I think pork is an oft-overlooked meat. Maybe it’s because we all grew up with one too many pork tenderloin dinners, or perhaps it’s because people often cook pork within an inch of its life — whatever the reason, pork never seems to be at the top of my dinner-making list (or even on many restaurant menus).
So, when I first saw this recipe in Cooking with Paula Deen, I was intrigued but not immediately sold. Until I realized that it included pecans. I’ve never met a pecan I didn’t like, so I decided, “What the heck?” and gave it a go.
Oh, friends, I am so glad I did. The pork chops are perfectly breaded with Panko, Parmesan, lemon zest, and thyme. Five minutes on each side is exactly right for these, and they are neither overdone nor underdone. The Panko are especially nice, creating a crunchy shell around the chop, not a soggy mess like many other breadcrumbs.
And the green beans. Oh, the green beans. The green beans are roasted, first with just a little oil, salt, and pepper for twenty minutes, and then with glorious butter and chopped pecans. The flavors mix in a nice blend of slightly salty (the breaded pork chops), sweet (roasted green beans), and savory (pecans), and it is delicious. This is another home run for Miss Lovely-Even-In-The-Face-Of-A-Flying-Ham Deen.
Oven-Fried Pork Chops with Roasted Green Beans and Pecans
Makes 4 servings
2 (12-oz) packages of fresh cut green beans
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt, divided
4 (4 to 6 oz) bone-in center-cut pork chops
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup Japanese bread crumbs (panko)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (I used dried)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 Tbsp. butter
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drain and rinse beans. Combine beans, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and 3/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl, tossing to coat. Spread beans in a single layer in jelly-roll pan. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until beans are tender and slightly browned.
2. Meanwhile, sprinkle pork chops with pepper and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt.
3. Stir together breadcrumbs and next 3 ingredients in a large shallow dish. Dredge pork chops in breadcrumb mixture.
4. Cook chops in 1/4 cup hot vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until done.
5. Stir pecans and butter into beans; bake 5 to 6 minutes or until pecans are golden. Serve pork chops with green beans.