October 7, 2013

This Week in Food…Parmesan Ranch Pork Chops

Ah yes, another Pinterest-born recipe in my kitchen. So easy. So yummy. My husband commented repeatedly during dinner how much he liked these and requested they be added into the regular rotation. So I'd say they were pretty good. The ranch dressing keeps the pork chops tender and juicy. And it's a quick prep then stick 'em in the oven for half an hour-- wham, bam, thank you ma'am-- kinda recipe. I served them with a rice pilaf and steamed, buttered carrots because that's what I had on hand. But I think they'd be great paired with buttered egg noodles and any veggie you like. (Note: I must say, though, that they are only okay reheated, so I wouldn't plan to purposely cook extra for leftovers.)

So, here you go…

photo from crazyhorsesghost.hubpages.com

Parmesan Ranch Pork Chops (adapted from crazyhorsesghost.hubpages.com)
Ranch dressing (I used Bolthouse Farms Classic Ranch yogurt dressing)
1 1/2 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 pkg dry italian or dry ranch dressing mix (or your own herb mix)
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
4-6 pork chops

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a pan with foil then place baking rack over pan and spray rack with Pam. Prep and ready your pork chops (take out of package, trim fat, etc.). Pour ranch dressing in shallow bowl or on plate. Mix bread crumbs with parmesan cheese, garlic powder and dry dressing mix (or herb mix) in a bowl. Then create your assembly line: pork chops-->ranch-->bread crumbs-->baking pan with rack. And go for it! Dip pork chops in ranch dressing, make sure they're coated on all sides but not dripping. Roll chops in bread crumb mixture, pressing crumbs to the chop to coat well. Then lay chops on the rack. Once all chops are breaded and on the rack, place pan in oven and bake for 30-40 mins. or until the internal temperature of the chops is between 140-160 degrees (depending on how you like your pork). Remove from oven, tent with foil to keep heat in, and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Note: Pork will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven, so I recommend taking it out when it's between 140-150 degrees. Also, it is important to let pork rest after cooking, before slicing and eating. Trust me, these two things make for much better pork.

A few other thoughts: The original recipe called for dry italian dressing mix. I didn't have any, but had a half packet of dry ranch dressing mix left over from another recipe, so I used that. And it was delicious. The dressing mix is really designed to add flavor to the breading, so if you don't have dry dressing mix, you can substitute an herb mix of your liking. Also, the original recipe called for double all the ingredients listed for the breading. I halved the recipe (as seen above) because it seemed excessive, and still had a lot left over (I made 4 pork chops). So experiment with quantities to see what works best for you. And when pouring your ranch dressing on the plate for coating, don't over do it and waste dressing…start with a relatively small amount--you can always add more!

And that's it.

Far easier than pie.

Until next time, happy cooking!

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