Pork is no stranger to the breakfast table, usually in the form of sausages, bacon or ham. For a heartier breakfast, pork chops are also a good option. Most butchers and supermarkets offer thin-sliced, quick-cooking chops for just that purpose. They're sliced thin to cook quickly, but that also means they're easy to overcook. Breading the chops can provide some protection from that, or you can simply cook the chops quickly in a hot pan.
Set out a plate of flour, a shallow bowl of milk, and a second plate containing breadcrumbs. Pat your chops dry with a clean paper towel, and wipe away any fragments of bone left over from the butcher's saw.
Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper, then dredge the first chop in the flour. Shake off the excess, and dip the chop into the milk. Finally, press the chop firmly into the breadcrumbs so it's well coated on each side.
Remove the first chop to a plate lined with parchment or wax paper, and repeat the breading process with the remaining chops.
Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, and add a small amount of butter or oil. Pan-fry the chops until they're golden on each side. If you have too many to fit into the skillet, cook them in batches and keep the earlier ones in a warm oven until they're all cooked.
Pat your chops dry with a paper towel, and carefully rub away any bone fragments left by the butcher.
Notch the edges of the pork chops with a sharp knife, cutting approximately a quarter-inch into the chop in 4 or 5 places. This step is optional, but helps prevent the chops from curling as they're cooked.
Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Place a heavy skillet on your stove, and heat it on a medium-high burner until the air over the pan shimmers and there's a noticeable smell of hot metal.
Drizzle or spray a small amount of oil into the pan, and add 2 or 3 chops immediately. They'll sizzle and brown very quickly, usually giving a well-seared surface within 2 to 3 minutes.
Turn the chops and give them another 2 to 3 minutes, depending on their thickness, to finish cooking. Repeat with any remaining chops, and serve hot.
Items you will need
- 2 plates
- 2 shallow bowls
- Bread crumbs or panko
- Thin-cut breakfast pork chops
- Paper towel
- Salt and pepper
- Parchment or wax paper
- Heavy skillet
- Butter or oil
- Sharp knife
- The breading will cling to your chops more effectively if you can let them rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before they're cooked. Alternatively, make them up ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator overnight. The breading will stay on, and it's less work at breakfast time.
- If you're using the quick-searing method, the chops will tend to spatter hot fat. Keep your kids away from the stove, use a spatter screen and be careful when turning the chops.
- Professional Cooking; Wayne Gisslen
- National Pork Board: Cuts -- Chop
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images