Boneless pork chops can be a great part of any healthy diet. They are high in protein and low in fat and can be substituted for chicken when your family is tired of eating the same white meat everyday. The center cut chop is the lowest in fat content, but for that reason can be very difficult to cook. This cut tends to get tough easily if not prepared properly. With a little practice, you can cook center cut pork chops perfectly every time!
When buying your pork chops, look for chops that are uniform in thickness and are a nice bright pink color.
Baking a pork chop is an easy way to cut down on unnecessary added fats that might be required for other preparation methods. In order to ensure that your chop stays juicy and tender, it is usually necessary to prepare some sort of coating for the meat in order to lock in the juices and keep the meat tender as it is cooking. There are some pre-made coating mixtures that you can purchase at a grocery store, but these are often loaded with extra sodium that you may not want in your meal, especially if you’re avoiding sodium for health reasons. Many coatings are quite simple to make and may not require any sodium at all.
Many coatings can be made with crushed-up crackers, bread crumbs, certain types of cereals, or a mixture of flour and herbs and spices. Making your own coating allows you to control and combine the flavors in a way that will compliment the side dishes you may also be preparing with your meat.
In order to get the coating to stick to the meat, you can dip it in a mixture of milk, buttermilk, or egg, let the excess drip off, the dredge it in the coating mixture. If you wish to avoid the extra calories that the liquid may add, many coatings will stick to the raw meat without a liquid under-coating.
After preparing the coating for your chops, place them in a greased baking dish and bake them at 400˚F for 30-40 minutes, depending on thickness. Your chops should be done all the way through, with no pink in the center. In order to avoid cutting through your chops to check for doneness, a meat thermometer may be used. Pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160˚F. Be sure to place the thermometer in the thickest portion of the chop, halfway through it, so as not to touch the pan or grill the meat is resting on. As always, follow the instructions that come with your meat thermometer, as each thermometer is different.
Pork tastes great combined with vegetables or fruit. Peaches, apricots, figs, and pineapple are all popular fruits to combine with your pork chop. Any type of onion or mushroom also pairs well with the chops. Be creative when looking for pork recipes. Pork is often used in many ethnic dishes and is a tasty and nutritious way to spice up your family’s dinner time!
Good sources for online recipes are:
All Recipes (they also provide great educational articles)
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