Wish Upon A Dish: Pretzel-Crusted Pork Chops with Ginger-Mustard Sauce

February 24, 2012

Pretzel-Crusted Pork Chops with Ginger-Mustard Sauce

The one thing I love about Bon Appetit magazine is the "R.S.V.P." section.

There you get recipes, requested by readers, from restaurants where they have eaten a memorable meal. Thirty years ago I requested a Pigeon Peas & Rice from our honeymoon in Barbados. They delivered in spades, not one but three recipes.

I have had this recipe bookmarked in my file for over two years. I admit the pretzel coating caught my eye, but there is much more to this dish. Originally from the Grouse Mountain Grill in Beaver Creek, Co., they used candied orange peel, but I am trying crystallized ginger. This was my first time using it and I'm glad I did.

May I suggest using the food processor on the pretzels?. Once they are ground to pieces that are 1/4" remove them directly into a fine sieve and shake over a bowl until all the fine particles are released into the bowl. I believe this process scrapes the salt off the outsides of the pretzels, making it that much more healthy. Now you can place the crumbles in a heavy plastic bag and roll a rolling pin across them to make the final crumb.

If you need to watch your salt intake this extra step is worth it but you can leave be if you want.

Read the directions carefully, not because they are complex, but there are a few important steps. For more then 4 chops you will need 2 skillets both oven proof. The coating is only on one side and makes perfect sense. It is a generous crust that stays intact while cooking. To crust both sides would have been overkill.

All in all this dish, from range to table, took less then an hour to prepare and if you make the pretzel crumbs ahead, you can reduce that to thirty minutes.

Pretzel-Crusted Pork Chops with Ginger-Mustard Sauce
Crushed pretzels make a better-than-breadcrumb crust.
8 servings

* 1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
* 2 tablespoons minced candied ginger
* 2 cups whipping cream
* 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
* 1/2 cup all purpose flour
* 3 large eggs (or 3/4 cup sub)
* 2 cups crushed pretzel sticks (about 5 ounces)
* 8 1-inch-thick center-cut pork rib chops

3 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1. Simmer balsamic vinegar in small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 10 minutes. Transfer to small pitcher.
DO AHEAD: Balsamic reduction can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.

2. Mix cream, mustard, and 2 tablespoons candied ginger in heavy small saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce is reduced to 1 cup, about 12 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

3. Place flour in shallow bowl. Whisk eggs to blend in another shallow bowl. Spread crushed pretzels on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Working with 1 pork chop at a time, press 1 side of chop into flour, dip floured side only into eggs, then press into pretzels, coating 1 side only.
4. Transfer to baking sheet, coated side up. Repeat with remaining pork chops, flour, eggs, and pretzels.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

5. Preheat oven to 450°F. Melt 1/2 the butter and 1/2 the canola oil in each of 2 large ovenproof skillets over medium-high heat. Add 4 pork chops to each skillet, coated side down, and cook until brown, about 2 minutes. Turn chops over and transfer both skillets to oven. Roast until pork is cooked through and thermometer inserted horizontally into chop registers 140°F, about 10 minutes. Let chops stand 5 minutes.

Rewarm sauce. Spoon 2 tablespoons sauce onto each plate and place chop atop sauce. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and garnish with grated ginger (optional).

I am serving asparagus that I roasted in the same oven with the chops.

Review: The ginger/mustard/cream sauce was excellent. Just the hint of ginger and sweetness worked off the zip of the mustard and the creaminess of the dairy. The balsamic glaze put this over the top. A great, but extremely easy, thirty minute meal from a restaurant. We both liked the pretzel coating, it was substantial, did not fall off and stayed extremely crunchy. I made extra for storage.


raquel@eRecipe.com said...

I love the asparagus on top. Mouthwatering dish! =)

Susan..... said...

I could eat asparagus every day, in any form, but I do have a limit on what I will spend....lol