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Flavor pork chops with a buttermilk marinade





This photo shows crispy buttermilk soaked pork chops in New York. The chops are coated in a mixture of panko breadcrumbs, which provide crunch, and seasoned breadcrumbs, which glue all of the breadcrumbs together. (Sara Moulton via AP)

This photo shows crispy buttermilk soaked pork chops in New York. The chops are coated in a mixture of panko breadcrumbs, which provide crunch, and seasoned breadcrumbs, which glue all of the breadcrumbs together. (Sara Moulton via AP)

Summertime and the living is easy. Dinners can be casual, thrown together at the last minute. But when the kids start heading back to school, it’s time to switch gears; dinner usually needs to be planned and punctual.

This recipe fits nicely into that back-to-school tempo. It requires five minutes in the morning whipping up a buttermilk marinade for the chops and 10 minutes to cook in the evening.

The chops in question are crosscut slices of pork loin, also known as boneless pork chops. I recommend the really thin ones, no more than half-an-inch thick, which helps the marinade work its deep magic. This cut of meat is very lean. That’s good because the chops are low in saturated fat; that’s bad because the lack of fat translates into a lack of moisture and a lack of flavor. But not to worry — this recipe’s buttermilk marinade picks up the slack.

I was inspired by our friends below the Mason- Dixon line, who like to soak their chicken in buttermilk before frying it. Then I added salt, which helps protein retain liquid while deeply flavoring it. Finally, I threw in smashed garlic cloves and some chipotle hot sauce. The hot sauce provides a tiny bit of the advertised heat along with some lip-smacking smokiness. (If your family is antispicy, leave it out.)

The chops are coated in a mixture of panko breadcrumbs, which provide crunch, and seasoned breadcrumbs, which glue all the breadcrumbs together. Top with some chopped parsley and serve with a wedge of lemon.

It’s important to cook the chops until they’re just pink, otherwise, they’ll be tough.

CRISPY BUTTERMILK
SOAKED PORK CHOPS
Start to finish: 8 hours, 15
minutes (15 minutes active)
Servings: 4 to 6
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons chipotle
hot sauce (optional)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, smashed
well
1-1/2 pounds thin (about
1/3rd-1/2-inch thick) boneless pork chops
3/4 cup panko bread
crumbs
3/4 cup seasoned dry
bread crumbs
5 tablespoons olive or
vegetable oil
1/3rd cup finely chopped
parsley
4-6 lemon wedges

In a pie plate or re-sealable plastic bag, combine
the buttermilk, hot sauce,
salt and garlic, whisking the
mixture in the bowl or shaking the mixture in the bag
until the salt is dissolved.
Add the chops, making sure
they are submerged in the
liquid, and marinate them,
covered or sealed, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours
and up to 8 hours.
On a sheet of parchment
combine the panko and the
dry bread crumbs. Working
with one chop at a time, lift
it out of the marinade letting
the excess marinade drip
off; coat the chop well with
the bread crumbs.
In a large non-stick skillet,

heat 1-1/2 tablespoons
of the oil over high heat
until it is hot. Reduce the
heat to medium and add
half the chops. Cook for
1-1/2 minutes, add another
tablespoon of the oil and
turn the chops over, cooking
them on the second side for
another 1-1/2 minutes or
until they are barely pink
inside. Transfer the chops
to a plate; cover with foil to
keep them warm. Repeat
the procedure with the remaining oil and chops.
Top each portion with
some chopped parsley;
serve with a wedge of lemon. Nutrition information
per serving: 353 calories;
188 calories from fat; 21 g fat
(4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats);
92 mg cholesterol; 718 mg
sodium; 9 g carbohydrate;
0 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 30 g
protein.


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