Is there any word more poignant and memory-laden for a celiac than “breaded”? Most folks who talk to me about what they first cried about once they got their diagnosis was that they’d never be able to eat bread, or anything breaded again… But thank goodness for the wave of awareness that has brought us new delights like gluten-free flour and decent toast, and other baked goods which are rapidly approaching the same level of deliciousness and mouthfeel as anything else you can find at a good bakery. And that also extends to old favourites – whether it’s chicken nuggets (for a lazier day when it’s hard to get up and cook), to days when you feel like making something hearty, memorable, and tasty for yourself and the family. That’s where we’re going today – making breaded pork chops, to eat with fresh corn on the cob (Taber, if you can find it) and some sweet glazed carrots. And for a touch of the exotic, we’ve added some pomegranate-chili jam to lend a deeply flavourful and spicy kick to this summer meal.
- 1 tbsp seasoning salt (Hy’s and Lawry’s are both GF)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp dried or chopped fresh marjoram or basil
- 1/3 cup GF flour. Robin Hood makes a good one, at a good price
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 6 center-cut, boneless pork chops – 1-2 cm thick
- 1/2 cup light vegetable or canola oil, for frying
- 2 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tbsp butter – for carrot glaze
- 6 tsp sweet and hot chili jam of some kind. My favorite for this is Dave’s, produced in the Okanagan, with a whole range of fruit flavours including pomegranate (used this time), cherry, cranberry, strawberry, and blueberry, among others.
- Let your pork chops come to room temperature, if you had them in the fridge. This really does help get an even, thorough cooking – if they’re too cold, the middle won’t be done before the outside gets too brown while frying.
- Combine the first three ingredients in a small bowl, and mix thoroughly to create a rub. Spread this mixture on one side of the pork chops, and set them aside. The brown sugar will melt because of the moisture of the chops. This is a good thing.
- Combine the next three ingredients (flour, paprika, and onion powder) in a flat-bottomed dish, to make the breaded coating. Set aside.
- Preheat cooking oil over medium-high heat on the stove, in a deep, heavy skillet. The oil should cover the bottom to a depth of about 1/4 of an inch.
- Once the rub has turned from powder to a liquid glaze on the chops, carefully place the chops, one at a time, rub-side down, into the flour mixture. Press down to completely coat, then flip over and to the other side. Repeat to get a good coating, then gently shake off the excess and place the chops on a plate, ready to fry.
- Once the oil is hot (test by throwing in a pinch of the flour coating – if it sizzles in the oil, you’re good to go), gently place the chops into the oil.
- Let fry for about 6 minutes (a bit longer, if your chops are thicker), then turn over with a flat spatula (being careful to really get underneath and save that crunchy breaded layer from sticking to the pan) to do the other side for an equal amount of time. They should be golden brown – if they are browner than that, turn the heat down to medium for side 2 of the chops. If your pan is too small to do all 6 chops at once, do this in two batches – keeping the first batch warm on a paper towel-lined dish in a 250-degree oven.
- While the chops cook, boil the corn on the cob, and the carrots. They should be done at about the same time as the chops.
- Drain the carrots, and throw in the brown sugar and butter. Cover and swirl to coat the carrots with glaze.
Serve the chops with a teaspoon of chili jam spread over each, and a fresh cob of buttered corn and glazed carrots. Enjoy the nostalgic, lovely crunch of a good breaded cut of meat.