Pork chops sometimes get a bad rap and it’s true, a bad pork chop (i.e. tough and tasteless) can be downright horrid. But I firmly believe that those who shun pork chops have simply never had a good one. True, pork can be a little temperamental and can very quickly turn from juicy and tender to tough, but with a couple safeguarding measures you’ll have guaranteed juiciness every single time.
One surefire way to guarantee juiciness is with a good marinade. And mine couldn’t be simpler, or faster. Buttermilk is magical when it comes to marinating meat. I’m not sure how it works its wonder, but nothing beats the power of buttermilk to tenderize the toughest of meats. Add to the buttermilk marinade a vinaigrette or ready-made Italian dressing and it’s a double punch of tenderizing and flavor, a foolproof way to ensure juiciness. It only takes fifteen minutes to marinate sliced pork loins, thirty minutes for pork chops, and forty-five for thick cut pork chops.
Nothing beats breaded pork chops, but breaded pork creates its own set of problems, such as the time and mess of breading them. And once breaded, they need to be watched carefully during the frying stage so the breading doesn’t burn, and then it’s just a sad day for everyone when after all that work the breading falls off. What cruel act of pork sabotage is that? Seeing as how this is all about foolproof and easy, I bypass the breading and instead top the pork with a panko crumb. Truth be told, this won’t give you the crispy crumb bits fried in pork fat, but for a healthy alternative that saves on time and mess (and tears when the breading falls off), then I say it’s perfect and darn tasty in its own right.
This dish makes a quick weeknight meal, yet it’s snazzy enough to impress guests. I like to serve it with Rosemary Roasted New Potatoes and Basil Parmesan Corn Medley. Pork is an affordable, tasty, healthy, and versatile option. It’s time to stop shunning pork chops and make them your new go-to protein. Your stomach will thank you.