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4 Center-Cut boneless pork chops
1 Cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 Tsp. Onion powder
1/2 Tsp. Garlic powder
1/2 Tsp. Kosher salt
20 Grinds of fresh black pepper
1 Tsp. Olive oil
1/2 Cup Wondra flour
2 Eggs, beaten with a little water
Kosher Salt and Freshly ground pepper to season
Fresh Blackberries to garnish
1 Cup Fresh blackberries
2 Tbsp. Blackberry Jam, sugar free
2-3 Tbsp. Chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 Tsp. Dried thyme
1/2 Tsp. Calabrian chili flakes
Pinch of Kosher Salt and 10 grinds of fresh black pepper
1 Tbsp. Butter
1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a rack over a baking sheet and put to the side.
2) In a small, non-stick skillet, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat for a minute. Add the Panko, onion and garlic powders, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 20 grinds of black pepper. Stir to mix everything together. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occassionally, until the Panko is golden brown and fragrant. Pour crumbs into a shallow bowl.
3) In a separate bowl add the flour and season with a large pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper.
4) In a third bowl, mix the eggs, a splash of water and a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper.
5) Pat your pork chops dry with paper towels. Dredge the chops in the flour on all sides and knock off excess. Dip into the egg mix and let excess fall off. Place in Panko mix and press to adhere to chops on all sides. Place chops on the prepared rack.
6) Place in the oven and cook for about 20 – 23 minutes until cooked through. The Panko bread crumbs should be golden brown.
7) Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place one cup of blackberries and the jam in a pot over medium-high heat. Stir so the jam starts melting. Smash down on the berries once they are warm. You can use a fork, a big spoon or potato masher for this. After a couple of minutes, add the stock and let it come to a simmer. Stir and add the thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for another minute to heat through. Taste. Adjust seasoning. NOTE: as the berries start to meld into the sauce, their inner thick cores will separate from the tiny berry kernals. You can spoon those out and discard. You could also strain the sauce but I prefer it to have some texture. Those inner cores will be easy to detect… they will appear as a white or beige piece. I just remove them so I’m left with a yummy sauce.
8) Add the butter and let it melt into the sauce.
9) Place the breaded pork chops on a platter and drizzle with the sauce. Garnish with the fresh berries. To keep the pork chops crispy, don’t pour the sauce on top. Either pour on the side or serve on the side and let guests add it themselves. Enjoy!
NOTES: There are several things about this recipe that make it special and there are several tips and methods of preparation that can be used when preparing other types of protein.
Let’s start with the breading. I have used Wondra flour for years. It is much lighter (almost like talcum powder) and doesn’t clump the way regular flour does. Using this will give you a light base coat for your breading. I love Panko and I think by now, most people do. It is just so much crunchier than regular dried breadcrumbs and in a preparation where you are baking vs. frying, this is definitely a good choice.
But, Panko doesn’t have any flavor… just crunch. So I have taken to adding another step to my prep of Panko that just takes this ingredient to a whole new level.
By doing a quick saute of the breadcrumbs in a little olive oil and adding a bunch of seasoning, they get golden brown and completely flavored before they even coat your meat. Not only that, in this baked preparation, the breadcrumbs have that oil already in them which helps them get even browner and crispier. If you take one thing from this recipe, it should be that. Season and toast your Panko before breading and wait until you see the difference.
You’ll note that I used a sugar free jam in the preparation of the sauce. You just don’t need that extra sugar. I added a little spice with the Calabrian chili flakes too. You can use this same preparation with the berry of your choice. Raspberry, strawberry and blueberries all work great in this sauce recipe.
If you like this recipe and enjoy pork, please try my Brandy Pork Chops with Apples or my Crispy Port Cutlets with Chunky Pear Sauce. Sign up for my newsletters and I’ll send 25 Healthier Choice Recipes in my FREE e-Cookbook right to your inbox.