Thursday, March 14, 2013

Herb-Crusted Pork Chops

Today was an unusual day.  First of all, I was awake  4 am, and couldn't go back to sleep.  After trying for about 45 minutes, I finally gave up.  It was at that point that I started thinking about dinner tonight.  That was really out of the ordinary since most days the meal gets decided on my way home from work.  I knew that we had a really nice package of pork chops in the freezer, and that's where it started.  By the time the kids had gotten up, this is what I had planned:  rosemary pork chop and potato packets.  I was going to make individual foil  packets with potatoes and onions, topped with a pork chop and everything sprinkled with a homemade rosemary seasoning blend.  That was the second thing that was weird, not only was I thinking about dinner at 5 am, but I had the whole mealed planned by 6.  What was wrong with me?

All day long, I kept dreaming about this meal.  There's just something about roasting potatoes with meat - the flavor that the potatoes take on is outstanding!  So, how did we come to have Herb-Crusted Pork Chops then?  Well, it's like this.  I planned on leaving work at 5, which meant that I would have plenty of time to get home, cut up the potatoes and onions, and get everything roasted at a decent time.  But, in reality, I didn't leave until 5:40, and I have a half hour drive home, so no pork chop packets tonight.  As I drove home, I had to call an audible.  Something that would come together and cook quickly - Herb-Crusted Pork Chops!

Even though my best-laid plans didn't pan out, the end result was a good one.

Here's your Cast of Characters.

4 Thick-cut, bone-in pork chops
2 Tsp. crushed rosemary
1 1/2 Tsp. Lawry's seasoning salt
1 Tsp., each, thyme and McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic & Herb seasoning blend
1/2 Tsp., each, basil and black pepper
3 Tbsp. peanut oil (it needs to be peanut oil because it can withstand high heat without burning)

Mix all the seasonings together, and generously press into each side of a pork chop.  Repeat with remaining chops.

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.  Add pork chops, cooking for 2-3 minutes per side to get a good crust.

Turn down to medium heat, and continue cooking for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through.  Turn frequently so they don't burn.

Check doneness with a meat thermoter.  Pork should be at 170 degrees.

See how searing it on medium-high heat created that nice, crispy, herby crust?