Though the day was full of sunshine and unseasonably warm, enough to have the back doors and windows open, there’s just something about the first official day of fall that puts me in the mood to fry something! I love to fry! I could stand at the stove for hours on end and never tire of it! It isn’t the healthiest thing in the world to do though, so I don’t fry as much as I’d like to, but when I do, ohhhh myyyy heavens is it ever good! I probably drove the whole entire neighborhood crazy as the mouth-watering aroma wafted clear down the block (and wouldn’t doubt it if it sailed clear across the lake, too!) There’s just something magical about the smell of something being cooked the old-fashioned way, just a-sizzling away in the ol’ cast iron frying pan, isn’t there?!
These pork chops are one of my all-time favorites. You probably even already have everything you’ll need right on hand and all ready to go, too! One of my silly favorite things to do, is to add different flavors to Ranch salad dressing to kick it up a notch or two and play around with the flavors, and mustard mixed with Ranch is surprisingly tasty! Additionally mixed with a little sour cream, to thicken it a bit, makes for a wonderful dip for pretzels, fresh or roasted veggies, or a new twist to shrimp cocktail! When combined with mayo, a most wonderful sandwich spread is created and can even be added to casseroles, a condiment for brats ‘n dogs, or even a base for a fun and creative pizza! It’s uses are literally endless, limited only to your own imagination. Have a blast with it and experiment with different mustards you have on hand! (Rolls down window and hands you a jar of Grey Poupon from my limo.) 😉
I also enjoy playing around with basic breadcrumbs, too, but this time I kept it simple so that the mustard would shine through, only adding a few touches of garlic and pepper and a bit of parmesan cheese. For this I prefer using the familiar, finely grated parmesan from Kraft over freshly grated. I’ve found that fresh-grated, aged parmesan tends to burn and is not a pleasant taste when that happens. It can also make the breading “gummy”, as well as make a mess in the pan. So stick with what works for best results.
The breading turns out such a warm, autumn-like oak leaf color every time! Now those are some pretty chops, aren’t they?! And they could not be easier to make, too. A highly-flavored crust, tender, and so very juicy on the inside!
So if autumn makes you want to go out and buy a spiral notebook and a pack of No. 2 pencils just for the nostalgia too, and you long to reminisce the cherished memories of your childhood and simpler times, these delectable chops just might be the ticket! Though I whipped up a cheesy potato, bacon and corn casserole (*recipe coming soon!) to serve alongside, you can wander all the way down Memory Lane if you’d like, and serve with homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, buttered sweet baby peas, and homemade biscuits with honey! But no matter what you decide to compliment them with, believe me, the compliments will all be for you, and the “ooh’s and aahh’s” from around the table will create appreciated memories for your loved ones just as they did for you growing up. And believe it or not, old-fashioned meals from the heart like these are always appreciated by unsuspecting guests, too! A southern-style, homemade dinner just can’t be beat! Food that fills not just the tummy, but nourishes the heart and soul. So I hope you enjoy this humble recipe for years to come, and that it takes you back to simpler times playing in piles of colorful autumn leaves, catching lightning bugs in mason jars and playing “Kick-the-Can” under the streetlight! Have a wonderful fall day all! May this get your week off to a great start! 🙂
SOUTHERN FRIED MUSTARD RANCH PORK CHOPS PARMESAN
2 large thick-cut pork loin chops
oil for frying
2 Tbl. butter
1/3 cup heavy mayo
2 Tbl. prepared Ranch salad dressing
1 1/2 tsp. regular table mustard
1/2 cup Italian seasoned dry breadcrumbs
1 Tbl. Kraft Parmesan Cheese
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
Trim excess fat from chops if desired. Set aside.
In small bowl, stir marinade ingredients well. In small baking dish, spread half of marinade into 2 ovals the shape and size of the chops. Place chops onto marinade and top each with rest of marinade coating top and sides well. Cover and place into fridge to marinate for 1 hour to overnight. (I like to marinate them overnight.)
When ready to fry, remove chops from fridge, and pour oil into large frying pan about 1/2″ deep or so adding butter to oil. Heat to 350-375 degrees. (Just get it nice and hot for frying over medium to med/high heat.)
While oil is heating, mix breading ingredients in a shallow pie plate. With the back of a spoon, smooth marinade removing some of the excess. *Leave nicely coated, though. Place, one at a time, onto breading and coat top well pressing on, turn and coat bottom and sides well. Place onto a plate that’s sprinkled with a little of the breading so bottoms have enough to absorb and the crumbs don’t turn wet, then repeat with other chop. Sprinkle tops with excess breading, pressing on lightly.
When oil is ready, pick up chops and GENTLY shake off excess breading crumbs and place into pan of hot oil. Don’t move them, just let them be. Adjust heat to nicely sizzling, and fry for 6-8 minutes, turn with a sharp, slotted spatula, carefully, using your finger (or the back of a spoon) to hold the edge of the chop against the spatula to turn over without splashing the oil, and fry other side for an additional 6-8 minutes. (Time depends on how thick your chops are and how hot your oil is.) Chops will be a deep, golden, autumn-brown color. Remove to serving plate to rest for 5 minutes to let juices settle. Serve hot.