Butterflied pork chops are a thing of beauty. Taken from the tender loin area, these thick chops are cut almost all the way through the middle and then opened to form a butterfly effect. The chops are also a thing of great flavor -- unless they are overdone. Pork chops come from the loin, where pork is the leanest and most tender. Because the chops are so lean, cooking improperly can result in a dry chop that is less than flavorful. By adding water during the cooking process, your pork chop can easily avoid that fate and end up a juicy and memorable meal.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure it is large enough to contain all the chops
Butterfly each chop by cutting down the middle, almost until the chop is cut in half. Open the chop where the bone is, until you have a butterfly effect. You can either leave the bone in -- which does impart more flavor during the cooking process -- or remove the bone completely.
Rub your preferred oil over both sides of the chops. Season with desired herbs and spices, as well as salt and pepper. Cumin, marjoram, rosemary, mustard, thyme, and sage all pair well with pork. You might also check your grocery store for more exotic spice blends that highlight the flavors of Tuscany, Morocco, or Spain.
Sear the chops in the heated pan, browning on all sides -- approximately 2 minutes per side. Lower the heat to medium low and add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. The water should not cover the chops completely. Cover the pan with the lid. Allow to simmer on the stove top for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the pork registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer. Cooking times vary by the size and thickness of the chops.
Remove the chops from the pan and allow to rest 5 minutes before serving. The pork chops will continue to cook after removing from the pan. By allowing the chop to rest, it will reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. This is the safe temperature for consuming pork. Serve with your family's favorite side dishes -- sauteed apples work especially well with pork -- and enjoy!
An educator since 1998, Catherine Misener started her writing career in 2009. Her work has appeared in "NW Kids," "The Oregonian" and "Vancouver Family Magazine." She holds a Bachelor of Arts from St. Mary’s University and a Master of Arts from the University of Michigan. After working in the food industry for years, she opened a small batch bakery.