Sunday, October 11, 2009

My love affair with sage continues with pork chops w/ mustard crumbs

The entrance of Fall found me craving meats and finding inspiration in sage. I hit the cookbooks, and once again, Ruth Reichl didn't disappoint. The Gourmet Cookbook: More than 1000 recipes delivered a pork chops recipe that I just knew I'd excel at, because of this one little phrase: "...keeps them moister than panfrying would."

You see, I tend to overcook all meats and seafood, fearing that my inexperience and lack of knowledge about foodborne illnesses will kill my family and guests. So any recipe promising a moister meat....that's good with me. The mustard and bread crumb mixture cooks the moisture in.

I made six pork chops for just two of us (and only one of us - me - is a big eater). It looked like we would have *way* too much, but this meal was so delicious we had to stop ourselves after two pork chops a piece, knowing they'd be possibly even better as leftovers. Try this, and don't skimp on the breadcrumps by buying store bought - grating your own rye bread crumbs really makes all the difference.

Pork Chops with Mustard Crumbs

olive oil
1 1/3 C fresh rye bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves
1 T sage. Calls for finely chopped, but I cut into strips instead
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
4 pork chops, not more than 1 inch thick
2 T dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Heat olive oil in skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add bread brums, garlic, sage, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, til crumbs are golden brown (about 2-3 minutes). Transfer to a bowl.

Pat pork dry. Heat a lil more olive oil in cleaned skillet over moderate heat til hot but not smoking again. Brown chops, two minutes on each side. Transfer to a baking sheet with sides.

Spread tops of chops with mustard and then scatter then bread crumb mixture on top. Roast about 5-7 minutes, til chops are cooked through. Transfer to platter, cover loosely with foil and let them stand 5 more minutes.

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