Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops and Alexia Potato Sides

Parmesan-Crusted Baked Pork Chops

I was such a crab apple today. Seriously. It was one of those days I'm sure those around me wish I had stayed in bed. Or at least worked from home so I didn't have to spread my grump.

My routine has been thrown off by the weather and other annoyances. It never fails to put me in a sour mood.

Tomorrow will be better. I'm already planning a workout. Plus, I'm seeing a movie with a friend after work. It's hard to be a grump when you have a workout plus time with friends to look forward to. Hopefully No Strings Attached is as good as I have heard it is. I just want it to be mindless and entertaining.

My day actually turned around for the better once I walked through the door this evening and remembered I put pork chops out for dinner.

I am shocked that I've never shared these pork chops. Could that really be? I guess I did link to them, but I didn't dedicate a post to them.

I've been making these forever and I love them. They're kind of like a dressed up shake and bake. But better. My favorite baked pork chops.

On the side was a new-to-me side: Alexia Roasted Red Potatoes & Harvest Vegetables. I received it for free from the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program.

Alexia bag

I don't often opt in for these kinds of things, but I am already a big fan of Alexia products and couldn't wait to try some of their newer stuff.

I've previously tried their sweet potato fries and I've mentioned how much I like their rolls. They make frequent appearances with soup.

This side tasted very similar to Green Giant's Steamers with potatoes and peas. It takes a bit more time, but the vegetables aren't as mushy and the sauce isn't as runny. Plus, it has a better ingredients list.

The package says it's two one-cup servings and I got just less than that, which brings me to what I didn't like so much.

It's not a exactly vegetable side dish for the whole family. At $2.89 (on sale), it's not something I would want to buy two bags of to feed a family of four. I could make my own, similar tasting dish for MUCH less.

What it has going for it — besides being delicious, of course — is the ease of it. Perfect for a single person or a couple looking for a fuss-free side dish that tastes better than your typical bag of frozen vegetables.

Let's take a closer look:
Alexia Roasted Red Potatoes & Harvest Vegetables

Overall, something I'd buy again if it it's on sale and I have a coupon.

Parmesan-Crusted Baked Pork Chops
Serves 4. Adapted from Bon Appetit.

1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (I made mine from stale hotdog buns. HA!)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning (or any herb, really. The recipe actually calls for sage)
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 large eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
4 boneless center-cut pork loin chops (each about 1 inch thick)
2 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs and lemon peel in pie plate. Whisk eggs in medium bowl. Place flour on plate; season generously with salt and pepper.

Coat pork chops with with flour, shaking off any excess. Then, dip them into eggs. Finally, coat them with the breadcrumbs.

Melt butter with oil in heavy large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops to skillet about 2 minutes per side or until browned.

Transfer skillet with pork to the oven. Bake until pork chops are crisp on the outside and meat thermometer inserted into pork registers 150°. Mine took a little less than 10 minutes. I would start checking them after 5 minutes, but they might go as long as 20 depending on the thickness of your chops.