Breaded Baked Pork Chops

This morning I went for a long walk with friends to celebrate a dear friend's birthday. During our post-walk coffee, we talked about a broad spectrum of topics... even the subject of pork chops somehow came up and how I have never been able to master cooking them. A few of my friends mentioned how awesome breaded baked pork chops can be and I thought I would try it.  I made an adaptation of Deb Perelman's tasty looking recipe for crunchy baked pork chops (just took out a step and a few ingredients to make it easier) and they were delicious- not all dried out like pork chops usually are when I saute them. You could take even one more step out of this recipe if you use pre-made breadcrumbs, but the homemade ones add a very yummy crunch.

Breaded Baked Pork Chops

4 boneless center-cut pork chops
4 slices hearty white sandwich bread (I used the heals from loaves of Buttermilk bread)
1 small shallot, minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1/8 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

Pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground, about eight 1-second pulses (you should have about 3 cups crumbs). Transfer crumbs to rimmed baking sheet and add shallot, garlic, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss until crumbs are evenly coated with oil. Bake at 350° until deep golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. 
Place 1/8 cup flour in pie plate. In second pie plate, whisk egg whites and mustard until combined; add remaining 2 tablespoons flour and whisk until smooth.

Set oven to 425°. Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place in rimmed baking sheet. Season chops with salt and pepper. Dredge 1 pork chop in flour; shake off excess. Using tongs, coat with egg mixture; let excess drip off. Coat all sides of chop with bread crumb mixture, pressing gently so that thick layer of crumbs adheres to chop. Transfer breaded chop to wire rack. Repeat with remaining 3 chops. 

Bake until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of chops registers 150° about 20- 25 minutes. Let rest on rack 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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