At one point in my elementary school life, my mother made me write down a list of the things that I like to eat for dinner. She was getting frustrated with my picky eating habits, so I wrote a list to show her that really, there were all kinds of foods I like. As long as you counted pancakes for dinner and potatoes as vegetables. I still have this list. My mom found it in in my old desk and passed it along to me. In true Erin fashion, there are multiple columns and footnotes. And my favorite finding here was, under the list of things I like to eat for dinner, the item “that pork stuff.” I have no idea what this means. I asked my mom the other day and she has no idea either.
I’m not really sure what that has to do with these pork chops, except that they are both pork. And this recipe comes from Dinner A Love Story (y’all, I still cannot get enough of that book), which deals with picky eating in the best way I have ever read. So many people who write about picky eating and having picky eating children (which, no, I do not have the children, but I do vividly remember what it was like to be one of those children) talk about how to get your kids to eat things and how to solve the problem. Jenny is a lot more accepting of it, which honestly seems a lot healthier to me. She exposes her kids to plenty of new foods (and tries to make it fun for them), but if they don’t like it, well, at least they tried. And if one of her kids will only eat the pasta dish with all of it’s pieces separated out (this would have been me) or if another kid will only eat two out of the three things on the plate, it’s still a victory. It seems for her, and rightly so, that if the family is sitting down for dinner together, it is always a victory. She doesn’t seem concerned about fixing her kids or making them like certain foods. They like what they like, and while they might not like normal stuff like pasta and eggs, there are plenty of things her kids seem to like that I would never ever eat, even as an adult.
Breaded Vinegary Pork Chops
adapted from Dinner A Love Story
4 boneless pork chops, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness*
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
zest from 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1. Arrange the pork in a single layer in a rimmed baking dish. Pour the vinegar over the pork and let the pork sit and marinade at room temperature for 1 hour.
2. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, lemon zest, thyme, oregano, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the flour in another small bowl, and in a third bowl place your beaten eggs (or, more logically, beat your eggs in the bowl).
3. Pat the pork chops with a paper towel to dry them slightly. Dredge each pork chops in the flour, shaking off the excess flour, then the beaten eggs, and then the panko mixture. Make sure that each part of each pork chop is well coated in panko.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add about 3 tablespoons or so of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add your pork chops (they very well might need to be cooked in two batches, adding more oil as necessary). Cook until the pork chops are crispy and golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Serve warm.
*They call for bone-in pork chops in the book, but I’m not sure how that’s ideal with the pounding and breading. Also, I went slightly thinner than 1/2 inch.