This is a blog for people to discuss what they are eating. There is a theory that by journaling eating habits, people will eat healthier. I am trying to cook more at home and feed my family a wider variety of foods. People can just read or join as co-authors. Topics don't have to be recipes with nice photos. You can write about eating habits, special diets, culinary cultural differences, etc.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Recipe: Southern Fried Pork Chops

Ingredients

Boneless pork loin chops (approximately 1/4" thick)

3 to 4 cups all purpose flour
1 to 2 tsp ground black pepper
1 to 2 T onion powder
1 to 2 T garlic powder
1 to 2 T rubbed dried parsley
1 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
1 to 2 T paprika
salt to taste

1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 T hot sauce

1 to 2 quarts cooking oil



First things first, I allowed my hubby to slice the loin into chops for me, which meant that I had to then pound them out to get the proper thickness (or thinness, as it was). This was easily accomplished by placing the chops, one by one into a plastic baggie and pounding them with a mallet. If you don't have a meat pounder/tenderizer a small iron skillet or heavy bottomed pot will work just as well (believe me, I've tried both, they work).

Next, assemble your other ingredients.




In one large bowl mix together the flour and dry spices/herbs.

In another large bowl beat together the buttermilk, eggs, and hot sauce. (remember that if you don't have buttermilk on hand you can make a passable substitute by putting one teaspoon of lemon juice or distilled vinegar into one cup of regular milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes before using) The hot sauce I use is like Tabasco, I just prefer the flavor of Texas Pete brand. You can leave this out if you don't like it or don't have it on hand. You can tell by the size of the bottle that I use it quite frequently. :)



Ooo, I almost forgot the paprika and chili powder (see the previous picture)

Next step: Pour cooking oil into a large, steep sided frying pan or dutch oven. Use a good, heavy bottomed pan for this, or cast iron. A thin bottomed pan will not work right and your stuff will scorch. If you have something like a Fry Daddy, that will work too. Also, use a quality cooking oil for deep frying. I personally prefer Wesson brand vegetable or canola oil but I will use Crisco brand if it is on a really good sale.

Anyhoo... heat the oil over a medium flame. You will just have to experiment with your own stove to get the heat right. I don't have a clue what the temperature is supposed to be, I've never tested it. I just hold my hand over it until it feels right, then I do a drop test: Test your oil for proper heat by dropping a pinch of flour into it. If it hisses and bubbles up you're ready to rock-n-roll.

Now then... dust a chop with the flour mixture, then dip into the egg mixture, then back into the flour mixture. You will have to turn it over several times and press the flour into the meat. You can fry the chop now or give it another turn in the egg mixture and then back into the flour for an extra crunchy coating. (I wanted to get a picture of this for you, but it's hard to snap pictures when your fingers are all covered in flour/egg mixture.



Carefully place your coated chop into the hot oil. Do not over-crowd your pan or you will cool your oil too much and the thing won't fry properly and you'll have a greasy, icky, yucky... um... thing.



When your chop begins to look a little browned on the edges turn it over. You may need to flip it more than once until you get the level of brownness and crunchiness you desire on both sides. Remove from the oil and drain on several sheets of paper towel or use a draining rack. (I find that draining on paper towels gets more oil off)



Ta-da! You now have a sinfully delicious, totally unhealthy piece of deep fried heaven. Every Southern cook has their own variation of this recipe. Personally, I think my version is one of the very best I've ever tasted and believe me I've tasted a LOT of fried foods in my lifetime. This is the basic recipe that my Grandmother used, although she didn't use the chili powder or the hot sauce. You can use this technique to fry most anything. Chicken, shrimp, fish, veggies, cheese... just alter the seasonings to suit the food. I use this to make fried chicken for chicken parmigiana, only I use Italian herbs for the seasoning.




Thomas had his chop over a green salad with Caesar dressing.

My hubby had the full traditional Southern meal: Chop, mashed potatoes, mixed greens.



And of course... he had to have gravy all over it:



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Myself, I had a chop, sans mash & gravy, with the rest of the greens. I don't much care for mashed potatoes. I know, I know... mashed taters are an American tradition. But growing up rice was cheaper and flour, so we ate rice a lot as a staple and also biscuits. Lots and lots of biscuits... I think mashing is a horrible thing to do to a perfectly good potato. But that's a whole other blog post...

