Pork chops, peas and potato is one of those meals that rolls slowly like a golf ball and falls firmly into the hole marked with a flag with “Holy Trinity Man Food’ in that it’s the epitome of meat and two veg. MAN FOOD doesn’t attempt to seduce them into eating arty farty nouvelle cuisine decorated with those ghastly tasting pea shoots. I can just about get away with one sprig of fresh rosemary to dicky the plate up for a blits vinning quick pic before the feeding frenzy begins. You know what I mean, when you are just lining up a stunner of a shot with all the elements blab la bla.. And the plate disappears in front of your eyes and all you hear is a whoosh as it sails past your ear! The family are like a pride of lions, they circle, attack and then feast
Crumbed meat or fish is always a huge hit with the Tripepi boys. There is something extremely satisfying about the crunch as you bite into fried crumbed pork chops. My lot have been raised on an Italian staple, Cotolette (crumbed flattened chicken fillets) and my housekeeper Monique is the queen of queens of this technique. On those days when I simply don’t have enough time to cook a whole meal myself, Moni-Q comes to the rescue and crumbs the meat for me so all I have to do is fry it and serve! Love you Moni-Q xx
I remember one poker game years ago where I made a platter of 28 pieces of crumbed chicken fillets and the whole lot was devoured in less than 5 minutes. When my son Daniele is coming home to visit us in Durban, the first meal that he requests is cotolette and I have often flown to visit him in Cape Town with a suitcase laden with packets of frozen cotolette (and basil pesto) for his freezer.
If you observe the basic rules of crumbing you are guaranteed success and at the very least a new handbag.
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The 1 2 3 of Crumbing
No matter what meat you are crumbing – the rule stays the same.
Crumbed Pork Chops
6 Pork chops
2/3 cup of flour – seasoned if you like with herbs, pepper and spices
3 cups of bread crumbs
First you flatten your meat and in the case of pork chops this is particularly important. As they are quite thick they require a fair amount of frying before the meat is cooked through.
Pat the meat dry and using a pair of scissors cut off the thick piece of fat.
Using a meat hammer or rolling pin, flatten the meat – but don’t bash the living daylights out of it.
Firstly coat the meat in some flour seasoned with herbs. I like oregano with my pork chops so used this with some black pepper and a touch of paprika. Don’t add salt to the flour as it will start drawing the moisture out of your meat.
In a bowl beat 3 eggs and dip the floured meat into the egg making sure to cover it completely in the egg mixture
Pour your breadcrumbs into a flat bowl or onto a tray and place the meat down and give a good hard pressing to coat it in bread crumbs, turn it over and crumb the other side.
Once you have crumbed your chops, it is absolutely essential to cover them and put them into the fridge for at least 20 minutes. This will prevent the crumbs from falling off into the oil when you fry them.
I am using organic pork chops here from Dargle Valley Pork Products. If you live in Durban or surrounding suburbs I would really recommend that you consider buying their meat – it’s guaranteed free from boar taint, is hormone free and is absolutely delicious. Many restaurants and shops stock their products all over the Midlands from Hartford House to Indigo Fields to Piggly Wiggly and they deliver in Durban once a month. Contact Caz Griffiths on email@example.com you won’t believe how fantastic their pork is.
To fry the meat
Use your largest frying pan and fill with at least 4cm of oil.
Heat the oil to very hot – to check if it’s ready, drop a few crumbs into the oil and if they immediately start to sizzle when they hit the surface then the oil is ready.
If you put the meat into lukewarm oil – the crumbs will absorb the oil and the crumbed chop will be soggy and oily. You need the extremely hot oil to seal the crumbs and make them nice and crunchy.
Serve with a good sprinkling of salt and lemon wedges.
Lemon wedges are essential for deep fried, crumbed food as the lemon cuts the oiliness and each mouthful is crunchy, light and lemony!
Piselli al Rosmarino
1Tbs finely chopped garlic
1 sprig of rosemary
½ cup of chicken or vegetable stock
Dead quick and easy are these peas. Just a little tweaking raises the humble pea up to first class airline lounge status.
Heat a few table spoons of olive oil in a pot
Add a sprig of fresh rosemary and 1Tbs of finely chopped garlic.
Add your frozen peas, black pepper and ½ cup of chicken or vegetable stock.
Bring to the boil and cook out all of the stock.
AH-HAaaa …. I found the big picture thingy!!!
When all of the stock is gone, this only takes 5 minutes, remove the rosemary and add a knob of butter.
Give them a good stir and serve.
Ps: make extra and eat the left overs with some wasabi mayo for lunch the next day!
Oh how I love potato bake. You will always see a big dish of potato bake on the table when we braai. You could make mash to go with the crumbed pork chops. But potato does need to be served with pork chops. It’s law! There is nothing remotely Italian about my recipe – this is a great home grown South African potato bake that celebrates the good old ingredient, Brown Onion Soup!
7 large potatoes peeled and sliced thin
3 – 4 large onions sliced thinly
3Tbs of finely chopped garlic
1 packet of brown onion soup
100g melted butter
1Tbs dried oregano
1Tbs black pepper
½ grated nutmeg
400g grated cheese – a good strong cheese like cheddar is best
½ cup of bread crumbs
Pre-heat your oven to 180d
Place the cream, milk, brown onion soup, oregano, nutmeg, pepper and garlic into a jug. Give it a good stir and microwave it for 3 minutes.
First layer – potatoes
Second – Onions
Third – cheese
Now pour over half of the cream mixture.
Fourth – onions
Fifth – potatoes
Top with the rest of the cream mixture, some herbs and a good sprinkling of bread crumbs.
Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 180d, then remove the foil and bake for another hour at 160d.
And that’s it!
Dear Sam, Cath and Caro – I hereby grant you all the rest of this day off – go to a spar and
make beula, then go to lunch and drink many bottles of Champagne!!!
Grazie Infinite Amici