I always like to look for ways to make things that you can either find at some of these chain restaurants when you go out and try to duplicate it and make it taste a little better. I do the same thing with some of the classic ideas that have been used for years with dinners and try to make them taste better without all of the preservatives or other additives that might be in the products you buy. This is was the case with two recipes I tried recently. First up is a very simple version of the classic Shake N’ Bake pork chops. More than likely, you have all tried the coating at one point in your lives. You probably had it when you were younger and maybe even made it yourself when you have been cooking. This recipe brings back that nostalgic feel by updating it a bit and making it taste even better, along with a simple peaches spiked with mustard to replace the applesauce.
Not Quite Shake N’ Bake Pork Chops with Peaches and Mustard
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
2 cups panko bread crumbs
4 boneless thin-cut loin pork chops, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
2 cups vegetable oil
2 ripe peaches or any stone fruit, such as nectarines, plums or apricots, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees. In a shallow dish, stir together the flour, salt and pepper. in a separate dish, beat the eggs. in a third dish, spread the panko bread crumbs.
Working with 1 pork chop at a time, dredge the chop in the seasoned flour, then dip it in the egg (shaking off any excess egg), then dip the chop in the panko bread crumbs, pressing firmly so the crumbs adhere well. Repeat the process until all of pork chops have been breaded.
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over high heat until it registers 375 degrees. Carefully lower to chops into the oil and fry for 2 minutes, until just golden brown. Flip and fry the chops for 2 minutes more until the other side is golden. Remove the pork from the oil and transfer the chops to a clean dish and place on a rack in the oven to keep warm until the remaining chops have been cooked. Repeat the process with the remaining pork chops.
For the compote, toss together the peaches, mustard, salt and parsley until blended. Serve with the pork chops.
Using the panko really does give the crisp coating that you would get with Shake N’ Bake. Pounding the chops thin make them cook even faster, so this meal can be made very quickly for you in a matter of minutes, making it perfect for a weeknight meal. Serve it with some rice and the peach compote (or homemade applesauce if you prefer)and you have a great meal. I actually served this with the polenta and roasted vegetables recipe I posted last week.
With a little planning, you can have the next recipe for a very healthy dessert. I came across this recipe on Bon Appetit’s website. It is so simple it was impossible to pass up and try just to see how it would come out. It is for banana-blueberry “ice cream.” It’s not quite ice cream since there is no dairy at all in it, but you do get the creamy texture and great flavor in just 3 ingredients.
Banana-Blueberry “Ice Cream”
4 firm, ripe bananas, cut into chunks and frozen overnight
1 cup blueberries
Pinch of kosher salt
Puree the bananas, blueberries and salt in a food processor, scraping down the sides as needed, until smooth and creamy.
The ice cream can be 5 days ahead. Simply cover and freeze it. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. It is very creamy, has great fruit flavor without fat or cholesterol and is only 120 calories a serving. It’s a fantastic fruit snack. Michelle and I both really liked it and Sean liked it too, though he thought it needed some sugar, which we were trying to avoid by making this in the first place.
That’s all I have for today. Check back again to see what recipes come up this week. I do have some plans for a new version of spaghetti and meatballs, some honey roasted ribs and we still have the lemon icebox pie to come, so keep checking back to see what shows up. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!