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BTW, deep frying is a thing you have to commit to. You need to prep your stuff, hang up the phone, make sure you have a tall glass of iced tea nearby, and just do it! You can't worry about making a mess, or getting your hands all icky. If you try to keep your counter all neat while you do it you will fail. If getting your hands all covered in flour and raw egg and just, just... goo, disturbs you, you won't do it right. You have to forget all that and just be in the moment. Like I said, you have to commit to it. Totally.

Also, don't be stingy with the flour mixture or the egg mixture. If you worry about all the flour you will be throwing away when you're done and try to use less, you won't get a good coating and you will fail.

Another thing, please don't use store brand oil. Use the good stuff. And don't be stingy with it, either. I don't advocate eating fried foods very often, so... if you're going to do it, you might as well do it right.

I learned this way of coating foods for deep frying from my Granny, my mother's mother. She was the champion deep frying pro of the Universe. No kidding. The skill eluded my mother. She wasn't good at it at all (mostly because of the warnings I posted above). But I, thank goodness, inherited my Granny's knack for it. Yes, I am bragging on myself. Everyone has certain skills they are proud of and the fact that I can make deep fried foods (chicken especially) that everyone raves over is one of mine.

Let me know if you guys try this or if your methods are different or similar.

Labels:

9 Comments:

Blogger Arsenette said...

... I'm having you cook for me LMAO!!!!!!!!! :) Wow.. that's just sinful.. :) Thanks a bunch! Just perused it for now will read the whole thing later :) PIzza in the oven.. gaaaaaaa brb..

November 10, 2008 at 6:27 PM

 
Blogger chaki said...

Holly, died and went to Southern heaven. Will try to both spicy (to my liking) and classic (for the kids). Yes, also LOVE your no-nonsense commentary about no skimming!!! I have that tendency. Yes, don't do fried food much but when do it, do it like you mean it!! Gotta get more of my friends onto this blog!! Thanks, you are an All-Star!

November 10, 2008 at 7:13 PM

 
Blogger chaki said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 10, 2008 at 7:32 PM

 
Blogger chaki said...

double posted. kind of embarassing.

November 10, 2008 at 7:32 PM

 
Blogger Arsenette said...

Okay I'm back LOL

I probably won't digest the pork all that well so I'm happy you gave options for other meats :D I love pork but tummy doesn't like digesting it anymore.. which is a shame.. I ate so much of it as a kid.. maybe the body rebelled..

That was a great post! Loved the no holds barred approach! Took guts to snap frying food like that! Oh loved the attention to detail :D

November 10, 2008 at 7:44 PM

 
Blogger Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Elsie, if you do chicken this way it will knock your socks off! I usually use boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I slice into strips so it cooks faster. I don't like frying bone-in chicken. I never feel like I get it done all the way to the bone before the coating gets done. Using boneless dispenses with that worry.

November 10, 2008 at 7:55 PM

 
Blogger Arsenette said...

I like both though I do fried (boned) chicken very different. I boil them first to make sure everything is cooked inside.. drain it.. then put all the ouside ingredients and flash fry them. They come out nice and crispy and juicy without spending too much time in the fryer. As you already know the lower the temperature in the fryer the more opportunity there is for it to soak up the oil so I've been doing better having the oil really friggin' hot and for shorter amount of time.

I like the idea of the chicken breast. I usually use panko breadcrumbs and hubby puts a little bit of Emeril Essense but this looks interesting!

November 11, 2008 at 8:59 AM

 
Blogger chaki said...

Did I mention I still have three more pork loins in my freezer? I bought two, Mom brings me two more. Ate one last week.
Going to try this one next week. Want to try and get advice from Holly before debuting it as my potluck thing to bring for Xmas parties. Finally, something kids and grown up will love. Did I mention how excited I am?

November 11, 2008 at 3:41 PM

 
Blogger Some Kinda Wonderful said...

I like to eat pork this way with sesame sauce, like the Chinese Sesame Chicken dish, only with pork. It's yummy. If you cut the loin into strips you can then serve it with a variety of dips and sauces.

November 11, 2008 at 4:11 PM

 

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