Pork Chop Night

What would Homer Simpson do without Marge’s weekly Pork Chop Night? Pork chops are an American dinner staple. Pork is usually inexpensive and chops are easy to do in a skillet.

We had some pork chops in the freezer, so I decided to make a pork chop dinner. We also had lots of russet potatoes. Broccoli was on sale, so we had some crowns ready for steaming. Also on sale were button mushrooms. Sounds like the makings of a dinner to me.

Pork chops. I combined a couple of different recipes to come up with a pork chop that was incredibly tender and moist. The biggest problem with the usual skillet-fried pork chops is that they get too dry and greasy. This method gives you the flavor of fried chops but the gentle heat of baking.

  • 4 pork chops, washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs or crushed crackers
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Preheat oven to 375℉.
  2. Beat egg in a shallow bowl, stirring in the milk. In a shallow dish combine crumbs, flour, cornmeal, garlic powder, salt, pepper, oregano, and Old Bay.
  3. When the pan is hot, add oil. Dip each chop in egg mixture and then dredge in dry mix, making sure all sides are coated. Carefully lay the chops into the hot pan. Brown on each side, about five minutes per side.
  4. Meanwhile, grease a baking dish. Move each chop once browned to the baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 49 minutes or until the chops reach an internal temperature of at least 170℉.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to stand for about 10 minutes.

Smashed Potatoes. I don’t do a lot of mashing when I make mashed potatoes, it’s too easy to get them all gluey. Besides, I like some lumps of potato in the mix.

  • 6 medium russet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Peel, wash, and cube potatoes into about 1/2-inch pieces. Put in cold water in a large saucepan. There should be enough water to cover potatoes by about a half inch or more.
  2. Put the pot over high heat until the water starts to boil. Then turn down the heat to maintain a simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes easily fall apart when squeezed with the back of a spoon or set of tongs.
  3. Remove from heat and drain most of the water out, leaving about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water in the pot.
  4. Add butter, milk, garlic powder, pepper, and salt to the potatoes, and use a hand masher to crush the potatoes and mix all ingredients. Do not overbeat!

Carmelized Onions and mushrooms. This is a great side, adding a nice sweetness to both the chops and the potatoes. You can also use this to make a really good gravy if you like that sort of thing. Just add flour, water, and a little milk or cream and you’re good to go.

  • 1 medium onion, halved and cut into slices
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil if needed
  1. Use the same skillet as the browned pork chops and heat over medium-low. Add oil if needed.
  2. Brown and caramelize the onions, stirring frequently and scraping up all the
  3. brown bits in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Next, add in the mushrooms and cook until soft and brown, stirring frequently.
  5. If making gravy, turn up the heat and add the flour, water, and a little milk. Stir constantly.

Steamed Broccoli. This is an easy green veggie. Just steam the trimmed broccoli until it’s just tender but still has a little bite. Sprinkle with salt and splash some good Balsamic vinegar on it. This should be the last thing done for dinner.

You’ll find the pork chops tender and moist. Who doesn’t like homemade mashed potatoes? It was a good dinner. The leftovers didn’t last long.