Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The South has the corner on pork, and New Bern is in the heart of pig country. But the new pork that's being marketed is leaner and meaner. This means you must take care when preparing it, or you will have tough meat. Brining the meat overnight in a salt-sugar-water solution all but guarantees moist, flavorful meat.
Don't be put off by the title of this recipe. Pork Tonkatsu is just breaded, fried pork chops using those flaky, crispy Japanese panko crumbs that you can buy just about anywhere nowadays. Harris Teeter even sells whole wheat panko, if you're inclined that way.
Once the brining is done, this is actually a quick entree to put together, and one that I'm sure you'll enjoy as we did.
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine
Rating: 8 out of 10
1/4 cup coarse kosher salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 cups water
2 (4-oz.) boneless center cut loin pork chops, pounded to 1/8" thickness
1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 to 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
lemon wedges, if desired
Stir kosher salt, sugar and water in a bowl or pot till salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Add chops. Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning chops occasionally.
Remove chops from brine; pat dry. Whisk egg and mustard in medium bowl. Combine panko, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper on a large plate. Dip chops in egg mixture, then in panko, pressing to adhere. Heat up to 1 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick (or cast iron) skillet over medium heat and cook pork until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side, adding up to an additional 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil after turning. Drain on paper towels. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.