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Breaded Pork Chops w/ Arugula Salad

2012 October 3
by Mrs. FoodieLawyer

We appreciate any recipe that incorporates a protein and a vegetable for a well-balanced meal in a single dish, especially on a weeknight.  Although the combo of a protein and greens with a light vinaigrette isn’t all that original (we’ve made similar versions with beef, chicken and veal before), the components work well together, and when we find an easy, (relatively) healthy meal solution, we’re not afraid to run it into the ground by trying each and every possible variation.  We found the original recipe in a magazine (“Glamour,” if you must know.  So I should clarify that I found it, to preserve at least a little of Dan’s dignity) and adapted it slightly by using more shallot in the vinaigrette and adding tomatoes to the salad.  We like how the arugula salad livens up the otherwise potentially plain pork and balances out the meal.  And yes, I realize that this dish is basically just pork chops with a side salad, but combining the two in the recipe and on the plate fancies up the meal into more of a one-dish wonder, if you will.  And we will.

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To make the salad dressing (can we agree to still call it a vinaigrette, even if there is no vinegar in it?):  combine finely chopped shallot, Dijon mustard, honey, lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl and whisk it all together until well-combined.

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For the pork breading, combine panko (Japanese bread crumbs), chopped fresh thyme, salt and pepper in a shallow dish (or large paper plate if you’re fancy like us.)

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Trim the fat off the boneless pork chops.  The original recipe calls for center-cut chops (and I have no idea if these are center-cut or not), but the key is to use boneless chops, since you will be pounding them thin.

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Cover the chops with plastic wrap (to reduce the potential for meat bits flying around your kitchen) and pound the chops with a meat tenderizer to about 1/2 inch thickness.

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Season the chops with salt and pepper on both sides.

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Set up your breading station with the chops, 2 beaten eggs, the breading and a wire rack on a tray or cookie sheet.

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Dredge each pork chop in egg…

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…then breading, making sure each chop is well coated and pressing the breading mixture into the egg-coated chop.

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Place the breaded chops on the rack to dry out a bit.

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Heat the vegetable or canola oil over medium-high heat until barely smoking.

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Place the chops in the skillet to cook until browned on both sides and cooked through — about 8-10 minutes total.  Depending on your generation (Hi Moms!), that may not seem like long enough to cook the pork, but it will cook quickly (and thoroughly) because it has been pounded thin.

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After 4-5 minutes, the first side of the pork should be golden brown.  The pork is done when both sides are browned and the juices run clear when you cut into the chop with a knife.  (It’s done, we promise.)

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Toss the arugula and chopped tomatoes with the vinaigrette dressing.

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Top the cooked pork with the arugula salad and serve.  See?  Much more extravagant than a pork chop with side salad.  And way more delicious.

Breaded Pork Chops w/ Arugula Salad

Ingredients:
For the dressing:

  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-6 cups arugula
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes

For the breading:

  • 2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 boneless pork chops, trimmed of fat and pounded to ½ inch thick.
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Combine the shallot, Dijon, honey, lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl and whisk until well-combined.  Set aside.
  2. Combine the panko, thyme, salt & pepper in a shallow dish or large paper plate.  Beat the eggs in a separate shallow dish.  Dredge each chop in the egg, then the breading and press the breading onto the chop until well-coated.  Allow the breaded chops to dry out a bit on a rack placed on a tray or cookie sheet.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until barely smoking.  Place the chops in the skillet and cook until browned on both sides and cooked through (juices should run clear when you cut into the center of the chop) — about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Toss the arugula and tomatoes with the dressing, then top the pork chops with the arugula salad and serve.

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