Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cereal with your pork chops?

How many of us have ever considered adding Special K breakfast cereal to our dinner menu?  Well I have and I think it goes quite well with pork chops, chicken or any other item that you may want to bread. That's right.  I'm talking about using cornflakes or other similar products in place of bread crumbs. 

I got this idea from a good friend year's ago when dining at his house on a weeknight. He prepared a quick a tasty dinner using this ingredient.  Back then we would take regular breakfast cereal (usually Special K) and grind it in the food processor.  Now you can actually buy the nicely ground corn flakes made for this purpose.

Season the cereal crumbs with salt and pepper and any other seasonings that you prefer.  Then using a standard breading technique, lightly coat the meat (in this instance pork chops) with flour.  Then dip it into an egg and milk mixture, before covering each piece in the seasoned cereal crumbs. I like to place the meat on a rack for roasting but this is not necessary if you simply spray the dish with food release before baking.

For the pork chops shown here, I bake them in the upper portion of a 400F oven for about 30 minutes, less if the chops are not as thick.  Remove from the oven and let rest for five minutes and then serve.  You will find them crunchy, flavorful and juicy.  You can also use these crumbs for oven-friend chicken as well as to make a crispy French toast. 

Finally let me mention that roasted asparagus (shown above) is a wonderful side dish.  I was amazed to have a person ask me, while I was grocery shopping, how I prepared this flavorful vegetable.  She apparently had only ever tried it steamed and wasn't that fond of it.  I always prepare it by cutting off the tough lower portion of the stem (just where it naturally breaks), then if they are especially thick, I peel them with a potato peeler.  This makes them more tender and the flavor more delicate.  If they are not thick, I skip this step.  Then I drizzle them with olive oil and seasonings and roast in the over (again at 400F) for 10-12 minutes.  A friend tells me this is the Italian method.  I'm not sure about this, but it's a good one and should be included in your repertoire.

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