Thursday, March 8, 2012

Southern Fried Pork Chops and Okra Salad

In preparation for the second night of pork chops, I looked in all my cookbooks for another (easy) pork chop recipe that I haven't made before and came up empty handed. I just am not in the mood for a complicated meal. So I turned to the trusty internets and found multiple recipes that I combined into this one.

Since I had the buttermilk for this meal last night (bought during my frantic run to the store for ingredients), I thought marinating the chop in the buttermilk was a good idea. So I did.

Pork Chops (1 large or 2 small per person - I made 2 large)
Cooking oil (enough to submerge half the thickness of chops in oil)
1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper 

1. Combine 1 cup buttermilk with cayenne pepper. Pour over pork chops and marinate for 12-24 hours. (I did a full 24 hours.)

2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine milk, egg, salt and black pepper. Beat lightly to mix well.

3. Spread flour out on a flat plate

4. Heat cooking oil in a 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.

5. While oil heats, remove chops from marinade and one at a time dip in egg/milk bath, drain excess, and coat with the flour by turning over several times in the flour. I double battered the chops by repeating the previous instructions. I think double battering helps anything fried keep its crust.

6. Place breaded chop in hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides (5-10 minutes).

To accompany the chop, I thought okra would be good. AND there happened to be fresh okra at the store, so, yes, good, an okra salad.

If you have never cooked with okra before, you should know that they get very slimy. Not everyone likes slimy food, and that is why I think you usually see okra either in a soup/stew/gumbo or fried. The salad below tasted great, but it was slimy. If you can't handle that, don't make it.

Pre-slimy okra

1 lb. fresh okra
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp finely minced fresh parsley
Pinch sugar
Salt and pepper

1. Cook whole okra in lightly salted boiling water for 20 minutes.  Drain and let cool for about 10 minutes. Trim stem and end, then cut crosswise into 1/4 to 3/8 inch slices.

2. In a large bowl, combine okra with dressing ingredients. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Mix thoroughly again before serving.

I just finished eating this meal. Eh, it was so so. The chops needed WAY more salt. So if you make this, I'd recommend salting the flour, maybe? Or maybe adding a good dose of salt to the buttermilk and cayenne so that the chops brine a little? I don't know.

I made two chops, so I am stuck eating this meal tomorrow too. Maybe the remaining chop will age well in the fridge tonight.

Bon appetit.

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