Pork chops were never my favorite meat, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that I was overcooking them. I think it was partly due to being sort of clueless about making them and partly because “back in the day” there was the notion that you had to cook the bejesus out of pork, much like chicken, and there shouldn’t be even the slightest hue of pink remaining. Wrong.
One of my favorite ways to cook pork chops, whether they’re bone-in or boneless, is to sear them on the stove top and finish them off in the oven. This works especially well when you’re coating the pork chops in something, because it assures a crust that gets golden and crisp without the worry that you’ll burn the crust while the inside remains undercooked. I’ve used cornmeal as a crust before and while it gets nice and crispy just by baking, pan-frying takes it to a new level. You get an almost deep-fried taste but since you’re using a nonstick skillet with minimal oil, you don’t have to feel too guilty.
These came about on a whim one day when I decided to cut up a roast for chops, and didn’t have a lot of other ingredients around to make something. We liked these so much they went back on the menu the following week. I’m all for meals that use minimal ingredients and come together so quickly!
Cornmeal-Crusted Pork Chops
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 boneless pork chops, about 3/4″ thick
1.5 Tbsp. canola oil
Preheat the oven to 425.
In a shallow bowl or plate, mix the cornmeal, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and a good amount of salt and pepper to taste. In another shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs.
Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Dip into the beaten eggs, and then dredge into the cornmeal mixture, making sure to coat all sides.
Heat the oil in a large oven-safe nonstick (or well-seasoned cast iron) skillet. Once hot, add the chops to the pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown on one side. Flip, and cook for another 2 minutes. Place the pan into the oven and continue cooking until pork chops are cooked through, about 8 minutes (adjust the time if using thicker chops), or until pork chops reach an internal temperature of 140º.