Thin cuts of pork chops make for a fast dinner on busy nights. Their charm and ease is that they cook quickly.
It’s a good idea to have some of these tucked away in your freezer for a quick dinner. They thaw quickly in the microwave or in several hours in the refrigerator. How thin is thin? You’re looking for the pork chops to be about 1/4- to 1/3-inch thick. Most packages will have them labeled “thin.”
Today’s recipe for thin sliced pork chops has a basic seasoning, are pan seared and are topped with an easy pan sauce. The sauce is made in the same skillet from the pan drippings along with a few other ingredients. Using the same skillet makes cleanup a breeze.
Seasoning meats and seafood enough is a topic on many foods shows, especially those food reality shows and competitions. Many of the contestants fall short in the seasoning category and don’t season their creations enough. And then they get screamed at by some celebrity chef or are voted out of the competition.
Seasonings, of course, add flavor depending on what’s in them. But when you use salt to season something like, say, fish or meats, it’s also to bringing out their natural flavors. That’s why most chefs will say season generously with salt and pepper. But seasoning with too much becomes problematic, too. You don’t want it overly salty or favoring one seasoning more than the other. Strive for balance.
In this recipe, the thin pork chops are seasoned first with salt and pepper. Once seasoned, the chops are dredged in a seasoned flour mixture. Dredging the chops in flour will give them somewhat of crispy texture once they hit the hot pan. The flour mixture is seasoned with Morton’s Nature Seasons Seasoning Blend — one of my go-to seasoning blends. What I like about this seasoning blend is it does have some salt, but also garlic, celery, onion and pepper in it.
I use the two seasonings because pork is generally bland. The additional salt brings out the meat’s natural flavor.
Before you season and cook the chops, take them out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before cooking. You don’t want to put a cold chop, especially a thin one, in a hot pan. If you do, chances are it won’t cook evenly.
Also, take care not to overcook the chops. Several years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) lowered the safe internal cooking temperature recommendation for whole pork cuts to 145 degrees. Pork cooked to 145 degrees might still have a pinkish hue, but it’s safe to eat, according to the USDA. Previously, the USDA recommendation and ones you’d find in older cookbooks were for an internal temperature of 160-170 degrees. That almost certainly produced dry meat. If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer, buy one. They’re inexpensive and will insure you’re cooking things to safe temperatures.
Sweet Skillet Pork Loin Chops
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Buy thin, boneless pork loin chops for this recipe. Or cut them yourself from a whole pork loin.
4 thin boneless pork loin chops, about 1/4- to 1/3-inch thick
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. Morton Nature’s Seasons Seasoning Blend
2 tsp. of canola oil
2 tsp. of unsalted butter
1/4 cup white wine
1/3 cup apricot preserves
1/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
Pat the pork chops dry. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. In a shallow dish or pie plate, mix together the flour and seasoning blend.
Dredge each pork chop in the flour mixture, making sure to coat all sides. In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter together, swirling the pan so the oil coats the bottom.
Add the pork chops and cook until nicely browned, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side about 2 minutes more, depending on the thickness. Thicker pork chops will take longer.
Remove the pork chops to a plate, cover and keep warm.
In the same skillet, add the white wine. Bring to a boil while stirring and scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Reduce the heat to medium and add the apricot preserves and chicken broth. Stir and cook until the sauce is thickened and reduced some.
Use 2 pork chops per serving, drizzled with sauce.
From and tested by Susan M. Selasky in the Free Press Test Kitchen.
510 calories (33 percent from fat), 18 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 47 g carbohydrates, 36 g protein, 695 mg sodium, 99 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber
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