minutes, turning the chops several times so that both sides are coated with the glaze.
4) Pork Chops With Peppers, Onions and Olives
This Mediterranean-inspired pork chop dish with peppers, onions and olives in a rich, thick, tomato-based sauce is delicious served with pasta, polenta, rice or potatoes. Season and brown the pork chops on both sides in a medium-hot skillet, and then take them out and set them aside. Saute sliced bell peppers and onions until they're soft, add some minced garlic and Italian seasoning blend, and then a scoop of tomato paste and a drained can of pitted olives. Cook these for a few minutes; then pour in enough wine and chicken stock to cover all the ingredients. Return the pork chops to the pan, cover with a lid, and simmer gently for 5 to 10 more minutes.
Joanne Thomas has worked as a writer and editor for print and online publications since 2004. One of her specialties is parenting, and Thomas has penned pieces about craft projects for Disney, pregnancy and motherhood for Working Mother and Modern Mom, and after-school activities for Personal Creations, among others. Thomas resides in California where she is a working mother of two young boys. She holds a bachelor’s degree in politics from the University of Bristol, U.K.